BY Tafadzwa Chidoori
The fantasy of every young lady is a big white wedding, with her wedding dress as the centre piece of the occasion, not to mention the cake, the well-dressed bride’s maids and matching decoration. Cameras to capture the day and memories, and the always present drunk uncle or aunt who makes any wedding a joy and memorable.
Today’s weddings take a lot planning, family meetings (these are always fun) and organising (which is always hampered by the aunt, niece or sister who thinks has the class and etiquette to organise such a memorable event). These meetings and plans can go on for months and sometimes up to a year before the big day.
Because of the ever rising costs in weddings which can go up to a $5,000 people are forced to save money for many months in preparation of a perfect wedding. Wedding dresses and Tuxedos are ordered well in advance from China. Venues are booked more than six months in time. Dances and choreography for the big wedding begin more than two months in advance.
With such investment in time and money the risk of unexpected eventualities or mishaps is increasingly becoming more costly. Weddings on average cost more than $3000, protecting that investment is nothing people should ponder about but just do, from the time they set the date to the moment they walk down the aisle.
Such protection can provide you with a much welcome peace of mind emotionally and financially.
Unlike what most people think it’s not always the case that all works out as planned, be it from service providers to the weather. I remember how all hell broke loose when my Camera was stolen during my brother’s wedding in Bulawayo (Imagine someone coming to a wedding to steal a camera). My mother was so depressed that one would think we were at funeral. The fortunate thing that brought the smile back on her face was the fact that there was a backup camera, without it this wedding would have been just another day an all memories of the day would have been lost.
Most people are now ordering their wedding dresses from China, and they are times when the dress is too small or too big and people are forced to make adjustments. There can be damage to the dress if the seamstress ruins the alterations or the tux is torn or lost or stolen at the airport. Or even if you buy your wedding dress and tux locally the shop might fail to deliver the dress on time. Which can ruin a perfect wedding.
There are also certain circumstances beyond the control of any couple, things like weather. The trend of today’s young couples is an inclination towards garden weddings, and open air venues. The bulk of these garden weddings are held in the summer when the flowers are blooming and the grass in green. The Fauna and flora will be just mesmerising and the environs will be just mwah.
The downside though is that these kind of weddings are at high risk of being washed away by rain or flooding which can make the wedding venue inaccessible. Basically, wedding insurance protects a couple’s investment from such circumstances and reimburses expenses incurred enabling couples to plan their wedding again with very minimal costs or at no costs at all. (Well excluding the costs incurred by the relatives and friends who would have travelled from far and beyond to witness two love birds committing to each other for the rest of their lives).
With the correct wedding insurance policy, a couple can defer their wedding and collect every cent they lost, including money for wedding cake and attire (people always gossip about the cake and attire you would not want to downgrade these if there was a disaster) the invites, catering and non-refundable deposits for entertainers, decorators, caterers, transport crew amongst other vendors .
What is wedding insurance?
Wedding insurance covers big day financial losses that are beyond the control of any couple like a limo driver not showing up on the morning of the wedding. Or if a wedding dress or custom made tux is stolen, lost or torn and you have to buy a new one a day before the wedding, Or when you lose your deposit when the reception venue you booked goes under a few weeks before your wedding. The list is endless. But basically Wedding Insurance cover can help to protect you against these eventualities or perils.
Basically any circumstances beyond the control of the couple are reimbursable under wedding insurance cover. A basic insurance policy covers cancellations, public liability, photographs and videos, failure of suppliers, wedding presents, cake, flowers, transport and deposits. However these vary according to provider and policy. Wedding insurance also covers loss, theft or damage to the bridal gown, groom tux as well as bridal other attire specific to the big day.
Buying Wedding Insurance
You can purchase wedding insurance at just about any point in the wedding-planning process. However the sooner you buy cover the better as it would cost you less. You might put a deposit for your wedding reception venue 12 months in advance, but it can burn to the ground a few weeks before the big day and you would have lost out if you are not be able to recover your deposit.
However, before buying your wedding insurance, always check to see what type of coverage your vendors have, be it the venue, caterer, transport provider, camera crew. As they might already have their own insurance, this would help you avoid to pay overlapping coverage from your own pocket. Always ask for copies of policies for you to clearly evaluate and see areas that you are not covered. A wedding insurance plan can fill in the gaps and provide valuable peace of mind.
If you are not sure of what is covered or not it’s always advisable to seek advice from a registered and reliable insurer, broker or agent.
It is always important to consider the cost or value of your wedding attire be it the gown or tux, before estimating the coverage you need for your attire. Like any insurance product wedding insurance has limits or caps (that is the maximum amount that can be claimed under each coverage section of a wedding plan) these limits or caps differ from provider to provider and on the type of policy you take.
Just make sure you understand the specific details of the insurance cover plan you intend to purchase read the exclusions (these are always very important to read). Always keep records of the insurance plan, receipts of everything covered under the plan and any other relevant documents in the event that you might need to file a claim.
How Do You Know How Much You Pay?
Wedding insurance plans vary from insurer to insurer and on the type of policy you take, however basic policies for wedding insurance usually cost something between $100 and $500. Considering the cost of the average wedding for an average Zimbabwean today costs over $5,000 this is not a high price of protection to pay.
The bottom line
If you are making sizeable deposits for your wedding reception, wedding attire, cake and or even limo hire far out from the big day (Which is what most people are doing because of the liquidity crisis) it is always important to wear the smarts and look into the policy covers of your vendors and have a clear picture of your insurance coverage options.
To get more information on this cover, watch this space.