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By José Omar Rodríguez and Gabriel Rodriguez
Updated: April 20, 2021 2:32 PM ET | Originally published: March 19, 2021
Hands Holding Up A Wedding Cake With A Bride And Groom On Top
Money; Getty Images

On average, couples in the U.S. spent $20,000 to tie the knot in 2020 — without considering additional expenses such as honeymoons and bridal showers.

With the financial stakes so high, and the fact that many venues require couples to take out liability insurance, wedding insurance could be your best bet to protect you from property damage or bodily injury, especially if you have alcohol at your wedding.

We reviewed the best wedding insurance companies, with pros and cons to help you find the best coverage.

Our Top Picks for Best Wedding Insurance

Best for Liability Limits Deductibles
Markel Event Insurance Bundling Liability and Cancellation Up to $2M Liability: $1,000 for property damage claims
Cancellation: $25
WedSafe Last-Minute Liability Coverage Up to $5M Liability: $1,000 for property damage claims
Cancellation: $25
Wedsure Customized Policies $1M – $3M Liability: Varies
Cancellation: Varies
USAA Military Families Up to $2M Liability: $1,000 for property damage claims
Cancellation: $25
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Best Wedding Insurance Reviews

COVID-19 Notice: Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, several wedding insurance companies are not offering new policies, especially cancellation policies. We’ve provided the latest notifications from our selected providers as of March 2021. However, the situation is fluid, so check often with providers for any updates.

Markel Event Insurance Review – Best for Bundling Liability and Cancellation

Pros Cons
Money-back guarantee if the certificate of liability doesn’t meet the venue’s requirements Loss of cash gifts limited to $300
15% discount when bundling liability and cancellation policies $1,000 deductible on liability claims for property damage
Insures weddings outside the U.S.

With over 70 years of experience in the insurance industry, Markel offers some of the most comprehensive and affordable wedding insurance policies. Liability insurance premiums begin at $75 for up to $500,000 in coverage, and cancellation policies start at $130.

If you want to bundle both policies, you can either add $5,000 in cancellation coverage to your liability policy for only $50 or buy the two policies together and receive a 15% discount on the total cost. Cancellation policies can be purchased up to 14 days before the event, whereas you can buy liability policies one day before the event.

COVID-19 Policy: Markel is currently offering event cancellation and postponement policies in select states. Policies and endorsements purchased after September 18, 2020, specifically exclude loss due to communicable diseases, including COVID-19. Visit Markel’s communicable diseases notice page to see if the company’s event policies are currently available in your state.

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WedSafe Review – Best for Last-Minute Liability Coverage

Pros Cons
Purchase liability insurance up to the day of the wedding Mysterious disappearance and theft of items $300+ in value excluded
No deductible for general liability claims $15 rate purchasing group fee added to premiums quoted
Five tiers of liability coverage

Some wedding insurance companies let you purchase your liability policy one day in advance, but WedSafe goes even further, allowing you to purchase yours on your wedding day itself. As some other providers offer, a digital certificate of liability is sent directly to your venue and/or vendors via email right after your purchase.

The company’s average premium costs between $75 and $200 (to see the exact prices, you must apply for a quote). Also, WedSafe’s coverage limit of $5 million in liability is one of the highest in the industry.

COVID-19 Policy: WedSafe is not offering event cancellation coverage at this time due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. However, on their website, they urge consumers to “Please continue to check back with us for event cancellation coverage when government restrictions on gatherings have been lifted.” For more information, read the company’s Coronavirus resources page.

WedSure Review – Best for Customized Policies

Pros Cons
Offers a“change of heart” policy Liability coverage limited to weddings in the U.S and its territories, and in Canada
Nine separate coverage options available More expensive than the competition
Free host liquor liability No option to remove liquor liability

The company that invented wedding insurance — according to WedSure’s website — is also the best we found when it comes to customized policies. Via its award-winning website, you’ll be able to manage and tailor your policy from anywhere and at any time.

Starting at $125, WedSure’s liability policies allow you to add or remove coverable locations and services depending on the specifics of your event. The company offers up to $5 million in liability coverage and features cancellation policies starting at $95.

COVID-19 Policy: WedSure is still offering cancellation policies, but the company will not cover COVID-19 related cancellations. Per company policy, COVID-19 is considered a “known circumstance” and is therefore outside coverage.

USAA Review – Best for Military Families

Pros Cons
Covers postponement due to deployment of an active service member Available to USAA members only
Guaranteed to meet the venue’s requirements or your money back
Liability policies cover rehearsals within 48 hours of the event
Option to insure your engagement ring

In addition to other financial services, USAA offers its members (military personnel, reservists, veterans, and eligible family members) affordable wedding liability/cancellation policies specifically tailored to the realities of military life. Its liability policy covers events in the US and its territories, Canada, and all cruise ships leaving ports in these locations.

Cancellation policies cover destination weddings and events held in the US and its territories, Canada, the United Kingdom, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Mexico, and all cruises leaving ports in those countries.

The company’s policies can be purchased up to 1 day before the event and will cover postponement if a guest of honor is deployed as a member of the police force, active military, or fire department.

COVID-19 Policy: Because USAA wedding insurance policies are underwritten by Markel, the latter company’s COVID-19 related caveats usually apply. However, in USAA’s case, no policies purchased after September 18, 2020, will cover loss due to infectious disease, pandemic, or epidemic — including COVID-19. Visit the USAA’s page on COVID-19 restrictions to learn more about their current insurance cancellation policy.

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Guide to Wedding Insurance

What Is Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance is designed to cover certain wedding-related events and services in case anything goes wrong. Coverage can extend to the ceremony, rehearsals, receptions, vendors, clothing, jewelry, catering, DJs, deposits, gifts, and even honeymoons.

A wedding insurance policy can make you whole financially on everything from the cost of outright cancellation to the cost of a lawsuit should a guest be injured.

Unlike home or life insurance, wedding insurance is “special event” coverage that requires only a one-time payment. In other words: the quoted price is all you have to pay, although, as with most insurance policies, a deductible may apply.

Types of Wedding Insurance

The wedding insurance industry offers two main types of policies: cancellation and liability. Most insurers will let you either purchase them separately or bundle them together, depending on your needs.

Cancellation Insurance

Cancellation policies typically insure you for anywhere between $5,000 and $200,000 — depending on the company and specific policy — to cover the costs of the wedding being postponed, canceled, or rescheduled.

Accepted reasons are confined to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond your control, such as:

  • severe weather
  • sudden illnesses
  • military deployments
  • vendor bankruptcy

Wedding cancellation policies usually have no deductible. Most policies do not cover the insured in case of “change of heart” cancellations, in which the groom and/or bride changes the date or decides not to get married at all.

Liability Insurance

The other policy type is liability insurance, which covers the financial costs from any losses or accidents before or during the wedding event. This is the most common type of wedding insurance, mainly because many wedding venues require proof of liability to let you contract with them.

Typical coverage for a liability policy ranges between $500,000 and $2 million in damages, minus any deductibles, if applicable.

Deductibles for liability policies range, we found, from zero to $1,000. Some companies let you customize the amount.

As with other forms of insurance, lower deductibles generally mean a higher premium. Still, for a low-cost wedding, a zero-deductible policy may be the best way to go.

What Is Covered in Wedding Insurance

  • Venue Issues: If the venue is unable to serve as the location for your wedding event, you’ll be covered for any losses and/or costs related to moving to an alternative venue.
  • Property Damage: Protects you from damage to the venue’s physical property (its structure, windows, or sound system, for instance) that may occur during the event.
  • Problems with Vendors: Protects in case service providers — such as musicians, decorators, photographers, caterers, parking attendants, and the like — are unable to provide their services, and you incur additional costs to engage replacements.
  • Postponement Due to a Medical Emergency: Covers costs should the wedding be delayed due to an unforeseen injury or illness to an essential member of the wedding party – usually defined as the bride, groom, best man, maid of honor, and officiator.
  • Extreme Weather: As long as it’s considered “unforeseeable,” you’ll be covered from any losses related to extreme weather – usually defined as severe enough to prevent either most guests or one or more of the wedding party to attend. Coverage must be bought before a weather event is imminent; it’s too late to get coverage if a named hurricane or tropical storm already threatens your wedding.
  • Military Deployment: Covers costs in the case of cancellation or postponement because an essential member of the wedding party is called to serve in the military.
  • Special Attire: While this coverage varies significantly depending on the company, it usually takes care of any costs related to damage, loss, and/or theft of wedding attire, excluding jewelry other than the wedding bands.

What Is Excluded from Wedding Insurance

  • Changes of Heart: Most wedding policies will not cover the groom or bride if either gets cold feet and decides not to get married. Most cancellation policies do not even offer this type of coverage, and those that do only make it available as an add-on.
  • Foreseeable/Known Circumstances: Policies will not generally cover you for any losses deriving from circumstances that are either under your control or that could have been easily prevented or foreseen. An example might be not covering the cost of a replacement for the vintage car a friend promised to lend but then failed to honor the promise.
  • Jewelry: Any losses related to jewelry — other than the wedding bands — usually won’t be covered by your policy.
  • Theft of gifts: Standard wedding insurance doesn’t cover the theft of wedding gifts, including cash, at the reception or other wedding events.

Add-Ons

Like other types of insurance, wedding insurance lets you add specific items at an extra cost. While the options vary between companies, the following are usually offered as add-ons to your main policy:

  • Honeymoon
  • Alcohol Liability
  • Theft of Gifts
  • Reception and Rehearsal
  • Transportation

The type and breadth of coverage you need will depend on a variety of factors, such as how much money you’ll spend on the overall event, the event location(s), the number of guests, and any other coverable item that may be involved (such as having a firework show launch when the couple says “I do”).

While you shop for your policy, remember to read the fine print carefully and make sure to ask any pertinent questions. Until you get clear answers to those, preferably in writing, do not purchase the policy.

How to Buy Wedding Insurance

Check for Coverage from Other Types of Insurance

Before buying a wedding insurance policy, review other policies that you or your friends and vendors may have to ensure you aren’t paying for unnecessary coverage.

For example, if the wedding reception is being held at a private home, homeowners insurance on that property may be sufficient to cover any liability claims from wedding guests.

If you’re renting a venue, check that its liability insurance doesn’t protect you to some extent, especially if you haven’t yet been asked to produce proof of such insurance, as is often required. While this isn’t insurance coverage per se, keep in mind that you’re allowed by law to dispute credit card charges for any vendor who failed to deliver the goods or services promised.

When Should You Buy Wedding Insurance?

The sooner, the better. Most wedding insurance will only cover losses that occur after you buy the policy, which is why you should get insurance before any wedding-related payments or reservations are made.

It is possible to shop for wedding insurance at the last minute, with a few key caveats. Some of the best wedding insurance providers — including ones featured in this review — allow you to purchase your policy up to a day before the event, generally without any increased premium costs.

However, in the event of trouble, you may not then be able to claim the cost of wedding purchases you’ve already made, such as deposits you placed to secure services. Nor will you be covered for events that are foreseeable by that point, such as a major hurricane whose extreme weather is already threatening the wedding site.

What to Watch Out For When Purchasing Wedding Insurance

Before you make any decisions regarding wedding insurance, we recommend you do your own research and make sure to get all your questions answered. Only then will you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your big day will be covered if the worst were to happen.

Remember that, as of June 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold on the sale of insurance policies from many companies, especially cancellation policies. Check with each insurance provider to see if they’re offering wedding insurance at this moment.

Lastly, you must make sure a company’s policy will cover expenses or commitments made before you got the policy. If you’ve already spent money on wedding-related services, seek out policies that will cover you for retroactive expenses.

Best Wedding Insurance FAQ

How much is wedding insurance?

The cost of wedding insurance will vary depending on how expensive your wedding is and the types of coverage. The average price for a bundle policy is $275. Basic liability coverage starts at $155 (coverage of $500K to $2 million, depending on the company); cancellation coverage begins at $130 (coverage of $7,500).

How much wedding insurance do you need?

As a rule of thumb, the more expensive your wedding, the more you’ll need to be insured. Most couples will be fine with a liability policy covering their basic wedding expenses (~$125). However, depending on the likelihood of something going wrong on your special date, a cancellation policy might be worth considering.

What companies offer wedding insurance?

There are two types of providers that offer wedding insurance: general insurance companies and special event insurance companies. As the name implies, the former offers various insurance policy types and includes companies such as Travelers, the Markel, and Nationwide. The latter focus on insurance for one or more types of events, such as Eventsured, Event Helper, WedSure, WedSafe.

What is the best wedding insurance?

The best wedding insurance should combine a wide variety of coverage options with responsive customer service and affordability. The four companies reviewed above —Markel, WedSafe, WedSure, and USAA— fulfill all these conditions to different degrees.

As for what type of wedding insurance is best, liability wins out based simply on practicality. Cancellation insurance is harder to make a case for due to its limited nature and usability.

Is wedding insurance worth getting?

For some soon-to-be newlyweds, wedding insurance will be a requirement based on where they are getting married. Many venues require couples to show proof of insurance to protect their business from bodily injury or property damage. Couples who don’t require proof of liability should still consider having their wedding insured, given the relatively small cost of avoiding a significant financial loss.

How We Chose the Best Wedding Insurance

To choose the best wedding insurance providers for 2020, we spent over 200 hours looking into the most popular companies, analyzing their data, and comparing the four main factors in which policies must excel to be considered among the best. Those key factors are cost, flexibility, online features, and ease of claim.

Cost

To evaluate cost, we referred to the average cost of wedding insurance. Basic wedding insurance starts at $155 for basic liability and $130 for basic cancellation, which adds up to an average price of $275 when cancellation and liability are bundled together. Remember that, unlike other types of insurance, this is a one-time-only payment. We prioritized companies with lower premiums across the board and no deductible fees.

Flexibility

When it comes to flexibility in customization, we favored companies that allow couples to add or remove covered items according to their needs. Because no two weddings are identical, the best insurance policies allow the fullest tailoring to the particular couple and their wedding circumstances. The option to buy last-minute coverage is vital to many couples, so we gave this factor added weight when looking at this factor.

Online Features

We favored wedding insurance companies that best streamlined purchasing, customization, and claiming processes using online tools. The online delivery of your “certificate of liability” is crucial in this respect since most wedding venues require it before you contract with them. For this reason, we chose companies that automatically create an online certificate of liability immediately after you purchase a policy.

Ease of Claim

As with other insurance types, a claim for coverage under a wedding policy should be processed and reimbursed as quickly as possible. We chose companies with excellent track records for customer satisfaction, revealed in online ratings, testimonials, and user reviews. We also rewarded companies whose claims processes appeared to be streamlined and hassle-free.

Summary of the Best Wedding Insurance Reviews

  • Markel Event Insurance – Best for Bundling Liability and Cancellation
  • WedSafe – Best for Last-Minute Liability Coverage
  • Wedsure – Best for Customized Policies
  • USAA – Best for Military Families