The massive fire that afflicted the Gironde for several days has yet to be repaired. The fires have already destroyed more than 20,000 hectares and many municipalities have been evacuated to protect residents. In the middle of the tourist season, many vacationers had to leave their holiday resort in order to go somewhere safe. The fire destroyed many tourist establishments, including the site of the famous Flots Bleus camp popularized by Frank Dubusque. Once vacationers arrive at the shelter, vacationers who have to shorten their vacations likely have one question in mind: Will they be compensated? And if so, who?
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Let’s start with the simplest case. If you are forced to leave your campsite, hotel, or accommodation due to the property being affected by fire or evacuated by prefecture order, you will be automatically compensated. Hospitality professionals are required to take out insurance when they greet an audience, so they will be quickly compensated. Then the managers of the tourist establishments are responsible for compensating their injured clients. “You don’t have to worry about vacationers being evacuated from their establishment, professional insurance is effective and repayment times are generally very short,” assures Olivier Mostakakis, co-founder of comparison firm Assurland.
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The situation becomes even more complicated if you decide to voluntarily leave your vacation spot when your organization is not directly affected by the fire. In this case, the camp manager or hotel is not obligated to compensate you. To hope for compensation, you must turn to your personal insurance. Some home insurance companies offer “resort” guarantee extensions that allow you to receive compensation if your stay is cancelled. “In this case, everything depends on the contract concluded, but most insurance companies require a good reason before reimbursing you,” Olivier Mostakakis specifies.
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Even if you extend the insurance period, it is not certain that a fire that broke out in your holiday resort area will be considered a force majeure case by your insurance company. If you win your case, you will receive compensation that covers only a portion of your reservation costs.
Airbnb’s response to affected guests
If you’ve already booked your stay at a hotel or camping site and want to cancel due to fires, there are two scenarios. The first is simple: if your establishment is closed due to fire during your stay, you will be fully compensated, without providing proof.
On the other hand, if the hotel or camp stays open, you will only be compensated if you have taken out cancellation insurance with the organization in question. In this case, you have the option to cancel your stay a maximum of 48 hours before the start of your vacation. If you do not have cancellation insurance, you will not be able to get a refund from the hotel owner. Here again, some home insurance extensions offer reimbursement on a case-by-case basis in the event of residency cancellation. It is therefore advisable to contact your insurance company to find out more about your contract.
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It remains to mention the state of residence in Airbnb. The US carrier said in a statement on Wednesday that it has implemented a “force majeure policy that allows affected hosts and travelers to cancel without fees or penalty, and to refund their entire stay or travel credit.” In detail, travelers who booked a flight before July 13 with a scheduled arrival date between July 13 and 26, can request a refund. The regions of La Teste-de-Buch (Dune du Pilat) and Landiras are affected by this refund policy. Airbnb determines that travelers coming from or transiting through fire-affected areas will also have a refund.
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