Do you need wedding insurance for an outdoor ceremony?

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Do you need wedding insurance for an outdoor ceremony?

Wedding insurance helps you recoup deposits and vendor payments if your big day is derailed due to circumstances beyond your control. Think a venue going out of business, your reception hall burning down, a vendor not showing up, or your partner falling ill. (A change of heart, however, isn’t covered.)

When it comes to weather, wedding insurance policies generally cover only severe weather events like hurricanes or blizzards that would force you to postpone or cancel your wedding. So a hurricane bearing down on your beach wedding would likely be covered. A little rain on your wedding day would not.

Coverage costs depend on the size and cost of the wedding. Markel Specialty offers wedding coverage from $500,000 to $2 million, with coverage varying widely depending on individual needs, says Ethan Zmuzinski, a customer service representative with Markel. Policies can cost from $100 for a basic policy to thousands, depending on the size of your wedding. Travelers Insurance, another popular wedding vendor, has coverage that starts at $160.

Wedding insurance vs. event liability insurance

While wedding insurance covers your expenditures, it doesn’t necessarily protect your liability. If anyone were to get hurt or property were to get damaged during your wedding, you could be responsible.

Luckily, you might already be covered. Most people have some liability coverage with their homeowners insurance or renters insurance policies. Talk to your insurance company to see what kind of coverage you have for events.

If you need more coverage, many wedding insurance providers offer event liability insurance as an optional add-on. Some even offer alcohol liability insurance, which can be crucial if your catering vendor or venue don’t have it.

If you are working with vendors, it’s important to ensure that they are covered by their own liability insurance insurance policies, says Zmuzinski. Then you can know which gaps need to be filled by your own coverage.

For example, a wedding in Garfield, N.J. made the news this month when three people were rushed to the hospital when the DJ’s carbon dioxide tank exploded on the dance floor. The injuries were not life threatening.

“In this scenario, the vendor would typically be responsible for the damages caused by faulty equipment they supplied for the event,” said Todd Shasha, a managing director at Travelers Insurance, another wedding insurance provider.

But if your vendors aren’t insured, the liability could fall on you.

Anyone who has planned a wedding can tell you that it's not all fun, but wedding insurance ensures that even if a hurricane hits, you'll be covered.

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Image: Dragos G