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Safeguard the big day: How to protect the wedding of your dreams

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Updated: 12/13/2012 12:27 pm
(BPT) - Planning a wedding has many important components, with decisions to make on everything from finding the perfect flowers to choosing the right location. For brides- and grooms-to-be, one important choice that shouldn't be overlooked is the idea of purchasing wedding insurance. Because no matter how carefully a couple plans the big day, something can always go awry. It's the last thing anyone wants to think about when planning the big day. But with so many elements of a wedding that have been carefully thought out, it would be a shame to have something happen that casts a shadow on the wedding day. The good news is that there is peace of mind available with wedding event cancellation and liability insurance. Protecting you from unforeseen disasters, wedding insurance safeguards your investment in the big day against circumstances beyond your control. Wedding cancellation and liability insurance, available from companies like Markel American, can cover anything from a damaged gown to natural disasters. A recent report from TheKnot.com showed that the average wedding costs more than $25,000 - as much as a new car or a down payment on a home. Having that investment at risk, with potential for it to increase if something goes wrong (losing or having wedding gifts stolen, misplacing a wedding ring, or damaging an important dress), may not be the best way to start off married life. Until recently, there wasn't an option to insure your wedding expenditures - if something went wrong it was rare that reimbursement was an option. While event insurance isn't new, wedding-specific policies have been created in the past decade, partially as a response to the increase in wedding spending. Covering multiple aspects of the big day, wedding insurance policies were created to specifically cover losses (cancellation insurance) as well as coverage for accidents that happen during the wedding or reception (liability insurance). "Many people aren't even aware that it's possible to buy event insurance to give themselves peace of mind on their big day - but it's possible and affordable," says Ted Wentzel, director of marketing for Markel American. "With the costs of weddings skyrocketing, it's becoming increasingly smarter to make sure that you're covered financially, in case of something going wrong." While wedding insurance won't cover things like cold feet or rain on your outdoor ceremony, it will cover multiple important aspects of the wedding. If the ring bearer drops the wedding rings in the sink, that's covered by event cancellation insurance. Perhaps the caterer went out of business a month before the ceremony. The additional expense of booking a replacement caterer and getting the original deposit back would be covered by the insurance policy. Additionally, most wedding venues now require couples to have insurance coverage, and event liability insurance meets that requirement. If something goes wrong at the wedding or reception venue, event liability insurance means that brides and grooms will be defended against assuming responsibility for damage dealt. This safeguards against the well-meaning maid of honor who accidentally hung the bride's dress from an unstable light fixture and pulled it from the wall, or the best man whose exuberant toast led to an unfortunate smashing of many expensive pieces of glassware. "My wife and I knew anything could happen during a wedding, so purchasing insurance was a no-brainer for us," says Brandon Bernos, a former Markel American customer. "And that 'anything' did - the day of our engagement photo shoot, we were unable to contact our photographer. We found out that he had been in a car accident weeks prior and didn't survive. When we contacted Markel, they immediately refunded our security deposit and we were able to find another photographer. Now, we tell anyone who is planning their wedding to get wedding insurance." For couples involved in wedding planning, purchasing wedding insurance can be an important factor in making sure that the big day goes smoothly. And just like picking the cake, caterer or photographer, there are plenty of options to create a custom insurance policy that's just right for the happy couple-to-be.
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