You have been planning a wedding for months. The venue has been booked, invitations sent and the flowers selected. Then an immediate family member becomes very ill and the event has to be postponed. Or the banquet hall goes belly up and a hefty deposit is lost. These unfortunate events happen rarely, but when they do the extra expense can put a strain on an already tight budget.
According to an unscientific survey by Weddingbells magazine, there were 162,056 weddings across Canada in 2014, each with an average price tag of $31,685. Furthermore, a survey conducted in the same year by a Bank of Montreal subsidiary suggested that people in Saskatchewan and Manitoba planned to spend, on average, $27,200 on a future wedding. That figure was the highest in the country.
You insure your car, your home, your life and your health. But you may not be aware that you can also insure your wedding. Coverage may range from a wedding guest’s slip and fall to stolen wedding gifts to extreme weather on the day of the event that causes 50% of the guests to be unable to attend the wedding or reception. But there is a specific exclusion if a bride or groom gets cold feet and does not show at the last minute.
Pal Insurance Brokers Canada Ltd. is one company that offers Weddinguard insurance online. This insurance provides financial protection against many of those things that can go wrong with your wedding plans, subject to policy wording. You are eligible if you are getting married within 1 year and the reception date is at least three days in the future. You can see a pdf of the full policy and what it does and does not cover here.
You can get an online quote here. While researching this article I completed the online questionnaire for the four different levels of coverage and got the following pricing information, including up to $1 million of liability coverage.
|Potential reimbursement up to stated amount + premiums|
|Silver package||Gold Package||Diamond Package||Platinum Package|
|Loss of Deposit||$2,000||$3,000||$5,000||$6,000|
|Wedding photos and video||$2,500||$5,000||$7,000||$7,500|
|Loss or damage to bridal attire||$2,500||$2,500||$5,000||$7,000|
|Cake and flowers||$2,000||$2,500||$5,000||$6,000|
For destination weddings, PAL says underwriters must manually review the request for coverage which can take three or four days. There is also a special exclusion for Florida, Georgia and Caribbean weddings due to hurricane force winds in August, September and October.
Matt Taylor, general manager for PAL Insurance company recently told The Canadian Press that PAL sells between 1,500 to 2,000 wedding policies each year. Front Row Insurance also offers wedding insurance with policies starting at $105 and up to $5,000,000 in General Liability Coverage to cover damage to the wedding venue and injury to third parties.
Lacie Glover who blogs at nerdwallet offers the following tips for buying the right policy for your wedding:
- Look over your existing homeowners and renters insurance policies — or those of any relatives hosting or paying for the wedding — to see whether existing liability insurance will cover you.
- Check the deductible, which is the amount deducted from a claims check. If one vendor doesn’t show up, and the deductible is higher than the deposit for that vendor, you’ll swallow the cost for that lost deposit.
- Look at coverage limits. For cancellation coverage, you’ll want the limit to be close to your wedding budget, including the honeymoon.
|Written by Sheryl Smolkin|
|Sheryl Smolkin LLB., LLM is a retired pension lawyer and President of Sheryl Smolkin & Associates Ltd. For over a decade, she has enjoyed a successful encore career as a freelance writer specializing in retirement, employee benefits and workplace issues. Sheryl and her husband Joel are empty-nesters, residing in Toronto with their cockapoo Rufus.|