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 aheadwithout 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 couple’s peace of mind before putting down a huge payment on that expensive (but unforgettable) wedding supplier.
Why do you need wedding 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 wedding attire, gifts, cake, flowers and may cover the cost if you have to retake your photographs 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 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 card between £100 and £30,000, but it only covers certain scenarios, e.g. if your venue 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 wedding insurance 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 due to 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 – as is the fact that you won’t be covered if the bride or groom cancels because they get cold feet!
Similarly, wedding insurance is unlikely to cover you if you simply change your mind about something you have already paid for, such as a marquee, wedding dress or even the caterer. Wedding insurance will also not cover you if you have a change of heart about having a wedding abroad after paying deposits for services 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 the FCO has advised against travelling to, this may invalidate your insurance and if something happens you will not be able to claim.
How much does wedding insurance cost?
Like all insurance policies, the price of each plan will differ depending on the company or brand selling it, what it covers and the cost of the premium. Prices of basic policies offered by brands like John Lewis start at around £60, whereas specialist wedding insurance company Dreamsaver offer coverage for as little as £27.
What to look for when making wedding insurance comparisons
When comparing different wedding insurance policies, it’s important to look at what you specifically need covering for your event – don’t just choose one based on the price. Will the policy cover you for a wedding abroad? Can you get your money back if extreme weather forces you to cancel your 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 the Ts&Cs are the most important factor to consider when choosing a wedding insurance policy: ‘What the couple should be doing is checking their insurance terms to see whether sickness on their part would classify as something they can claim back on. ‘Often insurance only covers things that are ‘external’ to the couple, for example if there is a flood. If you fall ill you may not be covered, so look closely at terms and conditions!’
When to get wedding insurance
Like any insurance policy, trying to take out wedding insurance after something has already gone wrong – like a damaged dress before the 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 you start making any bookings or pay any deposits to book your venue, buy a wedding dress or when ordering the cake. Most policies let you take out a policy up to two years before your wedding, so it is worth getting it sooner rather than later. Make sure you know how much your wedding is likely to cost so you get the right level of protection, otherwise your policy might not cover the costs.’
Coronavirus and wedding 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 already contracted coronavirus then that would not be covered. Or if you buy the policy knowing 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 the article should be taken as a general guidance only and must be understood in the context of the term and conditions of your policy. Always check the exact terms and conditions of your insurance policy before purchasing.