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For many consumers, their wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of their lives. However, when things do not go according to plan, consumers may be left with a substantial debt and nothing to show for it.

Wedding insurance, or coverage, is similar to other types of insurance in that it can be bought to cover unexpected delays or the cancellation of this special event. The coverage may differ from one policy to another, but most policies cover situations that could arise prior to or during your special event. This may help pay for the costs of unexpected events that may delay the wedding ceremony or disrupt your special day.

Is wedding insurance for you?

  • Couples considering purchasing wedding insurance should understand that wedding insurance is offered in a competitive market. Take the time to shop around and compare plans and learn what is and what is not covered.
  • It is important that you read your policy carefully to determine your exact coverage, as well as your rights and responsibilities under the policy.
  • In addition to the costs of a cancelled event, wedding insurance can protect you against the risk of damages to the locations used to celebrate the wedding or caused by guests who drink at the wedding, injuries sustained at the wedding celebration, damages to rented clothes or jewelry and even coverage for gifts that are received at the wedding.

Most traditional property and casualty insurance policies cover you for unexpected losses that affect your property or make you liable for a lawsuit, but they most likely do not provide coverage for disruptions to wedding plans for which you may have already paid. Some traditional property and casualty insurance policies may even cover for the cost of damages to certain personal items, such as a wedding gown, but may cover only part of the loss and not the actual cost of the gown.

Can I be refused coverage?

Yes. An insurance company has the right to turn down your application for coverage.

  • In order to obtain a wedding insurance policy, consumers must fill out an application to help the insurance company learn about you, your wedding, and the risks the insurance company would be responsible for if they insure you.
  • After reviewing the information, the insurance company will use its own standards, known as underwriting guidelines, to decide whether to issue you a policy, and the rate it would charge for the coverage.
  • If an insurer agrees to consider your application, the producer or company may issue you an “insurance binder”, a legally binding statement indicating that you have immediate protection for a specified period of time during which the company will decide whether to issue you a policy.
  •  If the company formally accepts your application, it will issue a policy, usually covering the duration of the wedding period. If your application is rejected, you will need to apply to another insurer.
  • An insurer can cancel your coverage. You should read your policy carefully to determine the conditions for cancellation. Companies can cancel or non-renew coverage, but only according to the conditions that are spelled out within the policy.

What Should I Do If Something Happens On The Wedding Day?

Most insurance policies generally require you do the following things:

  • Give notice to the insurance company.
  • Give your insurance producer, claims adjuster and/or insurance company a copy of a list of all damaged, destroyed or stolen property (being sure to keep a copy). In case of theft, be sure to give another copy to the police.
  • Show the damaged property to your insurance producer, claims adjuster and/or insurance company, if asked.
  • Do not dispose of any damaged property until your producer, claims adjuster and/or company says you can.

If you have questions about wedding insurance or want to file a complaint about an insurance company or policy, contact the Division of Insurance’s Consumer Services Unit. Visit the DOI’s website for more information about wedding insurance and whether it’s the right choice for you.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws and Arbitration Program, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

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