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Should you insure your dream wedding?

Bavadharini KS BL Research Bureau | Updated on January 06, 2020 Published on January 06, 2020

There are strings attached; do pay attention to what’s covered by wedding insurance policies, and what isn’t

Indian weddings are flamboyant affairs. So much so that the celebration often goes on for a week or more. Destination weddings at exotic locations are quite the rage, too, but they can cost you dearly if the event runs into rough weather — quite literally.

Wedding insurance can come to the rescue, covering your expenses in case certain events mar the D-day for you. But the policies come with several strings attached, and not all expenses are covered by insurers. Here is a lowdown on such policies.

What’s covered?

Wedding insurance provides cover for events such as burglary and theft, fire, loss or damage to the props, sets or equipment and so on. While Future Generali offers a separate wedding cover named Vivah Suraksha, other players including Bajaj Allianz General and ICICI Lombard offer wedding cover as part of their event insurance policies.

The scope of coverage varies across insurers. Broadly, there are five coverages.

The first is an event cancellation cover, where the insurer covers the losses or the expenses incurred for a wedding that’s eventually cancelled. But the insurance only covers those expenses that are non-refundable or are non-recoverable. For instance, if money has been paid for the wedding hall and it is non-refundable, then the insurer reimburses the loss or expenses incurred (after applicable deductibles, if any). Note that the insurer will make good the loss or expenses only if the wedding is cancelled or postponed due to loss or damage to the venue because of fire, earthquake, flood, cyclone and explosion or implosion.

Further, the insurer will indemnify the policyholder if the wedding is cancelled if national or state mourning is declared on the day of the event, due to the death of senior statesmen such as the Prime Minister, President or Chief Minister of the State in which the event is being held, or any other prominent personality.

The second cover is for set protection. If any fire, earthquake, flood or explosion/implosion results in damages or loss of any sets, props, decorations, stage or equipment (at the hired venue) used for the wedding, the insurer covers the expenses. Insurers like Bajaj Allianz General provide protection for burglary and theft as well under this cover, which kicks in if the incident occurs at the wedding venue. Burglary and theft includes loss and damages to the contents at the venue.

The third is public liability cover. Insurance companies provide coverage for the insured against legal liability, including defence costs, to pay for third party civil claims arising out of bodily injury or property damage caused in the course of the event (wedding) by an accident at the venue. In such a case, the insurer pays for those costs, fees and expenses incurred for investigation, defence and settlement of any claim.

The fourth coverage is personal accident cover (death and disability). It forms part of wedding/event insurance. Here, the insurer covers any accidental bodily injury sustained by the insured at the venue of the event (wedding) that leads to death or partial or full disability of the insured (insured includes bride, groom and their parents).

Lastly, wedding insurance products may also offer money insurance cover. Here, the insurer covers the loss in transit of money or cash carried by the insured, by way of robbery or theft. It also covers the loss of money from a safe at the insured premises while it is unoccupied.

Note that while event cancellation cover is often offered as a primary or mandatory cover in a wedding policy, other covers such as personal accident cover and money in transit cover are offered as optional covers to the policyholders.

The fine-print

Like any other insurance policy, wedding insurance also comes with its own set of exclusions. Read the policy documents before signing up for one. For instance, insurers typically do not cover wedding expenses if the event is cancelled or postponed due to the non-appearance of the bride/groom, lack of funds, adverse weather conditions or if the insured is arrested for any criminal activity. Similarly, in the case of money lost in transit, insurers usually do not cover losses not discovered/reported within 72 hours. Any contractual dispute between the insured and any other party (contractors/vendors for the wedding) is also not be covered by the policy.

Keep in mind that the validity of the wedding/event insurance is till the time of the wedding, which is usually four days to one week. Since wedding expenses vary with each individual, the sum assured will also vary. If you want to purchase the product, approach the insurer with the details — a list of expenses you have already made, the date of the event, venue and number of days of the wedding celebrations, etc. With Future Generali, for a ₹50-lakh cover (event cancellation), the premium works out to ₹12,500 (plus GST). In the case of Bajaj Allianz General, the premium works out to be around ₹20,000 (including GST) for a ₹50-lakh wedding cancellation-only cover.

Should you go for it?

Wedding expenses can be huge and it may make sense to take a policy for such an event. It can help cushion the blow in case an unfortunate event takes place. But, as mentioned above, you must remember that not all expenses are covered and the insurer makes good the loss only in the case of specific events.

Also, there are deductibles (amount to be paid by the insured) to note. For instance, in the case of Future Generali, ₹5,000 is deductible for every claim made under the policy. Similarly, for Bajaj Allianz General’s event insurance policy, you have to pay 5 per cent of the claim amount (subject to a minimum of ₹25,000 for each claim) as policy excess.

Also, aside from the event cancellation cover, most of the covers such as personal accident and burglary/theft are available separately. You may already have such covers or a standalone home insurance policy that you can use.

But, if you have forked out large sums of money (say, for an exotic locale or for a theme-based wedding), particularly for the props and decorations, then a wedding insurance policy may come in handy. However, while choosing a policy, consider the sum assured, the premium cost and the scope of coverage.

Published on January 06, 2020
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