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4 June 2014

Wedding Insurance - Do I Need It?

With all the excitement of planning your wedding, one of the last things on your mind will be insurance. However, according to research, couples spent an average of £14,500 on their wedding in 2013, so it is worth thinking about financial protection.

You will be making lots of payments in advance of the big day, but there are ways of paying for items that automatically give you protection. Paying for anything more than £100 and up to £30,000 with a credit card means you can claim your money back from your credit card provider through Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if there is a problem with goods or services that constitutes a breach of contract. Examples could be if your reception venue was double-booked or if the wedding cake didn't arrive.

If you paid by Visa or MasterCard credit card for an item that costs less than £100 or you paid by debit card, then chargeback is a possibility. This means that your provider can try to get your money back from the retailer on your behalf, though it isnít legally obliged to.

Many home insurance policies increase cover for one month before and one month after the wedding of someone in the household to cover wedding gifts and sometimes items bought for the wedding, so it is worth checking your policy.

Perhaps the main reason for choosing insurance would be to cover you if for some unavoidable reason you need to cancel the wedding, such as illness or injury to you or your partner. This policy should mean that you are not left out of pocket, and is probably the most important cover to have.

Youíll be relying on the services of a number of companies for your wedding, and insurance can cover any extra costs you incur up to the policy limit if there is a problem with these services. Wedding insurance also covers you for deposits you canít recover or the cost of arranging alternatives if suppliers go bust, but as mentioned earlier, if you paid by credit card you would already be covered by Section 75.

Most policies will cover you for a range of circumstances in addition to cancellation, such as attire, supplier failure, loss of presents, rings and problems with photos, while some policies offer additional cover for legal expenses, personal accident and stress counselling. As usual, all aspects of the policy will have exclusions and cover limits and there will also be general exclusions, so check your policy documents carefully. Any loss or theft should be reported to the police within 24 hours.

The period covered will depend on the policy, but with many of them cover will start well in advance of the wedding. Make sure your policy still covers you if your reception is on a different day to the ceremony or if you are getting married overseas.

An area you might not have considered is your personal liability for injury to third parties or loss or damage to third party property. This may already be covered under your home insurance but some wedding insurance policies cover the actions of all wedding guests as well as the couple. Worth considering if you expect the reception to get too lively!

Bear in mind that you can't make a claim for a situation that you already knew about, if either partner changes their mind, or if you decide you cannot afford to go ahead with your plans. Most insurers have strict rules on theft too, so double-check what's included. Some insurers will only cover theft from a vehicle if the items were in a locked boot.

There are numerous companies offering wedding insurance, with cover starting from about £20. The amount you need to pay will depend on the cost of your wedding, so before deciding on a level of cover, sit down and add up what your wedding is likely to cost, then once you have got over the shock, see how much insurance you need. You can get quotes from comparison websites, while the consumer magazine Which has tables of the best value providers.

You can buy insurance to protect you against a range of adverse events and help you ensure that you don't lose financially, but whether itís worth taking out ultimately depends on the cost of your wedding and how worried you are about things going wrong.
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