By Joanne Poh, MoneySmart
Weddings in Singapore can cost as much as a small house in another country. Yet it’s mind boggling how many couples get so mired in wedding prep, booking a venue and arranging for their photoshoots that they lose track of the fact that they’re laying tens of thousands of dollars on the table—not realising that it’s way easier for a wedding to be derailed than a car or property purchase. If you suffer a medical emergency, your car or house will not disappear, but your wedding will be ruined.
Few people realise there is such a thing as wedding insurance in Singapore. Such an insurance policy might offer you a pay out if your wedding gets cancelled, or compensation for screw-ups like the best man dropping the rings into a toilet bowl.
Here are four red flags that indicate wedding insurance might be a good idea.
There are health issues in the family
If you have a very traditional or… how do I put this nicely… ‘pantang’ sort of family, there are many situations where it would be unlucky to go ahead with your wedding. For instance, if a member of your immediate family should become very ill or pass away, you might have to postpone your wedding, often at a great cost.
For instance, in ethnic Chinese families, if one parent passes away, the bride or groom is required to either hold their wedding within 100 days, or to postpone it for another 1,000 days—that’s a whopping three years. If your family is the superstitious sort, any illnesses in the immediate family should be taken seriously, as you might have to reshuffle your wedding dates to accommodate should something happen.
Having insurance also means that if the bride or groom is hit by a bout of food poisoning, he or she won’t be forced to march down the aisle with a green face.
Your wedding is super expensive
The more you spend on your wedding, the more you stand to lose should something happen. If you’re throwing a budget $2,000 wedding in your own backyard, then you don’t have that much to lose if something rains on your parade.
But if you’re throwing one of those $50,000 weddings (and according to many of my friends, $30,000 is considered just “average”), you stand to lose a lot of money.
Your wedding is very elaborate
Gone are the days when getting married just meant showing up at a church or temple and having a lunch reception afterwards. These days, weddings can be as elaborate as a David Copperfield magic show, with banquets featuring live bands, concept photographers and expensive imported flowers.
The more components your wedding contains and the more vendors you’re working with, the higher the likelihood of something going wrong. If you’re renting a white horse to take you down the aisle on horseback and engaging Jay Chou himself to sing at your wedding, it would be wise to get some insurance in case one of these service providers makes a mistake or shuts down, like this bridal shop did.
Some wedding insurance policies will cover mishaps such as your wedding photos and videos being corrupted, damaged wedding outfits and delays. Make sure you read the details of the policies you’re considering to identify the ones that are most useful to you.
There are serious problems in your relationship
I’ve been invited to several wedding banquets that got cancelled at the last minute, and to be brutally honest, the main reason for all the cancellations was the fact that either the bride- or groom-to-be decided to bow out of the relationship.
This tends to happen quite a lot in Singapore as weddings are usually planned so far in advance, and there’s so much at stake such as HDB deposits, that many people go ahead with the arrangements despite their misgivings… until they’re due to show up at the altar.
Of course, it’s pretty hard to broach the topic of buying wedding insurance because you’re afraid one of you might run off. But it’s happened to so many people I know that I’m certain that somewhere out there there are some people who would benefit by just gritting their teeth and buying a policy.
Do note, however, that not all wedding insurance policies will cover wedding cancellations borne of a change of heart. So be sure you read the policy closely to ensure you’ll be covered (look out for what is often known as a “change of heart” clause). As this is such a huge reason weddings in Singapore get cancelled, it’s probably the first thing you want to get coverage for, sad as it might sound.
This article was first published at MoneySmart.sg