Swiss Re Insurance-Linked Fund Management

Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Now whole countries can guarantee the weather…


…Although it helps when you’re only 165 square miles in area.

The Barbados Tourism Authority has become the latest travel related organisation to utilise Weatherbill’s coverage to offer a weather guarantee to holiday makers and visitors to their island. As with all of these deals the idea is to stimulate bookings by attracting people to choose your destination, safe in the knowledge that should the weather turn bad they can get compensated for it.

In this particular deal, anyone who books a holiday for travel between 28th May and 18th December 2009 could receive $100 per day that the temperature drops below 78 degrees Fahrenheit and more than a quarter of an inch of rain falls. Having visited Barbados a couple of times myself in the qualifying period, I can safely say that you would have to be unlucky to qualify for any refund, however, as this spans the Atlantic Tropical Storm season it would only take a direct hit from a storm to trigger the refunds to apply for all qualifying customers on the island at that time.

The limiting factor to this deal is that customers who want to qualify have to book their trip through a single supplier (Orbitz). It would have been interesting if the deal was actually structured with the tourism authority in such a way that any traveller (with a trip purchased from any supplier) to Barbados would have qualified, which makes me wonder whether Orbitz were actually the sponsor of the deal.

Read the full story here.

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