When Wedding Bells Turn to Hell ~A Case for Mediation
A couple who were due to marry in March 2020 had taken the precaution of insuring the wedding in January 2020.
The weekend before COVID 19 lockdown the venue informed them that they would be unable to go ahead with the ceremony but that they would refund the cost of the venue.
The couple were then forced to cancel the other wedding service providers such as caterers, florists, registrars and the Groomsmen apparel hire.
The insurance policy stated that cancellation by the venue was covered and the couple felt confident that their insurance would cover the associated costs.
A claim form was requested and received by e mail. A few weeks later they were called by the insurers informing them that their underwriters were not going to cover any wedding cancellation due to COVID 19.
The couple feel that as the insurance had been procured prior to COVID 19 being identified as a pandemic and their venue cancelling them prior to lockdown was a breach of the insurance contract. The insurance companies being aware that there could be a tsunami of claims resulting from the pandemic are carefully considering where their cover obligation ceases during this unprecedented event.
The risk to the insurers if this dispute goes to court could be massive if the court rules in favour of the bride and groom. The risk to the couple would be huge court costs on top of their lost wedding costs as the outcome would be unpredictable.
With the courts having a backlog already this would take a long time to resolve with the outcome of their dispute in the hands of a third party.
This is an obvious case for mediation as the dispute could be resolved quickly, cheaply allowing both participants to decide the compromise they are willing to accept.