IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING EMERALD WEDDING POLICIES AND COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS – UPDATE (6) 20th March 2020

Due to the coronavirus and concerns about public health, we have had to suspend sales of new wedding insurance policies. We are actively assessing the situation and this restriction may change in the near future. Please check back daily. We apologize and regret any inconvenience.

If you would like us to inform you when the wedding sales suspension is lifted, please leave your details HERE.

For existing customers, be assured your coverage and policy remain in place and unchanged.

If you have any questions please call: 0330 131 9950 or email: customerservice@emeraldlife.co.uk.

As you will appreciate, the unprecedented nature of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the need for restrictions of gatherings has had a significant impact on both the wedding industry as a whole and more specifically your planned wedding.

As a result, we are receiving an extremely high volume of enquiries and claims from customers, and our usual response time has been affected. We sincerely apologise for this, however, please be assured that we are working through all claims and enquiries thoroughly, and as quickly as we possibly can.

If your wedding is impacted by Covid-19 and if you have not already done so, we encourage you to approach your wedding providers (venue and all suppliers) to discuss rearrangement options for a new wedding date, as we will need to know your rearrangement options before any claim can be fully considered.

We appreciate your continued patience while we all work through this.

To assist existing customers in their understanding of what might be, and what is not, covered under an Emerald Wedding Policy in relation to covid-19/coronavirus (“coronavirus”), please note the following:

  • If a wedding venue is specifically closed by the authorities because of an outbreak of contagious/infectious disease (including coronavirus) then this may give rise to an eligible claim if it becomes necessary to cancel or rearrange the wedding. However, if the government were to introduce a general law or regulation, for example banning large groups from assembling or quarantining a city, town or region, then there would be no cover as Emerald’s policy wording expressly excludes liability arising from a change in law or change in regulation.
  • If flights are cancelled or delayed because of a coronavirus issue, then this is not covered under an Emerald wedding policy. A wedding policy covers the event itself not travel to the event, and so customers should check their travel insurance in this case.
  • If one of the wedding participants or one or more close relatives falls seriously ill (including with coronavirus) then this may give rise to an eligible claim if it becomes necessary to cancel or rearrange the wedding.
  • If the UK (or other) government advises against travel to the country of the wedding, then as above that is a travel-related issue and a customer would need to look at their travel arrangements.
  • If a number of guests decide (for their own reasons) not to travel to a wedding abroad, or in the UK, then this would not be a claim for cancellation under a wedding insurance policy.
  • If you choose in light of current circumstances to delay or cancel your wedding, that is a voluntary act and not covered by your policy. We will however extend your wedding insurance to a future date where we can.

Please note that in all cases, there are terms and conditions that will apply to any claim being approved, for example if you have not given accurate information, or already knew about a particular issue before taking out wedding insurance (which would therefore not be covered). This note is for guidance only and customers who have a wedding policy should always ring the claims helpline for clarification before taking any action.

Important Customer Notice – Updated 2th August 2020

The unprecedented circumstances caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the subsequent ban on social gatherings and enforcement of social distancing (“Coronavirus”) are having a significant impact on our customers who have had to postpone or cancel their wedding, and on customers who have a wedding scheduled in the coming months.

We understand that this extraordinary and uncertain time will raise questions and concerns about your wedding plans. We provide general guidance below on some possible scenarios that may arise in relation to your wedding due to Coronavirus and explain how your Wedding Insurance policy (“Policy”) will respond. However, please note that nothing within this guidance changes the terms and conditions of your Policy and we will review each claim on its individual circumstances and merits.

We are all aware that that this is a fast-moving situation and the legislation, guidance and various restrictions in place are being reviewed and updated constantly by the UK and overseas Governments respectively. These FAQ’s are general in nature and outline the principles of how your Policy responds, although the specific details of any claim will be reviewed against the guidance and legislation in place at that time.

 

As a result of the restrictions, if your wedding will not be able to go ahead as you had planned, you should speak to your venue and suppliers in the first instance, to see what they are willing to do to accommodate you. We expect venues and suppliers to want to help you and to work with you to find an alternative solution.

 

If you have any questions or wish to discuss your individual circumstances then please contact our customer service team by email at customerservice@emeraldlife.co.uk, or if your query is urgent you can call us on 0330 113 7109.  If you need to submit or discuss a claim then please contact the claims team by email at weddingclaims@emeraldlife.co.uk, or if your claim is urgent you can call us on 0333 234 3723. Please note that due to the significant volume of enquires and claims we are currently receiving; our response time is slower than usual. We very much appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

If you have general questions in relation to Coronavirus and how this may affect your wedding and what the terms of the Policy cover then please read or download the Emerald Coronavirus FAQs first and before you contact us.  If after reading the FAQs you still require assistance then we request that you contact us by email at customerservice@emeraldlife.co.uk. If your query is urgent and you need to speak to someone then you can call us on 0330 113 7109.  

If you need to request any changes to your Policy such as amending the dates or details of your wedding, changing your address etc, please email us at customerservice@emeraldlife.co.uk.

Cover for cancellation of your wedding due to coronavirus (COVID-19) depends upon the individual circumstances of your claim. If you need to cancel or postpone your wedding due to COVID-19 then in the first instance, to ensure any financial loss is kept to a minimum, please contact your wedding venue and suppliers, as soon as possible to discuss your options. Your suppliers should want to help you and may allow you to make alternative arrangements to rearrange your wedding to another date (if necessary) at no additional cost, or they may offer you a refund.

Before you make a final decision regarding your wedding arrangements you should contact our claims department by email at weddingclaims@emeraldlife.co.uk. This is because we want to ensure that any financial loss you suffer is covered under the terms of the Policy and that any losses are not recoverable from any other source (e.g. your venue or wedding suppliers, your credit card company etc). In other words, you have an obligation to mitigate your financial loss and we can assist you with this.

Please note, due to the ongoing situation we are experiencing extremely high call volumes and as such we ask that you only contact us by phone if you require immediate and urgent assistance with a claim, in which case you can contact us by phone on 0333 234 3723. To submit a claim please download our Wedding Claim Form Please note we are not able to confirm cover until we have received a completed claim form and assessed the individual circumstances of your claim.

In the first instance, to ensure any financial loss is kept to a minimum, if your wedding is, or may be impacted by Coronavirus, please contact your wedding venue and suppliers, as soon as possible to discuss your wedding. Your suppliers will likely want to help you and may allow you to make alternative arrangements to rearrange your wedding to another date (if necessary) at no additional cost, or they may offer you a refund. However, if you will incur financial loss by making alternate arrangements, please contact us to discuss your options before making any decisions regarding rearrangement or cancellation of your wedding because any financial loss you suffer that is recoverable from another source e.g. (your venue or wedding suppliers), is not covered under your Policy. In other words, you have an obligation to mitigate your financial loss and we can assist you with this, if you are unsure about your particular circumstances so please email weddingclaims@emeraldlife.co.uk or call us on 0333 234 3723 and we will happily discuss this with you.

Under Section 1 (Cancellation, Rearrangement or Curtailment) of your Policy, we would consider a claim for cancellation or rearrangement of the wedding due to Coronavirus for the following reasons:

  • Your ceremony or reception venue is unable to hold your ceremony and/or wedding reception due to Coronavirus. However, please note that if the reason for cancellation is due to a government act or regulation, exclusions may apply (there is more detail on this exclusion below).
  • Unavoidable cancellation of the wedding due to the death, injury or sickness (including Covid-19) of the prospective marriage or civil partner, or your close relatives (close relatives are defined within your Policy), which would mean that having or continuing with the wedding and/or wedding reception would be impossible. Please see below for further details on what we cover in relation to Covid-19 and self-isolation due to Covid-19).
  • The caterers for the wedding being unable to provide the service for or at your wedding due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at their premises.

Please refer to your Policy for further details on what is and is not covered under the terms of Section 1. Please also note that if your claim is covered, it is only covered up to the amounts listed in the Schedule to your Policy.

Your Policy contains a number of exclusions. Most relevantly in relation to Coronavirus, your Policy excludes cover under Section 1 of your Policy and in the General Exclusions, if the reason for your wedding cancellation, rearrangement or curtailment arises directly or indirectly from a government Act or regulation. Therefore, if your wedding is cancelled or postponed whilst the Government prohibits large gatherings such as weddings, your claim may be excluded from cover. However, if there are any other covered circumstances causing the rearrangement or cancellation of your wedding (e.g. sickness of the prospective marriage or civil partner, or your close relatives (as defined within your Policy)), then your claim will be covered, even if this exclusion also applies.

This exclusion applies to weddings in the UK and abroad but it is based on the applicable local laws and regulations in place at your wedding destination.

If you are unsure about your particular circumstances, please email weddingclaims@emeraldlife.co.uk or call us on 0333 234 3723 and we will happily discuss this with you.

There is no cover under Section 1 of the Policy that covers cancellation and rearrangement due to an enforced reduction in guest numbers due to COVID-19 or any other reason. In this instance, you should discuss your options with your venue and suppliers to see what they are willing to do to accommodate you.

This will depend on the nature of the local or regional lockdown and your individual circumstances. Please note that if the lockdown is enforced under a government Act or regulation, then your claim may be excluded. (For further information about these exclusions, refer to the above).

If your venue cancels your wedding ceremony and/or wedding reception, you need to discuss a solution with your venue, before submitting a claim. Your venue may offer you the opportunity to rearrange your wedding to a later date, or they may provide you with a refund. If you will incur any additional costs, please contact us before making any decisions regarding rearrangement or cancellation of your wedding, so we can discuss your options, This is because we do not want you to assume that you will have a valid claim under your Policy and subsequently make a decision that may have detrimental financial consequences for you. Please email us at weddingclaims@emeraldlife.co.uk or call us on 0333 234 3723.

If your venue cancels your wedding, your Policy provides cover:

  • If the reason is because your venue is unable to hold your ceremony and/or wedding reception due to Coronavirus. However, please note that if the reason for cancellation is due to a government Act or regulation, exclusions may apply (there is more detail on this exclusion above).
  • If the venue suffers financial failure and/or is unable to guarantee that it will be able to hold your wedding and/or wedding reception because it has gone into administration after the date of purchase of your Policy.

If the venue is unable to hold your wedding and cancels please note that if they are refusing to give you a refund by reference to your contract terms with them, these terms can only be enforced if they are ‘fair and reasonable’ under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the CRA) or the Law Reform (Frustrated Contracts) Act 1943. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently launched an investigation into complaints about coronavirus-related cancellations at venues. According to the CMA, where a contract is not performed as agreed, consumer protection law allows consumers to obtain a refund. This would apply where a venue has cancelled a wedding without providing any of the promised goods or services or when a consumer is prevented from receiving any goods or services due to circumstances beyond their control. So in these instances we do expect your venue to refund you or offer an alternative date that works for you.

This is a decision for you but we encourage you to have an open conversation with your venue and suppliers as soon as possible. However, one important piece of advice we want to highlight is that you should avoid paying by cash or bank transfers as much as possible and instead use credit or debit cards as such payment options may provide valuable protection against non-performance of supplier contracts. This is advice we would give at any time but in the current circumstances, it is even more pertinent.

Yes - if you or your prospective marriage or civil partner, or a close relative (as defined within your Policy) contracts Covid-19, and you believe that the illness may extend to the wedding date, making it impossible to proceed with the wedding, then we will cover irrecoverable costs in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Policy, which includes your obligation to mitigate your financial loss. You will be required to produce supporting evidence including medical certificates, or other evidence providing details of your illness. Please discuss this with our claims team who will advise further on what information you will need to provide to support any such claim.

Your Policy covers death, injury and sickness of the prospective marriage or civil partner, or a close relative (as defined within your Policy) that would make having or continuing with the wedding impossible. We will therefore cover self-isolation of you or your prospective marriage or civil partner, or a close relative (as defined in the Policy) only, if such persons have symptoms of Covid-19 and will be in self-isolation on the date of your wedding ceremony and/or wedding reception. However, you will be required to produce supporting evidence of the requirement of such persons to self-isolate due to Covid-19 symptoms and evidence that the self-isolation will extend to the date of the wedding, such as an NHS self-isolating certificate or communication from NHS Test and Trace. You will still need to demonstrate mitigation of your financial loss.

Cover is not available for cancellation solely as a result of someone shielding. Where a prospective marriage or civil partner or close relative (as defined within your Policy) is shielding, cover will still be available for cancellation where that individual has a sickness that would make their attendance at the wedding impossible, regardless of the need to shield.

Your Policy also does not provide any cover for travellers in quarantine/self-isolating upon arrival or return into the UK or abroad.

Unfortunately not. Your Policy does not cover the inability of your guests to attend the wedding due to travel bans or flight cancellations

Unfortunately not. Your Policy does not cover the inability of your guests to attend the wedding due to Coronavirus (e.g. bans on social gathering) nor provides cover if you suffer financial loss if only a portion of your invited guests can attend the wedding. Please speak to your venue and caterers in these circumstances, as they should be accommodating (subject to the terms and conditions of your contracts with them).

As above, if your wedding is unavoidably cancelled due to the fact that a close relative (as defined with your Policy) has Covid-19 or is self-isolating due to suspected Covid-19, or in accordance with Government advice, on your wedding date, your claim may be covered. You may be required to produce supporting evidence including medical certificates, NHS self-isolating certificate, communication from NHS Test and Trace or other evidence providing details of the illness or self-isolation. As always, you will also need to demonstrate mitigation of your financial loss. Please discuss this with our claims team who will advise further on what information you will need to provide to support any claim. You can send an email to weddingclaims@emeraldlife.co.uk or call us on 0333 234 3723.

Cover is provided in relation to wedding suppliers in the following circumstances:

  • If the venue or catering business suffers financial failure in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Policy, resulting in the cancellation or rearrangement of your wedding, then your associated financial loss will be covered, subject to any applicable exclusions.
  • If caterers are unable to provide their services due to an outbreak of infectious disease at their premises, this is covered under your Policy, subject to any applicable exclusions.
  • If your wedding supplier enters bankruptcy, liquidation, ceases to trade or becomes insolventsubject to any applicable exclusions.

Cancellation and rearrangement cover under your Policy for weddings abroad operates in the same way as it does for weddings in the UK so please refer to the above guidance and the terms and conditions of your Policy. However, please note that if your wedding is abroad, your Policy will be subject to the local laws and regulations in force at your wedding destination, including laws and regulations relating to social gatherings.

Unfortunately not. Your Policy does not cover travel bans or flight cancellations. As such, you should also discuss the options with your venue and suppliers for re-arrangement or refund. In addition, we would encourage you to contact your travel insurance company to discuss any claims for travel arrangements such as flights and accommodation.

If you have been able to rearrange your wedding to a later date, we want to make sure you are aware that we are offering customers a free date change so that your policy continues to remain in force for your revised wedding date. We can amend the date of your wedding on your existing policy, provided that you meet the following criteria:

 

  1. The reason for postponement is directly related to COVID-19, the ban on social gatherings, enforcement of social distancing or travel restrictions;
  2. Your current wedding date fell/falls prior to 31 December 2020;
  3. Your rearranged wedding date is scheduled within 24 months of your original 2020 wedding date (i.e. your initial wedding date prior to any rearrangement that may already have occurred), and
  4.  If you have rearranged, or plan to rearrange your 2020 wedding date to a date on or after 1 January 2021 or if your original wedding date is after 1 January 2021, we will offer further date changes up to 24 months from the date when you originally purchased the policy. 

 

This means that as long as your current wedding date falls prior to 31 December 2020, you are able to take advantage of multiple free date changes of the cover you originally purchased, as long as your rearranged wedding date falls on or prior to 31 December 2020. However, if you have rearranged, or plan to rearrange your 2020 wedding date to, a date on or after 1 January 2021, we will not offer any further date changes should you decide to rearrange that wedding date again.

It is also important for you to understand that all of the terms, conditions and exclusions in the Policy you purchased for your original wedding date, do not change if your Policy is extended to your rearranged wedding date. Please note though, that your Policy excludes cover if the reason for your wedding rearrangement arises directly or indirectly from a government Act or regulation. Therefore, if your wedding is cancelled or postponed whilst the Government still prohibits large gatherings such as weddings, or the Government introduces new restrictions, your claim may be excluded from cover. This exclusion applies to weddings in the UK and overseas, based on the applicable local laws and regulations at your wedding destination. Please see above for further information.

To amend the dates on your Policy please contact our customer service team by email at customerservice@emeraldlife.co.uk and we will amend the dates accordingly and send you a revised Policy schedule. 

In circumstances, where you have already rearranged your wedding and received a free date change of your Policy from Emerald Life (if you meet the above conditions for a free date change), you are still eligible to submit a claim for increased costs associated with the re-arrangement of your original wedding, if you have not already done so. However, as you will appreciate, any claim will be assessed against the terms and conditions of the Policy so there is no guarantee that your claim will be covered.

 

We also confirm that our offer to extend your Policy to a revised wedding date, does not have any impact on whether or not you have a covered claim under the Policy, be it for your original wedding date, or your rearranged wedding date.

 

We also bring to your attention that the cover limit stated in the Schedule of your Policy is the maximum value of all claims that you can make, both in relation to your original and rearranged wedding. For example, in the event that you need to make a claim on your rearranged wedding date and your claim is covered, your total claim payments cannot exceed the cover limits stated on your Policy Schedule for rearrangement cover.

Your Policy does not provide any cover for travellers in quarantine or self-isolating upon arrival or return into the UK or abroad unless the prospective marriage or civil partner, or a close relative (as defined within your Policy), unless such a person: 1) has confirmed symptoms of COVID-19, 2) produces supporting evidence of the requirement to self-isolate due to Covid-19 symptoms;  and 3) the self-isolation will extend to the date of the wedding.

Cover is not available for cancellation solely as a result of someone shielding. Where a prospective marriage or civil partner or close relative (as defined within your Policy) is shielding, cover will still be available for cancellation where that individual has a sickness that would make their attendance at the wedding impossible, regardless of the need to shield.  

 

If you have any questions on your Policy or concerns regarding your wedding and would like to speak to someone then in the first instance you can contact our Customer Service Team by email at customerservice@emeraldlife.co.uk  If your query is urgent then you can also speak to us on 0330 113 7109.

If you need to submit a claim, then you should download a claim form from the website and send this to weddingclaims@emeraldlife.co.uk.  If your claim is urgent you can also contact the Claims Team on 0333 234 3723. 

Please note that due to the significant volume of enquires and claims we are currently receiving; our response time is slower than usual. We very much appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

If there is any matter that you wish to raise with us or feel that any issues have not been adequately resolved for you, please contact us using the details below:

Email:   customerservice@emeraldlife.co.uk

Telephone:        0330 131 9960