“Can we buy cancel-for-any-reason protection on all of our bookings?”
It’s a simple and honest question that Brady and John from RentalGuardian had been hearing at trade shows for several years. Traditional travel protection is structured in such a way that the traveler is the primary insured party and the program must be “opted in” or selected by the traveler.
But Property Managers wanted a program that would allow them to offer more flexible cancellation terms, while also protecting the revenue of the rental company and the owners they represent. The need existed even before the world would be brought to a halt by the global coronavirus pandemic.
At a Spring trade event in 2019, Brady and John came up with the idea to leverage the property manager’s cancellation terms and conditions as the perfect vehicle for such a program: Property Managers would opt into a program that would protect their cancellation terms and conditions.
Master Cancel™ would act as a financial backstop, giving property managers the ability to offer flexible cancellation terms allowing guests to cancel bookings from 60 days up to and including 2 days before check-in without penalty. Then, if a guest cancellation happens, the property manager reimburses the guest and the Master Cancel™ program reimburses the property manager. The program launched in late Summer 2019, grew slowly each month, and then the pandemic occurred...
Ensuing travel restrictions prompted OTAs to refund guests in full, with little or no notice given to property managers and rental owners. Hundreds of property managers have since applied for the program.
The following is from the RentalGuardian team:
How It Works
The program works like this: property managers enroll into the program and authorize RentalGuardian to pull its booking and cancellation data for underwriting approval. Once approved, property managers modify their cancellation terms and conditions to reflect the new updates. If a guest cancellation happens within the time period covered by the program, the property manager files a claim and is reimbursed.
RentalGuardian is able to offer such a program because of many factors, including the large-scale role of its parent company, Inhabit IQ. Underwriters backing the program were willing to take such risks because of the opportunity to release Master Cancel™ across Inhabit IQ’s larger ecosystem. RentalGuardian now offers the program through its fellow Inhabit IQ property management software platforms including Streamline, SuperControl, LiveRez and Virtual Resort Manager (VRM). RentalGuardian will soon launch the program with its other integrated property management software platforms outside of Inhabit IQ family once current integrations are completed.
“The vacation rental software industry works because the entire ecosystem truly embraces a spirit of open APIs and open connectivity,” Stump added. “We are grateful we can bring a product like Master Cancel™ to the industry to fulfill a real need of the local property manager. These are the folks who make our industry go, and we want to continue making products and services that put them first. Master Cancel™ gives these local property managers a little more control of their own business.”
To learn more about Master Cancel™, visit https://www.mastercancel.com/.