Monday, March 19, 2018

How Much Does Eight Inches Of Snow Cost? Book A Charter Without Trip Insurance And Your Client Will Tell You.

Over the past several months thousands of flights in the northeast United States have been delayed or cancelled due to weather events, which means very bad news for thousands of travelers trying to escape the lingering winter weather by heading to The Caribbean or other warmer destinations.

Normally, flight delays due to inclement weather are nothing more than an annoyance - a frustration at worst.  But in the world of luxury charters there is a price tag on those annoyances, and they are exponentially higher for charterers than for regular travelers.

Imagine if your charterer paid $250,000 (or more) to charter a yacht for a week and an airline tells them the flight to get them to the yacht is cancelled and the airline will TRY to get them re-booked and on their way tomorrow.  On a one week charter the delay has just cost your charterer a minimum of $35,000 along with one full day of their trip. 

Along with the initial expense and frustration, your charterer and all of the guests have to pack up and head home or fight for a hotel for the evening with hundreds of other stranded passengers; which means now they are reaching into their pockets to pay for unplanned expenses while their yacht sits at the dock - fully fueled, provisioned and paid for - awaiting their arrival. 

To make matters worse, airlines aren't responsible for compensating passengers for hotels, meals, taxis, etc... due to weather delays.  All they have to do is re-book the passengers on the next available flight.  Here are few facts about weather delays and airlines' responsibilities:

- Airlines, generally, do not have to compensate travelers for weather delays.  They simply must rebook at no cost to the passenger;
- Airlines are not obligated to pay for hotels or meals for passengers on flights delayed by weather;
- Airlines have their own delay/cancellation policies and can deal with them on a case- by-case basis and passenger-by-passenger basis; and
- It is the passenger’s responsibility to cover non-flight-related costs due to delays/cancellations.  These costs can include hotels, transportation, transfers and any and all pre-booked/pre-paid expenses at their destination.  

Regarding yacht charters...

- Charters do not automatically extend to make up for missed time due to charterers being delayed by weather in their departure city; and
- Charters do not automatically issue pro-rata refunds for missed time due to weather delays causing late arrival to the boat.

But don't worry. Trip insurance can provide travelers some solace in knowing that missed time on charter due to flight delays may be compensated; and when you're talking about a $250,000 charter you can see where trip insurance gets its value.

Trip insurance can cover expenses associated with delays/cancellations such as meals, transfers and hotels.  And trip insurance can compensate your charterers for the impact travel delays have on their charter, whether it's  receiving benefits for lost days of charter or benefits for re-booking the charter or re-booking or rescheduling flights and hotels on the back end of an extended charter.

Your charter clients should discuss this with a travel insurance professional (like myself) because if your charterers are delayed by one or two days they don't automatically get to extend their charter… and that costs them money; money they could get back. 

I've been writing trip insurance for ten years and have written policies for trips valued from $6,000 to nearly $800,000, so insuring luxury yacht charters is not only possible - it's advised. 

And after having dealt with a number of claims, I can tell you that trip insurance works.

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