Is Wedding Insurance The Perfect Gateway Policy?
It’s probably the last thing you’re worried about as you gear up for the big day. Nevertheless, some insurers are starting to see the market for wedding insurance. That’s right. If you’re worried about something happening to derail your special day, then you can buy a policy that will cover you in a number of situations. As prices on weddings continue to go up — with many surpassing the amount that one would pay for a new car — it makes sense to do something that protects the investment.
That’s at least the way companies like Travelers see it.
In a recent article from the Associated Press, the company was one of those listed as being in the wedding insurance market. (The AP piece stated that the average American wedding costs about $26,000.)
But just what types of protections are written in to these types of policies, and what can one expect to pay?
Customer Cheryl Winter said she paid $500 for the policy that she purchased from Travelers for her daughter’s impending nuptials. The total coverage of the policy was for $50,000, and it covered the daughter’s New Orleans wedding last October. Winter said that her main reason for purchasing the policy was concerns over the weather, namely getting knocked off course by a hurricane.
As things turned out, the weather was perfect, but the limo she’d ordered never appeared. Her daughter was forced to take a taxi cab to the church, and the wedding insurance policy allowed them to claim the deposit money they had lost to the limo driver.
“No one wants to be walking in the French Quarter in a long gown and high heels,” said Winter, a Houston native.
AP noted that few carriers are in the wedding insurance market, especially in the United States. Travelers noted that the customer base for the policy was “growing steadily,” but declined to reveal exact numbers. The types of losses covered range from bankrupt wedding halls to cancellations forced by unexpected military deployments, according to Travelers. The company added that “issues with vendors account for about a quarter of the claims, with most of those related to issues with photographers or videographers,” the AP reported.
Travelers vice-president for personal insurance, Ed Charlebois, sees the wedding insurance plans as a bit more valuable than just a little extra business. He noted that it is a great introduction to young couples, who may be looking for a long-term provider to fulfill life, home, and other insurance needs.
Other providers of wedding insurance include Wedsafe (an Aon product), which is in close keeping with specialty insurance for events and celebrations, and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., which offers what they call a “change of heart” plan. This relatively new coverage, created in 2007, offers protection to parents, who may be concerned that their child’s relationship will break apart before vows are exchanged.
(To prevent abuse, the coverage only applies if bride and groom call it quits more than nine months before their wedding day.)
According to Rob Nuccio, administrator for R.V. Nuccio & Associates, “Coverage does not exist once you hit the altar. … The only ones who were buying it were the ones who knew they would have a claim.”
Statistics from the Bridal Association of America show there are around two million weddings each year. Less than half of one percent access a wedding insurance policy.
While the idea of wedding insurance may seem dismissible to some, it could be the perfect gateway policy for young couples just starting their journey together. By offering families peace of mind for that big day, some companies are already capitalizing and riding feelings of goodwill into larger sales of home, life, and auto insurance. Since the market is still hugely underserved (at less than 0.5 percent), companies and agents could be wise to focus more attention on building their client lists through this niche.