WV Weddings Spring Summer 2020


U ntil 2020, I’d wager that couples never contemplated their much-anticipated wedding day could be hijacked by a worldwide pandemic. A hurricane, maybe. But a national quarantine? Who would have thought? Would wedding insurance help couples facing pandemic plans? Should couples purchase wedding insurance? We talked with Suzette Raines Ashley of Ashley Insurance Agency LLC (ashleyinsures.com) to help you make the decision and navigate the process. What exactly does wedding insurance cover? Suzette Raines Ashley: There are many types of wedding insurance, but the most common covers your liability for the people at the event and the property where the wedding occurs. This is liability insurance that is extended from the homeowner’s policy of the bride and groom or the parents of the bride or groom. If you’re looking for more comprehensive coverage than just liability, there are also specific event policies for weddings that would cover event cancellation or payments to vendors. The first question I always ask is: “Who signed the contracts?” Many brides and grooms seem to be paying for their own weddings these days, as opposed to having their parents pay. Whichever the case may be, it is the person with the contractual obligation who needs protection, and it should be their homeowner’s policy. Does it cover cancellations due to a pandemic? SRA: This coverage would not include a pandemic, as viruses and bacteria are excluded in every typical insurance policy. For a loss to be covered by a WEDDING INSURANCE 101 What is wedding insurance? And do I need it?

everyone should purchase wedding insurance if it is not already included in their homeowner’s or tenant policy. We have seen an increase in the number of clients who contact us regarding wedding insurance because venues require it. Wedding and reception venues are requiring a specific level of coverage and that they be listed as additional insured on the policy. This protects the bride and groom and the venue from lawsuits stemming from injuries and damage that could occur during the event. Do you have any stories of people who have purchased it and been very grateful they had? SRA: We experienced an instance where an expensive wedding gift was stolen by a mystery party guest. Thankfully, the bride and groom were able to make a claim on the gift and the insurance company paid to have it replaced. That is the beauty of insurance. They are there to make you whole or as close to normal when unlucky or unfortunate events strike.

pandemic, it would require a policy specifically written to protect against only pandemics. War and intentional loss are other common exclusions. What doesn't wedding insurance cover? SRA: The only way to really answer this question correctly is to look at the terms of your actual policy in the exclusions section. Every insurance carrier and every policy is different. If there is a loss or injury at the wedding or wedding reception, the insurance policy should provide payment for medical bills or the replacement of damaged property. But it all depends on what your specific policy excludes. Why should someone purchase wedding insurance? SRA: It is an affordable coverage that will prevent you from personally being responsible for an injury to one of your guests at your wedding or damage that your wedding partiers cause. When you purchase wedding insurance you transfer your risk to the insurance company. It’s your big day, so being afraid of having to pay for accidents your guests cause should be the last thing on your mind. Who should purchase wedding insurance? SRA: Anyone who doesn’t want to write a personal check to cover an at-fault loss. Nearly

Suzette Raines Ashley of Ashley Insurance Agency LLC ashleyinsures.com

20 | WV WEDDINGS Spring/Summer 2020

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