Small sensor, big adventure: FloodFlash sensor travels to the US

FloodFlash test rapid-payout insurance hardware in America

America contributes a huge amount to the global catastrophe insurance market, but it is also one of the world’s most uninsured nations. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 65% of the 5.1 million households in established 100-year flood zones do not have flood insurance. During Hurricane Sandy only 20% of homes affected had flood insurance. This protection gap leaves homeowners and businesses at risk and could be in part filled by parametric insurance. The US is therefore an interesting market for FloodFlash to explore.

FloodFlash testing in the US

The ambition behind FloodFlash is to make sure that everyone has access to flood insurance that works for them. That sentiment extends beyond the shores of the UK. As a result, we’ve been carrying out a test on the FloodFlash sensor. The aim? To establish whether it works across the pond. We developed a miniature version of the sensor and sent it to friends living across North America to test the connectivity and functionality.

An unconventional boomerang: this map shows the route that the sensor took from Southampton to both coasts of North America and back again.

What we learned about the sensor and US networks

We created the trip to test the sensor on American mobile networks, which operate differently to those in the UK. Having travelled to 6 states (California, Nevada, New York, Main, Florida, Minnesota and Vancouver) across America and Canada, this initial voyage was brief and rudimentary in nature but yielded great results.

The main objective was to test our sensors on the new CAT-M1 IoT network. This network would help us increase connectivity. It will also increase battery life and allow us to do more with the sensor in the future. The sensor successfully connected in every location. Good news for any future attempts to help plug the US protection gap.

Re-united: FloodFlash hardware expert Pete and the mini sensor that has travelled across a continent (with a few stickers picked up along the way).

If you want to register for early access to FloodFlash in the US – fill out the form on our US page.