Throwing a backyard wedding can save you a lot of money, but you should consult your home insurance first.

Does my Home Insurance Cover Backyard Weddings?September 13, 2021

If you postponed your wedding last year or you are newly engaged and have a sticker shock at the price of it all, you may be considering alternatives to a traditional wedding venue.

For homeowners, having a backyard wedding is a great option and substantial cost savings. But as with anything else regarding your home, it is best to first consult your home insurance policy to know exactly what you will and will not be covered for if something happens. Here are some things to consider before you start planning.

Home Insurance Coverage for Backyard Weddings

The first consideration is to determine whether your home insurance will cover a backyard wedding. Fortunately, most policies will cover a wedding in your backyard as it would usually cover any other event happening. But what does this mean exactly?

To understand what your home insurance policy will cover for weddings, you first need to understand what your policy typically covers. Specifically, the two most essential coverages that could come into play are personal property and liability.

Personal Property Coverage

One of the coverages provided by your home insurance and important to consider for a wedding at your home is coverage for your personal property. Personal property coverage will provide replacement or repair for your property that is damaged by a covered event.

For example, if something in your home is stolen during the event, coverage would be provided under your personal property limit. Since there is additional risk involved with inviting more people into your home for a wedding, you may want to review your limits to make sure they are enough to cover these scenarios.

Liability Coverage

The primary consideration for a backyard wedding is your liability. A standard homeowner’s policy usually provides coverage anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000 in liability coverage. This means that if someone gets hurt on your property or you are responsible for damage to someone else’s property, you have coverage up to the limit you select.

An example of this might be if someone trips and falls over a tree branch in your backyard. Any bodily injury they sustain could be paid for under this coverage. Liability coverage is especially important if you are going to serve alcohol at your wedding.

Host Liquor Liability

As you can imagine, serving alcohol has the potential to increase your exposure to liability claims significantly. For example, a wedding guest has a little too much to drink and causes a car accident on their way home. Theoretically, you could be held liable for providing the alcohol that intoxicated the driver.

In some cases, this is not a scenario your home policy would cover. What can you do to ensure you are not paying out of pocket for damages you did not cause? Look into obtaining a host liquor liability policy for your wedding.

A host liquor liability policy provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage that occurs because of alcohol consumption and additionally will pay for the event host’s legal fees if sued. This type of policy is the perfect way to transfer your risk of alcohol-related claims so you can focus on your wedding instead.

Event Insurance

An alternative policy to host liquor liability insurance if you are having a backyard wedding is event insurance. While your home policy will cover any damage you may be liable for at your event, it will not cover any cancellations. This is where event insurance comes into play.

If a hurricane, for example, forces you to cancel or postpone your event, you would be covered for any non-refundable deposits or expenses. In addition to covering event cancellations, event insurance also offers the host liquor liability coverage and coverage for any other liability.

The cost is relatively inexpensive for the coverage provided and can be purchased up to a few days before the event.

Umbrella Policies

If you decide to forgo a host liquor liability policy or event insurance for your big day, it would be beneficial to at least consider purchasing an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy extends your limit of liability on your underlying home and car policies above and beyond the limits selected on that policy.

For example, if you have a $500,000 liability limit on your home policy, you are only covered up to that amount. Consequently, if you have a liability loss that is more than $500,000, you would be responsible for those damages out of pocket.

An umbrella policy usually starts at a $1,000,000 limit of liability and would provide the extra coverage needed to cover that loss. The price of a policy is minimal and does extend coverage on both your auto and home policy, making it a good idea for the long term.

Key Takeaways

If you are planning a backyard wedding, it is important to first consult your home policy. With more people in your home, the risk of liability losses also increases.

To ensure you have the protection you need, it is best to review your home policy’s personal property and liability limits. An umbrella policy is also a good idea to cover any liability losses above the limit you carry on your home policy.

Whether you are serving alcohol, host liquor liability, or event insurance is a great way to cover any unforeseen events like an alcohol-related loss or a canceled event.

Final Thoughts

Liability insurance is essential if you are throwing a backyard wedding at your home. Because planning a wedding can be stressful, but the event itself should not be. Luckily, there is no shortage of options when it comes to protecting yourself and your new spouse from unexpected damages.

Contact the experts at Duliban today to confirm you have the coverage you need so you can enjoy your day!

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