After buying a house, a wedding will be the most expensive event of many people's lives, more so even than buying a car or putting a child through university. Though the figures vary wildly, most sources put the average cost of a wedding safely into five figures.
What is covered by wedding insurance?
Cancellation is the main risk, with most policies paying out if a listed event such as personal injury means you have to postpone the ceremony. Some policies extend this coverage to other key members of the wedding party such as bridesmaids. In most cases there's no payout if a wedding is called off because the bride or groom changes their mind.
Wedding insurance also usually covers loss or damage to any item which is an important part of the ceremony such as the dress, rings, cake or flowers.
One of the most important aspects of wedding insurance to look for is liability. This can cover against damage caused to guests or the venues. Some policies will only cover your actions while others will also cover the actions of your guests.
Most policies also offer some protection against losses caused by suppliers failing to live up to their agreements.
What isn't covered?
Generally policies won't cover problems caused by weather.
As with any insurance policy, it's often unlikely you'll get any payouts for losses or damage which is unquantifiable. In particular, there's usually no specific payout for any unforeseen events "spoiling the big day".
Is there a standard level of cover?
Most insurers offer several tiers of cover. Usually what is and isn't covered is the same with every tier, it's simply that the amount which can be claimed varies (as does the premium). Depending on the insurer, there may be different claim limits with each tier for each specific thing that is covered. Other insurers simply offer a different total limit.
In many cases the cheapest tier offers £5,000 of total cover, while more expensive tiers can offer tens of thousands of pounds.
What should I watch out for?
Many policies only apply to weddings in the United Kingdom. Overseas weddings may be coverable, but this could involve paying a higher premium.
A policy may be drawn up on the basis that the wedding ceremony and the reception itself will take place on the same day. If this isn't the case, you will need to make sure the insurer is aware and has agreed to your schedule.
If a claim involves theft, a payout will normally be dependent on it having been reported to the police promptly. This can be easy to overlook at such a hectic time, particularly if the theft is on the day of the wedding itself.
Remember that wedding gifts will increase, sometimes dramatically, the value of personal property in your home. This may affect the limits of your home insurance cover, which can be particularly important if you immediately set off on honeymoon and leave your home empty.
Where to buy
There are a number of providers that offer wedding insurance, some of them from well known brands such as Debenhams and John Lewis, others are more specialist names such as Wedding Plan. But don't be tempted to buy a policy just because you like their shops, examine and compare the cover features as well as price before you make your decision. You can find a full list in our wedding insurance companies directory.
PLEASE NOTE: The guidance published in this article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation of any particular general insurance product or provider. If you are in any doubt please consult an independent insurance adviser. A database of advisers in your area is available at www.unbiased.co.uk
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