Wedding insurance – what does it cover and why do you need it?

Wedding insurance is probably the last thing you want to think about when planning the happiest day of your life, but what happens if the big day doesn’t go off without a hitch?

Much like travel insurance, which can protect you from unforeseen circumstances and costs that might crop up while abroad, wedding insurance is just a small detail of a big day that could offer couples peace of mind before putting down a huge payment on that expensive (but unforgettable) wedding supplier.

For couples planning weddings abroad, this becomes even more significant as you take the addition of flights and overseas accommodation into consideration. Plus, there’s the added factor of working with suppliers based in another country. What happens if you turn up on the day but the wedding photographer doesn’t?

The outbreak of coronavirus this year has also caused more couples to think about the necessity of wedding insurance. As the number of known cases continues to rise, especially in countries like Italy that are popular for destination weddings, those that have wedding insurance may be in a better position to negotiate refunds – should that decision need to be taken.

Why do you needwedding insurance?

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk said: ‘Your wedding is likely to be one of the most expensive things you ever pay for, so it is well worth having insurance in case something goes wrong.

‘Wedding insurance can cover the cost of your nuptials if you need to cancel, or if something else goes wrong like one of your suppliers fails to fulfill their commitments.

‘It also protects against damage or theft to your weddingattire, gifts, cake, flowers and may cover the cost if you have to retake yourphotographs or if you have a problem with your wedding cars.’

Salman also warns that although Section 75 means that wedding purchases up to the value of £30,000 made on a credit card may be protected, there are also situations and scenarios where even that won’t guarantee you will get your money back.

‘Without insurance you could lose all of the money you spent on your wedding. You may have some protection if you paid by credit card, but this will not cover everything wedding insurance can,’ he added.

‘Section 75 can protect any payments you make by credit cardbetween £100 and £30,000, but it only covers certain scenarios, e.g. if yourvenue goes out of business.’

A MoneySuperMarket spokesperson added: ‘The amount people are spending on their big day has sky-rocketed in the last few years, with the typical wedding now costing an average £21,000,’ so the need for couples to invest in wedding insurance to protect their investment in the event is more important than ever.

What does weddinginsurance cover?

Anders Nilsson, who works for comparison website GoCompare and personally chose to take out wedding insurance for his nuptials in July 2016, explained to Metro.co.uk that wedding insurance policies are designed to cover an array of unforeseen circumstances.

‘Your wedding insurance policy will cover loss or damage dueto unforeseen circumstances, like damage to the wedding dress or lost rings,’Anders explained.

This includes:

  • The venue cancelling
  • A supplier letting you down
  • Cancellation due to ‘key people’ (immediate family, bridesmaids, best man) not being able to make it for serious reasons like a death, illness or jury service
  • Lost, stolen or damaged cake, rings or gifts
  • Not receiving your wedding photos or videos
  • Public liability cover and legal expenses
  • Weather disruption
  • Miscellaneous other expenses – marquees and even ceremonial swords protection

This is the same for weddings both in the UK and abroad – asis the fact that you won’t be covered if the bride or groom cancels becausethey get cold feet!

Similarly, wedding insurance is unlikely to cover you if yousimply change your mind about something you have already paid for, such as amarquee, wedding dress or even the caterer.

Wedding insurance will also not cover you if you have achange of heart about having a wedding abroad after paying deposits forservices in another country – unless the Foreign & Commonwealth Office(FCO) have advised against travel to the destination in question.

If you go ahead with a wedding abroad in a country that theFCO has advised against travelling to, this may invalidate your insurance andif something happens you will not be able to claim.

How much does weddinginsurance cost?

Like all insurance policies, the price of each plan willdiffer depending on the company or brand selling it, what it covers and the costof the premium.

Prices of basic policies offered by brands like John Lewisstart at around £60, whereas specialist wedding insurance company Dreamsaveroffer coverage for as little as £27.

What to look for whenmaking wedding insurance comparisons

When comparing different wedding insurance policies, it’simportant to look at what you specifically need covering for your event – don’tjust choose one based on the price. Will the policy cover you for a weddingabroad? Can you get your money back if extreme weather forces you to cancelyour summer garden wedding?

The MoneySuperMarket spokesperson explained: ‘When looking at policies, it’s vital to read the terms and conditions and ensure you’ve got the right level of cover for your needs.’

Hamish Shephard, founder of Bridebook.co.uk, agrees that theTs&Cs are the most important factor to consider when choosing a weddinginsurance policy: ‘What the couple should be doing is checking their insuranceterms to see whether sickness on their part would classify as something theycan claim back on.

‘Often insurance only covers things that are ‘external’ tothe couple, for example if there is a flood. If you fall ill you may not becovered, so look closely at terms and conditions!’

When to get weddinginsurance

Like any insurance policy, trying to take out weddinginsurance after something has already gone wrong – like a damaged dress beforethe big day – won’t work and is also fraud.

Salman suggests looking at wedding insurance policies before you make any major purchases for the event:

‘Try to purchase a wedding insurance policy as soon as youstart making any bookings or pay any deposits to book your venue, buy a weddingdress or when ordering the cake.

‘Most policies let you take out a policy up to two yearsbefore your wedding, so it is worth getting it sooner rather than later. Makesure you know how much your wedding is likely to cost so you get the rightlevel of protection, otherwise your policy might not cover the costs.’

Coronavirus andwedding insurance policies – are you covered?

If you already have a wedding insurance policy that you took out before the coronavirus outbreak in January 2020, Salman advises that the policy would most likely cover you for the following Covid-19 related reasons:

  • The booked venue for the wedding or wedding reception being unable to hold your wedding and/or wedding reception due to an outbreak of infectious disease at the venue (e.g. Covid-19 coronavirus) or its closure by a relevant authority.
  • The unavoidable cancellation of the wedding due to the death or illness of the wedding participants or a close relative, which would make having or continuing with the wedding and/or wedding reception impossible. (For example, if one of the wedding participants or a close relative contracted the coronavirus shortly before the wedding and were unable to attend due to ill health, being in quarantine, or death then that would also be covered.)

However, he points out that not all eventualities relating to the spread of the virus would be covered:

‘The policy will probably not cover cancellation or rearrangement due to any claim resulting from issues relating to travel bans, flight cancellations or government acts, regulations or bans on public gatherings.

‘Also, if you were to buy the policy having alreadycontracted coronavirus then that would not be covered. Or if you buy the policyknowing that there is an existing circumstance that makes a claim inevitable,then that would also not be covered.’

Duncan Sutcliffe of Sutcliffe & Co Insurance Brokers adds: ‘This is a rapidly developing situation and each insurer will have different small print, some policies may actually exclude any cover for pandemic situations if this is officially declared.

‘Since the end of January / beginning of February most insurers have ceased to offer cover for cancellation or disruption due to the coronavirus. This is effectively because it is a live issue and the chances of a claim are high  – it would be like asking for home insurance because your neighbour’s house is on fire.’

The advice in thearticle should be taken as a general guidance only and must be understood inthe context of the term and conditions of your policy. Always check the exactterms and conditions of your insurance policy before purchasing.

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