Can I get insurance to cover my destination wedding overseas?
Tying the knot overseas is becoming increasingly popular with couples in Australia. This is partly due to the excitement and romance of an overseas wedding, but the price tag is also a major consideration. An overseas wedding can be as little as a third of the cost of a traditional wedding, depending on where you go to get married.
General travel insurance will cover you for all the basics such as medical and hospital treatment, cancellations and delays and lost or stolen luggage. As far as the big day itself is concerned, many policies will also cover you for expenses incurred if you miss it or are late for it due to unforeseen circumstances. But if you want cover for the wedding itself, you will need to take out tailored destination wedding insurance. This guide looks at what it is, what it covers and what to look out for when getting married abroad.
What extra travel insurance can I get for my wedding overseas?
It’s important to have adequate travel insurance overseas, whether you’re getting married or not. You should ensure that you and your partner (and all members of the wedding party) have cover for all the basics including overseas emergency medical and hospital cover, cover for cancellations and delays, and cover for loss or theft of luggage and personal effects.
If you want additional cover for your wedding, there are a number of insurers who offer wedding extension packages that can be added to your existing policy. Cover under these packages will generally include;
- Cancellation and Rearrangement - covers the cost of irrecoverable travel arrangements and expenses if you have to cancel or reschedule your wedding due to circumstances such as death, injury, loss of venue, non-attendance of celebrant or adverse weather
- Insolvency of Wedding Services Providers - covers irrecoverable deposits paid or reasonable additional costs incurred to arrange alternative supply if a wedding service provider becomes insolvent
- Photography and Video Recording – covers the cost of having videos and photographs retaken (including rehire of wedding attire) if the professional hired doesn’t show up or the images are lost, stolen, damaged or fail to develop
- Wedding Attire, Gifts, Flowers and Cake – covers loss, theft or damage of wedding attire, rings, cake, flowers and wedding gifts and includes reasonable costs of hiring alternative wedding attire
- Wedding Cars and Transport – cover for irrecoverable payments made to the transport provider if they fail to meet their contractual obligations due to non-appearance, breakdown or accident, including the reasonable costs of alternative transport arrangements
- Wedding Documents – covers reasonable costs to replace documents required for or related to your wedding, due to their accidental loss, theft or damage
- Professional Counselling – covers the cost of professional counselling recommended by a GP after the cancellation of the wedding due to either partner dying or electing not to go through with the wedding
As well as general travel insurance with an added wedding extension, you may also wish to take out extra cover for expensive items. A normal policy only covers loss, theft or damage of luggage and personal effects up to a certain benefit limit. So if you are taking expensive equipment with you to your overseas wedding such as cameras, video recorders and laptops, you may want to consider raising the benefit limit on nominated items for an additional premium.
What won’t you be covered for?
As with any insurance policy, some exclusions do apply to travel insurance in general and wedding travel insurance in particular. These normally include:
- Wedding cancellation costs incurred because one or both of you decided not to go through with the wedding
- Rearrangement costs if the rearranged wedding is more than a certain time (usually 12 months) after the date of cancellation
- Photography and video recording costs if they are incurred more than a specified time after the wedding
- Any losses incurred in relation to wedding services where you do not have a written contract in force with the party in question
- Financial default of a wedding services provider if their insolvency had already occurred or could be reasonably expected to occur at the time of booking
What travel insurers will cover me if I am delayed getting to my wedding?
Most insurers offer what is known as special events cover which will pay a benefit in the event you are delayed getting to a special event for reasons outside of your control. This may include weddings, funerals, conferences, sporting events and pre-paid travel/tour arrangements. The insurer will pay for the alternative transport expenses. The table below shows the maximum single and family benefit that will be paid for missed special events.
|Insurer||Max Paid for Single Benefit||Max Paid for Family Benefit||Apply|
These benefit limits are not indicative of all policy cover types and can be varied with different cover types of the policy. Note: information is correct as of September 2017
Some final tips for getting married overseas
As well as being sure to take out travel insurance for your holiday and wedding insurance for your big day, other things to keep in mind when getting married overseas include;
- Invite your guests well in advance – attending an overseas wedding requires some planning, including arranging time off work, finding cheap flights and accommodation and organising visas, so be considerate towards your guests and give them plenty of warning.
- Be careful what you eat and drink – the last thing you want is to be ill on your big day, so be careful about what you consume, particularly if it is a third world country you are getting married in.
- Look after your wedding ring – losing your wedding ring on your honeymoon is a common occurrence overseas, so don’t go swimming or diving with it on and make sure it is secured in your hotel safe when you aren't wearing it.
- Make sure your wedding is legal – different rules apply in different countries, so pre-apply for your wedding licence ahead of time and if it turns out it is too hard or impossible to obtain a licence, consider having a civil ceremony in Australia first to make it legal and then taking the celebration overseas.
- Plan for all kinds of weather – climates differ around the world, so make sure you plan accordingly, including your wedding attire. Weather is also unpredictable, so ensure there are back up facilities available for your guests (i.e. shelter if it rains)
- Hire a wedding planner – organising a wedding overseas can be twice as hard as at home due to language barriers and lack of local knowledge, so consider hiring a wedding planner who can source all suppliers locally and take care of everything for you.