Are you hosting a backyard wedding this summer? These close-to-home, more informal nuptials became increasingly popular during the pandemic in 2020 and continue to be a common sight. But a backyard or at-home wedding also means increased risk that the homeowner should properly insure against.
What types of risks might impact various types of your personal insurance? And how can you ensure that you and your guests are sufficiently covered? Here are seven important insurance coverage issues to address in advance.
1. Liability Insurance
Begin by examining your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Home insurance comes with a certain amount of liability coverage. Liability coverage is what provides funds to pay for injuries or accidents that befall your guests while they are on your property. It also covers damage to their property, such as damage to parked cars or the theft of someone's heirloom jewelry while they attend your wedding.
Liability coverage prevents you from being the subject of lawsuits — so the more people and property you have on site, the higher your limits should be. For a relatively small additional premium, most policies can see their liability coverage limits increase to $1,000,000 or more.
2. Personal Property Insurance
Make sure that your property is appropriately covered against damage. If someone steals your new computer during the party, homeowners insurance covers the repairs. If you haven't recently reassessed whether your property coverage limits are appropriate for your current home's value, this is the time to do so.
3. Vendor Insurance
Make sure all wedding vendors have their own business insurance. Business liability insurance protects clients like yourself from being financial responsible for injuries or accidents caused by vendors.
If the rented tent collapses in your backyard and injures the guests inside, the tent rental company's commercial liability insurance should pick up the tab. However, if you didn't ensure the vendor was sufficiently covered, your homeowners coverage or even you as the property owner could become liable for the bills.
4. Vehicle Insurance
Your backyard wedding may or may not call for you to consider vehicle insurance. First, all vendors should have appropriate business vehicle insurance to cover any incidents — such as an accident or injuring a guest — while they are on your property or working for your wedding. This could be an issue in particular if any vendors do wedding gigs as a side job, as they may not have commercial vehicle insurance.
Second, if you plan to use your own vehicles for things like transporting the wedding couple or any inebriated guests, make sure your coverage has higher limits and has current coverage.
5. Liquor Liability Insurance
Do you plan to serve alcohol at the wedding? Then you may need what is known as liquor liability insurance.
This relatively inexpensive coverage can be added to existing homeowners policies or purchased separately just to cover the wedding weekend. It covers the liability risks you may encounter for selling or serving drinks to guests who may become rowdy or drive under the influence. This policy may be necessary even if your bartender has their own business liability insurance.
6. Individual Insurance Limits
Aside from making sure you have high overall homeowners and liability coverage limits, check specific individual limits too. Most home and renters policies place limitations on individual categories of personal property, such as art and collectibles. If you bought more expensive items for the big day, they may not be fully covered, so be aware of that.
7. Wedding or Event Insurance
Home wedding organizers have an option they may not be aware of: wedding or event insurance. This is a one-time policy specifically designed to cover many of the common needs for a backyard event of this type. It may include liability coverage, alcohol liability insurance, cancellation insurance, and specific riders to protect individual elements of the wedding (such as an expensive bridal gown).
Whether or not you want to buy wedding or event insurance often depends on how well you're covered by existing home and vehicle policies. It may be less expensive to add higher limits or riders to your current policies rather than buy targeted insurance designed by the wedding industry. This is particularly the case if your home wedding will be small in scale.
Starting Point for Your Insurance Needs
The first step to ensure that your wedding is covered is to consult with your insurance agent to examine existing coverage. Your agent take the time to help you decide the most cost-effective way to boost any necessary policies while avoiding any unnecessary expenses.
Colorado residents can rely on the team at L.A. Insurance. We provide a wide variety of personal and professional insurance policies to meet all your needs. Call today to make an appointment and cross this valuable task off your wedding to-do list.