If we are not able to re-rent the property, we will not give you a refund. Why? The owner in the meantime has counted on your booking. On that reliance, he (and we) have not offered the house to other prospective renters. If you have paid your 50% deposit, you will forfeit it in the event of cancellation. If you have paid in full, you will forfeit the entire amount.
How can you protect yourself against cancellation? Well, if your reason for cancellation is that you’ve changed your mind and want to go on a Norwegian cruise or on a safari to Tanzania instead, you can’t protect yourself. You just take the loss.
For a legitimate reason like illness or death or otherwise, you can and should protect yourself by purchasing trip cancellation insurance. Forms to apply for such policies are readily available through travel agencies, and we will supply you with the names of a couple of examples of trip cancellation insurance companies with the confirmation documents. We make no money on this; we supply the names of these companies just as a courtesy to you; we are not in the insurance business.
Now, that’s the rule.
Sometimes, it is possible that the rental amount you paid can be applied to a future rental of the same property in the off season. And by off season, we don’t mean Christmas or Easter or April or October; those are heavily booked periods. It means winter and, in some cases, August. And sometimes, we’re able to make an arrangement whereby the amount you paid can be applied to a future rental, even in high season, if that second booking occurs no more than 6 or 8 weeks in advance. We’re willing to discuss the possibilities. But there are no guarantees. The decision on such matters is entirely up to the owner. You should have taken out trip cancellation insurance, and your failure to do so is your own responsibility and no one else’s. That’s the bottom line. Any accommodation made to you in the event of cancellation without your having purchased trip cancellation insurance is simply a favor to you and is not yours by right.
If under such circumstances, an owner is willing to make an accommodation on your behalf, and this occurs after you have paid your deposit but before you have made your final payment, we will ask you to demonstrate your good faith by paying the balance immediately. We cannot have the owner of the villa subject to the risk of a possible second cancellation.
First let us say this: We believe in fear. We are ourselves not foolishly courageous. If you’re terrified, we have no intention of making you feel badly about your feelings.
But we won’t pay for your fear. On September 11, 2001, our world changed forever. Fear and risk are now part of life. You can choose not to rent and to stay in hotels which often give full refunds for cancelled reservations (though more and more of them insist on receiving notice of cancellation days or even weeks in advance). Your choice to stay in a privately owned villa is your responsibility, and we will not give you a refund for events occurring in countries other than Italy or even for events occurring within Italy, short of hand-to-hand combat in the Chianti vineyards.
If commercial airlines are flying, we expect you to honor your commitment or forfeit the rental amount you’ve paid. You can protect yourself by purchasing a trip cancellation policy, making sure that the policy covers any events which might cause you fear.