"The latest entrant into the insurance family is wedding insurance," I told my brother Prabhat who is getting married this year. His immediate response was: "What's the need of such an insurance cover?" But before i could answer, his next question was, "What is the premium and what is the term insured?"
Wedding insurance is for providing cover to protect you against any untoward incident on or before the wedding.
Whatever may be your financial status, weddings in India attract huge expenditure, what with it being a once-in-a-lifetime event. After some research, I knew wedding insurance is not that big in India as awareness is still quite low. Moreover, people shudder to even think of an unforeseen, unfortunate event happening around their own or their child's wedding.
Mostly, it is a case of: Let's not think about it; and nothing will happen. But considering the huge amounts at stake in such a short duration, it is advisable to protect yourself from any such incident.
In a nutshell, wedding insurance safeguards you financially against unforeseen events that could postpone or cancel the wedding.
A conversation with the relationship manager of Bajaj Allianz revealed that they have recently launched a wedding insurance package.
He said, "In case the wedding gets postponed or cancelled, there is a certain risk of monetary loss. Our package covers the specific risks related to weddings. But yes there are not many takers for the same till now; moreover the policy is not being marketed aggressively as well."
Normally the wedding insurance policy covers wedding cancellation / postponement due to fire or any natural disaster, accident of the bride / groom, accident of blood relations for a seven-day period (three days prior to the wedding date, the wedding date, and three days after the wedding date), damage to property including the venue, burglary, and even cases of food poisoning at the function.
Typical wedding insurance covers range from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 8 lakh and their indicative premiums range from Rs 3,770 to Rs 14,276.
What wedding insurance broadly covers?
Right from brides or grooms coming late to burglary of valuables, everything is covered. The biggest risk covered is non-availability of groom or bride owing to stranded transport or law and order problems. Any damage to building and contents due to fire or allied perils is also considered a ground for claims. Accidental death in family or that of close family friend is also covered.
Legal liability and third party damages are recognised as risks. There is cover against food poisoning too, which comes under public liability clause. In case wedding ornaments are lost, the policy stands.
Money kept in safes at the wedding residence also comes under insurance policy. It extends to the day after the nuptials. Burglary of valuables is covered for one day after the marriage, as it is assumed that people stay back the night after wedding.
What wedding insurance doesn't cover?
The insurance policy cannot be claimed if dispute arises between two families. There are a whole lot of exclusions, which prevent a wedding insurance claim from being accepted. A marriage under duress, criminal acts, misconduct, misrepresentation, willful negligence, insolvency and influence of drugs or alcohol are sufficient to exclude a policy.
Nuclear perils, radioactivity, war and war-like perils also come under exclusions. The fine print has to be read because damage to electricity through short-circuits or self-heating deprives you of policy benefits.
The wedding insurance policy does not cover 'cold feet', that is, when the bride and / or the groom change their mind at the wedding venue.
Also nothing can be done if bride and groom decide to run away! Nevertheless, you should find the wedding insurance bug catching on... There is just too much expense and value involved for that not to happen.
Text: Bienu Vaghela
Photograph: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images
Author is chief editor at Apnainsurance.com which is a comprehensive guide to insurance in India. It enables customers search and apply for all their insurance needs.
Also see: Tying the knot? Here's a wedding checklist!