Matri-money matters

Matri-money matters
ENGAGED: Ms Esther Teo and Mr Kenneth Goh.

A wedding dinner checklist can be long. Think gown, cake, venue and yes, the hongbao.

But what if something goes terribly wrong? Like a no-show by the florists? Or if the bride suddenly falls ill on the big day?

Enter wedding insurance.

Ms Esther Teo, 34, and her fiance Mr Kenneth Goh, 35, are tying the knot in November at the Novotel.

She estimates her wedding budget to be $50,000, with around 250 guests attending their big night.

To protect themselves against mishaps, the couple bought a package by Adele Duxton which includes wedding insurance.

They paid about $3,000 and it includes videography and photography services, on top of the complimentary wedding insurance.

Ms Teo says: "It's not something many photographers and videographers offer. We were afraid there would be a case of them not showing up, or cancelling at the last minute because of illness.

"A wedding is a once in a lifetime event. We just want to ensure everything runs smoothly."

REIMBURSEMENT

So what exactly does the insurance policy cover?

Adele Duxton, which started offering this service last November, says its range of packages can include reimbursement for data corruption of wedding photos and videos, damage to wedding attire, unreasonable delay of floral arrangements and even loss of wedding rings on the wedding day.

"We provide complimentary wedding insurance for all our clients if they engage our services, including photography and videography services, or if they engage our vendor services through us," says Madam Adeline Tan, 30, founder and director of Adele Duxton.

"If the crew is supposed to report at a specific time and they are delayed by half an hour or more without a proper reason, we will submit an incident report to our insurance company."

The payout depends on the severity of the damage caused by the delay.

The concept of wedding insurance is not new overseas.

In the UK, for example, it can cost between £30 (S$62) and £200.

One company here, Pacific Insurance Brokers, started its wedding insurance service last month and has already sold about 20 to 30 policies.

Mr Damian Yong, its content manager, says: "With more couples spending more on their weddings, they are looking to protect their investment."

He says Pacific Insurance Brokers offers policies that could even pay out the full amount of the wedding cost in the event of a cancellation.

And what if the cancellation is a case of cold feet?

Mr Yong says with a laugh: "No policy will ever cover for such a reason.

"No way."

How these policies work

Couples buy wedding insurance to protect themselves against last-minute emergencies on their big day.

So what determines the price of the insurance policy?

For Pacific Insurance Brokers, this figure is calculated based on factors such as the wedding budget, venue, programme and number of guests.

Mr Damian Yong, its content manager, adds that another factor is whether the package includes a non-appearance clause.

This clause typically covers cancellations due to the couple, their parents or their children falling ill.

WEDDING ATTIRE

The premium goes up if the couple decides to have more guests insured for not being able to show up because of an illness.

Pacific Insurance Brokers' starter $450 package even covers the cost incurred if the couple's wedding attire - whether it is owned or rented - is damaged.

The policy includes coverage for one outfit each for a bridesmaid and groomsman, wedding gifts, and financial losses as a result of a cancellation or postponement of the wedding.

The package also includes deposits paid to suppliers.

Mr Yong says: "If the caterer suddenly fails to show up and the couple is able to find a replacement caterer at the last minute, the policy will cover the cost incurred in hiring the new caterer.

"If the caterer doesn't show up but a non-refundable deposit has already been paid, the insurance policy reimburses the couple for that deposit.

"It either reimburses the supplier deposit or the extra cost."

He also cites other unforseen instances that could postpone the wedding.

"Take for example if the wedding is held at a hotel and the stage suddenly falls in and it cannot be replaced on time, so the couple have to postpone or cancel the wedding. The wedding insurance then covers the cancellation costs," says Mr Yong.

NTUC income started offering wedding insurance in 2002 but it has since been discontinued.

heatherh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Mar 1, 2015.
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