We’ve already talked about all of the background work and planning that we do here at MotionWorks to make sure that when you hire us to film your wedding, we show up to film your wedding.
We’ve also talked about the importance of making sure that each of your vendors provides you with a clear contract, detailing not just what you are agreeing to purchase and the terms of that purchase, but also informs of you things like their cancellation policies.
We also have stressed the importance of making sure that your vendors carry their own insurance. Contracts and insurance are basic building blocks for any business, and you should be extremely wary trusting any part of your wedding day to any vendor who operates without them.
All that being said, let’s talk about wedding insurance. This is insurance that you, the couple or your families, can get to help make sure your day goes exactly as planned (or at least recover some of the funds you’ve invested).
I’ve had this topic on my list of things to write about for at least a year, and I have sort of put it off until now. Mostly because while I love all things wedding and wedding video….insurance (and talking about reasons why one might need it) is not a warm, fuzzy, and happy topic. It’s been prodded to the top of my list because I’m now starting to see events (no weddings yet, thank goodness) canceled due to the Coronavirus. I can’t say whether those fears or cancellations are founded….just that they are happening. People are choosing not to travel, and that may effect some of the weddings planned this year, particularly destination weddings or weddings with family members traveling in from far away.
I have had weddings where either the couple or their close family was either ill or injured on the wedding day. These instances make me wish for that magic wand, because it is my wish that every couple is able to fully enjoy their day without illness or injury, and that is not always the case. In all of our weddings, they chose to (and were able) to continue the wedding day, mostly as planned (though we have seen honeymoons postponed for recovery).
Wedding insurance can help if the need to reschedule your entire day arises. It can also help for all of those unforeseen things, like weather, accidents, etc. If your wedding dress is damaged on the way to your wedding, insurance can help you cover the costs of a new one. If your wedding ring rolls out of your officiant’s hand and disappears into the abyss, insurance can replace that ring. If one of your vendors does not show up, insurance can cover the cost of a last-minute replacement.
Types of Wedding Insurance
There are two basic types of insurance to think about: liability insurance and cancellation insurance. Most wedding venues (and vendors) will carry their own liability insurance which will cover your event on their property. However, there are a few venues that require couples to have their own event insurance; you should find this out upon booking.
If you are having your wedding at a private residence, liability for your event may be covered under the homeowner’s insurance, particularly if they are a family member or it is your home. You should always check with the existing insurer and make sure.
Cancellation insurance will cover, well, cancellation or rescheduling of your event due to illness, injury, disaster, or other issues outside of your control. Recently Noah’s Event Venue closed their doors, leaving thousands of couples scrambling to find a new venue, without refunding any of their money. While those couples deserve a refund, the reality of bankruptcy and the slow pace of the legal system make it unlikely for any of them to see that, especially before their wedding day). Couples who have cancellation insurance can have those costs covered.
The Cost of Wedding Insurance
Wedding insurance, unlike a lot of other things surrounding weddings, is surprisingly inexpensive. Basic liability usually starts around $150, and even adding cancellation insurance, your cost will still probably be under $500. This makes insurance one of the most affordable investments for a wedding day.
Is it a waste of money? Honestly, I hope so. I hope that everything goes exactly as planned and after your wedding, you can say “well, we just wasted $300 on insurance that we didn’t need!” Let’s be honest, most of us will waste money on so many trivial things, even on our wedding days. Insurance isn’t trivial.
Where to Find Wedding Insurance
The easiest place to start looking for information about event insurance is your own insurance company! Sure, there are companies out there that specialize in event insurance. They are usually subsidiaries of major insurance carriers anyway, with wedding friendly catchy names.
Just call whoever you have your homeowners, renters, or auto insurance through. You already have a relationship with an insurance agent, and should anything happen, having a local contact that already knows you will make the process go much more smoothly. If you’re a frequent traveler and book travel insurance, most of those companies also offer event insurance.
What Insurance Doesn’t Cover
You’ll find within the wedding industry, most vendors are incredibly accomodating. We really do want you to have an amazing day, and will do everything we can to make that happen. Sometimes that means a quick pivot to a new venue, or a date change (if we have the new date open).
Wedding insurance doesn’t cover a change of heart.
But when your wedding (or our services) are canceled, most of us can’t provide full refunds. These are the realities of running any business, even businesses with as much heart as wedding businesses. We only have so many days to earn money each year, and it’s likely that once we’ve reserved your date, we’ve turned away all other bookings for that date.
Thankfully, this is INCREDIBLY rare (at least for us). It is honestly one of the most heartbreaking things. If your wedding gets canceled, I’m likely to cry right alongside you. If you just cancel your services with us, I’m gonna cry for a whole other set of reasons. But tears, either way.
I’m totally using stock photos for this post, because while I don’t believe in karma or bad juju or any of that stuff…I’m also not gonna chance it by using any images from the couples I love so much in a post talking about bad things maybe happening, lol! Not even going to use stock photography couples, just in case they are real couples, out there living their happily ever after!