When you are planning your big day together, you should not forget the importance of wedding cancellation insurance. It is easy to overlook the consequences of an enforced cancellation during the frenzy of activity after you decide to make plans to get married.
What could go wrong?
Vendor bankruptcy – A successful wedding can rely on so many external companies to make it a success. For example, the venue, caterer, DJ, wedding attire hire, wedding cars, photographer, florist, live band and marquee companies can all play a vital part in your important day. However, in this day and age, companies can come and go in a flash. Take time to research all of your chosen wedding suppliers before booking, paying close attention to how well-established they are.
Illness, accident or bereavement – One of the most common reasons for needing to cancel or rearrange a wedding is the bride, groom or a member of the immediate wedding party falling ill or having an accident. Sometimes, a family bereavement makes going ahead with the wedding inappropriate.
Double booking – Imagine finding that your venue had made an error and put your booking in for the following week, or had accidentally double booked you. Similarly, if caterers, photographers, entertainment or wedding hire suppliers had double booked you, you may have to totally rearrange the wedding date.
Bad Weather – it seems almost inconceivable, but it does happen that very severe weather can cause either the venue not to be available or even that the majority of guests cannot attend.
The officials do not turn up – again it seems unlikely, but it does happen.
Military deployment – If in the armed forces, overseas posting can sometimes occur out of the blue.
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What to look for in your wedding cancellation policy
Typically, a wedding insurance policy will cover both cancellation and postponement of a wedding, under most conditions. However, read the small print carefully as there are a few things to check. These include:
- Does the policy pay a percentage of the total cost of the wedding up to the maximum, or covers the total cost of either relocation to a new venue or compensation for cancellation.
- Check that you are covered for all of the the suppliers, purchases and hire costs that would have to be rearranged if the wedding is postponed or cancelled, for example:
- Hired wedding Dress/Ceremonial Attire for the whole bridal party
- Flowers both for the venue and reception
- Caterers, marquee and venue
- Wedding Cars
- Entertainment / DJ / live band
- Loss of deposits – check if your insurance policy covers all deposits that would be lost in the instance of cancellation or postponement, or if you need to specify what you wish to be covered.
- Bereavement – If you are covered in case of bereavement, make sure that you complete a medical declaration for each person upon whom your wedding plans depend, and that you do this before you purchase the policy.
- Military deployment – Provided that there was no notice of possible cancellation of leave at the time the policy was taken out wedding cancellation policies often cover this.
- Extra expenses – are you covered for any extra expenses that arise in order to avoid cancelling or postponing your wedding? For example, if the bride is flying in for the wedding and her flight is cancelled, would the policy cover the cost of the next available flight to ensure they get to the wedding on time?
What might not be covered?
Cancellation of the wedding may typically occur for numerous reasons; however a change of mind or cold feet are usually not one of them. Cold feet may be referred to in your policy small print as ‘disinclination to proceed’ and is unlikely to be insured, as most policies will only cover costs associated with cancelling or rearranging a wedding if the reason is beyond the couple’s control.
Often the costs of rearranging honeymoon or overseas wedding trip costs are not covered. This is because you will usually need to take out separate travel insurance, which would normally include cancellation cover if you are not able to travel as planned. Note that if you are travelling to get married abroad, policies usually only cover any extra costs specific to the wedding itself, including rings, wedding attire, essential document indemnity etc., – but not the cost of the trip itself.
If you are having two ceremonies – for example, a small civil ceremony followed by a church blessing a number of days later – check that your policy extends to cover cancellation of all dates required. Many insurers require the events insured to be less than 21 days apart.
In order to make any claim that you make due to cancellation or postponement easier to process, consider the following points:
- Keep receipts and paperwork for all deposits and written agreements with vendors;
- Make a list of all suppliers you’re using along with contact numbers and keep it to hand, giving a second copy of this list to someone responsible, such as a bridesmaid or best man.
- Contact all suppliers a month or so before the wedding to ensure everything is going to plan.