Know Risk is a community education program designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to improve our understanding of insurance and how it relates to managing the many risks we all face in life.
Wedding insurance - What's covered and do you need it?
Cover for your big day
When you consider the amount of money a typical wedding costs — and the high-end nature of those expenses (for example, catering, wedding gowns and tuxedoes, sought-after venues, gifts, etc.) — it seems a little incongruous that wedding insurance isn’t more common, doesn’t it?
Most brides (and the occasional groom) put so much effort and money in to making sure every detail of their special day is perfect, and sometimes wedding insurance provides invaluable peace of mind should things not quite go to plan.
If you’re in the process of planning a wedding — or if you’re just reading this for the hell of it — and wedding insurance is something you are considering, here are some basics to help you determine if a policy purchase is the right move for you.
What sorts of things are usually covered?
Where wedding insurance is concerned, policyholders usually have two options: an all-inclusive policy, or a basic policy to which you can add further insured items.
While there isn’t a “typical” wedding insurance policy, as such, the kinds of things that can usually be insured include the following items.
This usually covers legal proceedings that arise from any contracts you have entered into with suppliers and service providers.
Having to cancel or postpone the wedding as a result of a specific event
This coverage item usually relates to:
- Hospitalisation of the bride, groom or immediate family members
- Severe weather conditions
- Your wedding venue becoming unavailable for whatever reason
- Death of the bride, groom or immediate family members (yeah, things just took an unexpectedly morbid turn)
Damaged or stolen property
This extends (up to a specified limit) to the following:
- Wedding cake
- Wedding rings
- Jewellery worn by the bride
- Wedding attire
- Photos and video
Damage to hired materials
The kinds of items this coverage element relates to usually includes chairs, tables, lighting, marquees, gazebos, tents, flooring and staging.
This will cover deposits and the cost of having to organise another supplier.
This will insure you against property damage or any personal injuries sustained by a third party. You usually need to add a liquor-related clause if you want that cover to extend to an alcohol-related incident.
What sorts of things are not usually covered?
The following is a list of items that are usually not covered (meaning, it’s rare, but there may actually be an insurer who will cover these things).
Well, this one surely needs no further explanation. Also not covered? Plain-old change of heart.
An earthquake, cyclone, ice storm or flood? Typically covered. Regular, run-of-the-mill rain? Not so much.
Damage to your photos and videos is covered, yes, but what isn’t covered is if your photographer or videographer has no idea what they’re doing/just does a really bad job. It’s also common for poor video not to be covered in the event your photos turn out fine.
Stuff that has already gone wrong
If it happened before you purchased your policy, the answer to a claim attempt will be a big, fat “no”.
Do I need it?
As with all types of insurance, whether or not you need it is entirely subjective. It’s up to you to weigh up the cost of insurance versus the possible cost of the loss should something go wrong. One big consideration is peace of mind: How important is it to you to know you have a safety net in place if something goes wrong?
If you are considering wedding insurance, make sure that any potential policy actually covers you for the risks that are of most concern to you. If comprehensive cover seems unnecessarily expansive to you, will a basic policy meet your needs?
Make sure you take note of any exclusions and limits on insured items. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as is required for you to understand the ins and outs of a potential policy — insurers are there to help you and it’s in your best interests as well as theirs that you understand your policy.
Insurance or not, we hope your wedding day goes to plan and results in seriously solid coupledom. And if you’re reading this and you’re not getting married, well, you do you.