Begin Free Online Ordination

Wedding Insurance FormBefore the COVID-19 pandemic, people bought wedding insurance to cover some major problems. Couples dealt with no-show vendors or double-booked venues, for instance. Now, we’re looking at stuff like lots of event cancellations and out-of-business vendors. How has wedding insurance changed to handle these new realities? Keep reading for some fast facts and helpful tips when shopping for your event coverage.   

A Basic Overview of Wedding Insurance 

Wedding insurance policies include two coverage types: liability and cancellation. Insurance broker Mila Araujo explains that liability handles bodily injury and property damage. Some policies also include host liquor liability, which handles claims from serving alcohol. Depending on the provider, you may need to purchase this by itself. 

Cancellation coverage does exactly what it says. It reimburses costs resulting from canceling or postponing your wedding. Common cancelation reasons include vendor issues, illnesses, extreme weather, or military deployment. When buying any type of wedding policy, you’ll need to select your deductibles and coverage limits.   

COVID-19 and Wedding Coverage 

January 2020 saw the first reported COVID-19 cases in the United States. By March, the pandemic had already hit the wedding industry hard. Couples canceled their events, venues were empty, and vendors had a lot of inventory but no income. The National Academy of Sciences revealed in July that 1.8% of U.S. businesses permanently closed because of the pandemic. Many of these were small local companies – DJs, event planners, catering companies, bakers, and more.  

The pandemic sent shock waves through the wedding industry. Insurance companies felt these impacts as claims skyrocketed. The New York Times revealed in September that insurers began changing their coverages. Some stopped selling cancellation insurance altogether. The Knot’s Sarah Hanlon mentions that others began narrowly defining their coverage. Newer policies may come with clauses excluding COVID-related losses.   

A few insurers are evaluating claims on a case-by-case basis. WedSafe released a statement explaining that the pandemic is a “known event” that wouldn’t typically be covered. The company applies this standard to policies sold after a certain date. But this isn't a hard-and-fast rule even for earlier policies. Most insurers set their COVID-19 "known event" date during the last 10 days of January 2020.

The Pandemic and “Acts of God” 

Your policy may not explicitly rule out COVID-19 coverage. But other contract language can prompt insurers to deny these claims. Joy’s Kate Brownstein discusses “force majeure,” also known as “acts of God” or “unforeseen events.” These clauses excuse a contract’s parties from obligatory performance if it’s impractical, illegal, or impossible. Depending on the insurer, policies with a force majeure clause may rule out paying COVID-19 claims.

Other Things To Consider 

So there’s no guarantee that wedding insurance will pay for COVID-19 claims. What’s a couple to do? You don’t have to forgo insurance, as Hanlon explains. After all, the pandemic isn’t the only reason weddings get canceled. There’s also extreme weather, other health issues, and vendor negligence to consider. Just don’t expect your insurer to cough up any money if you plan an in-person event but need to cancel because of COVID.  

If you want to eliminate this possibility, your best bet is to livestream your wedding. Brides’ wedding streaming guide suggests having a reliable internet connection and a device that can broadcast high-quality video. Most newer devices have the specs to capture your special day. Also, consider having a professional handle your stream or delegate a trusted friend. Meanwhile, don't forget to send your livestream links to your guests.

Smart Planning for Your 2021 Nuptials 

No one can predict the future, but you can draw reasonable conclusions from today’s events. Your guests’ health should be a priority for your 2021 wedding. You can purchase wedding insurance to cover the unexpected. But virtual events are the best way to avoid cancelation – and keep loved ones safe. 

Category: Wedding Planning

wedding day wedding venue wedding vendors

Add Your Comment

To post a comment you must log in first.
You may alternatively login with your credentials, below.