Saturday, 19 January 2013
The marriages during yesteryears, though, lasted for a number of days, were simple and uncomplicated. They were not subjected to the complications and other elaborations of the current day weddings. Even the wedding receptions arranged only by very wealthy families, were missing most of the posh and lavish arrangements of today. The marriages were normally conducted within the village or city using the help of the relatives and friends living close by. Very rarely, people travelled long distances either to make a wedding arrangement or to attend a marriage.
Present day weddings, on the contrary, are more lavish with a variety of associated celebrations. The disbursals for these expensive weddings include jewellery, dresses, catering arrangement, wedding planner arrangement, payment to wedding venue, video and photographers, travel expenses and others. Therefore, successful arranging and conducting of such a weddings largely depended on a range of external sources. Failure or non-complying their part by any of the external sources, will partially or totally affect the wedding procedures.
It is still an inexplicable fact, how most of these weddings, performed by spending lakhs of rupees and at times even crores of rupees, gets completed without major problems. There were also few instances, where the weddings cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances have resulted in huge loss to the families that have spent a good amount of money to complete the wedding arrangements.
In India, the idea of insuring a wedding is yet to penetrate into the minds of the people who are arranging them. Normally, the parents, while arranging the marriages don’t ever wish or perceive any negative occurrence that will lead to the postponement or cancellation of a marriage. Most of them consider the very idea of insuring a marriage as negative thinking and don’t attempt to insure the marriages.
But, there is a visible change in the mindset of the people, especially amongst those who spend huge money in wedding arrangements. They have become more practicable and understand the ground realities associated with the present day marriage arrangements, where they have little or no control over any of the eventualities. The number of people thinking of insuring the marriage is expected to go up in the coming years.
In India, the insurance companies, till today, consider the wedding as an event and cover it only under the event insurance. Such a policy compensates any damage to the property at the marriage venue including the hard cash, cancellation or postponement of the wedding and sickness or personal accident to the persons named in policy. It is possible to customise the clauses of the policy to suit the individual requirements.
The policy also can cover various wedding related functions such as Mehendi, Sangeet, evening party, real wedding and the reception. It can prevent the loss to the insurer on account of the cancellation and postponement of a marriage on the sudden death of a close relative who is ailing, food poisoning, and fire or burglary at the wedding hall. The policy also covers the falling sick of a groom or bride or any other immediate family member named in the policy and their hospitalization within a week before the actual wedding date. Though, a wedding insurance policy will not cover a wedding cancellation due to differences of opinion between the wedding parties, the policy covers the non-turning up of groom due to dispute in dowry payment.
It is possible to cover a single event of the wedding or the full wedding right from the first day. The premium to cover a wedding ranges from 0.75% to 1.5% of the total sum insured. The policy can be taken in such a way that it can come into force 15 days before the actual marriage date.
In case of cancellation or postponement of the wedding, the insurance will cover all non refundable expenses such as travel bookings, accommodation arrangement in hotels, music arrangement, amount paid to decorators and caterer, advances paid to the marriage hall, and printing of invitation card. The policy also includes loss/damage to received gifts, jewellery, hired sets for the marriage, shamiana and other decorative materials.
It is essential for the insurer to have bills and invoices for all the payments and expenses made related to the marriage to make an insurance claim. The insurer before making any claim should have taken adequate measures to minimise the loss to the properties during such cancellation.