SmartWings, the Prague based low cost airline, has added the ability to purchase weather insurance into it’s website booking process through a partnership with weather cover provider Airsavings. They are currently offering rainfall protection to travellers but hope to extend that to offer cover for a lack of sunshine and hope to branch out to ski holidays by offering lack of snow cover later this year.
The scheme is called Meteobonus and on that website travellers can purchase cover for a trip without the need to buy a flight from SmartWings.
Airsavings have stressed that this is not simply a weather insurance policy, rather it is a financial hedge backed by weather derivatives. As such it is predictable, payout happens promptly and weather conditions are measured at weather stations at the destination the customer is travelling to. Payouts are predetermined at the time of purchase so travellers can be sure of what level of compensation they will receive for investing in the cover. Meteorological data is corroborated by the World Meteorological Association. Airsavings are highlighting the fact that the product is based on similar services which protect the agricultural industry.
Airsavings hope to sell this to other airlines around the world and we can see a time when most travel bookings will come with the offer of weather risk protection as an added option. It’s not just airlines who would like to offer this; tour operators, online travel agents, excursion operators and many other companies in the travel industry would find this of interest.
For coverage of another player in this market see our recent post on the RainCheck product.