Wedding Insurance During the Pandemic!
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Some insurance carriers have made changes to their coverage since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Although the coronavirus pandemic put a wrinkle in many couple’s wedding plans this year, it has helped raised awareness of wedding insurance.
“When the pandemic first hit back in March, we were handling multiple clients with cancellations, postponements, contract negotiations, relocations, and a flurry of questions from 2020 couples about how to move forward and handle their event in the safest and most reassuring way,” said Zupenda Davis-Shine, who owns the New Jersey based event-planning company Shining Moments Event Planning.
One of the main questions still asked to this day is, "Do you think we should get wedding insurance?”
Here is what you need to know about buying wedding insurance amid the pandemic.
Most Providers Stopped Offering Cancellation Insurance
There are two types of wedding insurance policies: liability and cancellation (or postponement) insurance. Liability covers incidents that happen during a wedding, such as property damage to the event space and bodily injuries to attendees. Cancellation provides reimbursement for deposits made to vendors — the venue, caterer, band, photographer, or florist — if a couple is forced to cancel or postpone their wedding because of weather, unexpected illness to the bride, groom or an immediate family member, military deployment, or for other reasons beyond their control.
Many insurance providers stopped offering cancellation insurance when coronavirus cases in the United States spiked in March, said Anthony Grigsby, the founder of WedCov Insurance, one of the few insurance agencies still offering cancellation insurance. “Insurance companies are taking huge hits from Covid cancellations,” said Mr. Grigsby of the couples who filed claims after they or a family member contracted Covid-19.
Namisha Balagopal, 27, and Suhaas Prasad, 33, who live in San Francisco, paid $874 for a cancellation insurance policy with $125,000 of coverage in early March. The couple, who planned to marry at the St. Regis Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah, on Aug. 30, said they purchased the insurance after hearing about a wave of wedding cancellations in the news. “We didn’t expect the virus to go all the way through August, but we wanted to be very cautious in case we had to make changes,” said Mr. Prasad, the chief technology officer of AspireIQ, a marketing company in San Francisco.
Carriers have now classified the pandemic as a “known event,” new cancellation insurance policies will not cover Covid-related cancellations, such as a bride or groom contracting the virus. Even with this exclusion, there are still benefits of getting cancellation insurance. A venue going out of business and not returning your deposit, for example, is a totally unpredictable event that would be covered by cancellation insurance.
Liability Insurance Is Still a Smart Move
Jared Grigsby, Sales Director of WedCov, a division of World Events Specialty Insurance that sells special-event insurance based in Stockton, CA, urges all couples to buy liability insurance. “A single lawsuit by an injured guest can easily devastate the event host financially,” Mr. Grigsby said.
Although some venues have their own insurance, many require hosts to buy liability policy, often setting specific coverage and terms in their contracts.
For any wedding, vendor or other event insurance needs, visit our website at www.wedcov.com