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Where should I put my FloodFlash sensor?

FloodFlash announce partnership with Hiscox

FloodFlash policies operate a little differently to traditional insurance policies. Every FloodFlash policy comes with a smart sensor. It is the key to our rapid claims and affordable premiums. When the sensor measures flooding at the the chosen trigger depth, we start the claim. Placing the sensor is the first step to getting FloodFlash cover in place, and the most important. Where to place the sensor is a common question from our brokers and their clients – keep reading for our tips and tricks to help decide.

How does the sensor work?

Using a sensor for flood insurance is pretty new, so let’s start with the basics. Each FloodFlash sensor is 155cm long and 5.4cm wide. They may be small and look nondescript, but they are central to every FloodFlash policy.

A FloodFlash sensor installed at a particularly on-brand warehouse.

The sensor is custom-built to pay claims fast. Each sensor is:

  • Smart – every sensor is equipped with high-accuracy, ultrasonic depth measurement technology – a bit like the parking sensors on a car. It sends flood data to FloodFlash HQ using the mobile networks.
  • Strong – the sensor is built to last. It features a battery that lasts up to 12 years and a memory chip to store data for when networks fail.
  • Secure – all our sensors are tamper and fraud proof. Plus, 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.

After installation the sensor is self-sufficient and we monitor sensor data regularly. If water reaches the pre-agreed trigger depth, we start the claim. If you want to learn more about how the sensor works, check out this article.

Where can I PLACE the sensor?

The sensor is what makes FloodFlash claims simple and fast. We have a few rules when it comes to sensor placement that follow the acronym PLACE – place, level, abuts, cost, engineer.

Property: The sensor must be on the outside wall of the property on the statement of fact. The statement of fact is a key document that comes with every FloodFlash quote. It includes a map and satellite view of the property selected during the quote submission form. We price quotes based on the exact property and footprint chosen – to ensure a claim is valid, the sensor must be on this property.

The statement of fact shows the property the quote is valid for – the sensor can only be installed on the external wall of this property.

Level: The sensor must be at (or above) ground level. It cannot be placed down a drain, stairway or depression that leaves the bottom end of the sensor below ground level.

The sensor can not be installed below ground level, for example down the depression shown in this image.

Abuts: The sensor cannot be on a wall that touches or abuts water, for example, a building next to a river. That includes where a wall goes down to meet the water below ground level.

A wall that abuts water…picturesque, but not appropriate for a FloodFlash sensor.

Cost: The sensor costs £100+VAT per year in the UK. In the US, the sensor costs $200 per year. In both cases, this covers licensing and servicing. Initial installation is provided at no extra cost.

Engineer: The installation engineer cannot advise the client. The client will know their property best, and they must choose where the sensor goes.

Make sure you share these rules with your client – if the sensor placement doesn’t follow them, we may refuse a claim, cancel the policy, or charge an admin fee to move the sensor or update the policy.

If you have any questions, our experts in the Broker Success Team are more happy to help. They can provide guidance on sensor placement, and even attend a site visit with you and the client. Email with any questions.

Where should I place the sensor?

There’s a reason we leave this decision to the client. They know their property better that we do. To help, here are a few questions to ask your client when they are considering their sensor placement:

  1. Is the property on a hill, or is one part of the property lower than another?
  2. If they have flooded before, where did water reach first? If not, is one wall of the property near to a river or water source?
  3. What part of your property are they most worried about? Where are the thresholds that water will cross?

An elevation-based approach

Most customers place the sensor at the point of lowest elevation on their property. As long as it’s above ground level and follows the other PLACE rules, that’s fine. This sensor placement has two main benefits. First, it is likely the area that will flood first. Second, it often allows for a higher trigger depth – lowering the premium.

Many customers choose to place their sensor at the lowest point of elevation.

A risk-based approach

Some of our customers will have flooded before, and often, they will know the area of their property that flood water reached first. If customers haven’t flooded before, there are other ways to find the point on the property that might flood first. For example, is one wall near a river? Is there a drain that regularly overflows in heavy rain? These are all factors to consider when choosing where to place the sensor.

The customer in this example may choose to place their sensor on the left-hand wall of their property, as it’s closer to the river, which is likely to be the source of any flooding they experience.

A threshold-based approach

A FloodFlash policy pays when water meets the pre-agreed trigger depth. Trigger depth(s) are often based on when water will cause damage to the property, for example, when water enters the property, or overcomes resilience measures. It can therefore be helpful to place the sensor next to these thresholds – that way, customers can immediately tell when water reaches their trigger depth. While there’s no need for customers to alert us when this happens, it may provide extra peace of mind during a flood event.

Some of our customer’s choose to place the sensor next to doors, windows, or other thresholds that align with their trigger depths – so they know exactly when water reaches their trigger depth.

Where else do businesses place their sensor?

When a property has no area more likely to flood than another (e.g. on flat, level ground and not next to a river), customers often select a location based on aesthetics or convenience, for example, around the side or on the back of the building, for example, rather than on a shop-front. This is also totally fine – as long as it follows the PLACE rules.

What is the installation process?

Our trusted engineers install every sensor – no DIY required. During the quote stage, we’ll ask for your client’s preferred dates and times for the installation. Once booked, our Operations Lead Tom Rogers will arrange the delivery of the sensor. One of our trained installation engineers will call the client a day or so in advance to confirm arrangements.

Before the engineer arrives, make sure the client has chosen a location for the sensor and ensured the area is free from obstructions for them access to the site.

A standard, ground-level FloodFlash sensor installation

If you, or your client, has any questions about the sensor, installation, or anything else, do get in touch.