FloodFlash launched in 2019 with the ambition of bringing parametric flood insurance to UK SMEs that couldn’t get cover anywhere else. It quickly became apparent that mid-large sized businesses also wanted access to the cover. In Autumn 2020 we expanded our offering to serve these bigger and more complex risks.
That’s where FloodFlash new hire and Head of Capacity Management Richard Coyle comes in. We caught up Richard to get the scoop on his new role. And discover what motivated him to switch roles to work within an MGA…
FloodFlash: Welcome to FloodFlash Rich. Let’s kick off with a simple one, tell us a bit about yourself?
Richard: Thanks! It’s great to be here. I’ve worked in the insurance market for 15 years including experience across advisory, carrier and broking firms. More recently I’ve spent 5 years as a broker at Miller, heading up the Alternative Risk practice.
My main focus at Miller was producing and placing parametric insurance solutions for emerging, climate and natural catastrophe risks. I had an international remit with a particular focus on North America. My clients were a diverse bunch, consisting of retail brokers, wholesalers, MGAs and direct to corporate clients.
FF: When did you first hear about FloodFlash and what were your first impressions?
RC: It’s hard to narrow down the exact moment, but there’s a lot of word of mouth in the market so working in the climate and catastrophe space FloodFlash became hard to avoid. Most Lloyd’s underwriters interested in emerging risk, parametric solutions or product innovation were aware of FloodFlash by the turn of 2020.
I had my first proper view of the product as part of the Lloyd’s Lab [editor’s note: FloodFlash were involved in the 3rd cohort of the Lab]. After that introduction, FloodFlash became my client. As their broker I helped arrange insurance underwriting capacity for their binding authority agreements.
First impressions were of a dynamic, ambitious company with a talented and hard working team. It was clear from their approach that they put the customer right at the centre of the cover.
FF: What attracted you to join the business?
RC: I was quite lucky in that I already had a good amount of knowledge of the business and the team. As FloodFlash’s broker the main attraction was the product – the same is true having joined. I’ve worked on a wide range of parametric natural catastrophe deals at Miller. Of all those I’ve been involved in, FloodFlash really stood out.
The IoT sensor is simple yet sophisticated. Installing the sensor on the client property dramatically reduces basis risk at an extremely reasonable cost (often a barrier with other IoT parametric insurance products). The rapid-payout claims have been proven time and again in the last two years. Not only that, but they’ve led to hugely positive customer testimonials – no mean feat in todays insurance market, particularly after COVID-19.
There’s loads of momentum within the industry too. Recent industry awards are testament to the progress the team has made. They’ve also seen validation from two of the largest (re)insurers in the world, an announcement we’re really excited to share soon.
FF: Can you explain a little about your role as Head of Capacity Management?
RC: My main role will be maintaining and growing FloodFlash’s underwriting capacity relationships as we continue rapid growth in existing territories and launch in new territories in the near future. I’ll also be helping brokers with cases that don’t fit on our binder – either because they are based outside the UK, or because they require high limits. I’m looking forward to helping brokers complete challenging property placements in the most efficient, affordable and effective way possible for their clients.
FF: What are your ambitions for the service?
RC: FloodFlash is proven in the UK. We have made businesses across the country more financially resilient – even paying some in full within hours of catastrophic flood events. The ultimate aim is to make fairly priced parametric flood cover available to clients of all shapes and sizes across the globe.
This product and team are uniquely positioned to help close the sizeable protection gap. Our proprietary sensor technology and unique cloud-based underwriting enables this. It’s our job to increase the flow of risk taking capital, from both traditional and alternative markets, to help achieve this ambition.
FF: What are you most excited in your new role?
RC: There’s a lot in the pipeline that we’re looking forward to announcing. Building on the successful US sensor test with a full pilot and launch is top of the list. Launching into new territories will follow soon after. I’m also looking forward to building our reputation in sectors that we are in the early stages of addressing such as heavy industrial, government and municipalities.
Stay tuned, we’ve a lot to be excited about.