Wedding Insurance, Permits + Licensing
Do you need wedding insurance? What about permits for your DJ, parking, a large gathering, or alcohol service? And please don’t forget about the most important license of all – your marriage license! Let’s face it. Insurance, permits and licenses are pretty intimidating. How on earth do you go about selecting a blanket insurance policy that covers illness, inclement weather, liability, or other unforeseen loss on your wedding day? Do you even need a wedding insurance policy or special permits or license? Wedding insurance can be pesky to think about, but you can’t afford to write it off.
You’ve likely had nightmares about alllllll the things that can possibly go wrong on your wedding day. *NEWS FLASH* Unfortunately, something (or some thingS) will most likely go un-according to plan on your wedding day. Sadly, it’s simply unavoidable. All the preparation and planning on earth can’t grant you immunity against some unforeseen hiccups. So while I can’t buffer you against ALL mishaps like a lipstick spot on your dress, swollen and hurting feet, or running out of vodka at the bar? The GOOD news is that you can protect yourself and your wedding from big disasters with a simple little thing called wedding insurance. How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost? Wedding insurance is very reasonably priced. For just a couple hundred dollars, it can provide PRICELESS peace of mind. As for permits and licenses? It’s really easy to find out if you need an event permit by searching online for “your city name park use permit”. You can typically secure a public use permit online with just a couple of clicks. The cost? Anywhere between $50 – $150 respectively. A marriage license in my state is just $60, takes a little prep and a quick visit to a city municipal building. Nothing intimidating about that! Let’s demystify the process of researching and selecting a wedding insurance policy. A little bit of time spent researching, and maybe a small investment of a couple hundred dollars to know that your investment in your wedding day protected? There’s nothing scary about that. WEDDING INSURANCE | More Details Disclaimer – I AM NOT AN INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL. Today’s show does not constitute legal advice. You’ll want to do extensive research into your venue, vendors, and all requirements that may apply to your unique situation and location. You’ll also want to have a thorough conversation with a qualified insurance agent to determine what type of policy and coverage is appropriate for you and your wedding. What is it? In short, wedding insurance is just like any other type of insurance you have to protect your home, car, life, or travel. You’re investing a LOT of money in your wedding day! Wedding insurance protects your investment against unforeseen circumstances. In addition, wedding insurance can reimburse covered expenses incurred from a loss due to an adverse situation such as weather, health, theft, or breach of contract. This applies to everything from gifts, to photos, your dress, rings, your venue itself & any property damage. If your venue burns to the ground, your dress is lost in a basement flood, your gifts are stolen, or an injury or health condition prevents your attendance at your own wedding? Wedding insurance may cover the financial loss of rescheduling or replacement. Do we NEED Wedding Insurance? Depends. You’ll see vastly different opinions swirling around. I’m simply here to share the information and the facts with you. Sadly, I’m NOT here to tell you whether or not you need or should have it. (Maybe not the answer you wanted to hear, but this is one of those areas where I just can’t give you a straightforward yes or no answer!) The cost for a basic wedding insurance policy can be just a couple hundred dollars – which might be totally worth it. You know when you book an airline flight, there’s a little box to check if you want to protect your trip for $15? If you’re investing $25,000 in your wedding, would it be worth $200 to know that you’d be protected against major catastrophe? I’ll let you sit with that. My Advice on Wedding Insurance? I can’t definitively say if wedding insurance is appropriate for you & your situation. I CAN say that I think it’s absolutely worth a little bit of research and time spent speaking with a qualified insurance agent to discuss your options. How do we find a suitable insurance policy for our wedding? I’d start with your existing insurance company you work with for home and/or auto insurance. Give them a call, and ask if they provide wedding or event insurance. Working with a company that you already have a relationship with will be pretty seamless. You may even be able to take advantage of an existing customer or loyalty discount. If your insurance policy does NOT provide wedding or event insurance, ask if they can refer you to a company that does. If you get stuck there too, then take a look at this article from Consumer Reports on wedding insurance that offers some referral companies you can check out. In closing? NEVER pay for wedding insurance before speaking to a qualified agent. Be sure you fully understand the coverage, exclusions, and cost to you. A Note on Liability for Property Damage, Personal Injury, Medical Expenses, etc. A wedding insurance policy that covers your gown, gifts and venue is slightly different than a supplemental liability policy that covers property damage, personal injury, personal liability and medical expenses. Special Insurance Coverage Considerations for Non-traditional Wedding Venues If you’re hosting your wedding at a non-traditional venue such as a private home, or a friends’ barn – listen up! This is really important. You’ll likely need to have a blanket liability policy in place that covers against property damage, personal injury & liability, just to name a few. This is NOT an all-inclusive list. You must have a detailed conversation with a qualified agent to determine what’s appropriate for your situation. Hosting your wedding at a more traditional venue? Have a conversation with your events manager about any insurance or liability requirements. MOST properties will have their own property and liability insurance coverage, and they can give you info on any additional requirements. A Note on Purchase Insurance Coverage from Credit Card Companies Many credit card companies will offer insurance on purchases made with their card. (American Express has a wonderful purchase protection program in place, to name one.) If you’re paying for vendors, your dress, travel, or other wedding services with a credit card, you may already be covered! Consider what coverage you may already have before deciding if a separate wedding insurance policy is right for you. The Top 4 Wedding Insurance Claims Here are the top 4 wedding insurance claims couples make, taken from “Do You Need Wedding Insurance?”, an article by Sandy Malone, Contributor for Huffington Post. Sandy is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and Star of TLC’s “Wedding Island”. 44 percent of claims involved vendors who were hired and didn’t deliver as promised. 28 percent were for property damage to the venue (related to the wedding). 8 percent from sickness / injury to the bride or groom, or member of the wedding party that resulted in postponement or cancellation. 6 percent of claims were things like unexpected military deployments and “problems with the bridal party attire.” What sorts of things does wedding insurance NOT cover? “Travelers’ Wedding Insurance Policy does not provide coverage if anyone decides not to proceed with the wedding. From our perspective, ‘change of heart’ is not an insurable circumstance. Couples should think about both the financial and emotional investment that a wedding entails before they get too far down the road in planning their long-term life together,” advises Ed Charlebois, Vice President of Personal Insurance for Travelers. What Special Permits Do We Need to Consider? You might need a permit if you’re celebrating your ceremony or reception in a public space, park, beach, lake, or any city-owned property. Call the city or jurisdiction and ask about your options. Of course you can always do an internet search to get started. Park use permits are typically pretty cheap (less than $50, and as low as $10 – $15). THE LAST THING you want to have happen during your beachfront ceremony is a ranger breaking it up because you don’t have the proper permits. Where I live, you need a park use permit to gather more than 25 people, so definitely something to keep in mind! Last topic to touch on for today is LICENSING. Licensing most often comes up in terms of music and alcohol service. Management of your venue is responsible for ensuring that the organization is properly licensed for music performed in the venue, even if the band of DJ is an independent contractor. You do not need a special license to play music at a private party such as a wedding or birthday. The most obvious license you WILL need? A marriage license! Research the requirements for a marriage license in your city and state. Get all of the information ahead of time so that you’re not caught scrambling at the last minute. Disclaimer – I am NOT an insurance or legal professional, and this episode does NOT constitute legal advice! Specific questions about wedding insurance, permits, or licensing needs? Consult with a registered insurance agent or legal professional for more advice. I’d recommend a phone call to your auto or home insurance provider, and they can point you in the right direction. Craving more down-to-earth wedding planning advice? Check out the Podcast page for a detailed library of all past episodes!