Why you need Wedding Insurance…

For better or worse, for richer or poorer, for nickels and dimes.

“We could go out of business before your big day.”

Wedding spending tumbled 32% during the recession, from an average of $28,730 per event in 2007 to $19,581 in 2009, according to market research firm The Wedding Report. After recovering somewhat, spending now seems to be flattening out — in 2012, the average wedding cost $25,656, an increase of just $25, or less than one-tenth of 1%, over 2011. And the continuing tough economy, experts say, has some vendors languishing in the red. Or worse. Toronto police last month charged a bridal shop owner with fraud for closing without notice earlier this year, taking brides’ dresses and deposits with her. Travelers, an insurance company, reports that of wedding insurance claims filed last year due to “vendor problems,” 21% involved caterers going out of business and an additional 11% were related to deejays going out of business or not showing up. “We do attribute that to the recession,” says Chantal Cyr, vice president of personal insurance at Travelers.

Also see: With wedding costs, location is everything

 Businesses aren’t apt to announce they’re having financial trouble, so it’s on couples to protect themselves, says Anja Winnika, site director for TheKnot.com. When possible, she says, put deposits on a credit card: The Fair Credit Billing Act offers some recourse for a refund if services or items paid for aren’t delivered. (Just pay off the bill in full to avoid interest charges.) “Smaller vendors may charge a credit-card processing fee,” she says. “But I think it’s worth it for peace of mind.” A wedding insurance policy can also be beneficial, Winnika says. Depending on the coverage and when the problem crops up, an out-of-business vendor might be replaced, your money refunded or the wedding party reconvened for replacement photos.

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