Often referred to as “wedding” insurance, special event insurance can be used to cover a 50th anniversary party, a bar mitzvah, a graduation party or any special occasion you might be planning. Special event insurance is designed to provide financial protection if you have to cancel or postpone a gathering due to adverse weather and natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Most policies also provide coverage for cancellation due to the death, illness or serious injury of a key participants in the event, such as members of the immediate family. Also, if an officiant, such as a minister or rabbi, or a key vendor, like the caterer, florist or photographer, does not show up, you can recover some of the costs.
Prices range from around $125 up to approximately $400 depending on the amount of coverage you need.
Additional riders may include coverage for:
- Military service—in the event the bride or groom is in the military or active reserves, and is suddenly called to duty.
- Gowns and tuxedos—includes stores going out of business or damage to the clothing.
- Gifts—if gifts are not covered by your homeowners or renters insurance, provides protection against theft or damage of gifts.
- Honeymoon—in case you need to cancel your trip due to illness, bad weather or other circumstances.
- Professional counseling—when the cancellation or postponement of the event causes severe emotional stress (a doctor’s note will be needed).
A change of heart is not covered, however.
Many companies also offer separate liability insurance, but be aware that many event sites already have their own liability insurance. If you are holding the event at home, however, you may want to purchase liability insurance above and beyond what is provided under your homeowners policy.
Before purchasing special event or wedding insurance, find out the following:
- Whether the insurance company is licensed to do business in the state where you live. This information is available from your State Insurance Department.
- How much the policy will cost and how much reimbursement you can expect if a loss occurs.
- What, specifically, is and is not covered by the policy.
- Whether you have coverage elsewhere through credit cards, warrantees or through home, auto or liability or other insurance policies you may already have.