At Sensible, we spend a lot of time on research with consumers in an ongoing effort to understand how they think about travel planning, decision-making, and the impact of weather on their experiences. Weather Guarantees are successful across a diverse range of partner brands and travel use cases, with an average conversion rate of 38% when embedded at the point of sale.
Understanding “The Why” behind the numbers is an important part of deciding how to best position Weather Guarantee offers within your digital sales channels. To that end, we’re sharing some of the key insights we’ve gained from consumers on their preferences that drive such high conversion rates. But first—let’s recap the basics of a Sensible Weather Guarantee.
How Weather Guarantees work
Weather Guarantees offer consumers the ability to be reimbursed up to 100% if there’s bad weather in the forecast on any day of their trip. The coverage and price of a Weather Guarantee is dynamic based on the location, dates, and type of experience. Naturally, the type of weather you want is different for a ski day than it is for a poolside resort stay.
Sensible handles everything after the booking is complete, from monitoring forecasts to providing customer support. Then, in the event of a bad weather forecast, we automatically notify customers and provide their reimbursement. The entire experience is co-branded, so our partner brands’ get credit without having to lift a phone or write an email.
So, why do Weather Guarantees convert so well?
1. You can’t control the weather.
Our research and market data reveal that the majority of travelers do not add traditional travel or cancellation insurance. A key reason is that many people feel these risks are within their control. One research participant told us, “If I’m booking a hotel, then I intend to go. I don’t plan on canceling this trip and don’t want to pay extra for insurance”. People understand their own personal risk factors, and most feel they can control their risk.
But you can't control the weather. As a result, Weather Guarantees engage a large segment of customers who would normally scroll past insurance add-ons.
2. It’s completely automated—there’s no claims process.
It’s clear that dealing with insurance claims is not something people want to do, especially when they’re on vacation. Unlike most warranties and insurance, Sensible automatically notifies our users at the start of the day when they’re eligible for reimbursement, and we make it easy to collect their money.
People are willing to deal with insurance when they think they’re going to need it, or when the claim is worthwhile for getting their money back—but it’s far from hassle-free. A research participant told us, “When I buy an iPad, I definitely get the extra protection because I know my kids are likely to drop it. But I’m not going to add ticket insurance because I probably won’t need it… and if I do, it will probably be a pain to get money back anyway.”
Our users realize that we’re offering a very different experience, and that we’ll be there when they need us—without having to ask.
3. It's a free day.
The value of a Weather Guarantee is unique. It’s not a refund for a cancellation.
Customers still get to enjoy their experience while the weather is good, and they also get some or all of their money back. Weather Guarantees let users make game-time decisions to stay or go—and for our partners, opt-outs no longer result in lost revenue.
We’ve learned from our research that customers view being reimbursed by their Weather Guarantee as a free day.
Maybe a Sensible user only gets 11 holes of a round of golf in before the rain comes pouring down, but it’s okay because the round is on us. Or maybe they don’t go to the water park until the afternoon (when the forecast calls for sun) but they’re happy anyway—because they didn’t have to pay for a whole day.
Free days result in better experiences for customers, better reviews for Sensible partners, and better conversion rates for the Weather Guarantee itself.
Straightforward support for our partners
Our focus with Weather Guarantees is on creating the best end-user experience. Our partners benefit from this focus in terms of their brand value, reduced operational challenges, and a new, painless revenue stream.