User Experience

Should you build weather protection in-house? 3 factors to consider

Protecting your guests and your business from unpredictable weather is more popular than ever. Should you partner with an experienced provider or go at it alone?

April 11, 2024

In early March, major publications like CNN were buzzing about InterContinental Singapore’s new “Rain Resist Bliss” package. This weather protection is available to the hotel’s suite guests, who receive a voucher if heavy rain occurs during their stay. 

If you’re wondering, “Should my hospitality business offer weather protection, too?” the answer is yes. Guests are excited about weather protection—just look at the press around the InterContinental—and they bring in extra revenue. 

The real question is, how do you offer this protection?

There are two options: build your own in-house program or partner with a specialized provider like Sensible Weather. To help you decide which route is best, let's break down how in-house plans and provider-backed guarantees differ in three key areas: 

  • Compensation type

  • Reimbursement timeline

  • Policy conditions

Comparing these factors will give you a clear sense of how the in-house and provider approaches impact the overall guest experience differently.  

Short on time? Check out this comparison table. 


Type of compensation

In-house: Rain checks and vouchers

Typically, businesses that build their own weather protection programs provide rain checks or vouchers to guests when there’s heavy rain. With this compensation, guests can return to the attraction or hotel they visited within a certain time frame (typically twelve months) for free. 

Why not offer reimbursements? Because brands have to pay out-of-pocket for each reimbursement if they’ve built their own weather protection program. On the flip side, rain checks and vouchers hardly increase overhead. 

InterContinental Singapore offers vouchers to suite guests who purchase their “Rain Resist Bliss” package and experience bad weather. The voucher equals one night’s stay at the hotel, and guests must use it within six months.  

Similarly, SeaWorld gives guests a rain check if there’s bad weather during their stay. Their free return visit is redeemable for a year. Many golf courses also offer rain checks to guests who can’t play because of bad weather.   

Rain checks and vouchers are financially safe for companies, but they’re not always convenient for vacationers. People often don’t have the time or money to revisit destinations within six to twelve months, even if their booking is covered. 

Imagine a family that travels from Seattle to SeaWorld in Orlando for their annual summer vacation, and they experience bad weather during their trip. To redeem their free visit, the family would need to pay thousands for airfare and a hotel within the next year—not a small ask. 

Weather guarantee provider: Instant reimbursements

Weather protection providers automatically reimburse guests based on their preferred payment method. For example, Sensible Weather immediately reimburses guests on the morning of their booking if there’s a bad weather forecast that day. 

This payment process is a win for guests and companies using weather protection providers. Businesses don’t pay anything for the reimbursements—they get a share of the revenue from each Weather Guarantee sale with Sensible. 


Guests also have total flexibility. They get reimbursed immediately and can use this money however they like. Of note, there’s no requirement for vacationers to use the reimbursement towards the business, though they can still complete their booked activity for free if they don’t mind the weather. 

Some vacationers who continue their booked activities like to use their reimbursement for on-site amenities, like spa services or hotel meals. In Sensible’s internal research, 16% of respondents used their reimbursement to purchase on-site amenities.

Time and effort required to receive compensation

In-house: Multi-week claims processing

Fulfilling weather protection claims is a major operational endeavor for brands handling guarantees themselves.  These companies don’t have software to automatically compare bookings with weather forecasts, so they ask guests to submit claims if they experience bad weather. 

The amusement park Busch Gardens requires guests to submit their claim within a week of their visit. With nine required fields and four optional ones, the claim form likely takes guests several minutes to fill out.  



Once a company has this booking and weather information, they manually review the details and process claims for guests—a process that often takes weeks. The Pocono Raceway, for example, sends guests a reimbursement check four to eight weeks after their bad weather event.  

Weather guarantee provider: Claim-free, automatic processing

Guests don’t need to submit any claims if you offer weather protection through a provider. Instead, these companies use custom technology to automatically check guests’ booking details and weather forecasts and proactively provide reimbursements. 


Providers like Sensible provide quick turnarounds because they have purpose-built platforms for weather reimbursements. Businesses offering in-house guarantees can build similar customized tech, but most don’t because it’s expensive and time-consuming.

Protection plan policy conditions

In-house: Weather during the booking determines compensation

Companies with in-house weather protection programs offer guests compensation after their activities based on the recorded weather during the booking.

Thousand Hills Golf Course, for example, offers rain checks to guests who start playing a round before bad weather hits. Here are the course’s rules: 

  • 18-hole rainchecks: Thousand Hills must shut down its course prior to the sixth hole of an 18-hole round. 

  • 9-hole rain checks: Thousand Hills must shut down its course prior to the fourteenth hole of an 18-hole round or prior to the fifth hole of a 9-hole round.

  • Thousand Hills doesn’t give rain checks if guests start playing during bad weather.

Businesses with in-house weather protection don’t compensate before bookings because most don’t have software that automatically compares forecasts against bookings. The alternative—manually checking the weather for hundreds, if not thousands, of guests before bookings—is unrealistic. 

Companies also save money by offering rain checks and vouchers after the fact, considering how same-day forecasts are sometimes inaccurate. If a heavy rain prediction never plays out, the business doesn’t need to offer compensation. 

Weather guarantee provider: Reimbursements issued each morning

Protection provider reimbursements are based on local weather data on the morning of your guests’ bookings. There’s no attendance requirement for their planned activity or stay.

Consider Sensible Weather’s Guarantees. Guests receive a reimbursement on the morning of their booking before their day even gets started.

This pre-event compensation creates a positive experience for guests. They aren’t forced to travel all the way to their booked activity, like a golf round, just to have the event rained out. Guests are reimbursed regardless of whether they continue their booked activity or make other arrangements for the day, and the reimbursement comes from Sensible Weather, not from the business. 

In-house or provider? Consider your guests and resources

The in-house route may be feasible if your company has significant time and money set aside for building and maintaining a weather protection program. But for many businesses, this path is a catch-22. They’re offering a weather protection program to protect their guest experience, but a cumbersome or limiting in-house program risks alienating and frustrating guests. 

Here’s the good news: offering weather guarantees through a provider like Sensible Weather doesn’t hurt your guest experience—it enhances it. Plus, it’s free for brands. Consider these data points from Sensible’s latest customer survey


Curious about partnering with Sensible? Get in touch today. 

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