An Analysis of the Wedding Insurance Market in 2017

Back in 2011, we analysed the data from a sample of over 2,000 wedding insurance policies purchased between 1st June 2010 and 31st May 2011 through CompareWeddingInsurance.org.uk.

The study, one of the most comprehensive of its kind, gave a very interesting picture of not only the wedding insurance market but also the wedding market in general.

We have now updated that study to offer not only an insight into today’s wedding market but also a comparison to that market five or six years ago. Our recent data is from a sample of 2,500 wedding insurance policies purchased via CompareWeddingInsurance.org.uk between 1st November 2016 and 30th April 2017.

Highlights

  • Average Wedding Cost (excluding honeymoon):
    • 2017: £14,425. This is an increase of nearly £2,000
    • 2011: £12,541
  • Average Age of Policyholder:
    • 2017: 34.25 years, an average increase of nearly three years
    • 2011: 31.5 years
  • Average Wedding Insurance Premium:
    • 2017: £58.69
    • 2011: £51.55
  • Policyholder Gender:
    • 2017: 44% male, 56% female
    • 2011: 55% male, 45% female
  • Average Purchase Date:
    • 2017: 9.3 months before the wedding
    • 2011: 8 months before the wedding

Average Wedding Insurance Premium

In 2011, the average premium for a wedding insurance policy was £51.55. Six years later, the average premium is still a very affordable £58.69, an increase of just £7.

Much of that increase, however, can be attributed to increases in Insurance Premium Tax. Six years ago, IPT was just 6%, or 5% for polices purchased before 4th January 2011. The policies included in our more recent sample will have had IPT added at a rate of 10%, double what it was before. That higher rate of IPT accounts for £4 of the £7 difference in average premium.

Average Wedding Cost

2011

The average wedding cost figure of £12,541 is the average of the cancellation cover provided by the policies we studied. Whilst it’s possible that couples may be over or even under-insuring themselves (as we previously suspected), 2011’s figure is actually extremely close to that quoted by other sources, such as the £12,544 quoted by Hitched W.I.F.E. Although their sample size was much smaller than that of this study, given the closeness of the two we feel that this truly is a very accurate indication of the cost of a wedding in 2010/2011.

Adding the cost of the honeymoon (on average around £3,000 according to specialist gift list service Buy Our Honeymoon), this makes the average wedding cost around £15,500, some five thousand pounds or so lower than that seen in recent years.

2017

Again we looked at the average of the amount of cancellation cover provided by the policies in our data sample. This has now increased by around £2,000 to £14,425. With the average cost of a honeymoon quoted at around £4,000, this takes the average cost of a wedding in the UK to around £18,500.

A number of recent studies are quoting the average wedding cost at a significantly greater amount of between £25,000 and £27,000. Unless couples purchasing wedding insurance are significantly under-insuring themselves, it’s our view that this higher amount isn’t a realistic representation of the true average cost and may be that high due to a small or skewed study or sample.

Male/Female Ratio

We felt that this was an incredibly interesting figure. Generally it tends to be the female that makes many of the purchasing decisions when it comes to a wedding and so it was certainly unexpected to discover that in 2011, over half of all policyholders were male.

Our recent analysis shows that figure has shifted somewhat with only 44% of purchasers being male, a drop of 11 percentage points compared to six years ago.

How Soon Do People Buy Wedding Insurance

It was certainly interesting to see how soon couples generally take out their wedding insurance policy. The average in 2011 was 8 months before the big day, but there were some couples taking out cover over two years before (peculiar as cover generally only starts 24 months prior to the big day) and quite a few who purchased just the day before!

In 2017, couples are purchasing their wedding insurance policy slightly earlier at 9.3 months before their big day. With the huge cost of a wedding and deposits being paid to secure venue bookings usually early on in the planning process, it’s reassuring to see couples taking out insurance cover earlier than they were a few years ago.

What Do People Claim For?

According to a press release from Voyager Insurance Services (providers of Dreamsaver wedding insurance), the top ten claims on wedding insurance policies are as follows:

1. Bankruptcy/liquidation of dress supplier
2. Bankruptcy/liquidation of caterers
3. Bankruptcy/liquidation of venue
4. Bankruptcy/liquidation of other wedding suppliers
5. Loss of wedding photography
6. Damage to bridal attire
7. Adverse weather preventing majority of guests and couple reaching the venue
8. Death/injury of family member
9. Death/Injury of bride or groom
10. Marquee damage

We covered this in more detail in an earlier blog post.

The Wedding Insurance Market In General

A report by Datamonitor suggested that the wedding insurance market is currently worth an estimated £4 million and is expected to grow a further 50% by 2014.

The same report also claimed that only 25% of couples currently take out insurance cover for their big day meaning that a staggering three quarters of all weddings have no financial protection.

Adam Leyton

A little bit about Adam Leyton, founder of CompareWeddingInsurance.org.uk

Adam has been working in the wedding industry since 2006. As a keen advocate of wedding insurance, he launched a comparison website in 2009. See his Google+ profile.