Newlyweds & insurance


wessing cake topper couple standing on coins

Like 2.3 million other couples this year, you may be putting the finishing touches on your plans for a wedding. On average, there are 6,200 weddings per day in the US, but some months are more popular than others. The Spring is an active time, with 10% of all weddings in May and 11% in June. Statistics say that the average wedding budget is $20,000 and the average number of guests is 178.

From the event to the honeymoon, it’s a big deal with a lot of details, so it can be easy to overlook insurance. But we’re not just talking about wedding event insurance which, if you plan a costly event, you should definitely consider to cover cancellation or losses such as stolen gifts, damaged photos, rings or gowns and other unforeseen problems. In this case, we’re talking about insurance matters that you and your spouse should consider as you embark on a financial life together.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers a handy tip sheet about insurance matters that engaged couples should discuss: Combining Your Insurance: Just got engaged? Don’t forget to talk about insurance. It discusses decision points and money saving tips for homeowners and renters insurance, auto insurance, health insurance, and life insurance.

Of course the easiest way to cover insurance is to make an appointment with your local independent insurance agent, who can walk you through all the considerations both for the event itself and for the various coverage options you’ll need going forward. As you embark on a new life together, you no doubt have many hopes, plans and dreams. The right coverage can keep you on track by protecting you from unexpected losses. Your agent will know the best coverage options and the ins and outs for saving money.

Below is an infographic Insurance Survival Guide for Newlyweds, also from NAIC. (For a larger version, click the link or the image).

Insurance survival guide for newlyweds infographic

Getting married? What you need to know about wedding insurance and other financial considerations


Wedding ChecklistGetting married? There’s a lot you need to think of both before and after the wedding, but in all the planning, one of the things that is often overlooked is your insurance insurance needs. Have you notified your insurance agent about your plans? He or she can be one of your best friends! For example, as a couple, you may be eligible for auto discounts or a savings on health insurance. You may also want to secure life insurance, and should be sure to change the beneficiaries on any key insurance or savings plans that you do have. The Insurance Information Insituitue (III) offers a handy checklist of insurance considerations for married couples.

You should also ask your agent about wedding insurance to protect your investment in the big day, particularly if you are planning a big celebration. Wedding insurance is a type of special event insurance designed provide financial protection for various problems that could arise, such as the need to cancel or postpone due to weather or natural disasters. III says:

“Most policies also provide coverage for cancellation due to the death, illness or serious injury of a key participants in the event, such as members of the immediate family. Also, if an officiant, such as a minister or rabbi, or a key vendor, like the caterer, florist or photographer, does not show up, you can recover some of the costs.”

Different insurance companies offer special coverage that you can add on, such as protection for gowns, gifts and honeymoons.

Of course, insurance is only one of the things you need to think about. You need to know your state law. Below is a very helpful 2-part guide to getting married in Massachusetts … it offers a great breakdown of things you need to plan both before and after the wedding. While laws vary by state, the MA Guide offers a simple checklist for some of the common issues and responsibilities people need to consider and address, no matter where they live. We’ve also included links to laws for other states.

Getting Married in Massachusetts

Part 1: What you need to do before the wedding

  • Who Can Get Married in Massachusetts?
  • Who Can Conduct a Wedding in Massachusetts?
  • Where Can We Get Married in Massachusetts?
  • What Paperwork Do We Need to Get Married in Massachusetts?

Part 2: What you need to do after the wedding

  • Getting Proof of Your Marriage
  • Changing Your Name and Getting a New ID
  • Filing Taxes After You Get Married
  • Marriages Outside of Massachusetts


Marriage laws in other states

A wedding gone to the dogs


happy-couple.jpgPhoto: Tina Fineberg / Associated Press
Last week when pooches Chilly Pasternak (a poodle) and Baby Hope Diamond (a Coton du Tulear) tied the knot, they set a Guinness World Record for the most expensive canine wedding ever. According to a news report in the latimes.com, the soiree cost $158,187.12, significantly more than the average people wedding, which is $27,000. The news report notes that the doggie bride’s wedding gown cost more than the wedding gown that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s wife wore in their recent wedding!
While many may think this decadence is a sure sign that we have gone to the dogs, the event had a serious purpose: it was a fundraiser for the Humane Society of New York. It’s actually a good reminder for pet lovers everywhere that the Humane Society can use support!
A story in Business Insider puts the wedding’s price tag even higher, at $250,000. You can read a first hand report of the wedding and peruse a photo gallery of the gala festivities.
Wedding Insurance offers peace of mind
We didn’t read anything about it, but with such an expensive event, we can only hope that the event planners budgeted in wedding insurance!
Even if a planned event will only be a fraction of the cost that these dogs spent, human brides and grooms may want to discuss wedding insurance options with an independent agent agent. Wedding insurance can cover costs for cancellation due to weather, illness, or venue unavailability. It can also cover losses if gifts are stolen, damage or loss of photos, rings, gowns, and the like, and other unforeseen problems. In addition to insurance for cancellation or other problems, your reception venue may require liability insurance. You should also be sure to verify that your wedding venue and your vendors are properly insured, and learn exactly what and how their insurance might extend to cover any problems you might experience.

Insurance issues related to Michael Jackson’s cancelled tour – and your next big event…


In the wake of Michael Jackson’s untimely death at a relatively young age, much is riding on the results of his autopsy and a ruling on the cause of his death. Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) is estimated to have about $40 million at stake, depending on the cause of his death. According to Billboard, about three-quarters of a million concert tickets had been sold and AEG plans ticket refunds of about $85 million.
As part of the event planning, AEG sought and secured event cancellation insurance from Lloyd’s of London. This type of insurance is particularly important to protect all parties against unforeseen losses due to any number of problems – sudden unavailability of a venue, catastrophic weather that might force a cancellation, or ill health on the performer’s part, to name a few examples. In the past, Jackson has canceled shows in the latter parts of his tour for ill health or exhaustion. Earlier this year, when AEG was arranging for insurance coverage, Jackson had to pass a four-hour medical exam attesting to his health.
But like any insurance policies, there are exclusions. If Jackson’s death was due to a reason that was excluded in the policy – such as a pre-existing medical condition or a substance abuse problem – the promoters could be left holding the bag. While autopsy results so far have been inconclusive, ongoing investigations into Jackson’s death are occurring. And with the amount of money at stake, it wouldn’t be unusual for an insurer to conduct their own investigation.
Business insurance for large events
Rock concert promoters aren’t the only parties that might need event cancellation insurance. This is a common type of insurance sought by corporations and businesses that sponsor major events, conferences, and trade shows and depend on revenue for those events. Determining whether of not cancellation insurance is needed and how much is generally a matter of scale, based on the number of people involved and the amount of financial and other risk involved in the event.

“Whether planners should invest in cancellation insurance depends upon how important an event is to an association or corporation financially and what kind of risk it is assuming. “If you’re holding a board of directors meeting for 65 people that wouldn’t generate income and was inexpensive to hold, there’s no point,” explains James M. Goldberg, an attorney with Washington-based Goldberg & Associates. “But if it’s a big annual event for 3,000 people that’s a major source of revenue, definitely think about insuring.”

Event insurance can cover unforeseen problems, and “… perils that are beyond the control of a planner, such as inclement weather, a principal speaker dropping out, strikes, outbreaks of disease and so on.” But experts caution that it will not cover poor planning or poor attendance.
Personal events such as weddings may benefit from insurance, too
Beyond businesses, private events can also sometimes benefit by similar types of coverage. As the average cost of a wedding climbs – in the U.S., it is between $20,000 and $30,000 – wedding insurance is increasingly common. Wedding insurance can cover costs for cancellation due to weather, illness, or venue unavailability. It can also cover losses if gifts are stolen, damage or loss of photos, rings, gowns, and the like, and other unforeseen problems. If you are planning a costly reception, you may want to discuss wedding insurance options with your agent. In addition to insurance for cancellation or other problems, your reception venue may require liability insurance. You should also be sure to verify that your wedding venue and your vendors are properly insured, and learn exactly what and how their insurance might extend to cover any problems you might experience.