2023 at FloodFlash: a round-up

It’s been another busy year at FloodFlash. We officially launched in the US (the most underinsured flood market in the world), paid our biggest set of claims during Storm Babet, and protected more businesses than ever from catastrophic flooding. All this wouldn’t be possible without our amazing brokers, agents, partners, investors, and the whole FloodFlash team. If you’re reading this, you’ve almost certainly played a part – so thanks for supporting us as we continue to grow. Keeping reading for the full 2023 round-up. 

Q1: US launch, increased capacity, and awards

We started off the new year with our official US launch. We kicked it off launching in five states: Florida, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, and California. After record-breaking rainfall and flooding in 2022, the insurance industry was looking uncertain. Over the year many property and casualty insurance companies pulled out of several states with high flood and wildfire risk. 

The new US team spent the first few months of the year meeting brokers and agents across the country. We soon realised there was appetite across the US for our parametric solution, and we quickly made FloodFlash available nationwide. To support our US growth, we signed a new capacity agreement with Munich Re. But that wasn’t it for partnerships. In March, we partnered with Aviva to help bring FloodFlash to more UK businesses via their online marketplace. 

The US team out on the road
The US team spent the first three months of the year visiting brokers and agents, from California to Florida.

2023 has been a bumper year for awards, and we began the year strong. We took home Commercial Lines Insurer Claims Team of the Year at the National Insurance Awards, featured on Hyer’s Impact Fifty list, and received a commendation for Best Customer-Centric Culture in the Insurance CX Awards. 

Finally, we ended the quarter at events from London to Manchester, California to Louisiana. We met brokers at BrokerFest, risk managers at Airmic, and fellow insurtechs at Insurtech Insights.

Q2: BIBA, RIMS and our 2023 magazine

April and May saw some of our biggest events of the year. It was a busy couple of weeks as the UK team attended our best BIBA yet, while our US team attended RIMS. With Hurricane season in full swing, the US events didn’t stop there. The team visited Florida, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii and more to make sure as many brokers and agents know how FloodFlash can help their clients. 

The FloodFlash team travelled far and wide in 2023, from Tampa to Manchester
FloodFlash out and about: meeting brokers in Tampa, Florida (top) and at BIBA in Manchester (bottom).

We also launched our 2023 magazine. This year, it was all about our smart sensor. Our headline article from co-founder and CUO Dr Ian Bartholomew highlighted why we chose IoT sensors to power our parametric insurance. You can read the full magazine here. But wasn’t just our sensor that featured in our blog this year. We continued our behavioural science series with articles on the Gambler’s Fallacy and the framing effect. We also delved into climate change – including the role it is playing on driving the global flood protection gap.

2023 was all about the sensor, including in our annual magazine
Our 2023 magazine focussed on our smart sensor – why we chose it, how it works, and why it is central to our rapid claims and affordable premiums.

Of course, we we can’t help but mention our Q2 awards. We picked up MGA of the Year at both the Modern Claim Awards and British Claim Awards, and made 5th in TechRound’s Insurtech30 list

Q3: US floods, Hiscox, and a trio of trophies

As we entered the peak of our first hurricane season in the US, many areas of the country faced devastating flooding. In July, New York governor Kathy Hochul declared a State of Emergency for several counties after one person sadly died due to the flooding. Heavy rain continued in the east – with Vermont, Pennsylvania and Kentucky all experiencing catastrophic floods. In August, Storm Hilary hit the west coast, making it the first tropical storm to make landfall on California’s coastline since records began in 1949.  

The aftermath of heavy rains and winds in California caused by Storm Hilary. (Source: NPR)

To support this growing US demand, we signed another capacity agreement, this time with Hiscox. As US Commercial Director Richard Coyle commented: ‘the partnership represents another key endorsement of the FloodFlash approach.’ The announcement was part of a busy few months for our US team, as they attended events in Virginia, Vermont, and Bermuda. The headline event was the WSIA Annual Marketplace in San Diego, where the team met wholesalers from across the US. 

FloodFlash brokers in the UK will no doubt be aware of our paradigm-shifting feature smart quote. In August, we rolled-out improvements to this award-winning feature. For our larger and more complex customers both in the UK and the US, we introduced our structuring tool. This uses the principles of smart quote to support customers when they decide on their sensor location, trigger depths and payout values across their site(s). As with smart quote, the tool aims to give customers tailored insights into their property and risk, putting our team’s flood expertise into the hand of every business that quotes. 

Finally, it was a hattrick of awards for us at the Insurance Times Tech and Innovation Awards. We took home: two golds for ‘Best Use of technology for Customer Experience’ and ‘Best Use of technology for Customer Experience – claims (Insurer / MGA), and a silver for ‘Technology Innovation of the Year – Insurer / MGA. 

2023 was full of awards at FloodFlash, including a trio of awards at the IT T&I Awards
It was a triple success at the Insurance Times Tech & Innovation Awards in September. Pictured (L to R): Zara Kreimeia, Kirsty Hume, and Ciana Kenny.

Q4: Storm Babet, the WSJ, and reunions

October was a busy month for our UK team. We smashed our previous monthly premium and policy record, and experienced our largest ever claims event when Storm Babet hit. The first major storm in the UK since Storm Franklin in February 2022, we paid all claims within 2 weeks of flooding, with many receiving payment within days. For a summary of the claims, check out our infographic here. Dave, Chairman of a business who claimed during Storm Babet said: ‘From start to finish, by far the best experience I’ve ever had with an insurance company.’

In November, we welcomed Ash, our 10th and final hire of 2023. We hired over six departments: People, Finance, Compliance, Underwriting, US Distribution, and our UK Broker Success Team. 

Our FloodFlash 2023 hires
Our new 2023 hires. Pictured (L to R): Chris Grasso, Jaber Ahmed, Riyana Vadgama, Ciana Kenny, Lasha Abuladze, Chang Liu, Matt Baugh, Kristen Collier, Thomas Croft, and Ash Byrnes.

December saw our second feature in the Wall Street Journal this year. The article talks about how parametric insurance like FloodFlash can help save the insurance industry (and businesses) from the impacts of climate change. You can check out the article here, as well as our August feature here.

Finally, we saw friends from the US cross the pond to the UK, not once but twice. First, we had students from the University of Charlotte visit FloodFlash HQ to learn more about parametric insurance. Second, we had the whole US team join us for our Christmas party, as well as several cross-departmental workshops. It was great to see the office so busy and share ideas and excitement for 2024!

Christmas 2023 at FloodFlash: our Christmas tree, making pasta, and eating a Christmas meal.
FloodFlash festivities: our office Christmas tree, pasta-making and enjoying our Christmas meal!

Safe to say, it’s been another fantastic year at FloodFlash – thanks to everyone involved. We can’t wait for 2024. Make sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date, and sign up here for our newsletter.