The Scoop: Many weddings go according to plan, while some experience only minor mishaps. But it’s always good to be prepared. Canada’s PAL Insurance Brokers created its Weddinguard policy to provide peace of mind for couples if their big day goes awry. The policy can cover everything from a burned wedding dress to lost deposits because a venue goes bankrupt. PAL Insurance Brokers safeguards couples from wedding day disasters so they can move forward with their relationship even if their wedding plans are altered.
There’s a reason people call it “the big day,” as weddings are often the most expensive event people plan in their lifetimes.
Couples budget an average of $23,000 for their wedding and end up spending around $30,000, according to WeddingWire’s 2020 Newlywed Report. That sum includes the dress, flowers, cake, dinner, drinks, photography, and renting a venue, among other costs.
With so much money invested, couples spend plenty of time thinking about all of the things that could go wrong — and for a good reason. A wedding has many risks associated with it, no matter the size. A groomsman could drink too much and get in a wreck on the way home. The dress shop set to deliver a beautiful wedding dress could have a fire the day before, or the venue could close down and leave a couple without their deposit.
Those scenarios led PAL Insurance Brokers of Canada to develop Weddinguard, an insurance policy designed for those preparing to tie the knot. The policy offers couples protection, relationship peace of mind, and fewer scenarios to worry about as they prepare for their big day.
“Let’s say someone is over-served or takes a spill on the dance floor. There are a lot of lawsuits that could come back to the host of the event. This policy is designed for the bride or groom, or whoever is putting the wedding on, for coverage that they may not foresee,” said Matt Taylor, the General Manager of PAL Insurance Brokers.
Matt said he had witnessed plenty of unforeseen circumstances with weddings and that, while couples can’t control everything, Weddinguard can help make them whole again.
More Than 30 Years of Experience Insuring Events
PAL Insurance Brokers was founded in 1989 by Matt’s grandfather, Bob Morrison, and has offices in Calgary, Simcoe, and Montreal. The agency initially focused on Party Alcohol Liability, or PAL. Those policies were a specific type of insurance required for most special events that serve alcohol.
That included anything from a birthday party to an engagement bash, and PAL-style insurance is often a requirement for renting any public facility, including community centers or performance halls. It protected the venue and the hosts from judgments of negligence in case of an injury associated with alcohol.
“From there, we expanded to other niche products online,” Matt said.
Today, the company is a leader in the industry in Canada, and was named a Five-Star MGA in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 by the Insurance Business Canada. Matt and Special Events Department Lead Stephanie Langlois were also named “Young Guns in the Insurance Industry” by Insurance Business Canada.
The company is family-run and focuses solely on Canadians. The team is bilingual and writes policies for a wide range of personal and commercial events. Its specialties include everything from protecting the contents of a storage unit to prize indemnity insurance for Hole-In-One contests.
About 10 years ago, the company created an online platform for Weddinguard to offer the same type of peace of mind to people in relationships. It covers the requirements of renting a venue and nearly everything else a couple could need as they sign contracts and make significant purchases associated with the big day.
Covering Mixed-Up Photographers and Bankrupted Venues
All the risks covered by the Weddinguard program came from requests from previous customers. One thing that isn’t covered is a case of cold feet, and if one partner decides to call off the wedding, the chances are that getting deposits back is the least of your worries.
“When we’re at a wedding show, we see a lot of couples who look at wedding insurance. Their first thought is that ‘Oh, nothing is going to happen, we’re not going to break up,’” Matt said. “While cold feet is an exclusion, the policy does have a lot of extra coverage that brides and grooms don’t realize they have extra exposure during their big day, which could lead to relationship issues.”
The coverage includes a general commercial liability with liquor liability for three 24-hour periods. That covers the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and the following day when couples open gifts to celebrate their new relationship status. They can also apply for additional 24-hour periods if needed.
Weddinguard also protects couples from unexpected cancellation of weddings, honeymoon, and the loss of non-refundable deposits for cake or other services if there’s a financial loss.
If a couple is worried because their photographer got sick at the last minute, the policy pays for photo retakes. It also covers the bridal attire gifts, wedding rings, flowers, rental property, and even wedding stationery.
“This gives them extra peace of mind on their big day,” Matt said. “This is for anyone who is getting married.”
PAL Insurance Brokers Protects Even the Smallest Ceremonies
PAL Insurance Brokers created Weddinguard to keep couples focused on their relationships and not their finances when planning a wedding. Today, many couples also have to deal with a significant factor outside of their control: the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s one reason many couples organize small, backyard weddings, and Weddinguard policies can cover those private events. When liability could rest on the shoulders of loved ones on their own property, insurance is even more critical, Matt said.
“It has a lot of great options for adverse weather, for example,” he said. “The pandemic taught us that we never know what’s going to happen, so it’s nice to have that option.”
Couples interested in a Weddinguard policy can fill out a form on the PAL Insurance Brokers website. They can select the best coverage, see additional details, and even pay instantly — up to three days before the wedding date — using a credit card.
“The policy will be issued on the spot automatically, and sent to them by email within seconds of application submission,” Matt said.
When travel opens up again, Canadian residents who want to take their vows in other countries can take advantage of the Destination Wedding add-on. Weddinguard insurance can be purchased up to one year from the date of the wedding.
“We like to call it wedding essentials,” Matt said. “Our additional features cover commercial general and host liquor liability for three-to 24-hour dates, wedding cancellation, honeymoon cancellation, loss deposits, wedding photos and video, bridal attire, wedding gifts, rings, wedding cake and flowers, wedding stationery, and rented property.”