Your wedding could be one of the most expensive things you ever pay for, so it is worth having insurance in case something goes wrong. Here is how wedding insurance works.
It can cover the cost of your wedding if you need to cancel, or if something else goes wrong, like one of your suppliers fails to fulfil their commitments.
It also protects against damage or theft to your wedding attire, gifts, cake or flowers and can cover the cost if you have to retake your photographs or if you have a problem with your wedding cars.
Wedding insurance can give you valuable protection, especially if your big day costs a lot of money.
Most insurers cover the cost of cancellation or rearrangement if:
Your venue has been damaged by fire, flood or another disaster
The bride, groom, civil partner or a close relative dies, is ill or injured
Any booked and paid for professional suppliers do not turn up
The wedding clothing is damaged and cannot be used
You are made redundant at least eight weeks after buying your policy
The officiating minister or registrar does not turn up
Bad weather means the wedding party and guests cannot reach the venue
You will also be covered for individual things that go wrong leading up to your wedding, or on the day itself, including problems with:
Suppliers: This covers the cost of arranging alternative suppliers, and any deposits you have paid, if your supplier cannot provide their service on the day.
Wedding clothing: This covers the cost of replacing or repairing any wedding attire, like the bride or groom's outfit and bridesmaid dresses, that has been lost or damaged while in your possession.
Photographs and videos: This covers the cost of retaking your photos or video if your photographer does not show up, or if they lose or damage the film.
Cars and transport: This covers the cost of arranging alternative transport and any deposits paid if your hired car cannot get you to the venue.
You can also claim if you lose or damage certain items, including:
You also get third party liability cover. This covers any claims against you following an incident that results in an injury, or damage to someone else's property.
Check the terms and conditions of the policy to see if there is a time limit for you to make a claim. For example, you may not be able to claim more than 48 hours after your wedding day.
There are extra cover options you can add to your policy if you need them, like:
Ceremonial sword cover: If you use ceremonial swords as part of your wedding, you can protect them against loss or damage.
Marquee cover: If you hire a marquee for your wedding, you can add this to cover the cost of repair, and the cancellation of your wedding if the marquee is damaged.
Overseas cover: If your wedding is taking place abroad, you can include this cover to extend your policy to cover you in a foreign country.
There are some things wedding insurance will not protect you against that you should be aware of before you buy a policy:
If you or your fiancé decide you no longer want to get married, cancellation will not be covered by your insurance.
You also cannot claim if you decide that your wedding is too expensive and you cannot afford to pay for it.
Most wedding insurance policies do not offer cover for your honeymoon.
Some wedding insurers offer to add cover for your honeymoon, but you will probably get better protection by shopping around for a separate travel insurance policy.
Any arrangements made for your hen or stag do will not be protected by your wedding insurance.
If you are going abroad for your party, make sure everyone going has travel insurance.
You cannot claim if any of the services you receive do not meet your expectations, for example, if you are unhappy with the photos, or the food is burnt.
If this happens, you should complain to whoever provided the service and ask for a refund. Here is how to complain about poor service.
Every wedding insurance policy includes a set of circumstances where you cannot claim. These are called policy exclusions, and include:
A death, injury or illness that results from a condition you knew about
If any pre-booked service goes out of business within 14 days of the policy starting
Any theft where items were left unattended
Any third party liability claims if your wedding is taking place in Canada or the USA
Every policy sets different exclusions, so check the documents carefully before you buy so you know what you can claim for.
Purchase a policy as soon as you start making any bookings or pay any deposits. For example:
Booking your venue
Buying a wedding dress
Ordering a cake
Most policies let you take out a policy up to two years before your wedding, so it is worth getting it sooner rather than later.
However, make sure you know how much your wedding is likely to cost so you get the right level of protection, otherwise your policy might not cover the costs.
It depends on how much you are spending on your wedding. The more you spend, the more expensive the policy you need will be. Most wedding insurers offer a choice of cover levels, with a set claim limit for everything they cover.
For example, a basic policy could offer up to £5,000 for cancellation, but a premium policy could give you up to £100,000 of protection.
Work out how much you will spend (or have spent) for each area and make sure you choose a policy that can refund the cost if you need to claim.
You could pay anything from £20 to £300 for a policy depending on the insurer and the level of cover you choose.
You pay for wedding insurance as one payment, and policies start from when the cover is taken out, and end once your wedding is over.
Most insurers let you take out a policy two years before your wedding, so you can get cover well in advance of your big day.
There are many things that could happen that mean your wedding day has to be cancelled or rearranged.
For example, the venue could go out of business or a member of your wedding party or close relative could fall ill and be unable to attend.
Without insurance, you could lose all the money you spent on your wedding. You may have some protection if you paid by credit card, but this will not cover everything wedding insurance can.
Section 75 can protect any payments you make by credit card between £100 and £30,000, but it only covers certain scenarios, e.g. if your venue goes out of business.
You should also think about whether the peace of mind of knowing you are protected if anything went wrong is worth the cost of buying a policy.
For example, if the total cost of your wedding is £20,000, get a policy that offers at least this amount of cover for cancellation or rearrangement.
The lower the cover limits offered, the cheaper the policy will be. Most insurers offer several different policies, and each one has different cover limits, for example:
|Cover||Basic Policy||Mid-level policy||Premium policy|
|Failure of suppliers||£2,000||£15,000||£50,000|
Before you make a claim, check that what you want to claim for is covered by reading your policy before you contact your insurer.
You should get all the information you need together before making your claim, including:
Your policy number, which will be shown on your documents
Details of any loss or damage and how much the claim is for, if known
Police crime reference number if applicable, for example if something was stolen
Names and addresses of anybody involved in the incident, including witnesses
You will have a better chance of your claim being sorted quickly if you can give your insurer all the information they need straight away.
If you need to make a claim on your policy, you should:
Call your insurer: Use the claims line number shown on your policy documents to contact your insurance company and tell them what has happened.
Complete a claims form: If you receive a claims form, fill it out with all the details of what has happened.
Return the form with any supporting information: You will need to send your claims form back with any supporting evidence or documents.
Most insurers give you 31 days to make a claim, but the sooner you contact them the sooner they can cover your costs.
To assess your claim and work out how much it will cost, your insurer may ask you to provide evidence, including:
Original receipts, invoices, bank or credit card statements
Purchase dates and location of lost or damaged property
Confirmation from a qualified expert if something is beyond repair
Your insurer should cover any reasonable costs you face to get any specific information they have requested, e.g. paying to get any damage assessed.
They may also ask to meet with you to discuss your claim, inspect any damage or to undertake further investigations.
It depends on what you have claimed for, but most insurers will settle your claim by:
Paying out the cost of the claim to you, for example if you have paid for a venue that goes out of business
Covering the cost of the claim directly, for example paying the venue for damage caused by you or your guests
Make sure to ask how the claim will be settled when you call your insurer.
If your claim is accepted you will have to pay an excess. This is an amount set out in your policy that you pay towards the cost of the claim.
Most insurers set an excess of around £50 for all claims, which will be deducted from the pay out you receive.
If they settle the claim for you, you will need to pay the excess to your insurer. Before you claim, you should check your policy to see what excess you need to pay.
If your insurer rejects your claim but you have checked your policy and believe your claim is valid, you should contact them to complain.
If they do not offer to change their decision you could ask the financial ombudsman to assess your claim.