Wedding Insurance 101: When Should You Buy?

Wedding Insurance 101: When Should You Buy?

Here's a great story on wedding insurance from our friends at Business Insider:

Considering the fact that the average wedding budget blew past the $25,000 mark this year, taking out an insurance policy on the Big Day might seem like a wise move.

Basic policies that cover the usual unwanted disasters–lost rings, injuries and inclement weather–aren't that expensive, ranging between $155 and $550, according to TheKnot.com. And in the grand scheme of things, that's little more than most brides spend on their wedding bouquet.

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"To have some peace of mind, that's not a lot if you're already blowing thousands of dollars," Insurance.com managing editor Michelle Megna told Business Insider. "But if you're going to spring for wedding insurance, you should find out exactly what the policy covers."

As a guide, we've outlined some of the trickier steps to planning for wedding insurance:

Maximums and Deductions

The fine print on policies is where you'll see exactly how much coverage you're paying for. Many premiums have deductibles that must be met before the insurance company will start covering expenses and some coverage is capped at certain dollar amounts. You can easily find an insurance quote online from a host of sites, including Wedsure,Wedsafe and Wedding Protector Plan.

Extreme Weather

Most basic policies cover weather-related delays, but some insurers might not consider a tropical storm on the same level as say, an ice storm that shuts down entire cities. "Find out exactly what their definition is, because they may not think two feet of snow classifies as a snowstorm that will qualify for extreme weather," Megna said.

Change of Heart (and Other Things That Aren't Covered)

Insurers generally won't cover weddings if the bride or groom makes a run for it, but there are so-called "change of heart" policies you can purchase on their own. Most policies also won't cover lost engagement rings (wedding bands should be covered), stolen or lost gifts, or your honeymoon.

Overlapping Coverage

Think about your wedding venue. If it's an established event hall or your own backyard, chances are both are covered by existing policies. At-home affairs are likely covered by homeowners insurance, though you'll want to contact your insurer to find out how far coverage extends. On the off-chance a hurricane obliterates your reception hall a week before the wedding, the site should have its own insurance in place to reimburse you. Again, you'll want to double check before booking.

When to Buy Insurance

You can buy some policies as soon as 12 hours before your nuptials, but the sooner the better, Megna said: "Do it in advance and not the last minute when bad weather reports start coming in." The earlier you take out a policy, the longer you'll be covered, especially when it comes to your event space. It's not unheard of for reception halls to shut down abruptly, leaving couples hanging out to dry without their deposit. TheKnot recommends taking out a policy – if you need one – as soon as your venue's booked.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/WinterSwan

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