Weather Warrantees Prove Popular

Florida tourism officials say the state’s Weather Warrantees are proving a popular way to lure convention business.

Meeting planners wary of booking big conventions during hurricane season are taking advantage of free event insurance offered by Visit Florida. The policies reimburse companies for rescheduling fees if a named storm disrupts the conference, and cover the difference if rebooked hotel rooms are more expensive.

Dale Brill of Visit Florida says more than 100 companies signed up for the insurance last year, and the agency may provide it permanently.

“If you only do things for one year, that’s really not a program. That’s a knee-jerk reaction, and we really saw the strength of the program.”

“We offered it as a three-year, so that there’s continuity to it and so that meeting planners could not only get the message, but feel comfortable that Florida stands behind the program not just for one year, but two years and three years, and we’re actually looking at it long-term. We’re getting some traction with it. The response seems to be very strong.”

Only two claims were filed against the event insurance last year, one by Visit Florida itself, which had a conference in south Florida disrupted by Hurricane Wilma.