**We are in no way, shape, or form insurance experts, so please reach out to the insurance company or your insurance agent for answers to your questions. We are posting this exclusively as a helpful resource, not as expert advice of any kind. It is your responsibility to research and decide which plan is best for you.**
*Liability insurance is REQUIRED (as it is for most venues). Please reference your contract terms for more information.
LIABILITY vs CANCELLATION INSURANCE
Liability insurance normally means it covers you for "liability only", which means it covers you if someone is hurt at your event or someone else's property if it is damaged (depends on your policy). It will not cover the money you've put into planning the wedding/event. Cancellation insurance adds extra coverage for your financial investment.
WHY DO WE URGE OUR CLIENTS TO PURCHASE WEDDING CANCELLATION INSURANCE?
Liability only covers liability. It will not cover all the money you've invested into the wedding. Plus, it is normally very affordable. Some plans only cost $115-$150, depending on the coverage you select. Why wouldn't anyone do this to protect their financial investment? Life is unpredictable (as 2020 has shown us). We would hate to see our clients cancel or postpone their wedding or event due to something unforeseen and also lose a large amount of money.
One example to consider would be: "Would you buy a nice, expensive car that costs thousands of dollars and only get liability coverage on it?" Probably not. If you got in an accident, you would only be covered for the liability and would not be compensated for the cost of the car you just bought. If you only had liability coverage and a bad storm came through and a tree fell on your car, you would not be covered because you decided to only get minimal coverage instead of comprehensive.
Most wedding/event cancellation policies will cover your investment into the event/wedding in case something unforeseen happens (military deployment, illness, death, emergencies, weather disasters, etc). Weddings are large financial investments and there are a number of non-refundable retainers/payments that many vendors require when you sign a contract. For many vendors, these are non-refundable, even if the cancellation is out of your control (for more info on why they won't refund your payment, please look below). PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO BUY THIS COVERAGE. MANY POLICIES HAVE DEADLINES. ALSO, MANY POLICIES WILL NOT COVER THINGS ONCE THEY ARE CONSIDERED "KNOWN EVENTS".
It is each client's responsibility to research and understand the policy they purchase and get adequate coverage.
Contact the insurance company or your insurance agent to verify your coverage and to get more information.
Why do wedding/event vendors have non-refundable payments/retainers? Because most are small businesses and there are constant expenses to maintain a small business that many do not consider. When a business holds a specific date for you, they are turning away other potential business and income, and therefore are reliant on that anticipated income to cover expenses and make a living.
The cancellation was due to unforeseen events out of anyone's control. Why won't they give me a full refund? Review your contracts. If vendors were to hold dates without charging a non-refundable payment or retainer, then they would have no guarantee of that income. If they refunded non-refundable payments/retainer fees, even for circumstances that clients couldn't have predicted or controlled, then their business would probably not survive for very long. Many times, that payment has already been used to cover expenses, labor costs, or maintenance, even before the event happens.
Moving forward, the best advice would be to review your contracts. Ask questions before signing if you are unclear about something. Ask if there's anything they can do to work with you. Many vendors truly do care and will do their best to work with you and might offer using that non-refundable payment as a credit towards a future event or product, if they can.
MORE INFO ON LIABILITY COVERAGE
If you have homeowners or renters insurance (for the place you live), it may cover you for liability if you host a party at another property/location (only for liability [if someone got hurt etc]), not for things that a dedicated event/wedding insurance plan would cover, such as if there's a weather disaster, illness, etc). Contact your insurance agent to verify this and to get more information.
Also, if you do already have liability coverage through your homeowners or renter’s insurance, you may want to look for a plan that offers the option of separating liability and cancellation insurance (so that you only have to pay for cancellation coverage). Some wedding insurance companies offer the option and some don't (which is why it's important to research your options).
*More info on wedding insurance: https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-insurance-101
*Some wedding insurance options (please also look over reviews and double check on the reputation and reliability of insurer before selecting an option):
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