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Chances are, by this stage of your life you’ve purchased life insurance, car insurance, home insurance and perhaps even extended health insurance. So when it comes to planning your wedding, it makes sense to secure your investment and consider wedding insurance too.

Nancy Wells, owner of WEDensure in Vancouver, a division of NW Insurance Brokers, remembers at least one instance when a newly wedded couple was thankful for their insurance policy. One of their groomsmen became inebriated during their celebration and destroyed an exhibit at their reception venue, leaving the couple with a $3,000 bill for the damage. Thanks to their policy, they were covered.

What to insure

While you may not want to even think about anything going wrong on your dream day, the reality is that not everything may go perfectly. Luckily, the scope of what’s covered by wedding insurance is broad, including failure of any suppliers to deliver what you’ve paid for, and damage to your gown, the wedding bands, the cake, your photographs and videos, wedding gifts or any rented property. Or, if you need to cancel or postpone your wedding or honeymoon, your prepaid costs and deposits would be covered. Liability coverage is also included in the event of damages you would be legally obligated to pay. Even if you plan to tie the knot elsewhere, most destination weddings worldwide are covered through WEDensure.

But just don’t leave it too late. Wells recommends that couples purchase insurance 10 to 12 months prior to the wedding to ensure they’re covered throughout the planning process. “The policy also covers the entire family, including grandparents, children, aunts and uncles,” she explains. “If there’s a death in the family and the bride decides to postpone, this program covers for the extra expense or non-refundable deposits.”

Your risks and costs

The cost of insurance varies according to your wedding budget, starting from weddings valued at $10,000 and going up in $5,000 increments to a maximum of $250,000. The current premium for a $10,000 celebration is $300 and the price goes up by $100 for each additional $5,000 of coverage. You can also select the number of guests invited. Your premium would reflect those numbers and protect you from third-party claims brought against you for damage to property among other things.

“Liability insurance for any major event over 50 people is so important,” says Wells. “You just don’t know what can happen. Today the public is quick to assign blame and initiate lawsuits.”

Jordan Maxey, co-owner of Smitten Events, a Vancouver wedding planning agency, agrees. “A wedding, like life, has so many variables, and though you never go into it with the expectation a vendor won’t deliver the services you’ve paid for, or that your wedding gown will come back from alterations with a stain on the front, these things do happen.”

Protect your investment

One of Maxey’s clients booked a videographer with whom Smitten Events was not familiar, and declined to take out wedding insurance. “The videographer did show up but never delivered our client’s wedding video,” she says. “Countless emails and phone calls later, they were nowhere to be found. Wedding insurance would have covered this.”

Maxey routinely advises her clients to purchase wedding insurance and says most are receptive. “When a client is hosting their wedding at a venue such as a farm or private residence, we recommend full coverage, as there are so many more elements in play,” she says. “It seems to make sense to most clients in these situations. We have found this year that a number of venues are now requiring clients to purchase liability insurance policies, so this may become the new norm.

“Weddings are wildly expensive,” adds Maxey. “If you can gain peace of mind by taking out an insurance policy to assure that your investment is protected, we think it’s well worth it.”