NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When Adina Laval married her childhood sweetheart Claude, she hired a distant cousin who had recently launched a photography business to take photos. Upon return from their honeymoon, the newlyweds were informed their family photos were lost.
"We were devastated but thank God we had a policy that paid to have the wedding re-created so that a professional photographer could capture the images again," the Lavals told MainStreet.
The Lavals were clever to have the foresight to purchase wedding insurance for their $19,000 wedding that covered photos.
"Paying $125 was a small price to pay for the benefits we received," said Laval.
While couples look forward to having their wedding day preserved forever through photography and video, 58% of all wedding insurance claims are related to vendor issues involving problems with a photographer, 21% are related to the caterer while the DJ made up 11% of claims, according to Travelers Wedding Claims Data.
"We tend to see claims related to photographers going out of business, being double booked and not showing or not delivering the final product," said Ed Charlebois, vice president of Travelers Personal Insurance.
With the average wedding costing $25,656, according to the Wedding Report, coverage is a good investment.
"Wedding cancellation or postponement is a policy that protects the bride, groom and family who have paid for the event," said Steve Lauro who manages AON's Wedsafe, a wedding insurance program.
AON offers coverage in the range of $500,000 to $1 million or more for $75 and up while the Travelers Wedding Protector Plan can be purchased for as little as $160.
"It covers items such as lost deposits, perishable materials, unavoidable cancellation due to weather or military leave, lost or damaged photographs, damaged gifts, host liability and more," Charlebois said.
Overall, about 19% of wedding claims are due to illness or injury, 15% to venue, 14% to weather, 10% to theft and 9% to damage.
"Wedding insurance covers many things that can go wrong with the big day, but unfortunately change of heart of the bride or groom is not one of them," Charlebois told MainStreet.
Wedding cancellation or postponement is a policy that protects the bride, groom and family who have paid for the event. This coverage offers reimbursement for not only forced cancellation by an unexpected event but also protection from financial loss due to vendor problems. A comprehensive cancellation policy could even reimburse losses caused by stolen gifts, damaged special attire and more.
"All those thousands of dollars that are given to venues and vendors could potentially be at risk if an unexpected event forced cancellation or there were extra costs involved in postponing," Lauro told MainStreet.
Wedding liability or property damage covers accidental injury, slips, falls or property damage in the event the host is blamed for negligence.
"As the cost of weddings continues to increase, engaged couples need to know that they have options for protecting their investment," said Charlebois. "A wedding is about being able to celebrate your special day not a time to be worried about mishaps, weather or cancellations."
--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet