Monday, August 31, 2009

Strange Insurance: Weather Insurance

Weather insurance - doesn't it sound strange? Well, in any case it represents one of the oldest forms of insurance. Weather has been the decisive circumstance for farmers and their living, ever since the beginning of agriculture. Nowadays, much more than crops can be covered by weather insurance.

Rain is the primary target of weather insurance. Luckily, it is quite easy to negotiate a rain insurance policy. Concerning rain policies, you can choose rain accumulation policies (for this, you need to determine how much rain would still be acceptable for your event and how much would already waste it) or dry hours (how many hours in a period of time were without any rain). Counteraction on snow are available in a similar way, either aiming on inches per session or per storm. A unique version of this insurance is particularly for municipalities and public organs, who want to cover extra costs by a special snow removal insurance policy.

And the whole insurance business goes even further. There is wind insurance against undesired wind conditions, perfect for instance for a hot air ballooning show. An ice cream promotion can pay for temperature insurance to secure the investment in the face of cold weather.

Mostly you can choose your own combination of the various policies needed for your event. Are you making a movie and need to insure underwater visibility or against lack of snow? No problem, film productions are typical customers for many unusual insurance policies. Another usual customer is a manager of a sports event, a concert, a festival or a trade show. For us, whose business is not directly influenced by the weather, like me, selling disability insurance, we can still purchase weather insurance for our free time and our holidays.

This is quite a new product, just getting to the customers from the whole world. You can get some of your money back if it rains more than expected during your holidays - this is available by some French travel agencies, in cooperation with Aon France. Analogically, a new sunshine insurance is now available by Lufthansa, the German airlines. A simple insurance policy is available for €20 ($31.24) for passengers from Germany. They can get €20 back for each day during their holiday when it rains more than 5mm.

Naturally, for destinations such as Tunisia or Greece, weather insurance is not really needed. And for places like Vancouver, they may not be willing to sell you a weather insurance. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.

No comments: