What’s Your Wedding Risk Exposure?

A Liability Perspective

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $28,000, with venues being the highest-ticket item in the spending breakdown. Venues are also the biggest reasons for claims made on wedding insurance policies, according to The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study.

No matter how much you plan, things can go wrong. A bankrupt venue, a slip-and-fall incident involving a guest or a gift table theft can put a negative spin on your big day and for the long term. The cost of property damage, medical bills or a lawsuit can add up fast.

When it comes to wedding risk, there’s more than forgotten vows at stake, so take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Use this checklist to identify possible risk exposures and areas of liability in your wedding day plans.

Your wedding includesInsurance coverageRisk examples
Alcohol/open barWedding liability(host liquor liability is usually included)Alcohol consumption can increase the likelihood of accidents, property damage and other claims. Most standard wedding liability policies include host liquor liability, but always verify with your agent.
GuestsWedding liabilityMedical paymentsYou can be held responsible for accidents related to your wedding event. A medical payments option can help with medical bills for injured guests.
Wedding party participants traveling to your weddingWedding liabilityCancellation/postponement If a covered event causes a postponement of your wedding, this coverage can help. Be clear on who it covers and any travel distance minimums (some policies may not cover distances under 180 miles, for example).
Wedding dress or formal attire (rented or owned)Wedding liabilitySpecial attire coverageSpecial accessories and clothing worn for the ceremony are usually included. Be clear on which wedding party participants are covered.
JewelryWedding liabilityJewelryThe best man lost the ring! Jewelry exchanged in the ceremony is normally covered under the jewelry option. Do not confuse this with a permanent jewelry coverage rider (for the engagement ring, for example).
Gift tableWedding liabilityGift theft coverageThe gift table is often overlooked during the hoopla of a wedding reception. Thieves count on this and target weddings specifically.
Photographer/videographerWedding liabilityPhotography/videographyLoss of depositsYou may have to restage the wedding if your photographer is a no-show. Be clear on what your policy will pay if you decide not to restage, but want your payment refunded. You may have to fall back on loss of deposits coverage.
VenueWedding liabilityCancellation/postponementLoss of depositsAdditional expensesVenue cancellations happen quite a bit (due to a fire or bankruptcy, for example). Getting your deposit back won’t be easy, and finding a new location may be a costly endeavor. Cancellation/postponement coverage can help if you postpone the wedding to a later date. If you decide not to postpone, additional expense coverage can help recoup the extra cost needed to secure a last-minute venue.Talk to your adviser about what the venue’s insurance covers to avoid gaps between your policy and theirs.
Rented propertyWedding liabilityRented propertyTents, stages, tables, chairs or the photo booth could get damaged by a guest or bad weather. Payment for the damage is your problem. Rented property coverage can help pay for the damage.
VendorsWedding liabilityLoss of depositsIf a vendor is a no-show or goes bankrupt, you’ll have a hard time getting your deposit back. Talk to your agent about loss of deposits as an option. Make sure you understand what the vendor’s insurance covers to avoid gaps between your policy and theirs.
Cold feetWedding liability“Change of heart”Professional counselingIt’s not something you want to think about, but it can and does happen: The wedding is called off completely and will not be taking place in the future. Talk to your agent about this coverage because the language is detailed with many exclusions.
High-risk weather zoneWedding liabilityCancellation/postponementLoss of depositsTornadoes and hurricanes are more prevalent in certain areas and seasons. Know your zone and talk to your adviser about covered weather events and any exclusions.
HoneymoonWedding liabilityTravel or honeymoonWeather or an illness could delay a honeymoon, so make sure you have the trip covered. Even if there’s not a delay, you’ll want to be covered for medical mishaps during your honeymoon, especially if you’re outside of the country.
Destination weddingWedding liabilityTravel or honeymoonMedical paymentsCancellation/postponementSpecial attireLoss of depositsMost wedding liability policies cover the U.S. and Canada, but be clear on the exclusions. If traveling outside the U.S., ask about travel or honeymoon insurance that includes medical coverage for you and your new spouse. Encourage your wedding party to get travel insurance, too.
Extreme weddingWedding liabilityMedical paymentsCancellation/postponementLoss of depositsRented propertyPersonal umbrellaPersonal medicalIf your wedding party is going for an extreme wedding experience (think skydiving or bungee jumping), you might need excess and medical coverage add-ons. Remember that medical payments insurance covers others, but not you. Make sure you have personal medical coverage for yourself. Make sure you understand what the vendor’s insurance covers to avoid gaps between your policy and theirs. A personal umbrella policy isn’t related to wedding insurance, but it’s another option to consider when other policies max out. Talk to your adviser for guidance.

Now that you’ve looked at your wedding through the risk liability lens, contact your insurance professional for help. You’ll be planning — and protecting — your wedding day bliss with confidence.

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This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Please refer to your policy contract for any specific information or questions on applicability of coverage.

Please note coverage can not be bound or a claim reported without written acknowledgment from a OneGroup Representative.

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