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Weather insurance: Customized protection, rain or shine

Farmers, municipalities, event planners and small business owners often find themselves at the mercy of unexpected and unwelcome weather events. A farmer may suffer severe crop loss due to too little or too much rain during the growing season. A concert promoter may have to reissue tickets and reimburse sponsors and performers if a storm causes an event to be delayed or canceled. A city might suffer unexpectedly high costs for snow removal during a particularly brutal winter.

Weather insurance offers protection against innumerable weather-related disasters, but operates on a simple principle: Farmers, businesses and municipalities buy insurance to ease their financial losses from weather-related events.

Weather Coverage for farmers

Farmers can target specific weather-related hazards for key crop seasons. According to the World Food Program, which provides worldwide disaster support, farmers whose livelihoods depend on temperature and rainfall can use weather insurance to prepare for bad weather instead of reacting afterward. This is especially vital to small farmers, who are vulnerable to crop failures and resulting financial losses.

Weather insurance can have worldwide repercussions, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Insuring crops can help small-scale farmers better understand the risks inherent in their livelihood and plan accordingly.

Specialty insurance company WeatherBill offers a range of policies that farmers can tailor to their needs, regions and climates. Its Drought Protection policy, for example, lets farmers chose a level of rainfall; if the amount of rain during the season falls below that level, the farmer gets a payout. WeatherBill’s Fall Freeze protection, meanwhile, lets farmers pick a temperature; if the temperature drops below that mark, the farmer gets paid for each insured acre.

Businesses and municipalities

In the special event business, rain, temperature, fog and lightning can lead to financial disaster. Global Weather, an insurance agency that specializes in weather insurance for businesses, provides customizable coverage. For example, those applying for its special events policies can choose the hours, rainfall limits, temperature limits and wind speed limits that are covered.

As for municipalities, the company’s snow removal coverage allows a city to get reimbursed for the expense of paying overtime and buying extra equipment if the season’s snowfall exceeds a set limit.

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