Wedding insurance, in Australia, is a relatively new concept that is not often thought about. But with the detail and cost of today’s weddings it would seem a sensible approach to consider this, and factor the cost into your wedding budget. With such a happy celebratory day ahead of us, it seems unthinkable that something could go wrong, but it can, and sometimes does. So when the unexpected happens how can we protect our substantial investment in this day as much as possible? Today we speak to Graeme Dean, co-founder of Dream Wedding Insurance on all things insurance for your wedding day. Definitely food for thought and an important aspect of your day to consider!
What was the catalyst for starting Dream Wedding Insurance?
My business partner and I have worked in the insurance industry for over a decade. When a close friend of ours was let down by her caterer just days before her wedding, it gave us a great idea for an insurance product. We quickly discovered that couples in the UK and US had been insuring their weddings for years…there just wasn’t anyone offering it in Australia.
We partnered with the largest insurance market in the world, Lloyd’s of London, and hired the best developers in Australia. Within 12 months, we’d created a fantastic insurance product and a platform to enable couples to purchase online, in just a few minutes.
Why should a bridal couple consider wedding insurance?
The average Australian wedding costs almost $40,000 – the cost of a new car. There are any number of potential disasters when it comes to your wedding, and wedding insurance gives you peace of mind in the very costly lead up to the big day.
Imagine if you got a call from the venue a week before your wedding advising you that, due to unforeseen circumstances, they had to cancel your booking! Or if you or a family member suffer injury or sickness and you have to reschedule everything. If the unthinkable happens, wedding insurance protects all of your deposits and payments as well as the additional expenses to reschedule your wedding at a later date.
What items are covered in an insurance policy?
As well as cancellation and rescheduling costs, wedding insurance provides coverage against supplier failure, failed wedding transport, lost, stolen or damaged wedding rings and gifts, damaged or stolen wedding attire, marquee damage, damaged hired equipment and personal liability.
Are couples able to tailor the policy to their needs and only insure for certain items?
Dream Wedding Insurance policies are ‘pre-packaged’ and provide coverage against all of the aforementioned instances. We packaged the policies this way for two reasons. One, to ensure that our customers have maximum protection against the unexpected, and two, to keep the process incredibly simple. Couples can purchase a policy at dreamweddinginsurance.com in less than five minutes.
Are there different levels of cover?
Yes. We offer four levels of coverage for couples to choose from, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each level provides the same benefits but with varying limits. A Bronze policy, for example, costs $215 and provides a cancellation benefit of $5,000. Our Silver policy costs $445 and provides cancellation coverage of $10,000. All benefit limits increase with the cost of the policy. The only exception is personal liability coverage, all four levels provide $5,000,000 personal liability coverage.
What are the factors to take into consideration when choosing the level of cover?
Most of our customers choose their policy based on the cancellation and rescheduling limits. If your wedding budget is $25,000, then your policy needs to provide $25,000 coverage in the event of cancellation.
How far in advance should a couple insure to ensure the wedding is covered?
As soon as you have a wedding date, you can, and should, purchase a policy. You can buy wedding insurance up to 18 months before the big day, we also have ‘last minute’ customers that buy just 4 weeks before. Your wedding date needs to be at least 30 days away in order to buy a policy.
Are couples insured only for weddings taking place within Australia?
Dream Wedding Insurance covers weddings taking place anywhere in the world. We’ve noticed a real increase in destination weddings over the last 12 months and we’re covering over 100 destination weddings in April alone.
Are same-sex couples able to insure their commitment ceremony and reception?
Yes, absolutely, we cover commitment ceremonies.
If the wedding is called off, what circumstances allow a claim to be made on the policy?
Dream Wedding Insurance will pay claims under the cancellation benefit for instances such as, cancellation by the venue (due to damage, closure etc), sickness or injury to the bride, groom or an immediate family member, severe weather and more.
We’ve seen the horrific vision of marquees collapsing under the weight of a downpour – and ruining the décor and the reception, bridal and guests’ attire. Is there a policy to cover this event?
Yes and no…Your wedding insurance will certainly cover damaged wedding attire, this includes the bride, groom and the bridal party…but it won’t cover damage to the guests’ attire. Wedding insurance will also cover damaged hired equipment, rings and gifts in this scenario.
What happens when something goes wrong – what are the steps to take to action the claim?
Our claims process is really simple.
- Lodge your claim online at dreamweddinginsurance.com
- Upload any supporting documents (receipts etc)
- The claim is assessed and generally paid within 7 days.
We all know that we should take special care to ‘read the small print’ when taking out a policy. Are there any other words of advice you can give a couple when taking out a wedding insurance policy?
We’re really open about what is and isn’t covered and our policy wording has been designed to outline the coverage very clearly. It’s important to us that our customers understand what they are purchasing, that’s why there are over 25 links to the policy wording on our website.
We get so many enquiries from couples that are already facing issues with their wedding, asking if we can provide coverage. Unsurprisingly, if you purchase a policy after something has gone wrong, there is no coverage for that particular instance. That’s why it’s important to purchase a policy as soon as you’ve locked in the wedding date, that way, if you run in to trouble on the lead up to the big day, we’ve got you covered.
Thank you Graeme for sharing your story. This is definitely worth consideration in the light of the many things that may go wrong! To find out more about Dream Wedding Insurance visit the website.
Headshot and images with permission of Dream Wedding Insurance.