On your wedding day, a picture truly can be worth a thousand words—but that’s only if the photographer shows up. In 2012, problems with photographers accounted for more than half of all vendor-related wedding catastrophes, according to a Travelers analysis of wedding insurance claims.
Vendor problems in general topped Travelers’ list of most common wedding insurance policy claims, accounting for 24 percent of all wedding claims received. While 58 percent of these vendor-related issues involved problems with wedding photos and videos—like damaged photos or unfulfilled orders—21 percent of vendor issues involved caterers going out of business, 11 percent were caused by DJs missing the big day or going out of business, and 5 percent of claims involved debacles with wedding planners.
And wedding day mishaps don’t end there. Wedding claims having to do with illness and injury represented 19 percent of last year’s total, followed by claims having to do with venue issues (15 percent) and weather (14 percent). Couples also filed wedding claims for theft and damage, unforeseen military deployment, and attire issues (such as a wedding dress or tuxedo that was delivered in the wrong size or color).
Because a great deal of time and money are invested in a wedding to ensure that the event runs smoothly and is completely free of drama, any last-minute problems could cause a financial blow as non-recoverable deposits and purchases go down the drain. That’s why many soon-to-be-wed couples consider getting wedding insurance for their big day.
Fitting a wedding insurance policy into your budget
The average wedding today costs about $25,000, which is close to the price tag of a new car. Photography and videography alone can cost couples more than $4,000.
While the price of wedding insurance varies depending on the amount of coverage required, the Insurance Information Institute estimates policies will usually cost between $125 and $400.
“I know it seems overwhelming when you are planning the wedding and you seem to be writing checks all the time, but really [a wedding insurance policy] is minimal cost for a lot of protection and peace of mind,” says Chantal Cyr, vice president of Travelers Personal Insurance.
If you are thinking about purchasing wedding insurance before walking down the aisle, Cyr recommends a policy with cancellation and postponement coverage, which would provide protection in cases like an immediate family member becoming ill or the wedding venue going out of business.
You and your soon-to-be spouse may also want to consider coverage for photography and videography (given the percentage of claims filed within this category last year) as well as additional expense coverage, which would apply if the venue were to go out of business, requiring the wedding to relocate to a more expensive site.
Over the last couple of years, venues have asked brides and grooms to purchase their own liability insurance, even if the venue has its own policy, Cyr says. Liability insurance, which would provide coverage if someone is injured at the wedding or if there is damage done to the venue, can often be added on to a basic wedding insurance plan.
Finally, when shopping around for a wedding insurance policy that meets the requirements of your special day, remember that a change of heart—the bride or groom deciding not to go through with the wedding—is normally excluded from coverage.
Joslin Woods is a researcher, writer, and Web producer at Think Glink Publishing, with a background in print and digital media. Previously, Joslin worked as a news reporter for the international news agency Agence France-Presse and as a freelance reporter for the Sun-Times News Group. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University, where she received a master’s degree in journalism.