The Expert Tips & Advice is an interview series with local wedding professionals. We talk about trends, ideas and advice to make wedding planning easier for the couple.
Jeff Barnes Agency, INC, American Family Insurance | jeffbarnesagency.com | Ad & Contact Info
You dream and plan for months to have a beautiful wedding. You want it to be perfect. But sometimes, things happen that you can’t plan for–a tragedy or mother nature can strike, preventing that perfect day from happening.
Two important things that can help you are Wedding Insurance (sometimes called Wedding Cancellations Insurance) and Wedding Liability Insurance.
Jeff Barnes is president of Jeff Barnes Agency, INC., an American Family Insurance agency in Cedar Rapids. He has over 28 years experience as an award winning agent and wants to help you be prepared so you can relax and enjoy your special day.
The flooding that has occurred throughout the corridor is a reminder that tragedy can strike without much advance warning. Jeff understands this. “My daughter’s wedding was the weekend the 2008 flood hit. If we had picked a venue in the flood zone, we would’ve had to cancel it at great expense. Fortunately, the wedding was out-of-town, however several local guests couldn’t make it, and we were forced to pay for their food. We donated the extra food to the police department.”
Wedding insurance policies cover tragedies that would prevent you from getting married. They can reimburse you for financial losses and expenses in the event your wedding must be postponed or canceled.
This type of policy is good for peace-of-mind. Admittedly, the extra expense is not for everyone. Even with his personal experience, Jeff says, “Honestly, most brides and grooms do not buy wedding insurance policies because they’re expensive and the tragedies they protect you against rarely actually happen.”
On the other hand, wedding liability insurance is something that Jeff helps Corridor wedding couples with quite often.
Many wedding couples are choosing unique and personalized spaces for their ceremony and receptions, such as museums, barns and private estates. Many of these Corridor venues require or prefer the host provide liability insurance. “Couples often want to know who is covered and why they need it. Both the event center operator and the couple is covered with liability insurance for the wedding day,” Jeff says.
It helps to protect you in the event of such things as guest injuries or venue property damage. These policies also offer liquor liability to protect the host in case of alcohol related accidents, in which you could be sued. Some parks or recreation centers may only require proof of your homeowners insurance to cover for the liability, while other Corridor venues will require a separate policy, particularly private venues where you’re bringing in food or venues that don’t typically serve alcohol.
Before your appointment to get the insurance policy, Jeff recommends:
- Making sure you have the proper documents. You can often find these online from the venue.
- Plan ahead and read the rental agreement.
- Certain venues will require proof of particular amounts of liability insurance. Find out what your venue requires.
- “Don’t wait to the last minute,” Jeff says.
An important detail brides and grooms may miss when planning their wedding is to insure their engagement and wedding rings. “Wedding rings are an important symbol of your relationship,” says Jeff. He wants to make sure you have them properly covered on your policy.
Life events, such as getting married, prompt people to evaluate their other insurance requirements, too. Whatever your insurance requirements may be, before or after the wedding, Jeff will make sure you have what you need. Along with his staff, Jeff can help with your auto, home, life, and business insurance policies. Jeff’s company is known for their excellent customer service. They pay attention to your needs, including looking for potential gaps and reminding you of often-overlooked steps. When you use one company, you’re more likely to get better rates and more stability with your policies. For example, while car insurance costs have been trending downward, married couples tend to get better rates, plus additional savings with multi-car policy discounts.
“Another step couples may forget is reviewing the beneficiary of their life insurance policy. This is especially important when combining a blended family.” Some employers offers life insurance policies, so make sure the beneficiary with your employer policy is up-to-date, as well. “Also, having an up-to-date will is so important.” If you don’t yet have a will, Jeff is happy to refer you to a trusted attorney who can help you with that.
A’s to my Q’s: Jeff says…
Weddings and honeymoons go hand-in-hand.
You should never get married without true love.
Do you have an unforgettable wedding, sometimes you have to prepare ahead.
Electric Slide, Chicken Dance for Watching from the bar? Chicken Dance!