Every year the cost of the average wedding creeps up. Even if you’re not planning an event on the Rooney scale, the total cost of a ‘big day’ is now estimated to be over £20,000*. That’s almost as much as the average annual salary**. Weddings are rarely quiet, informal affairs; they are elaborate events with no expense spared. So protect your big day with wedding insurance.
Darren Mabley-Jones, wedding insurance manager at Ecclesiastical Insurance, explains:
With so much riding on the big day it makes sense to do as much as you can to make sure it all runs smoothly. Insurance therefore should be one of your first, not last, considerations. You wouldn’t spend £20,000 on a brand new car and drive it off the forecourt without insurance, so why shouldn’t insurance be a must-buy for the happy couple too?
Above all, wedding insurance gives you and the rest of the wedding party peace of mind. If the unexpected does happen (and if often does) insurance can be there to pick up the pieces.
Policies cover all aspects of your special day. If the event is a complete wash-out for example insurance can pay for a re-arrangement. The floods of 2007 caused many couples to cancel their weddings as guests were stuck in traffic or cut off by floodwaters. Other circumstances such as an unexpected family illness might also mean the wedding can’t go ahead.
Loss or damage to rings, cakes, flowers, presents, photographs and videos are also covered. One groom rather helpfully took some rubbish to the tip on the morning of his wedding, unaware that the black bags actually contained wedding presents. Wedding insurance was able to compensate them.
Darren highlights another wedding disaster:
One couple’s marquee was broken into the night before the wedding. Thieves stole heaters and knocked over the wedding cake. Insurance paid for re-icing of the cake and replacement heaters.
In the run-up to your wedding you are relying on a range of suppliers (such as your photographer) to make sure the big day comes together. Occasionally suppliers can go bust, taking your deposit with them. At a very costly time, any extra expense could break the bank. Wedding insurance can reimburse lost deposits and it can even pay any additional costs required to book another supplier at short notice.
Policies with legal expenses cover can even step in if you face a dispute with one of your suppliers. If your dress is made to the wrong size or your venue fails to offer you the reception room they promised for example. Specialist solicitors will attempt to resolve the dispute so you get what you are entitled to.
One of the most common wedding insurance claims is for damage to wedding dresses. Brides often want to keep their dress for a future daughter or as a lasting memory of the day. An accidental tear or wine stain to a dress costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds can seem like a disaster. Wedding insurance can pay for repairs to ensure your dress is in good nick when it heads for the attic.
Many wedding reception venues now insist you arrange public liability insurance. This is to protect the venue owners from claims against them. Wedding insurance provides you with this cover. So if one of your guests is injured and it is your fault, liability insurance can help out. On top of all this some policies even offer a stress counselling helpline. So if it all gets too much, any member of the wedding party can call for an impartial chat.
Of course weddings come in all shapes and sizes, so wedding insurance is flexible too. Insurers offer various levels of cover and extensions for things like marquees. But whether you are organising the wedding event of the year to rival the Rooneys, or a modest affair with family and friends, insurance is always a sensible precaution.
* You and Your Wedding Magazine research, June 2008.
** National Statistics – 2007 average salary of £25,896 for men and £20,488 for women.