The Best Wedding Insurance
How we found the best wedding insurance
20 policies compared
3 hypothetical weddings
4 top providers
The Best Wedding Insurance
Wedding insurance is simpler to navigate than most insurance types. Because it provides you with short-term coverage and only requires a one-off premium payment, we focused our search on companies that offer clear communication, customizable coverage, and generous terms. We found 20 wedding and special event insurance providers, but not all of them hit those three marks.
How We Chose the Best Wedding Insurance
Underwrites own policies
Many wedding insurance providers offer policies that are actually fulfilled by a second company. We weren’t wild about this: You’re buying from one company, but in a legal agreement with another, which complicates both the purchasing process and the claims process. If you have questions about fine print, it may be more difficult to get a straight answer.
Offers both coverage types
Wedding insurance boils down to Liability and Cancellation / Postponement. Liability pays what you owe to others; Cancellation pays what others owe to you. We skipped providers that don’t offer both. If you decide you want to double up after your initial purchase, you should be able to do so without the hassle of changing companies.
Communicative and forthcoming
The best wedding insurance should reduce anxiety, not contribute to it. In the event the venue cancels or the weather takes a turn for the worse, getting through to your provider should be quick and reassuring. Most of our providers aced our customer service inquiries with fast email response and knowledgeable phone reps, but others made it incredibly difficult to acquire online quotes, wouldn’t respond to emails, and proved impossible to get ahold of by phone.
Another key aspect of provider accountability: Offering sample contracts upfront. You should be able to dig into the fineprint about inclusions and exclusions before signing a binding contract.
The 4 Best Wedding Insurance Providers
- Markel Event Insurance -
- Travelers Wedding Protector Plan -
Best for Destination Weddings
- Wedsure -
- WedSafe -
Best for Liability Coverage
Why we chose it
Markel Event Insurance is your best best if you are looking for both liability and cancellation protection, not only because they specialize in specialty insurance, but because they offer a 15% discount for bundling.
Generous with their pricing, the company is also generous with their timeline. 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.
Easy online quote
The quote process with Markel is right at the happy medium between customizable and simple — you can can generate and lock in an affordable premium in minutes flat. You select from three liability coverage levels and ten cancellation coverage levels, 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 so on.
We referred the pre-packaged individual limits 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. What’s more, Markel consistently delivered the lowest premiums for both liability and cancellation coverage.
Alternative to cancellation coverage
If you like the idea of having a little extra protection to go with liability, 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.
Points to consider
Limited communication channels
Like the other wedding insurance providers we surveyed, Markels doesn’t allow you to make changes to your policy online after initial purchase. You’ll need to go through traditional phone lines and speak to a rep. Another common limitation: closed hours for claims. Travelers is the only provider we found with a 24/7 claims center available to you whenever you need it.
Why we chose it
Help any time, anywhere
For weddings far from home, Travelers Wedding Protector Plan is the best option by far, with extensive covered destinations and a 24/7 claims service that serves any time zone. 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.
Extensive coverage map
Several wedding insurance providers (including our other three top picks) cover events outside of the United States, but often restrict coverage to popular spots like the Caribbean and charge additional fees to boot. 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.
A truly exceptional feature of Travelers: You don’t pay any deductibles in the event of a claim. This applies to both cancellation/postponement coverage and liability coverage. The other 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.
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.
Points to consider
Not available to residents of all states
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.
Why we chose it
We pegged WedSure as a stand-out provider because of its flexibility. WedSure lets you adjust coverage of individual items down to the dollar, good if your spending is non-traditional. 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.
Set your own deductible
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.
Wedding photos guaranteed
Reimbursing you is one thing, but a couple providers stand out for what they’ll do to resolve an issue. For instance, all four will pay you back if photos are lost, damaged, fail to properly develop, etc. Travelers and WedSure go so far as to pay for you to stage the wedding photos a second time. But WedSure takes it a step further and will fly the wedding party back together to make it happen.
“Change of heart” coverage
WedSure stands out for one unusual inclusion: “Change of heart" cancellation. 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. If the wedding is called off for personal reasons, this protection means that nonrefundable costs will still be covered — so long as the honorees aren’t the financial backers. Parents can be reimbursed. The bride and groom cannot be.
Like a prenup, no one expects to need this 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, WedSure offers a level of protection we didn't find anywhere else.
Points to consider
Expensive for all wedding sizes
WedSure is not the cheapest wedding insurance provider. In our quotes, it consistently racked up the largest bill, and unlike Travelers, the other spendy wedding insurance company, its rates won’t plateau the bigger your coverage gets. One trade-off for super customizable, super extensive protection.
No option to remove liquor liability
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 give the option to remove host liquor liability insurance for dry weddings. If you aren’t serving alcohol, foregoing liquor liability with those companies could lop well over $50 off your premium (the exact number depends on your coverage limit).
Why we chose it
Liability coverage options
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.
With WedSafe, you’re able to purchase coverage up to the day of your wedding. 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. You aren’t getting a flimsy, last-minute policy — WedSafe writes a substantial liability contract. For those in a hurry to make it to the chapel, the online form even auto-fills your venue information if it’s a popular location in your state.
If you’re interested in getting cancellation as well as liability coverage, WedSafe could still be a good option. 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. Plus, it offers the same 15% discount as Markel.
Points to consider
Expensive for large weddings
Even with the bundling discount, larger weddings that want both insurance types will pay more with WedSafe than they would with others.
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.
How to choose a wedding insurance company
Decide what insurance you need
You have two basic coverage options:
Estimate your wedding budget
If you’re not sure what your exact cost breakdown is, you can use Cost of Wedding’s estimator to select guests, goods and services, and it’ll generate an itemized receipt. Having a fairly accurate total is important, because insurance companies may dismiss your claim if you, for example, severely underestimate your guest count and then try to file. We used this tool to create the three wedding profiles we used to explore and compare all of our top picks.
If you want comprehensive coverage but don’t like your estimate, the first thing you should consider reducing is guest count. Every name on your list can add hundreds to your bottom line in invites, favors, catering, and bar tab, but it’s those last two — wining and dining — that really add up.
All four of the providers we pegged as best for wedding insurance offer easy online quote tools, so it’s worth an hour of your time to go through the process with each one and see which comes back with the best deal. All four also let you complete your purchase through the website, no phone calls required.
Read these four policy sections closely
Covered Events refers to all the gatherings that make up a wedding: rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and reception. The longer the coverage timeline, the better. Some providers are stingy with what is considered part of The Event, while some specify a lengthy timeline. Markel and Travelers both provide coverage for associated events held up to 48 hours in advance. Markel includes all breakdown for the following 24 hours; Travelers covers brunch the next day. All four top picks also cover honeymoon expenses if the wedding is cancelled for covered reasons.
Covered Reasons for Cancellation/Postponement include severe weather conditions, venue damage or bankruptcy, the illness or injury of an essential member of the wedding party, military deployment of the bride or groom, and transportation issues — if someone can’t be there who has to be there. All of our top picks have nearly identical language to describe these typical causes. Of them, weather and venue troubles are most frequent. But what exactly constitutes “severe weather?” We asked Steve Lauro, who suggested, “If more than half the guests can’t get to the wedding,” you have severe weather.
Additional Coverage protects against loss and damage that doesn’t put a stop to the wedding, but puts a damper on your day. Maybe the bride’s dress is damaged, gifts are stolen, or your food trucks cancel at the last minute: Issues that aren’t quite catastrophic enough for you to call of the wedding but will still result in a financial loss. All of our four finalists include similar stipulations about what kind of damage and loss they will and won’t cover, and it basically boils down to a single question: could you have prevented it? Stolen gifts will be covered if they are at your home, at the venue, or in transit between those two places, but they need to have been secured by you the whole time. An unlocked car in a parking lot is not secure; a locked, alarm-enabled one is.
Personal Injury and Property Damage refers to any injuries a guest sustains while attending your wedding and any damage that a guest or vendor does to the venue property. Most contracts spend more time outlining what they won’t cover than what they will in this section. General rule of thumb for policies: Generous inclusions, versus extensive lists of exclusions, make for a better policy.
Know what’s practically never covered
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.
Do your part to keep the show going. 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. The flipside of this leeway for extra expenses is that if you haven’t tried to take action, your policy is void. If you could have called the florist within 24 hours and received a full reimbursement and didn’t, the company won’t foot the bill.
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.
Wedding Insurance FAQs
The Best Wedding Insurance: Summed Up
|Cancellation / Postponement limits|