Think of all the suppliers and vendors of wedding services you may be involving in your wedding plans. For example, you may have:
- Wedding attire hire
- Marquee hire
…to name but a few! We take a look at what insurance you should expect them to offer as part of your contract with them, and why, if they offer this cover, you need your own wedding insurance policy as well.
What you should expect wedding suppliers to insure?
Suppliers of wedding services do not, theoretically, have to provide any insurance at all. However, any reputable business will ensure that they are adequately insured for public liability at the very least, with other insurances offering peace of mind to their customers in the unfortunate event of anything going wrong on the big day.
You should expect your suppliers to supply some, if not all of the following insurances (indeed, they may even have other cover too!):
- Public liability insurance – this covers the vendor’s liability for any damage they may accidentally cause another person or property whilst undertaking their work;
- Professional Indemnity – this covers a vendor’s liability for failing to produce the agreed work or supplies to a professional standard. Claims can occur where a client or other person suffers financial loss as a result of alleged errors or omissions on the vendor’s part;
- Insurance to cover a vendor’s equipment being stolen, damaged or lost – i.e. camera insurance for photographers, audio equipment insurance for DJs;
- Car/van insurance – vendors should be insured for any vehicle that they drive or transport their goods in, and for the storage of their goods in it overnight if applicable;
- Fire/electrical insurance – this covers any claims made against the vendor if their electrical items cause a fire;
- Legal expenses cover.
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Please see the full comparison table for all levels of cover available from these insurers.
So why do you need insurance too?
At a first glance, if you have chosen carefully, your vendors could easily offer a wide range of insurances covering a multitude of possible scenarios.
Perhaps the most important insurance that a bride and groom should consider is their own public liability insurance. Although vendors should have this, it only covers accidents and injury caused directly by their actions. Having your own liability insurance would cover you if, for example, you or your guests cause an injury to a member of staff, or damage a piece of property owned by the venue or a vendor. Many venues will require proof of your liability cover before you can book. You may need to pay an additional sum to cover your guests, and do check if the policy extends to damage caused under the influence of alcohol.
Other scenarios that your wedding insurance could cover, but a vendor’s insurance may not be able to assist:
- Vendors going bust or into liquidation
- Wedding being cancelled or postponed as a result of death or critical illness
- Failure of suppliers to provide the contracted services
- Loss or damage to items such as your wedding cake or flowers, once they have arrived at the venue.
For more in-depth information, please see our previous articles about how wedding insurance can cover difficulties experiences with marquees, florists, photographers, entertainment and wedding attire.
What wouldn’t be covered by your insurance?
Always read your insurance documents carefully, as there are some scenarios which would not be covered, for example:
- Problems with suppliers with whom you have no written agreement or contract
- Cover for any payments made to a supplier which are outside that supplier’s normal booking terms (i.e. if you are asked to pay the full fee up front earlier than stated in their terms and conditions)
- Cancellation of the wedding due to ‘cold feet’ or a pre-existing medical issue.
Consumer Credit Act 1974
It is worth a mention that the Consumer Credit Act 1974 states that if anything goes wrong with a supplier where you paid with a credit card, you’re able to get your money back on purchases of between £100 and £30,000. However, this could prove a costly alternative to wedding insurance, as the suppliers responsible for the vast majority of your budget – usually the venue and caterer – often levy a card fee if you pay by plastic. This card fee is often a percentage of the total cost and would quickly become more expensive (and cover less eventualities) than simply paying with a debit card and taking out wedding insurance!
Remember to take sensible precautions when booking any suppliers for your wedding day. As well as checking what insurance they hold, you could consider checking if they are a member of any recognised trade associations, ask to see evidence of past work they have done and do some online research to check that they are a reputable business. In addition to this, ensuring that your own wedding insurance will cover your costs in the event of a problem at your wedding gives additional peace of mind on your important day.