The national average wedding cost is $33,931 — with the average venue alone costing $15,439. It's a hefty price tag... especially in the case of inclement weather, when you have to abort mission and rent a last-minute tent instead of dancing under the stars like you initially planned. Which begs the question: With weddings being so expensive, is it worth it to get wedding insurance? And what does that even cover? Ahead, we break down everything you need to know.
What is wedding insurance?
Wedding insurance can be used to cover postponement or cancellation of the event due to illness or weather, as well as lost deposits, unplanned venue closings, medical emergencies, no-show photographers, lost or stolen wedding gifts, lost or damaged dresses or attire, and coverage for other unexpected expenses. Most plans don't include coverage for when someone has a change of heart — though Wedsure is an exception to this. Even still, Wedsure only covers a change of heart if the wedding was paid for by a party other than the bride or groom.
There is also liability insurance, which covers you for any damage to the venue for which you are are responsible during the event, or if a guest gets sick or injured at the wedding.
Who needs wedding insurance?
According to Travelers data from 2018, the most common wedding insurance claims result from vendor/venue issues and severe weather, so if you are particularly concerned about either of these factors, you might want to consider your insurance policy options. But before you do, know that some venues and vendors might have insurance policies of their own, so you'll want to investigate before taking out a policy of your own.
"If you are worried about something going wrong like a venue cancellation and being out the money that you’ve already spent, then you might want to consider wedding insurance. It typically covers events such as weather or an illness that are beyond your control and helps cover the cost of moving the wedding date," says Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet.
How much should you spend on it?
Your first order of business should be adding up all of your wedding expenses, which will help you determine how much to put down to cover everything. Travelers Wedding Protector Plan, for example, provides tiers of coverage ranging from $160 to $1,475.
"Consider the cost of all purchases and deposits you have made for your venue, gown, wedding rings, caterers, entertainment, flowers, cake, invitations, postage, etc., to make sure you have financial protection in place to recoup any losses. Another good rule of thumb is to choose a coverage level at least equal to the amount you would stand to lose if you were forced to reschedule your wedding at the last minute," says Todd Shasha, Managing Director of Personal Insurance Product Management at Travelers.
Palmer adds that before taking out a wedding insurance policy, you should check to see what coverage you may already have under existing homeowner or rental insurance policies. It can be less expensive to add a rider or an additional section to the already-existing policy for the wedding instead of paying for a whole separate wedding policy.
"In general, they cost around $100 to $200 and can go up to $1,000 to cover the priciest ceremonies. A typical policy in the $100 to $200 range will cover host liquor liability, gifts, attire, and any deposits. Before you choose a policy, make sure you know exactly what it covers. As with all types of insurance, you want to make sure you are working with a legitimate insurance provider. If you are going with a company you haven’t heard of, search for it online to see if there are many consumer complaints: Type in the name of the company and 'complaints' and you will be able to see if people are talking about it negatively online."