FloodFlash in action: Lake District holiday cottage flood insurance

Protecting holiday cottages from quote to claim

This blog series showcases FloodFlash in action. It explores how brokers and clients are using our smart-sensor technology and rapid-payout cover to make businesses across the UK more resilient. This week we’re featuring an article that originally appeared in the excellent FOCUS (now a member of a Partners&) website here. If you have a case that you want to feature, email chris@floodflash.co

The holiday cottage flood insurance background

The client for this case, let’s call him Mr F, has been FOCUS client for many years. He insures his main residence with us as well as the three holiday let properties he owns the Lake District.

Given the location of his holiday lets, Mr F is no stranger to the damage that flooding causes. He has first hand experience of the efforts required for flood recovery. In December 2015, Storm Desmond wreaked havoc across the North-West, damaging one of the holiday let properties to the tune of over £60,000. The damage was only one aspect of the impact though. Repairs took a long which meant the property was unavailable throughout the following summer – a critical time for Mr F’s earnings.

The issue with traditional claims experience

Mr F was deeply affected – and not just by the extreme weather. His traditional insurance claim was drawn out and inefficient, prolonging the trauma. Here’s Mr F: “we were devastated – this had never happened before. However, the situation was compounded by the ‘old fashioned’ approach the insurance company took. This involved having to schedule and wait for a loss adjuster to visit who then had to write a report to confirm the extent of the damage.

We had to engage many different tradespeople to undertake repair work and also purchase replacement items. In each case we had to obtain multiple quotes. Repair was constantly delayed because at each step in the process we had to wait for approval from the loss adjuster before any work activities could be authorised. Rather than focus on recovering the situation we were constantly chasing the loss adjuster and waiting on approvals.

Mr F lost all bookings throughout the summer of 2016 – causing long term damage to his business and great stress.

After the flooding, Mr F’s traditional insurer added a £15,000 excess to the policy which costed just over £2,500. He also took out a £2,100 policy to cover the excess, bringing the total premium for the property to over £4,700. Mr F was paying more for his insurance despite the knowledge that he’d had a poor claims experience in the past. A real grudge purchase.

The FloodFlash solution to holiday cottage flood insurance

As part of their commitment to their clients, the team at Focus constantly review their insurance risks and provide the best solutions. Focus Client Director Roz Wright, having recently been introduced to FloodFlash, felt that she could find a much needed solution for Mr F.

Ahead of the policy renewal, Roz decided to experiment to see if she could save Mr F money as well as another bad claim experience. She requested quotes from alternative providers excluding flood. With the ability to shop around, she managed to reduce the primary cover to £1,600. She then took out a FloodFlash quote to cover the flood risk – using the saving in premium to contribute to the FloodFlash premium.

Choosing trigger depths

Roz and Mr F had several conversations around the risk at the property before landing on the following trigger structure:

  • £50k at 40cm trigger depth
  • £50k at 80cm trigger depth
  • £25k at 100cm trigger depth

Mr F now had access to a total payout of £125,000. Better still, he had a lower premium because he’d split the payout over multiple trigger depths. With his smart sensor up and running, Mr F had the reassurance that he now had the cover in place.

Rapid-payout commercial flood insurance in action

It wasn’t long before flooding tested Mr F’s holiday cottage flood insurance. At the end of February 2021, FloodFlash notified him and FOCUS that the flood sensor had started recording flooding. Roz spoke with Mr F to check in with the property. Mr F was confident that the flooding would subside before damaging the property but was pleased to hear the smart sensor was working.

That wasn’t the end of the story though…

Prolonged storm conditions caused by Storm Christoph and later extreme weather caused river, coastal surge and surface water flooding across the country in spring 2021.

In March, Cumbria flooded again. Rivers burst their banks and combined with significant surface water flooding. On the 29th of March, Mr F’s property flooded once again, this time much worse.

The smart sensor triggered in the early hours of the morning, reaching a maximum depth of 42cm around 1.31AM. FloodFlash set the claims payment process going that morning, and by the end of the following day Mr F received the full £50,000 pay-out for the trigger.

The total time between the trigger and the pay-out was 39 hours and 29 minutes.

The big difference for Mr F compared to his 2015 claim was how quickly he received the money. In addition, FloodFlash doesn’t have restrictions on how you use the money, so he was free to start repairing straight away – a much better claim experience.

Roz always seeks to find the most appropriate insurance policies for our properties to meet our requirements. Based on our recent experience I would have no hesitation recommending FloodFlash

MR F after his FloodFlash claim in March 2021

To find out more about more about our award-winning parametric flood insurance visit our homepage.


Established in 1990 and based in Oxford, FOCUS is one of the region’s most respected firms of Independent Insurance Consultants. Now part of Partners&, the team at FOCUS provide bespoke insurance solutions for both commercial and private clients – especially when requirements cannot be satisfied by an “off the shelf” standard policy.

Putting the client first is the ethos behind the advice and service offered by FOCUS, delivering expert advice with a personal approach. To find out more, visit www.focusorm.co.uk or call 01865 953 111.