Weddings are expensive. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2015 was $32,641. Weddings have a lot of moving parts. Most weddings have a reception with a bunch of guests, who eat food, which is prepared by caterers, and drink alcohol, which is served up by bartenders. And weddings, like everything in life, can go wrong.
Don’t fret: to protect your wedding from rain, natural disasters, and drunk cousins, you can get wedding insurance.
What does wedding insurance cover?
Wedding insurance is actually a catch-all phrase for a variety of different insurance products. To help us get a better idea of the insurance options, we talked to Sage Newkirk, Lead Coordinator for Hudson Valley Ceremonies.
Sage says that there are three main kinds of insurance you might get for your wedding: wedding insurance, liability insurance, and alcohol liability.
Wedding insurance is the easy one to understand. It covers cancellation, either due to a natural disaster or a personal disaster, and "covers any fees that you might have already paid out to your vendors."
Liability insurance and alcohol liability are specifically for weddings that take place outside of a traditional "wedding hall" or hotel ballroom. For the 40% of couples looking at non-traditional wedding venues, liability insurance will be necessary for any major gathering. Liability insurance will cover any injuries or accidents that may occur during the event. And "if your caterer doesn’t have liquor liability insurance, you’d need to purchase this as well."
Who sells wedding insurance?
Sage and the rest of the team at Hudson Valley Ceremonies recommend a company called WedSafe. They like WedSafe because it’s inexpensive and bundles everything you need into one package.
WedSafe offers event cancellation coverage along with liability protection.
Event cancellation coverages offers reimbursement of financial loss due to being forced to cancel or postpone the event, as well as coverage of individual vendors who may not fulfill their contracts.
Liability insurance is often required by venues and includes coverage for property damage, alcohol related accidents, or simple slips and falls.
WedSafe policies start at a single $75 premium and the average premium is $200.
Will homeowner insurance cover an at-home wedding?
If you’re holding your wedding at home, your homeowner policy could cover it. According to Matthew Wilcox, CPCU, Underwriting & Product Management Vice President at MAPFRE Insurance, all homeowners insurance policies provide some level of coverage for hosted events.
"In general," Wilcox says, "Section II of the homeowner policy provides the insured customer with liability protection on and off premises for an event that they’re hosting, even if it’s off-site, say, at a hall for a party." Even if there’s alcohol provided, "as long as the insured customer is not selling the alcohol," the homeowner policy should provide liability coverage for them.
Wilcox suggests that anyone with a homeowner policy looking to hold a wedding at home "check with your agent or the company providing the insurance about the coverage provided and any limitations."