2021 FloodFlash: the year in 12 numbers

Wow! Another year has flown by, marking the third complete year that UK businesses have had access to our rapid-payout cover. It’s been another year of ups and downs. Whilst certain things look pretty similar to the end of 2020, FloodFlash has changed a huge amount over the last 12 months. In this blog, we explore 12 of the most notable 2021 FloodFlash achievements.

If you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly part of that journey. Thanks for supporting us as we continue to grow. We will always repay that support with our efforts to protect more people around the world from flooding. Want more updates in 2022? Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or sign up to our newsletter here.

1 big capacity update

One of the biggest changes of the year came in the Autumn when we announced our landmark partnership with Munich Re. The agreement brings us a fantastic partner for our UK insurance, increasing capacity limits and our ability to innovate. Long term it is set to provide us with a solid platform for international expansion. Watch this space!

The deal was picked up in much of the insurance press, most notably Insurance Today, The Insurance Times, Reinsurance News and Insurance Business UK.

Here’s what FloodFlash CEO Adam Rimmer said at the time: “We couldn’t be happier in growing our relationship with Munich Re. They have a proven track record for supporting innovative products. Their pedigree in the parametric insurance space makes us even better suited.”

The article announcing the partnership

“This partnership will ensure we can move faster and provide more flexible covers to our customers and provide a springboard for international expansion. We will set the standard for how underwriters and insurtechs can work together to address industry issues, starting with the $58bn yearly global flood underinsurance problem.”

Stuart Newcombe, Active Underwriter of the Munich Re Innovation Syndicate commented: “We are really excited to increase the scope of our partnership with FloodFlash. I look forward to working together on parametric flood insurance, filling a very significant insurance gap.”

2x earned premium rate compared to 2020

We aren’t going to sugar coat it, 2021 was a bumper year from a commercial perspective. All three areas of distribution grew solidly in spite of the difficulties of coming in and out of lockdowns. Our broker sales and direct sales have doubled the premium run rate compared to 2020.

The growth was driven through our fantastic partnerships (not to spoil number 4). Massive credit to the brokers that continue to fuel our success. We couldn’t do this without you. As we continue to smash our targets and watch milestones as they whistle past – now more than ever, thanks for your support.

3 awesome broker events

One of the things that has made 2021 more difficult is the changing guidance around events. The last thing we wanted was to not see our valued partners. That said, we must respect the guidance as it is updated (and overhauled our claims and sensor installation processes to make them COVID safe).

Whilst it wasn’t a full year of meeting old friends and making new ones, we still managed to get out there for three fantastic events during the low periods. Airmic, Broker Fest and Broker Expo were each a joy.

We will keep an eagle eye on the guidelines as they evolve. Rest assured that as soon as we are able, we will be back on the road (fingers crossed for our Flood February campaign)! Whenever it is, we look forward to seeing you in person next year.

4,000 UK brokers now have access to FloodFlash

Related to the last two entries – this is up there with our proudest achievements for the year. At the end of 2020 we had just over 2,000 brokers who had access to the product either via the portal or their colleagues. That number has risen to over 4,000 by December this year.

Whether its via direct access via the portal or as part of a network, more brokers and their clients now have access to our rapid-payout insurance. Best of all, we are normalising mass market parametric insurance – a key force in addressing the flood insurance gap and the financial impacts of climate change.

5 new partnerships with flood resilience providers

Insurance is just one of the means of addressing the threat of flooding. Another key weapon in that fight is property flood resilience (PFR). We are committed to supporting our clients in every way possible. That’s why FloodFlash policies reward clients that have installed PFR measures with lower premiums.

As we look to make British businesses more resilient it made sense for us to forge close partnerships with PFR specialists across the country. Wherever you are in the UK, you can now combine PFR with rapid-payout cover to make your business amongst the most resilient in the world. Find out those partners on our partnerships page.

6 new members of the FloodFlash family

As FloodFlash continued to grow – it was important that we fuel that growth with better service to our brokers and their clients. That’s why 2021 saw six new joiners across multiple different departments. Maryna and Nikhil bolstered our analytics and pricing team, whilst Sophia and Rowan were the new entrants to our development efforts.

FloodFlash class of 2021: (top row, l-r) Sophia, Nilkhil and Zara, (bottom row, l-r) Maryna, Rowan and Rich

In the autumn Rich joined in a new role as Head of Capacity Management. And with all the new people in the fold, it only made sense that longtime FloodFlash partner Zara joined the team in a new role as People and Office Manager.

On a related note, we’re already hiring in anticipation of growth next year. Check out the open roles here.

7 detailed research projects

It’s not just the people side of FloodFlash that got bigger and better this year, the product and services we provide were also on the up and up. A massive part of that effort is understanding how brokers and clients use FloodFlash, and what we can do to convert that knowledge into more attractive and more useful insurance.

2021 saw 7 detailed research projects including qualitative and quantitative customer research, a market deep dive as part of the 2021 Commercial Flood Report, and multiple prototype tests as we forge the best new additions to the product.

The knowledge that this research has brought us was invaluable, thanks to all those that volunteered their time throughout the year, and as always, if you have feedback on what you want to see from us – let us know!

8 thought leadership pieces published nationally

We’re the only company in the world that does flood insurance like this. We’re also one of the global leaders in mass market parametric insurance. That leadership was taken to new heights in 2021 as our media reach extended through our various thought leadership efforts.

Highlights include the many speaking slots taken up by the co-founders Adam and Ian and Head of Product Nyasha Kuwana. FloodFlash inclusions in the press included reactions to storms in the Insurance Times, a detailed view on the trends driving parametric insurance and the findings of our first ever Commercial Flood Report.

The FloodFlash Commercial Risk Report 2021 was one of the big thought leadership efforts from last year. Keep an eye out for the 2022 edition coming out this February.

It has been fantastic to see industry support for the parametric movement. Our efforts to drive real change in customer attitudes are only just beginning. We will continue to champion parametric insurance and UK resilience forever or until the job is done – whichever comes first.

90,000 lines of code written for the front end of the portal

Number 7 talked about the early stages of product development – research. Number 9 is all about the hard graft at the other end. FloodFlash CTO Josh and his ace team of developers work tirelessly to make the portal simple and effective for brokers securing cover for their clients.

What brokers see when they visit the portal (known as the “front end”) represents the tip of the iceberg. It’s no small point to observe that the development team wrote over 90,000 lines of front end code. There are many hundreds of thousand more in the back-end. Every line of code is a credit to the effort from the dev team as they look to make parametric insurance as accessible as possible.

10 hours – our new record claim

It was actually even quicker than that. Our fastest claim to date was paid in 9 hours and 44 minutes during Storm Christoph in January. That’s under 10 hours from flood triggering the sensor to cash in the bank.

“Without question the best insurance claim experience I’ve ever had by some distance.”

James Waite, FloodFlash claimant during Storm Christoph

Having slashed the previous record of 26 hours and 15 minutes paid during Storm Ciara in 2020 we have proved that our fast claims are no fluke. Not just that, they are also a game-changer for client recoveries. We already have ideas on how to make the process even smoother – so that record is by no means safe!

11 product development sprints

Number 7 covered the start of the product process, and 9 covered the end result. What about the middle? The FloodFlash development process uses the sprint methodology to effectively and efficiently manage the weight of work required to bring the product to life (and constantly make it better).

Each sprint represents a unit of development effort, often geared towards a particular project or theme. This year the development team have sprinted harder than ever, bringing some incredible improvements to the product. Highlights include streamlining of the claims process, overhauling quote approvals and big changes to the website.

Find out more about the process in our FloodFlash tech: behind the scenes article.

12 awards won

We try not to dwell on awards. The best outcome of our efforts is more businesses and people protected. If there was ever a time to reflect on our success, it’s the end of the year. As 2021 comes to a close we are hugely encouraged by the recognition we’ve received over the last twelve months.

Our awards haul included The Technology Award at the BIAs, Best Insurtech Solution at the Finnovate Awards and MGA of the year at the inaugural MGAA Awards. We also saw individual success from Ola, who earned a special mention at the BIBA Young Broker of the Year Awards, and from CEO Adam who was named a runner up in the Male CxO category.

“Innovative products, excellent service from the team and easy to use quote system.”

Anonymous account exec from the ratedbybrokers survey

The biggest award in the imaginary trophy case was the 5* score from Brokers in the Insurance Times RatedByBrokers survey. To achieve the highest ever score of a new entrant was a dream come true. We can’t wait to renew the faith that brokers have shown in us for the years to come.

This image from the night at the British Insurance Awards feels like a fitting one to end the year. Here’s to a great 2022.

Wow… What a year. Thanks for joining us on the ride. It doesn’t stop here though. Join us on LinkedIn, Twitter or sign up to our newsletter here to stay up to date as we look to do all this and more in 2022!