Editor's Note
  • February 9, 2018 - Since average wedding costs have risen over the past ten years, we’ve updated our review for 2018 to assess each provider’s policy in greater depth. Our top pick, Markel Insurance, hasn’t changed, but we take a close look at how its terms and conditions compare to others.

The Best Wedding Insurance

Do I Need Wedding Insurance?

Reports about the “average” cost of a US wedding are misleading, since companies like The Knot tend to roll high-priced outliers (an extravaganza above the Manhattan skyline, for instance) into their calculations. But even if your wedding is closer to $10,000 than $35,000, it’s still a substantial investment. The best wedding insurance allows you to skip worrying about what will happen if the groom falls ill or the weather takes a turn for the worse. And, as Steve Lauro, vice president of Aon Affinity (the parent group of WedSafe) puts it, the premium for a wedding insurance policy often costs “less than half the price of a wedding cake.”

Holding your wedding at home?Homeowner’s insurance sometimes covers backyard weddings, but wedding insurance lets you leave your larger homeowner’s policy — and its premium — unaffected in the event of a claim.

Some of your wedding-related purchases and contracts may be covered by other policies: credit card providers sometimes reimburse for stolen wedding gifts, while a vendor might come with her own liability coverage. The draw behind wedding insurance is that you don’t have to figure all this out. Instead, you have access to one comprehensive, overarching service. If you need to start the claims process, you only have to make one phone call rather than dozens.

The premium you pay for this service depends on a number of variables. One of these is the type of coverage that you need. You have two basic options:

  • Liability insurance is an increasingly common venue requirement. It covers damage to the venue and injury to your guests. It’s a lot more affordable then cancellation/postponement insurance, but if you’re hiring services and making expensive purchases, you probably want both.
  • Cancellation/Postponement insurance covers all non-refundable expenses should unforeseen disaster force you to cancel or postpone. If a hurricane grounds the bridal party’s flight, or if the photographer drops his camera in the ocean at your beach wedding, you won’t have to stress.

If you’re looking for both types of coverage, Markel Insurance is typically your best best, especially since it offers a 15 percent discount for a bundled policy. If you want only liability, WedSafe offers a wider range of coverage options and can be purchased as late as the day of your wedding. Regardless, it’s a good idea to compare quotes: The best wedding insurance providers all offer easy online quote tools and let you complete your purchase through the website, no phone calls required.

Our Picks for Best Wedding Insurance

Markel Event Insurance
A specialty insurance company that offers automatically applied discounts, clear coverage breakdowns, and a readable policy.

Markel Event Insurance is a dedicated wedding insurance provider. Markel’s specialization means that both the purchasing process and the policy are exceptionally clear and well-crafted. You can generate and lock in an affordable premium in minutes flat. In our sample quotes, Markel consistently delivered the lowest premiums for both liability and cancellation coverage. And if you bundle both, you automatically receive a 15% discount.

The quote process with Markel is right at the happy medium between customizable and simple. You select from three Liability coverage levels and ten Cancellation coverage levels (the classic spread), and Markel shows you how those total amounts are divided into constituent parts. For instance, a $25,000 cancellation policy provides $2,000 each for photography, gifts, special attire, special jewelry, and loss of deposit, plus $6,500 for extra expenses — things you buy in order to keep the wedding on. You can adjust total coverage up or down in increments of $500 depending on your needs.

What counts as an extra expense? Nothing could cost your insuror more than a cancelled wedding. So they are just about as keen to see it take place as you are. If there is some action that you could take to save the date, that would cost less than a full cancellation, pull the trigger. Rent a tent, find a new caterer — your insurance will reimburse.

We appreciated immediately seeing what the individual limits looked like for whatever aggregate limit we set, and preferred the pre-packaged amounts to choosing our own. You don’t have to come up with specific numbers for your jewelry’s value or decide how much of you liability total you want to go to medical coverage. Seeing these complex questions on other wedding insurance sites made us feel like we needed to talk to an agent or risk making an overly expensive, or massively insufficient choice.

And if you like the idea of having a little extra protection, but don’t want to shell out for a cancellation policy, Markel offers a unique alternative. Add the optional cancellation endorsement to any standard liability insurance and you’ll be provided with up to $5,000 for non-refundable deposits lost as the result of cancellation. At $50, this is an affordable alternative to bundling, which can cost several hundred, and not something you’ll find with any other wedding insurer.

We also liked Markel’s option to remove host liquor liability insurance for dry weddings. If you aren’t serving alcohol, forego liquor liability and lop well over $50 off your premium (the exact number depends on your coverage limit).

Another point in Markel’s favor: The terms are pretty generous. Liability coverage includes all rehearsals up to 48 hours before the event, and all set up / break down within 24 hours in either direction. And event coverage doesn’t end when the clock strikes twelve. If your party is still in full force after midnight, your coverage will still be too — Markel specifies no curfew.

  • Liability limits: $500,000 - $2,000,000
  • Cancellation / Postponement limits: $7,500 - $175,000
  • Cancellation/Postponement Insurance Deductible: $25 per section of the policy
  • Liability Insurance Deductible: $1,000 (property damage only)

Best for
Destination Weddings
Travelers Wedding Protector Plan
For weddings far from home, Travelers is the best option by far, with extensive covered destinations and a 24/7 claims service that serves any time zone.

While we didn’t weigh company reputation as heavily for wedding insurance as homeowners insurance, for example, Travelers comes with a legacy of providing quality coverage. And its top-notch financial ratings and reliable service extend to the Travelers Wedding Protector Plan.

Reliable service is top priority when you’re organizing a destination wedding. There are so many moving pieces to keep track of that it's worth spending a little more in return for a rock-solid provider that’s always available.

Having your location covered is obviously pretty important, too. Several wedding insurance providers (including our three top picks) cover events outside of the United States, but often restrict coverage to popular spots like the Caribbean, plus charge additional fees. Travelers backs weddings in the U.S. and all its territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, etc.) as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Bermuda, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, and the Caribbean Islands (excluding Cuba & Haiti). Weddings on cruise ships leaving from any of these locations are also covered. And with Travelers, you’ll pay the same whether you’re in Alberta, Canada or on a minor outlying atoll.

Ironically, the wedding insurance that can go the most places is available for purchase in the fewest. If you live in Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, or Louisiana, Travelers can’t sell you insurance. That said, if you’re only holding your wedding in one of those states, but live in another, you won’t have a problem.

Travelers also has a 24-hour claims center, which means you can get started filing a claim right away, no matter the time zone you’re in. Access to a 24/7 claims center is fairly rare in this industry, and none of our other top picks can boast the same immediate claims service. We enjoyed complete and speedy responses from Travelers via both phone and email.

A truly exceptional feature of Travelers: You don’t pay any deductibles in the event of a claim. This applies to both their cancellation/postponement coverage and their liability coverage. Most of the companies we surveyed require $1,000 for liability and $25 per section of the cancellation/postponement policy. Not astronomical, but paying nothing at all is undeniably better. Of course, no deductibles means a higher premium. Small weddings pay a steep premium with Travelers, but as weddings get bigger — and a destination wedding is likely to rack up a sizable bill — the premiums land in the midrange.

  • Liability limits: $1,000,000 - $2,000,000
  • Cancellation / Postponement limits: $7,500 - $175,000
  • Cancellation/Postponement Insurance Deductible: None
  • Liability Insurance Deductible: None

Best for
Customizable Policies
WedSure lets you adjust coverage of individual items down to the dollar, good if your spending is non-traditional.

WedSure is not the cheapest wedding insurance provider, and unlike the similarly spendy Travelers, its rates don’t plateau the bigger your coverage gets. We pegged it as a stand-out provider because of its flexibility. Every other wedding insurer we tested includes preset coverage amounts for the dress, jewelry, and wedding gifts once you select the total policy value. WedSure lets you mix and match, purchasing exactly the coverage you want for every item, every service, and every possible risk of your wedding. This is convenient if you are spending an exceptionally large amount on certain items or activities, like musicians or videographers, beyond what a pre-set coverage tier would afford.

You’re also able to control your premium by designating a smaller or larger deductible. In other words, you can roll the dice you won’t actually be cashing in on any claims, and set a high deductible to lower your premium. Play around with the amounts you enter under each category while refreshing the “Add Coverage to Quote” button. Not every increase in coverage registers as an increase in premium, so be sure you’re maxing out every category.

Unfortunately, the wedding insurance provider that gives the largest banquet of options doesn’t allow you to unselect host liquor liability. All of our other three picks let you specify if you aren’t making alcohol available at your wedding, and knock the price down a little as a result.

WedSure offers all the basic protection against unforeseen disasters, illnesses, injuries, and inability to attend, but it also uniquely offers Change of Heart coverage. This is all but unheard of in the wedding insurance market, since the thrust of wedding insurance is that it covers what is unknown to the honorees and outside of their control. The fact that WedSure includes Change of Heart proves the exceptional breadth and strength of the policy. Still, there’s a stipulation. WedSure’s Change of Heart inclusion only applies if the wedding was being paid for by a third party — say the bride’s parents — and they had no idea that cold feet was afoot. Like a prenup, no one expects to need Change of Heart protection, and opting for its inclusion may feel pretty unromantic. But if your wedding is being paid for by a third party and represents a sizable investment, Change of Heart offers a level of protection we didn't find anywhere else.

  • Liability limits: $500,000 - $2,000,000
  • Cancellation / Postponement limits: $1,000 - $250,000
  • Cancellation/Postponement Insurance Deductible: $25 per section of the policy
  • Liability Insurance Deductible: $1,000 (property damage only)

Best for
Liability Coverage
A substantial liability policy that can be purchased up to the day of your wedding.

If you’re primarily interested in liability coverage, most likely because your venue is asking for it, WedSafe offers lots of coverage for reasonable rates. With double the number of liability levels as most companies, WedSafe allows you to choose from six price points, spanning from the typical low end of $500,000 to the impressively high end of $5,000,000. Your venue’s management should inform you of how much they require.

If you’re interested in bundling, WedSafe could still be a good option, as it offers the same 15% discount as Markel. For small to mid-sized weddings, WedSafe turns up cancellation and bundled coverage rates on par or slightly higher than the rest of our top picks. But even with the bundling discount, larger weddings will pay more with WedSafe than they should — WedSure is the better choice.

With WedSafe, you’re able to purchase coverage up until your wedding day. Most providers require a couple weeks’ notice. If your venue has alerted you to the need for liability insurance last minute, WedSafe has the plan options, quote process, and flexible timeline to get your policy in place and emailed to your venue. The online form even auto-fills your venue information if it’s a popular location in your state.

We loved the simplicity and assistance of the quote process, but were overwhelmed by the enormous policy written by its parent company, Nationwide. Since WedSafe isn’t an independent, dedicated wedding insuror, its policy is an enormous document that attempts to cover all event circumstances for the many specialty insurances Nationwide offers.

  • Liability limits: $500,000 - $5,000,000
  • Cancellation / Postponement limits: $7,500 - $175,000
  • Cancellation/Postponement Insurance Deductible: $25 per section of the policy
  • Liability Insurance Deductible: $1,000 (property damage only)

Here's How to Read Your Wedding Insurance Contract

Wedding insurance coverage follows a few common-sense rules.

There are a ton of stipulations in even the most straightforward insurance policy. In the wedding insurance market, most of the stipulations overlap. Here are some the biggest lessons we learned from taking a magnifying glass to the fine print.

  • Fireworks are a no — and that includes sparklers. It’s true — sparklers could forfeit your entire coverage. A wedding insurance provider doesn’t ask much from you. All it gets is your payment and your word that your wedding costs as much as you said it does, and that you aren’t going to make any potentially risky activities part of your day. That includes live animals, amusement park rides, and pyrotechnics.
  • You have to do your part to keep the show going, and try and recover deposits if you can’t. If it’s possible to make a last-minute venue change and get out of the flood zone, do it. If you can call your florist and get your money back, do it. Wedding insurance policies help those that have tried to help themselves.
  • Change your wedding? Change your policy. If your guest list balloons or anything else substantial happens to change your wedding’s stats, update your policy accordingly. Failure to do so chalks up to “material misrepresentation” — legalese for the price isn’t right.
  • Change of Heart is almost never covered. That means if the wedding is called off by an honoree, cancellation coverage just got cancelled. But one of our picks does cover it — WedSure. Here’s the deal: WedSure’s Change of Heart coverage only applies if someone other than the bride and groom has footed the wedding bill and had no prior knowledge of cold feet. This stipulation gets to the heart of why every other company doesn’t cover it — you can’t insure yourself against an eventuality you control. The possibility for insurance fraud is too great.

Vendor issues and cancellation / postponement are the most likely reasons you'll need to make a claim.

In 2016, both Travelers and WedSafe released statistics around the most common insurance claims and causes for wedding woes. Their findings — and organization of findings — are slightly divergent, but overlap in broad strokes. Vendor problems are common; tearing your veil is not. We'd suggest being sure that you understand the contract language relating to these top claims before you sign your contract.

Traveler's Insurance

  • 30% vendor issues
  • 29% illness or injury
  • 16% weather issues
  • 10% military deployment
  • 7% other
  • 6% property damage
  • 2% attire

  • 29% cancellation or postponement
  • 28% accident or injury
  • 24% vendor issues
  • 15% property damage
  • 2% lost/stolen gifts or personal items
  • 2% attire

Our Wedding Insurance Review: Summed Up

Wedding Insurance
Markel Insurance
Traveler's Insurance
For Destination Weddings
For Customizable Coverage
For Liability