Metar Weather Expands Weather Risk Insurance Products

Metar Weather is expanding the rollout of its weather risk protection insurance products to snow removal professionals, buyers of snow removal services and ski resort operators in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern regions to help protect them from winter weather volatility.

Metar’s products help snow removal professionals mitigate the risks associated with above-average or below-average snowfall by protecting revenues and profits during years of low snowfall and capping expenses during years of abnormally high snowfall.

For buyers of snow removal services, such as retail businesses, shopping centers, parking lots, corporate office buildings and colleges and universities, Metar Weather’s products offer budgetary certainty, insulation from years of heavy snowfall and a financial benefit during years of low snowfall.

In addition, Metar’s SkiFlex insurance products for the ski industry can help protect such businesses from a warm December, which can impede snowmaking and opening for the all-important Christmas holiday week.

“Everyone plans for an average snowfall, but the average is just that, and it rarely ever happens,” said Metar CEO Richard Nemet.

Metar has created protection products for the snow industry that reflect customers’ weather risk exposure as a result of access to hyperlocal weather data through a proprietary relationship with WeatherWorks, a provider of customized meteorological services and products.

Metar’s PlowFlex suite of products includes ExpenseGuard and RevenueGuard, which are designed to protect snow professionals during years of low snowfall.

“Until now, weather risk protection in the snow removal industry has been nonexistent or ineffective because of a lack of protection products, localized snowfall data and customer awareness,” Nemet said. “In addition to allowing us to develop customized products, our product structures also minimize the need for a claims process, proof of loss or a payment waiting period.”

The snow and ice removal industry, with annual sales of more than $2 billion, is a challenging industry because weather unpredictability can make it difficult to forecast for the future. As the Northeast’s unusually snowy 2010-2011 and mild 2011-2012 winters demonstrated, it’s not easy to predict whether the season will bring too little snow or too much.

In cases where snow and ice removal companies have seasonal contracts, they can lose money in seasons with heavy snowfall. Even worse, during heavy snowfall years, many snow removal companies on seasonal contracts fail to perform services and worse yet, just fail. Conversely, if they are working on per occurrence-type contracts, they do not make any money if it doesn’t snow, causing many to try and find other sources of income or just close their business down. Buyers of snow removal services face equally challenging risks because of volatile snowfall.

Compounding the problem for the snow and ice removal industry — as well as for the ski industry, — is that climate change may be causing an increase in the frequency and severity of abnormal weather.

Metar Weather, founded in 2011, helps clients reduce risks to earnings, expenses or revenues resulting from a broad array of measurable meteorological phenomena, including precipitation, temperature, humidity and wind. Metar creates customizable weather protection products for a variety of weather-dependent industries, including the snow removal industry, ski resorts and golf courses. Metar Weather has an exclusive agreement with WeatherWorks, a national leader in customized meteorological services and products, that gives Metar access to hyperlocal weather data.