Wedding Insurance: Not Just for Runaway Brides - TheStreet

Saying "I Do" can be stressful enough, but if your caterer goes out of business, you could end up on the phone ordering Chinese takeout for 150 guests. Yikes. People want their wedding day to be perfect, but let's face it, odds are something could go wrong.

If being stuck with the bill for fortune cookies isn’t your cup of tea, here is an idea that takes (and saves) the cake: wedding insurance.

“Wedding insurance can provide peace of mind for a couple that their money will be recovered if a vendor or venue falls through at the last minute,” said Better Business Bureau president Kathy Barrett in a recent statement. “Soon-to-be newlyweds have a significant amount of money on the line and a vendor’s ‘Going out of Business’ sign can be fate worse than rain on their wedding day.”

What is wedding insurance?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, wedding and special event insurance will pay you for the cancellation of your event due to the death, injury or illness of people involved in the wedding such as your parents, your spouse’s parents or the person performing the ceremony. Moreover, you can also buy additional coverage that deal with calls to military service, the bankruptcy of a vendor, destruction of your gifts and cancellation or postponement of the wedding.

While policies differ from company to company, a basic policy from insurers such as Travelers (Stock Quote: TVR) will cover the loss of photos or deposits on the venue. Other companies focus on special event insurance, such as Wedsafe or the Toluca Lake, Calif.-based R.V. Nuccio & Associates, Inc., which offers policies that cover professional counseling and host liquor liability.

What's the cost?
Prices will vary based on your budget, but if for example, you set a date for April 1, 2010 and chose to insure your $15,000 wedding for $500,000 through an insurer such as Hatboro, Pa.-based, Wedsafe, you would pay a one-time fee of $175.

Wedding Insurance: A Checklist

If you’re interested in signing up for wedding insurance, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

1. Read the fine print. Be clear on what’s covered and what isn’t. No two insurers are alike. For example, R.V. Nuccio & Associates covers cold feet (Change of Heart Coverage) but Travelers’ Wedding Protector Plan does not. Read though the sample policies to find out if there are any limits on the claims or any deductables.

2. Do not double up. Paying twice for the same thing is a sure way to lose money. Before you buy wedding insurance, check with your wedding and reception venues to find out if they already have insurance, and if so, what they cover.

3. First comes love, then comes insurance. According to Robert Nuccio, president of R.V. Nuccio & Associates, the best time to buy insurance is when you start to spend money that you can’t afford to lose. (That means before you put the down payment on the reception hall or chose the dress.)

4. Shop around. Wedding insurance is a niche product, and there are relatively few providers including:

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