Please note that the information in this blog post is correct as of the date of publication. For the latest guidelines, please contact your insurance provider.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has seen governments across the world enforce unprecedented restrictions on our lives. With large gatherings and unnecessary travel banned for the foreseeable future, those who were planning to tie the knot in the coming months are being forced to postpone their big day.
With couples in Ireland splashing out an average of €25,000 for their wedding, many have been left feeling anxious at the prospect of losing money. For those who aren’t covered by wedding insurance, the outlook is bleak. Unprotected purchases leave couples in the hands of their supplier, who may offer to reschedule their service, but is also within their right to refuse.
However, it’s not as simple as just having insurance. Even those who took the precaution of taking out a policy could face challenges in recovering the cost of their wedding. In this blog post, Wedding Suppliers helps clarify what your wedding insurance will cover if you are forced to cancel due to COVID-19.
Your wedding insurance
It is strongly advised that you take out wedding insurance when planning your big day. This gives you a safety net to fall back onto in the event of something unexpected happening. COVID-19 definitely falls into this category.
Unfortunately, not even insurance providers were prepared for the ‘what if’ of a global pandemic. Due to this, whether you’re covered or not is a grey area with most providers.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, many wedding insurance providers—including Debenhams, Wedinsure and John Lewis—have ceased offering cover. This means that if you haven’t already taken out a policy, it is almost definitely too late to do so now. But what if you already have insurance cover in place?
Understanding your policy
Deciphering what the terms & conditions of your wedding insurance policy really mean isn’t easy. With multiple clauses for each aspect of your big day, couples can be left confused about where they stand.
We’ve summarised where policyholders with some of the leading wedding insurance providers stand if their wedding will be affected by COVID-19.
Are you covered?
With all weddings and large events urged to be rescheduled as the government outlines new measures to slow the spread of the disease, those having to call off their big day are unfortunately likely to experience financial losses—whether they are insured or not.
- Debenhams has stated that losses arising from prohibitive regulations by the government of any country are excluded from cover.
- John Lewis states that claims arising directly or indirectly from government regulation or act are excluded.
- Wedinsure’s policy states that claims directly or indirectly caused by government regulations or acts are excluded – this includes bans on social or public gatherings.
Every insurance policy is different, however the main providers’ rules on occurrences like COVID-19 are consistent, and state that they will not cover any losses.
What if your supplier cancels?
Although certain aspects of your wedding may not be covered by insurance, there are situations where you are protected.
If a supplier cancels a booking, you may be able to claim for losses through your insurance. In these instances, you should always contact your supplier and discuss the situation and come to an agreement—such as rescheduling your date—with them first.
If however, you are unable to reach a solution, here’s what the main insurance policies are saying:
- Debenhams: Those with existing policies are covered if the booked venue for the wedding or wedding reception is unable to hold your wedding due to an outbreak of infectious or contagious disease; the total non-appearance on the wedding day of any booked and paid-for professional wedding services; the non-appearance of the officiating minister or registrar.
- John Lewis: Those with existing policies should be covered for the booked venue for the wedding or wedding reception being unable to hold your wedding due to an outbreak of infectious or contagious disease, and the total non-appearance on the wedding day of any booked and paid-for wedding services.
- Wedinsure: Cover includes instances where the booked venue for the wedding or wedding reception is unable to hold the event due to an outbreak of infectious disease (eg coronavirus), or its closure by a relevant authority – except where the closure or their inability to hold your wedding is due to any form of government act or regulation.
Remember that it’s not just couples that have been affected by COVID-19. The wedding industry—including venues, catering companies, entertainers and all other events suppliers—have been hit hard. At this difficult time, it’s important that everyone pulls together and offers support.
No supplier wants to let their clients down, however the current situation has left many without choice. If your wedding is affected, it’s important to communicate with your suppliers and come to an agreement about what to do next.
Many suppliers are honoring bookings and rescheduling wedding dates, meaning that losses are kept at a minimum for couples. For the instances where this isn’t possible, the best thing to do is get in touch with your insurance provider. They have all the latest information and can help you to understand the status of your bookings.
Get in touch
If you would like further information about this topic, contact your suppliers and insurance providers.
If a supplier has cancelled and you’re looking for new options, Wedding Suppliers lists all the top-rated suppliers in Ireland. If nothing else, we can help you make good use of this time to find a replacement for when you finally get to walk down the aisle.