Wedding insurance? Why does my venue want that?

Your wedding to-do list: That wonderful yet daunting list which includes Flowers, Cake, Tuxedos, Party Favors and Insurance.

Wait! What?


There is that little paragraph in your venue rental agreement titled “Insurance Requirements”. You could be at risk of losing that perfect wedding spot if you don’t provide them with proof of coverage.

What are they asking for?

The venue wants you to have a General Liability Policy. This is to protect you and them in case someone gets hurt or damage is done to their historic hardwood floors because of the Wedding.

What will it cost?

It will depend on the size of your wedding and the venue terms. Progressive provides a resource on wedding insurance policies that will run you $67 up to $300.

Why are they asking for it?

The venue should have their own insurance. But, they (and their insurance carrier) would much rather file a claim on a policy in the name of the person responsible. If you are the couple getting married, you’re responsible for most everything that happens at the Wedding.

It says they want to be Additional Insured. Huh?

Yep. As the Additional Insured (also Certificate Holder), the venue has protection from claims due to the Wedding. You can have multiple Additional Insureds. If your ceremony is happening at one location and the reception at another, there is no charge for another Certificate if you use Progressive’s recommended Event Insurance Company.

Please be aware that adding someone as an Additional Insured does not give them coverage for their own negligence. If you put your florist as an Additional Insured, the florist will NOT have coverage under your policy if she causes injury or damage.

That little paragraph says “Primary and Non-Contributory wording required”. What is that?

This is an additional policy endorsement that will make your policy primary in the case of shared liability. It is typically combined with a Waiver of Subrogation and will add to the cost of the policy. Basically, it means your General Liability Policy is prevented from seeking money from the venue even if the incident was partially the venue’s fault.

Nothing is going to happen! Why do I need this?

The wedding couple whose groomsman left the plug open at the bottom of the cooler and caused $10,000 in damage to a historic hardwood floor said the exact same thing!

The bride whose uncle slipped on spilled wine on the dance floor and broke his wrist said the same thing!

You get the idea. You don’t want your marriage starting out with a financial hardship just because of an unforeseeable incident at the Wedding.

If the incident is because someone drank too much, is there coverage?

Most wedding General Liability Insurance, like the coverage Progressive recommends, includes Host Liquor Liability. Host Liquor Liability is sufficient for the Wedding couple who will have alcohol at the wedding, but aren’t in the business of selling, serving, manufacturing or distributing. If you hire a professional bartender to do the serving, make sure he or she has his/her own liability coverage (not the same as a liquor license). If they don’t, you may have to get it for them to be sufficiently covered for claims arising out of alcohol consumption.

If Bartender should have general liability, should my Caterer?

Yes, any vendor who could be responsible for guest injury or damage to the venue really should have their own coverage. Some venues even require proof. General liability is all about whose fault it is. If your DJ decides to spray blue confetti while the bubble machine is going, he or she will have to cover the blue stained carpet that needs to be replaced. If the DJ can’t cover it, the venue is going to look to you for payment.

What isn’t covered by General Liability at a wedding?

Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions which will include exclusions such as intentional injury (assault & battery), theft, athletic participants, volunteers, employees and auto exposures. You may also have to remove mosh pits or pyrotechnics from your list of possible activities.

Will this Wedding Insurance cover us if we have to cancel or if something else goes wrong?

No. General Liability intends to cover injury or damage you cause to someone or something else. It does not cover things that happen to you or your stuff. If a guest spills champagne all over the laptop you brought to organize the seating chart, you may be able to file that claim with your Homeowner’s policy. There are policies available, like Wedding Cancellation, which can reimburse lost expenses due to cancellation.

There are so many more fun and beautiful things to think about when planning a Wedding. Please let us help you check this item off your list so you can move on to taste-testing cake!