The rise of “weather guarantees”, these financial compensations in the event of rainy holidays

Imagine spending your summer vacation in the sun, by the sea, and finding yourself stuck under downpours of water. The holidays are ruined, yes, but perhaps not in every way. This is where “weather guarantee” insurance comes in, providing compensation to compensate for bad weather, or even full reimbursement for a rainy stay.

If this type of compensation already existed with certain insurers, start-ups have made it their specialty, with a promise: “Insure yourself against extreme weather events, whether extreme heat or cold waves”, tells the New York monthly Fast Company.

Immediate refund

Faced with global warming, these companies are betting that tourists will want to protect themselves against weather risks, even if it means investing a certain amount. At Sensible Weather, one of the companies that cover hotel nights or outdoor outings, we offer insurance that represents “from 8 to 12% of the total price of the reservation”.

Same formula at WeatherPromise, a company specializing in the risk of downpours, which tries to stand out from traditional insurers by offering “immediate reimbursement and under lower conditions”, explains the economic news site Bloomberg.

It is made up of a team of engineers responsible for “calculate the probabilities of bad weather from a large amount of weather and climate data”. The idea is to be able to compensate the customer the minute it starts to rain.

Compensation is paid “even when the episode of ‘extreme weather’ was very short”, affirms the bimonthly specialized in entrepreneurship Forbes, which specifies, however, that “the chosen season, the country’s annual weather and the intensity of the disturbances” are taken into account in the calculations.

Allowances above 40°C

For these companies, the main interest is “to encourage travel during the off-season, or out of season, to destinations where the weather is most likely to have repercussions”. For example, New Zealand “in the middle of winter, and Cambodia and India during the rainy season”.

For the moment, these guarantees mainly cover rainy areas, like the United Kingdom, note The Telegraph, who sees these compensations as a good way “to attract American tourists to London”, capital of gray skies.

However, “tailor-made weather packages for extreme heat” should soon see the light of day, with “compensation provided for above 40°C”, or in case of “poor air quality due to forest fires”, specifies the London daily.

“These weather guarantees may well become more important in the future”, adds Fast Company, who imagines them applied to private events such as weddings.

But they could also “serve as protection” to all those who are regularly confronted with a changing climate, like the “workers outdoors in extreme heat or cold”, concludes the newspaper.

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