June is the month when people linger on coffee shop patios, often listening to others chat endlessly about summer plans. Not surprisingly, many of those plans involve weddings. When the skeptics among us find themselves sipping a frappuccino outside of a Libertyville Starbucks and listening to brides- and grooms-to-be talk about all the details that go into a wedding, these skeptics are asking themselves two questions. First, do these anxious and excited soon-to-be-marrieds know it's very likely they'll end up divorced? And, second, do they have insurance?
Perhaps these skeptics are on the nerdy side, but the second question is one that more and more couples are asking themselves nowadays. As we discussed in our last post, a wedding is a big investment. According to a Travelers Insurance claims analysis, vendors and venue were the two most common sources of wedding losses in 2011.
In addition to the snafus we talked about last time, vendor issues included flowers not showing up, photographers not delivering pictures and disc jockeys missing the reception altogether. Again, the upfront investment with each of these vendors can be substantial, and the stakes in each case are high. No flowers means no bouquet; no DJ means either no music for three hours at the reception or paying a premium for a last-minute replacement. And it's hard even to imagine a wedding without pictures.
Most of us know at least one bride who went down the aisle on crutches. In 2011, almost 20 percent of the insurer's wedding claims involved injury, sickness or accidents. Unexpected absences like military deployment and unavoidable circumstances were in third place, with 17 percent of claims. Strangely, the company included issues with attire in the same category.
Vandalism and theft were next (13 percent), followed by catastrophic weather events (10 percent). Considering the floods and tornados in 2011, as well as the havoc wrought by Hurricane Irene, it's surprising the weather category wasn't higher.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Top reasons happy couples file wedding insurance claims," April 2, 2012