Do You Really Need Wedding Insurance?

by Jessica Sommerfield · 19 comments

Surveys indicate that the average American wedding costs about $28,000. With couples dropping so much money on an event with many moving parts, it’s becoming increasingly popular to purchase wedding insurance.

This concept wasn’t even on my radar when I was married, and it wouldn’t have been something I considered necessary. But, then again, I spent about 1/3 of that average on my wedding.

Although I’m tempted to scoff at the concept of insuring a one-day event, I do realize there are legitimate reasons this might be a prudent financial decision for some.

What Is Wedding Insurance?

Weddings are now planned up to a year in advance. All of the deposits, reservations, and non-refundable expenditures add up, and if something goes wrong at the last minute, there’s no time to recoup the loss. Wedding insurance is designed to cover unfortunate events such as a venue being double-booked, or the wedding dress getting ruined before the big day.

The concept is similar to insuring valuables: in case of a loss, you won’t have to recover the full price of the item. Until the last few decades, events like weddings were never considered a large enough investment to warrant insurance.

How Much Does It Cost?

Wedding insurance plans range from $100 to $500, depending on the amount and extent of coverage. An insurance plan like this would cover photography, wedding dress, catering, and venue — basically, anything that would significantly impact your day if it were to fall through.

Is Wedding Insurance Worth It?

It really depends on how much you’re spending, and how much money you have set aside for wedding expenses. If your budget is so tight that you can’t afford to save any more money in case of an emergency, but you’re really concerned about the losses you could suffer, wedding insurance might be a good idea.

If you’ve truly spent $28,000 on your wedding, another couple hundred dollars may provide more than its value in peace of mind. If you decide to pay for coverage, make sure you read the contract very carefully to make sure it includes everything you need it to, and be aware of any special rules or procedures you need to follow to qualify for a claim. It’d be regrettable to pay a premium for insurance coverage you’re not able to receive due to your failure to follow the terms.

On the other hand, some couples may not have considered that some of their expenses are already partially insured. Venues are often insured in the case of a natural disaster (and include this coverage as part of your fee), so you don’t want to pay twice for the same thing. It’s best to verify which of your major expenses are already insured to determine if you need additional coverage.

What Should You Do?

In my opinion, it’s better to simply set aside more than you need to spend on your wedding in case of a disaster. In the event you don’t need it, you already have some extra money saved for the honeymoon.

One great way to do this is opening a savings account (perhaps a high-yield online savings account) specifically for your wedding, and make regular deposits in it. If you don’t have as much time to save, set aside any spare cash and tighten your belt as you begin wedding planning.

Feeling financially prepared (and not going into debt) for your wedding is one less stress for you to think about on your big day.

Would you purchase wedding insurance? Do you know anyone who has?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

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  • Ruth Cooke says:

    I might have been one of the scoffers, but one of our local wedding venues went out of business with no notice, and deposits of up to a thousand dollars are unlikely to be recovered. Couples are now scrambling to find a location for their reception, and have to fork over more money for deposit.

    My son’s wedding last year was one of the $400 ones (actually, I think we spend about two grand, total), but if one of my kids were going to have a larger, slightly more extravagent wedding with costs above $10,000, I’d certainly consider this product. It’s fine to say, “Save a little extra in an account,” but if that means saving another ten grand, it’s probably more realistic to add the cost of insurance to the wedding.

    • David Ning says:

      I think saving $10k is probably overkill. We are likely talking about saving extra for the deposit just in case the venue (or any vendor) goes out of business.

      Of course, this is assuming that not every vendor is going to go out of business at the same time.

  • Wedding insurance would never be on my mind; neither would $28,000.00 for a wedding.

    • David Ning says:

      There’s quite a bit of anchoring going on with weddings. If everybody you know puts on a $400 wedding, then you’ll probably feel pressure if you spend too much, like $4000.

      But if those around you all spend $100,000 at fancy hotels, then you’ll feel pressure putting on a $28,000 wedding!

  • Kate says:

    In the city where I live, this very week, a couple had literally just said “I do” when suddenly they realized the venue where their wedding was being held — an old and not quite up to date hotel — was on fire! (Turned out it was lit on fire by a flung cigarette. Go figure.) The guests, minister and hotel staff escaped unharmed, but the structure burned to the ground, along with all the contents, including the wedding reception. I am sure the hotel had insurance, but it would also have been a good thing if the bride and groom had their own policy for immediate needs, to assist their guests in replacing their items and getting new credit cards, airline tickets, driving licences et al. Nobody would have planned for this, especially in this day when cigarette smoking is a Class 1 Felony. But there you are.

    • David Ning says:

      Wow. It must have been stressful for the couple, but I’m sure they will turn that into a great memory that will be talked about for generations to come.

      Hopefully they can turn the lemon into lemonade!

  • Len says:

    A local wedding venue here in Massachusetts just burned to the ground last week. 2oo couples are now looking for a place for their special day.

  • Cyrus says:

    While I agree that wedding insurance is overpriced and not really that necessary in most cases, I wanted to share a positive use of the product, since we used wedding insurance for our wedding two years ago. Some event spaces, especially smaller or less frequently used ones do not carry their own event liability insurance and/or require that the customer carries their own. In many cases like ours, the only straightforward way to get a one day liability policy was through a wedding insurance product, since a lot of normal property/casualty companies don’t issue these. Since we saved a lot of money in other areas by not using a large event hall and catering company, we didn’t mind paying a few hundred dollars for the wedding insurance, even though we didn’t need anything but the liability portion.

    • David Ning says:

      Interesting that some places requires the customer to carry liability insurance when its should obviously be the responsibility of the venue.

      But then at the end, if you had an awesome wedding and saved a bunch of money in the process, who’s cares about the little details?

      • Cyrus says:

        In our case, the venue was a very small religious congregational building where my wife grew up, and weddings and other large events were not commonplace there. They had their own general-purpose property liability insurance, but they requested that we have our own anyway to protect their finances. We happily obliged, since we were paying them practically nothing to use the space!

        • David Ning says:

          Great choice Cyrus. It was awesome of the people at the congregational building to help make this work, and I’m happy to hear that you got married at a great place without paying the high fees that usual wedding venues command.

  • Bill says:

    I still find it difficult to believe that the “average” wedding costs $28,000. I don’t know that many people who have that kind of money to spend on a wedding. I do know of some very lavish and expensive weddings, but nothing like that.

    • David Ning says:

      The average cost does seem a little nuts. I’m no statistician but I feel like it’s more of a “typical” cost for folks in urban cities rather than the “average”.

      And plus, average doesn’t mean much when people are having $400 weddings while others have $200,000 ones.

  • David Ning says:

    I was a little nervous Jessica would advise people to actually get insurance for a wedding. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who thinks it’s largely a waste of money.

    Count me in the crowd that thinks wedding insurance is a little over the top!

  • Can I just say, this whole thing is slightly insane? Wedding insurance is quite crazy to me in and of itself, but it’s the fact that weddings are expensive enough to possible need the insurance that gets me. But hey, what do I know? I eloped…

  • I didn’t have a wedding insurance and honestly, I just heard about it, thanks for this post. You’re right financially prepared (and not going into debt) for your wedding is one less stress, that’s very important, some of us wants to have an expensive wedding but after their weddings they suffered from paying their debts.

    • David Ning says:

      No matter how important that day is, it’s critical not to get into debt just because of one day.

      Too bad the wedding industry would never give you that advice!

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