Less than 5% of the 2.5 million weddings that take place annually in the U.S. are insured. With the average cost of a wedding skyrocketing to $27,000 and pricey destination-oriented nuptials being all the rage, Travelers is looking to begin its own long-term relationship with those who say "I do."
"This is a product that shows we and our agents are 'in-synch' with our customers," said Alan Tuvin, vice president of product management at Travelers. "A wedding is a great time to start a life-long relationship with a customer."
First there's the wedding policy, then the special rider to insure the engagement ring, the automotive policy for the now two-car household, the homeowners' policy and life insurance.
The company broke ads for the product on Valentine's Day.
Wedding insurance is only the beginning of other special event policies Travelers has in the pipeline to help consumers protect investments in big-ticket, one-of-a-kind events such as family reunions, bar and bas mitzvahs and anniversary celebrations, Tuvin said.
Travelers launched its wedding policy primarily through public relations, marketing collateral sent to its network of independent agents and brokers, and Internet ads to drive traffic to a new Web site (www.protectmywedding.com).
Once there, users can sign up for a wedding planning newsletter, take a simple "risk quiz" to determine the cost of their policy--typically between $160 and $1,225--and tailor coverage to their specific wedding plans. A locator directs the user to nearby Travelers agents to buy a policy, or it can be done online.
Some of the items covered by a wedding insurance policy? The cancellation of a wedding due to severe weather, lost deposits, vendors who fail to deliver, and military deployment.
More specific examples? The wedding dress that never materializes because the bridal shop goes out of business. The caterer who backs out at the last minute. Or the photographer who shows up, snaps photos and then fails to deliver the final wedding album.
"In this instance, the policy would cover the cost of reconvening the wedding party to take the formal photos," Tuvin explained.