Aon announced today that a subsidiary, Affinity Insurance Services, Inc. (Affinity) has acquired WedSafe, Inc., a leading provider of wedding and private event insurance offering liability & property damage and event cancellation products direct to consumers.
Affinity Insurance Services is a full-service broker specializing in the administration of insurance programs for customer groups. "This acquisition is a new market segment that is strategically aligned with Affinity's core capabilities," said Bill Vit, president and chief operating officer.
As the cost of the typical U.S. wedding climbs -- many current estimates place the average around the $25,000 mark -- more couples seek cancellation insurance to protect their investment. "Everyone wants their special day to be perfect, but problems can occur, and wedding insurance offers an affordable solution," said Vit. "If severe weather makes it impossible to hold the ceremony, you're covered. If the groom's father has emergency surgery and can't travel, insurance gives you the freedom to postpone your wedding till he's healthy."
In addition, wedding and reception venues often require the bridal couple to purchase event liability insurance. "Venues want protection in case one of your guests breaks an antique vase or drops a lit cigarette on an expensive carpet. Plus, if a guest falls on the dance floor and breaks her wrist, both the venue and the bridal couple could be held liable for the injury," Vit noted.
WedSafe's wedding cancellation and liability insurance products are sold on the WedSafe web site, http://www.wedsafe.com/ . Cancellation packages -- including coverage for wedding essentials like photos, gifts, attire, jewelry and deposits -- begin at $185. Liability insurance can be purchased jointly or separately for a $195 premium.
Since its web site launch in 2002 WedSafe has established a strong online presence through search engine advertising and referral links from wedding- related web sites, as well as through traditional advertising. In 2005, the Private Event Insurance program ( http://www.privateeventinsurance.com/ ) was added to the product line to offer cancellation and liability coverage for other types of celebrations, such as anniversaries, graduations, and bridal and baby showers.
"There are many elements to plan for a wedding or special celebration these days," said Timberlee Tamraz Grove, president and chief operating officer of Markel American Insurance Company, which underwrites the WedSafe and Private Event Insurance products exclusively with Affinity. "These events are large financial commitments that need to be protected should something go wrong. We are excited to partner with Affinity Insurance Services to bring peace of mind to our customers and allow them to focus on the joy of their special day."
"Affinity has years of experience in making insurance products accessible online, with over 40 web sites currently in production, so WedSafe's user- friendly online model is an excellent fit for us," said Vit. "We are well positioned to acquire this business and add it to the list of successful e- commerce initiatives at Affinity."
Aon Corporation ( http://www.aon.com/ ) is a leading provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human capital and management consulting, and specialty insurance underwriting. Aon has 45,000 employees in 500 offices in more than 120 countries. Backed by broad resources, industry knowledge and technical expertise, Aon professionals help a wide range of clients develop effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions.
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