Most common wedding insurance claims

By , Posted on 29 March 2013

wedding insuranceMy wedding, 15 years ago, was a splendid affair. We had an elegant-yet-not-stuffy reception on a beachside bluff with spectacular ocean views. We rented two of the houses on the bluff and the reception was in the adjoining backyards. Everyone had an awesome time, even though the DJ never made it.

Well, for the record, the DJ did show up -- four hours after the reception was over. He apologized and offered to buy me a few cases of beer to make amends. Anyway, fortunately, we had a small wedding and had a boom-box. (Hey, don't judge, it was the pre-iTunes era!) We improvised by having friends play CDs from our collection of favorite party songs we had on hand for the after-hours bash. (See photo right: My husband and I dancing to our song.)

Not everyone, however, is so lucky when calamity strikes on the big day. Here are some wedding-day heartbreakers, according to an analysis by Travelers of 2012 claims:

  • Vendor problems; accounting for 24 percent of all wedding claims received.
  • Fifty-eight percent of all wedding claims related to vendor issues involve problems with the photographer.
  • Twenty-one percent of vendor-related issues involved a caterer going out of business.
  • Illness and injury; 19 percent.
  • Weather; 14 percent.
  • Problems with DJs not showing up or going out of business; 11 percent of the claims.
  • Wedding planner issues; 5 percent.

At the time of my engagement, and even for the six years I was a wedding columnist for the New York Daily News, it never occurred to me that opting for wedding insurance might be a prudent move when planning matrimony.

While wedding insurance isn't a must-have for every couple, it can be a wise move for many, especially considering the average cost for a wedding last year was $25,656, according to The Wedding Report, a research company that tracks the wedding industry.

If you think you need wedding insurance, there are policies that are affordable. One is the  Wedding Protector Plan by Travelers which starts at $160. It covers items such as lost deposits, perishable materials, unavoidable cancellation due to weather or military leave, lost or damaged photographs, damaged gifts, host liability and more. It also covers expenses associated with recreating the special day, from retaking photos to purchasing fresh flower arrangements to extending the tuxedo rental.

For more information on typical coverage and prices for wedding insurance, see: "Wedding insurance: Common claims and tips for buying."

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Des Toups

Des Toups

Managing editor

Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's.


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