Simply put, wedding insurance is designed to make sure you're not left out of pocket if things don't go to plan on your special day.
It's relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a wedding, with the cheapest wedding insurance policies starting from around £20. However, if you choose carefully, wedding insurance can give you complete peace of mind that even if things do go wrong, you won't lose out financially.
What does wedding insurance cover?
Every wedding is different and most wedding insurance companies cater for this by allowing you to build a wedding insurance policy that gives you the exact cover you need, or by offering a number of different levels of cover so that you can choose the option that best fits your wedding plans.
There are standard features that most wedding insurance providers offer. These include:
Cancellation & curtailment
This aspect of wedding insurance will pay out if you have to cancel your wedding or cut it short for reasons beyond your control. For example, if an essential member of the wedding party suddenly falls ill and is unable to attend.
Should this happen a good wedding insurance policy will reimburse the cost of the ceremony and reception venues you were unable to use, in addition to the amount you've spent on everything from catering to photographers and flowers.
When you're comparing wedding insurance it's really important you check that the cancellation and curtailment limit fully covers all you've spent on your special day.
One important thing to note is that wedding cancellation and curtailment cover won't pay out if the bride or groom get cold feet and call off the wedding. If this happens you will be liable for all costs yourself.
If you have to reschedule your wedding, this aspect of wedding insurance will cover the cost of rebooking or rescheduling suppliers so that you don't have to pay twice.
It's worth noting that many wedding insurers will only cover a percentage of these costs. As such it's important to check what the maximum amount you could claim is, how much this equates to and that you're happy with the cover provided before you commit to a policy.
As with cancellation cover, your wedding insurance provider will only pay out if you are forced to rearrange your wedding for reasons beyond your control.
For this reason it's a good idea to find out exactly what circumstances leading to cancellation, curtailment or rearrangement that an insurer will cover before you commit to a policy so that you know exactly when you'll be able to make a claim.
Flowers, caterers, cars, cakes & entertainment
Alongside cover for cancellation and rearrangement you'll need to make sure that the wedding cover you choose is sufficient to protect you financially against failure of suppliers.
This aspect of wedding insurance is designed to pay out if a supplier of goods or services that you've booked for your wedding goes into liquidation, becomes bankrupt or lets you down on your wedding day.
Make sure the total cover for failure of suppliers is enough to reimburse you fully if all of the companies you've booked goods or services from are unable to deliver.
You should also check exactly when the insurer will be prepared to pay out - some restrict it to just companies that have failed and not those that have failed to deliver.
You also need to be aware that this type of cover is unlikely to pay out simply because you're unsatisfied with the goods or services provided.
For this reason it makes sense to pay for purchases between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card so that you have Section 75 protection as a back up if the goods or services you receive weren't as promised. If you pay for lesser amounts on a debit card you may be able to request a Chargeback as an alternative. This will help make sure that you are fully protected.
Wedding dress cover
Most wedding insurance policies will offer the option of covering your wedding dress against loss or damage up until your wedding day. However, they are unlikely to cover any wear and tear incurred on the big day itself.
Make sure the wedding insurance you choose covers the amount you spend on your wedding dress so that you're able to buy a replacement, or pay to have one made should you need to.
You can also insure against loss and damage to your wedding party's outfits too. This usually applies irrespective of whether you purchased or hired the dresses your bridesmaids will wear and the suits the groomsmen will be kitted out in.
Accessories like shoes, jewellery, ties, hats and hairpieces are also likely to be covered providing you keep the receipts.
However, just as with wedding dress covers, any wear and tear incurred on the wedding day itself is unlikely to be included.
Most wedding insurance providers will offer cover for loss or damage of the bride and groom's wedding rings. This cover tends to be restricted to a week or so before the wedding and only a day or so afterwards.
It's really important to check both when this period of cover applies and whether the amount of cover on offer is sufficient to replace both wedding rings if the need should arise.
Wedding photographers and videographers come at a cost so if you've spent a significant amount of money paying someone to capture your wedding on film it's important that you're financially protected if they don't deliver.
Most insurance for wedding photographers will pay out if your wedding photographer or videographer don't turn up, or if the photos or video they take are lost, damaged or simply don't develop (unless it was through fault of the person taking the photos or their equipment in which case their insurance should pay out).
This aspect of wedding event insurance will pay out to cover compensation if someone is injured at your wedding, or if either the venue or goods hired by a supplier are damaged by a member of your wedding party.
Legal expenses cover
Legal expenses cover will provide you with access to legal advice or assistance if there is an issue that you are unable to resolve with one of the suppliers you've booked for your wedding.
While this is usually offered as an add-on, it can be incredibly reassuring to know that if you do have a problem, someone will be able to fight your corner for you and make sure that you're adequately compensated.
When will I be covered?
Wedding insurance companies will specify a maximum period before and after the wedding during which the wedding insurance will be in effect. This tends to be around 2 years before to give you time to plan, and several days after.
Make sure you check when the cover will start and how long it will apply before you take out a policy. This is particularly important if you start your wedding planning and carry out your wedding insurance comparison far in advance.
You should also check whether bookings that you've already put down a deposit for will be covered by any wedding insurance policy you're considering.
How to compare wedding insurance
When you're comparing wedding insurance quotes you should look for the wedding insurance policy that offers the cover you need but nothing extra. This way you won't end up paying for insurance you won't ever claim on unnecessarily.
It can be difficult to know how much cover you need if you're in the early stages of wedding planning. So if you're not quite sure it makes sense to work off the amounts you've set out in your wedding budget when you do your wedding insurance price comparison.
Most wedding insurance UK companies will allow you to increase your level of cover should you need to once you finalise the details of your big day. While this is likely to come at an extra cost it will be worth it if it means you stay fully protected.
It's then simply a case of finding a cheap wedding insurance quote that gives you the protection you need. This is the only way to get the best value wedding insurance out there.