Category Archives: Wedsure Buzz

When The Wedding Is Off But The Costs Aren’t, Even With Insurance

FORTUNE.com
By Deena Shanker
January 27, 2015

If a couple says ‘we don’t,’ bill collectors still say ‘yes you do.’

Weddings, as most Americans know, are expensive. As it turns out, canceling them isn’t much cheaper. Depending on how far in advance the decision is made, the couple (or their families) may be left with the entire bill to pay. “Anything the couple is going through canceling the wedding is far more difficult than the hotel canceling the event,” says Tobias Rimkus, director of catering and event management at The St. Regis Aspen Resort.

However, the emotional toll does not change the fact that vendors — hotels, caterers, florists, etc. — are also businesses and cannot simply surrender the cost of a reservation no longer being held. After all, planning (and purchases) usually happen far in advance of the actual Big Day. “Preparation time in the kitchen for a wedding typically starts three days prior to the event, but orders are placed much earlier with suppliers, especially with Aspen being a more remote mountain destination.” At The St. Regis Aspen, Rimkus explains, “The cancellation fee changes as the event gets closer: at 180 days out, it is 50%; 120 days it is 75%; and [within] 60 days it is 90%.” When pricing starts in the $200 per person range, as it does at The St. Regis Aspen, a seriously luxurious mountain resort, even a 50% cancellation fee is a hefty one.

That scenario — a canceled wedding, a big bill — is not uncommon. Americans spend $55 billion on weddings annually, according to IBIS World, a market research company. But a survey of 1,500 U.S. brides done by The Wedding Report found that 13% of engagements in the U.S. — or 270,000 — don’t end with a wedding. When those weddings get canceled, most of the bills still need to get paid — how much varies, but deposits are almost always non-refundable, many vendors charge cancellation fees, and the closer to the wedding date, the less likely they’ll be able to fill in with a new booking, making them more likely to charge higher amounts. And usually it’s the bride’s family that foots most of the bill. On average, 44% of a wedding is paid for by the bride’s family, more than triple the 12% contribution from the groom’s side, according to a 2013 study conducted by The Knot surveying 12,600 U.S. brides. (The couple pays 42% and 2% is paid by other family members.)

Though few couples purchase it, theoretically, this is the purpose of wedding insurance: To cover unexpected costs like a last-minute catering replacement or an entire cancellation. (Statistics aren’t available, but every expert asked agreed that only a small minority of weddings are insured.) A family member might get ill, a venue may burn down, a hurricane or blizzard can blow in. But while insurance will probably cover those situations, it will almost never cover one where the cancellation comes from the couple.

Insurers offer several reasons for not covering what they refer to as a “change of heart.” Ed Charlebois of Travelers Insurance says the company’s wedding insurance is meant to cover events outside of the insured’s control. (This is the same reason your car insurance will probably cover an accident that’s the other drivers’ fault but usually not one that’s your own.) “People wanting to get married and then changing their mind—to us that’s not an insurable event.” What if it’s only one party’s decision, but the other one is left with the bills? “We’re insuring the couple,” Charlebois says. If one of them makes a mess, then, as if they were already married, the other one might be left to clean it up. He adds that the company is careful to make sure couples understand this.

Even a law firm that does cover changes of heart, does so with a strict time limitation. Robert Nuccio, whose firm offers change of heart insurance through wedsure.com, says that frequent fraud made more coverage essentially a losing business deal. He added change of heart coverage in 2007 because his policy recognized that it was usually the parents who were paying the cost of the wedding — parents who theoretically wouldn’t have known that the bride and groom might call it quits. “We called it ‘Innocent Party Change of Heart Coverage.’” But, he says, fraud quickly followed. “The mothers knew that [the bride and groom] were fighting, so they were calling in buying the coverage, knowing they were going to split up.” The mothers would lie on the applications, saying they didn’t know anything that might give rise to a claim. “Turns out the mother’s not so innocent,” Nuccio says. Since its initial offering, Nuccio has had to adjust the term’s timeline to deter fraudulent claims. While it originally gave couples four months, his change of heart coverage can now only be invoked if the wedding is canceled more than a year outside the planned date.

Luckily, it’s not all bad news. There are other ways to recoup some of the lost costs. CanceledWeddings.com, for example, brokers canceled contracts and last minute availabilities. One couple’s canceled four-star, paid-in-advance honeymoon can become another’s last-minute dream vacation — at a bargain basement price. But, CEO Peter Ulrich notes, the company is still in early stages, so not every wedding will find a buyer. Again, the more in advance of the wedding the cancellation comes, the better.

No matter how expensive it is, almost no one will say a couple should go through with a wedding it doesn’t want. Women with premarital doubts are 2.5 times more likely to get divorced than women without them, a 2012 study in the Journal of Family Psychology found. (Worth noting: “Men’s doubts,” it found, “did not predict divorce.”) Anne Milford, co-author of How Not To Marry The Wrong Guy and a wedding-canceler herself, tells women to focus on getting out of the relationship, not the financial problems that follow. After all, divorces are expensive, too. “Cancel the relationship. Let loved ones cancel the party.”

Read The Full Article Here

Keeping That “Special Day” Special: Preventing Wedding Scams

CBSNews.com
By Bruce Kennedy
September 24, 2014

As nearly anyone who’s ever tied the knot in the U.S. can tell you, most weddings aren’t cheap.

According to The Wedding Report website, the average cost of a wedding is now around $25,200 — before the honeymoon expenses. Given those costs, you can purchase insurance against nuptial nightmares like bad weather, illness, gift theft or even a last-minute change of heart by one of the spouses-to-be.

Many of those policies also protect against a growing problem: wedding fraud.

Some of those scams involve bogus photographers and videographers who never deliver the paid-for pictures or videos and then refuse to issue refunds. Similar problems can arise with fake florists, reception musicians or DJs who don’t live up to expectations or fail to show up altogether.

And then there are situations like the one facing Speshelle and Tony Garcia. The Pasadena, California, couple were married a decade ago in a courthouse wedding, but decided to treat themselves to a real ceremony this year. They worked with a wedding planner, Rosetta Smith-Cooper, who helped them arrange a beachfront vow-renewal ceremony.

“She was very attentive and, you know, communicated very well,” Speshelle told CBS
affiliate KCBS TV — “emails, phone calls, text messages, everything.”

But then Smith-Cooper disappeared with the $5,000 meant for the wedding’s vendors.

“Due to an ongoing health issue unfortunately, I will not be able to move forward with your wedding on Sunday, Sept. 28th,” Smith-Cooper emailed Garcia on Monday. “As per our contract I will provide a full refund of monies paid to date. If you would like me to locate a wedding planner that can step in please indicate so.”

But when Garcia tried to salvage the wedding by contacting the intended vendors, she found out that none of them had ever been paid by Smith-Cooper.

“I contacted the photographer, I contacted the officiant and I spoke to them and I said ‘Please, would you do this regardless of whether we get paid or not’,” caterer Christina Mastikian said.

Fortunately for the Garcias, their caterers agreed to do what they could to help the wedding ceremony go forward, free of charge.

The Better Business Bureau advises brides and grooms, along with friends and family
involved in the wedding, to stay observant and selective when choosing wedding vendors and planners.

Among the BBB’s tips is to research your vendors and compare prices, then get all the
details in writing. Also stay on top of the vendors in the weeks leading up to the event to
ensure they’re on budget and on schedule — and consider purchasing wedding insurance.

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A Little Wedding Insurance

Bartlett Hills Wedding Blog
By Bartlett Hills Wedding Blog Staff
September 11, 2014

Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking gracefully down the aisle on your wedding day. The anticipation up to this moment has been almost unbearable, but luckily everything has gone wonderfully smooth as you lock eyes with your husband for the first time under the altar. You anxiously take his hand in front of all your smiling guests and the Officiant begins a beautiful speech. But as he asks the best man to reveal the beautiful ring to your groom…you find to your utter horror that he LOST IT!

To lessen the absolute agony of such a terrible event (which thankfully is rare) Fireman’s Fund can help. Providing insurance coverage for any of your private events, including weddings, you can now plan for the unexpected. Their policies can be fitted to safeguard any specific needs and worries you’ll have for your special day including, for instance, coverage for inclement weather for outdoor ceremonies and or critical damage sustained to essential elements of the wedding itself. (Lost Ring!)

Fortunately, Bartlett Hills Country Club rarely deals with such calamities and we take pride in our ability to provide you with the most beautiful, stress-free wedding for you and all your guests. And although our gorgeous veranda consistently hosts outdoor ceremonies, we do have indoor options that are easily accessible and equally beautiful in the case of rain.

For more information at Firemans Fund: https://www.agcs.allianz.com/sectors/entertainment/

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What is Wedding Insurance? Do You Need It?

With the price of wedding celebrations skyrocketing, protect your big day with the original wedding
insurance policy from Wedsure

Fox Business
By Barbara Mannino
August 6, 2014

You’ve planned the perfect wedding. Then, out of now where, your venue shuts down six months before your big day, and now you must scramble to find a new space.

“You wanted to celebrate at the original site. Your family wanted to be there. And you’re in love,” says Jolene Rae Harrington, director of creative content at Here Comes the Guide. “What do you do to mitigate your losses, both experiential and financial?”

Even in our uncertain economy, wedding price tags are escalating with the average cost of a wedding exceeding $25,000. With such a high price tag, the wedding insurance business has been rising recently, to protect a couple from unexpected disruptions.

Wedding cancellation/postponement insurance covers catastrophic loss, like a venue going bankrupt or being destroyed by flood or fire. Issues involving the venue are among the most common of catastrophes among customers, says Ed Charlebois vice president of personal insurance at Travelers which underwrites the Wedding Protector Plan. Non-venue related mishaps that can put a crimp in your day are also protected, like the limo driver being a no-show, the wedding cake flopping or the photographer’s hard drive crashing. These may not cause you to cancel, but they come at some cost.

Coverage is fairly standard and competitively priced across the industry. Basic cancellation/postponement coverage can start anywhere from $160 to $200 and increase incrementally depending on the cost of the wedding and this includes protection which also increases incrementally with coverage limits against additional expenses for other categories like glitches with photographers, gifts, lost deposits, etc.

At WedSafe, part of the Aon plc brand, for example, a premium for a $25,000 wedding is about $200; spend $50,000, you’ll pay about a $350 premium, says Steve Lauro, Aon vice president.

You can even get protection for a mega wedding, says Charlebois. For example, cancellation/postponement coverage for a $175,000 wedding would cost $1,025. “That’s pretty reasonable as a percentage of what you’re spending overall,” he says.

And, one rule of thumb all experts suggest: Go online and get a free quote for your wedding.

With unconventional spaces like parks, museums, historic mansions, ranches and/or private estates increasingly being used for weddings, some venues require couples to purchase wedding liability insurance. Most facilities want $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 in extra liability coverage, according to Harrington.

You can purchase insurance up to two years before your wedding, says Charlebois, and, as late as 24 hours before your wedding in most states—though that depends on what you’re buying. That being said, many insurers require that couples purchase insurance 14 days prior to the wedding to cover weather-related events.

“You can’t buy insurance when you’re heading to your destination wedding and a hurricane is racing you to your wedding location,” says Lauro. In fact, “if you’ve done your homework and want to buy insurance, we suggest you make your purchase when you start writing checks for deposits.”

Read the Fine Print

When selecting an insurance plan or committing to a vendor, always read the fine print. “Don’t let happiness stop you from going over important details,” warns Lauro.

Venues often reserve the right to make changes, so make sure all the specifics you want at your wedding are written into the contract, Harrington recommends. “You want peonies on the table, and instead you find dahlias, or you arrive on the day of your wedding and your event has been moved to a different room.”

Each claim is paid on its own merits and vendors must deliver everything that’s written into a contract, says Charlebois.

And, cautions Harrington, if you’re set on a particular site at your venue—say you absolutely have to have your wedding in the barn—be sure you think about all the contingencies that need to be covered. Couples don’t necessarily know the questions to ask of both vendors and insurers. A good rule of thumb, she says: Do your homework by researching similar wedding events, and ask an insurer about some of the related claims experience.

Delegate to a Business Mind

“Couples tend to focus on aesthetics like décor, the gown or the setting,” says Harrington. “It’s wonderful to shoot for a dream wedding, but you still need to consider the more practical elements.” If you don’t have the head for business, delegate to someone who does.”

Lauro suggests every time you write a check to a vendor consider what potentially could go wrong and ask for a back-up plan.

And remember, he cautions. “Even if you do everything right, there could still be a loss.”

Full Article Here

Wedsure Featured On Newly Launched Fireman’s Fund Website

Fireman’s Fund announced the launch of its newly revamped website yesterday and we are thrilled to share that Wedsure is featured on this beautiful site.

Firemans Fund LogoFor those unfamiliar with Wedsure, this Private Event insurance provides specialized, wide-ranging coverage options for milestone moments such as weddings,
anniversary parties, bar/bat mitzvahs and many more                                                             other private event types – starting at just $95.

For couples planning their big day, one policy covers up to four wedding events, including the Rehearsal, Rehearsal Dinner, Ceremony and Reception!

There are also many unique optional coverages protecting all the important pieces that are a part of a wedding like the wedding dress, groom’s tuxedo, jewelry, wedding photos and video, as well as deposits made in case the event is cancelled.

With so many options and a policy that can be tailored to a bride and groom’s specific
wedding venue or wedding celebration needs, Wedsure is peace of mind for engaged couples seeking to protect the investment of their wedding day and all the planning and budgeting that goes with it.

For a quick and easy way to get a quote or even purchase a policy, visit Wedsure.com or call 1-800-ENGAGED. (1-800-364-2433)