FloodFlash sensor: everything you need to know about our award-winning tech

Every FloodFlash policy includes a smart sensor. It is the key to our rapid claims and affordable premiums. Using a sensor for commercial flood insurance is pretty new, so it’s understandable that people have questions. This blog gives a full rundown on what you need to know about the FloodFlash sensor for policies on our UK binder. If you have a complex risk or you are based in the US, check out our Major Accounts and US pages for more details. Got any further questions or tips? Get in touch.

How does the FloodFlash sensor work?

The FloodFlash smart sensor may look simple, but it is custom-built to support our rapid-payout insurance. It uses the latest technology, can weather any storm, and is tamper- and fraud-proof. Here’s how it works: 

It’s smart

Every sensor is equipped with high-accuracy, ultrasonic depth measurement technology. It works a bit like car parking sensors – bouncing sound down the tube and measuring the time it takes to get back to the top. The shorter the time it takes to bounce back, the more water there is in the sensor. It then converts time to depth, accurate to 5mm, and sends flood data to FloodFlash HQ using the mobile networks. If the mobile networks fail, the sensor stores the readings on a memory chip – meaning we don’t miss a single reading. 

It’s strong

We designed the 1.5m sensor to last. Ultra-low power consumption and battery efficiency mean that the sensor doesn’t require any external power, and lasts up to 12 years. We’ve tested the sensor in storm and flood conditions, so we know it can weather almost any storm that comes your way.

It’s secure

The sensor is tamper- and fraud-proof. Live data monitoring feeds into a robust fraud prevention process. We manage this in the sensor itself and through the data checks we carry out at HQ. If the sensor stops sending data, we send someone to investigate and replace it – free of charge. The simple installation means that we replace it quickly if needed. If you flood and the sensor fails, we still pay out – but no sensors have failed to date.

While the technology it uses may be complex, the FloodFlash sensor itself looks remarkably simple – it includes two tubes, a battery and a circuit board, all within the famous white casing.

What are the benefits of the sensor?

The FloodFlash sensor is at the heart of our rapid claims. It monitors flooding at a property of the clients choosing. As soon as the sensor detects flooding it sends data to FloodFlash HQ telling us to keep an eye on events at the property. When the flooding reaches the client’s selected trigger depth, we start the claim.

Our sensor acts as our on-the-ground reporter. It speeds up the claims process and minimises the input required from the client. Once we are notified of the flood, we carry out a few basic checks back at HQ, like checking river gauges in the area and for local news of flooding. The next step is to ask the client for their bank details. 

The sensor is one of the main reasons why we’re the first insurance company to pay a flood claim in 24 hours. In fact, in November 2022, it took just 3 hours and 50 minutes to pay the claim in full. The sensor triggered at 9:40 in the morning and the full payout was in the client’s account by 1:30pm the same day.

For businesses affected by flooding, a rapid payout is critical. It reduces stress, speeds up recovery, and allows them to reopen within days. 

“I could not believe how quickly the payout happened. The service was great.”

The Floodflash client who received the record-breaking claim.
The FloodFlash sensor installed at a cafe.
A FloodFlash sensor outside the Blue Teapot in Hebden Bridge. The data from this sensor helped validate a claim that kickstarted the cafe’s recovery during Storm Ciara in 2019.

Where can you place the FloodFlash sensor?

There are three steps to get FloodFlash cover in place: place your sensor, decide your depth, pick your payout. Where you choose to place your sensor impacts the depths you choose, which impacts the payout you need. That’s why sensor placement is so important.

When placing your sensor, there are a few simple rules to follow (for example, you can’t place it down a drain or on a wall that touches water), but otherwise it is up to you. Our clients tend to place their sensor in one of three places:

  1. The lowest point on the property
  2. The most at risk point on the property
  3. Close to thresholds like doors or windows

For a full rundown on sensor placement, check out this article.

The FloodFlash sensor on the side of a blue building.
When choosing where to place your sensor, consider elevation, risk, and thresholds.

How much does the sensor cost?

The sensor costs £100+VAT per year. This covers the data charges as well as repair and replacement of the sensor should anything happen to it. Your quote documents will include the sensor fee as a separate charge. That way you can see what you’re spending on the premium vs. the sensor as well as claiming on the VAT if needed.

Who installs the FloodFlash sensor?

FloodFlash has a network of trained engineers across the country who install every sensor. There’s no DIY needed; all you need to do it clear the installation space beforehand. If you can’t be there on the day of the installation, no problem. Just provide us with clear instructions (preferably with images) and make sure our engineer can access the site. We’ll do the rest. 

FloodFlash sensor on the side of a building
A FloodFlash sensor just having been installed.

To find out more about more about our record-breaking parametric flood insurance visit our homepage.