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The Ultimate Guide To UK Wedding Insurance in 2021

Published date: 1st March 2021 | Author: Hollie Bond


Wedding insurance is confusing at the best of times, but after a pandemic that has seen hundreds of weddings cancelled in 2020 and the start of 2021, it’s an absolute minefield with many insurers changing clauses and not including cover for any Covid-related cancellations. So what exactly does wedding insurance look like in 2021 and do you still need it?

The answer to that last question is easy – yes you do! Although it might seem like yet another expense when you’ve got invoices flooding in for venue hire, caterers and wedding dresses, it’s important to make sure you’re covered should anything unexpected happen. While it’s highly unlikely anything will happen to derail your plans, wedding insurance will give you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the run-up to your day.

We’ve compiled a complete guide to wedding insurance in 2021, so you can decide which cover is best for you. And with the wonderful news that weddings should be back with a bang by summer 2021, it’s time to ramp up that planning again, including choosing the right insurance for you…

What Is Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance is a specific type of insurance that means you are protected from any financial loss that occurs as a result of cancellations, accidents, illness, venue or supplier failure or anything else that goes wrong in the run-up to the wedding or on the day itself.

Do You Need To Have Wedding Insurance?

With the average wedding costing around £30,000, it’s a very savvy idea to invest in wedding insurance. You’re investing a huge amount of your hard-earned money in one event so you need to cover yourself financially in case anything goes wrong. Insurance is all about risk transfer, so by buying wedding insurance you’re transferring any financial risks to your chosen insurance provider, meaning you can relax and enjoy all the fun involved with planning your big day.

However, there are some cases when you might not need it. If you’re hosting a very small wedding, having the reception in your garden and using suppliers that are friends for example, then it might not make financial sense to bother with wedding insurance. In a case like this, think about whether it would be cheaper and less stressful to reorganise any aspects of your wedding that might go wrong yourselves. If the answer is yes then you probably don’t need wedding insurance or only need a very basic plan.

What Does Wedding Insurance Cover?

There’s not one set wedding insurance policy, so to really understand exactly what is covered you’ll need to read the small print/ terms and conditions of every policy you consider (yes it might be tedious but it could save you a lot of money and stress). If you don’t understand anything it’s best to ask a specialist at the company or an insurance broker and while you’re at it make sure to enquire about any exclusions you might not be aware of.

In general, however, most wedding insurance policies cover the following things…

1) The venue closing down, not being fit for use or cancelling your booking

This clause covers anything to do with your venue that would make it impossible for you to get married there, for example, a fire burning it down, a large flood, the venue going bankrupt or if the venue gets in touch to cancel your booking for any other reason. You may see this written down as ‘cancellation cover’ in your policy wording.

2) A supplier letting you down, not showing up or providing damaged goods

If one of your suppliers (e.g. florist, caterers, band and photographer) doesn’t provide the service agreed at the time of booking then you should be covered. This includes both the supplier simply not turning up to provide the service or deliver the goods or providing damaged goods. Your wedding insurance should cover you in these cases for any deposits you’ve paid and any additional costs you incur trying to rectify the situation. It’s very important to make sure you have a written agreement with each supplier you use though otherwise, you won’t be able to claim. And be sure to keep any receipts. Make sure your policy also lists all the suppliers you’re using as some exclusions may apply.

3) You have to cancel due to illness, an accident or the death of a close family member

No one wants to even consider this possibility, but if the worst should happen and you have to rearrange or cancel the wedding because someone close to you is extremely ill, dies or has an accident then your insurance should cover the costs. The person in question has to be someone integral to the wedding – so either member of the couple or someone in the wedding party (close family, bridesmaids and best man). Any illnesses however won’t be covered if they were caused by a pre-existing condition.

This clause also covers you if any member of the wedding party is suddenly called up for jury service or are a serving member of the UK armed services and are posted overseas unexpectedly.

4) Extreme weather resulting in the cancellation of the wedding

Remember the Beast From The East back in 2018? Yes snow might look pretty on your wedding day but if it’s as severe as that storm was and stops at least 50% of your guests making it to your big day then you can postpone and will most likely be covered (again remember to check your policy especially if you’re having a winter wedding).

5) Lost or stolen items (rings, dresses, flowers, gifts etc).

If any items go missing or are stolen you should be covered for the value if you take out wedding insurance. However, this is another case where the level of cover differs according to both your policy and the item in question. For example the wedding rings are covered if they are lost or stolen but in many cases the cover is only valid a week before the wedding and for 24 hours afterwards. Engagement rings won’t be covered at all and you’ll need to add them to your separate home insurance. Your wedding attire is usually covered from the moment you take out the policy (or as soon as you hire the outfit) until you’ve finished wearing them at the wedding.

In many policies both flowers and the wedding cake are covered up until the reception part of the day and if either are left unattended during the transportation or delivery it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim.

Wedding gifts are an area you’ll want to make sure are covered as they are a prime target for being stolen. As long as the wedding gifts aren’t left unattended if they are lost, stolen or damaged you will be covered. This also applies to any gifts you’ve bought to give out at the wedding to members of the bridal party. The cover usually lasts for a month up to the wedding date and for 24 hours after the “I dos”. If you’ve asked for money instead of gifts be sure to check that the policy wording includes money under the category of wedding gifts.

6) Photography or videography faults

A bit like the supplier failure clause, if there’s a failure when it comes to photography or videography you should be covered. This includes your wedding photos or video not being able to be developed due to a technical fault as well as the photographer or videographer not turning up on the day. This only applies to professionals though. If you’re simply not happy with the quality of the pictures this won’t be covered, so think twice before you use an amateur.

Many wedding insurance policies cover the cost of hiring outfits again so that the bridal party can get dressed up after the wedding and have photos retaken.

7) Personal liability and legal expenses

If a third party is injured on your wedding day or damage is caused to the venue by any of your suppliers, your wedding insurance should cover you. However, any damage caused by guests won’t be covered. If you incur any legal costs as a result of an accident that causes death or injury during the wedding then these should also be covered.

Public liability cover, which would cover you in case a guest causes damage or injury to a third party, does not come as standard and would need to be added on at an additional cost. However, in most cases isn’t really necessary.

What Things Does Wedding Insurance Not Cover?

1) Cold feet

Wedding insurance exists to protect you against any problems with your venue or a supplier, or a key wedding party member falling ill, but it does not cover if either of the couple has a change of heart, so keep those feet toasty warm!

2) Cancellation due to a small problem

Say the flowers turn up and are pretty much dead – that’s not a big enough reason to cancel the whole day (although you will get your money back for the flowers don’t worry!). So if you decide to cancel for a reason that isn’t deemed severe enough by the insurance provider you won’t be covered.

3) Cancellation due to financial difficulty

Weddings can be extremely expensive so before you blow the budget consider this clause carefully – if you can’t afford to pay for your wedding and need to cancel it, you won’t be covered. The one caveat to this is if the financial difficulty is caused by redundancy because obviously when you took the policy out you won’t have had any idea you were going to be made redundant. There will be restrictions and terms and conditions around this though, so again read the small print carefully.

4) Pre-existing medical conditions that cause cancellation

As mentioned above you’re covered if an illness or death occurs to a key member of the wedding as long as it wasn’t a pre-existing condition, for example, heart disease or cancer.

5) Bad weather ruining the experience

Adverse weather stopping guests from getting to your venue is one thing, but a downpour at an outdoor ceremony wouldn’t be covered in the same way. There are some specialist wedding insurance policies you can get that do cover things like thunderstorms at outdoor weddings, so if it’s important to you, you can pay for it.

6) Marquee cover

Some marquees fall into a different category to venues. If you’ve erected a marquee on your own land or garden or on land that doesn’t belong to the marquee owner then you won’t be covered under the terms of a “venue” as outlined above. You can pay extra to have a marquee cover though, which will protect you against any damage to the structure of the marquee, and everything within it like staging, chairs, tables, lights, and flooring. If the marquee is an existing structure at a wedding venue then you don’t need this extra marquee cover.

7) Ceremonial swords

A slightly quirky one, but worth knowing about… if you’re planning on using ceremonial swords at your wedding, you’ll need extra cover.

How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost?

Like everything with weddings, there’s no set cost – it all depends on several factors, including how much you’re spending on your wedding day overall and the type of cover you need. A basic wedding insurance premium can start at as little as £19 for a wedding that is costing less than £2,500 and goes up to £300 for a £100,000 wedding. To get an idea of how much yours might cost though it’s good to look at the average wedding of around £30,000, which would usually have a wedding insurance premium of about £100.

So, in order to work out how much your particular wedding insurance will cost you need to sit down and do some maths – working out how much your overall spend is likely to be. Then you can start to compare wedding insurance policy premiums.

Does Wedding Insurance Cover Your Honeymoon?

In a word – no! A honeymoon is no different to a holiday really and so you will need separate travel insurance for your honeymoon. You don’t need to search for a specific type of travel insurance – just your usual holiday insurance will do nicely. Try and remember to book your travel insurance at the same time as your honeymoon to give you cancellation cover and remember to find the right policy for any honeymoon activities like skiing or extreme sports you’ll be taking part in.

While we’re talking about exotic destinations, remember overseas weddings may not be covered by the standard wedding insurance policies and cover we’ve outlined above, so it’s best to look for a specialist overseas wedding insurance policy if you’re tying the knot abroad.

When Is It Best To Buy Wedding Insurance?

As soon as possible. It doesn’t cost any more or less to buy wedding insurance early, so once you’ve booked some of the key parts of your wedding and have an idea of the overall cost of your day you’ll want to have the policy in place. Technically you can buy wedding insurance for up to two years in advance of your wedding date.

Which Is The Best Wedding Insurance?

Like any insurance you’ve got for your house or health, the best wedding insurance is the one that fits your needs, is the best price and gives you the best level of cover.

High street stores:

Specialist insurers:

These days it’s pretty simple as you can use a comparison site to work out the best deal for you so you don’t have to go to all these different providers individually to work out the best price.

Covid-19 And Wedding Insurance

With coronavirus having ruined so many couples’ plans over the past year, this is probably the area that anyone tying the knot wants to know about most when it comes to wedding insurance at the moment. It’s true that wedding insurance policies have changed a huge amount as a result of the pandemic. Many insurers stopped selling wedding insurance full stop during lockdown and while weddings were unable to go ahead. If you already purchased a policy before the pandemic then it will remain unchanged, but there might not be any mention of cancellation due to a virus, so it’s worth digging it out to have a good read.

Cancellations due to government travel restrictions will not be covered by the vast majority of wedding insurers. While the illness, death and accident clauses will still be valid, you won’t be covered for anyone unable to attend because they are self-isolating or shielding from Covid-19.

For further clarity in this ever-changing coronavirus climate, it’s best to speak to your policy provider to see what you’re covered for. However, in the first instance, before you go down the often stressful route of claiming on an insurance policy, you should have an open and honest conversation with your venue and suppliers about postponing and rearranging. Most trusted and decent members of the wedding industry will do their utmost to help couples who are having to make changes to their dream day because of this unprecedented pandemic.

Try and make sure to pay for as many things as possible by credit card too, as this gives you another level of protection under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

How To Lower Your Risk Of Claiming On Your Wedding Insurance

While you’ve taken out a wedding insurance policy to help should anything go wrong, it’s much easier to just have it as a safety net rather than have to go through the rigamarole of claiming on it. There are a few things you can do to make yourselves less likely to have to claim such as…

1) Choosing trusted and reliable suppliers.
Stick to professionals and people who have excellent reviews or are suggested to you by people you trust. And remember always to get a written agreement from anyone you pay a deposit to.

2) Checking in with your suppliers. Once you’ve booked and paid your deposit that is just the start of things. Don’t just presume your suppliers will know what is going on in your head! Get in contact regularly to check things are going to plan and be sure to call all suppliers in the days running up to the wedding to double-check they know what is needed of them and when.

3) Having a Plan B.

Suppliers and venues have attended hundreds of weddings and so will know what to do in an emergency. Make sure to speak to them and have a Plan B in place that can be rolled out quickly in case anything should go wrong. For example, does your photographer have a trusted professional contact who can step in at a moment’s notice should something happen to them?

4) Being safe.

Things like firework displays and lots of naked flames or open water etc. add up to a lot of risks. If you’re doing anything dangerous make sure to employ a professional who will have their own insurance and will be much less likely to do anything to cause damage.

5) Using a credit card.

As mentioned above, you give yourself an extra level of cover by paying deposits on a credit card thanks to section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

HB

Written by

Hollie Bond

Hollie is a lifestyle journalist with over ten years’ experience working in the wedding industry as Lifestyle Editor for You & Your Wedding magazine Also a Regional Editor for Muddy Stilettos, Hollie has written for Square Meal magazine, Family History Monthly, BBC History magazine and Homes & Antiques. In her spare time you can find Hollie in a dance studio practising ballet…

Learn more about Hollie Bond

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