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Where should I put my FloodFlash sensor?

In the news: The Oxford Times
What depth and settlement should I set for my FloodFlash policy?

FloodFlash policies operate a little differently to traditional insurance policies. As a result, we are often asked (very understandable) questions by both customers and brokers on those parts of a FloodFlash policy that are new… which calls for a blog post!

This is the first in a series of posts that give simple answers to those most common questions. In the series, we’ll be covering choosing a place to install your sensor, selecting a settlement amount, selecting a trigger depth, and more.

A FloodFlash sensor installed at a particularly on-brand warehouse

Where am I allowed put my sensor?

The very straightforward answer is that your FloodFlash sensor can go wherever you like on your building, with a couple of simple restrictions:

The FloodFlash sensor (155cm long and 5.4cm wide)…

can go on any external wall of the building indicated in your quote document (see below).

can’t go in a drain, stairwell or other depression that would place the sensor below ground level.

can’t go on a wall that abuts water, i.e. when the wall of a building effectively becomes the riverbank.

A map like this is shown in the quote document your broker will provide you, and the sensor must go on the building indicated. If you’d like to place the sensor on a different building, no problem: you’ll just need to ask your broker for a fresh quote
You can’t put your sensor in something like this, unfortunately, which puts the base below ground level
A wall that abuts water…picturesque, but also not appropriate for a FloodFlash sensor

It has to be an external wall because your FloodFlash policy covers flooding from natural causes such as river flooding, coastal flooding, snow melting, heavy rainfall, etc. Internal sources of flooding such as burst pipes (often called ‘escape of water’) aren’t covered by your FloodFlash policy. (Escape of water is likely to be covered by your main insurance, though you should confirm this with your broker.)

Ok, I now know where it is allowed to go…but where should it go?

We leave this decision to you because you know the specifics of your property better than we do. Most customers put the sensor in the area that they believe will flood first, typically the part at lowest elevation or closest to a water source.

We don’t dictate which wall of the building the sensor goes on, so if the rear of your property is lower and is more likely to flood deeper than the front, and it would make sense to put your sensor there, then that’s no problem at all. Equally, if you wanted to put it somewhere else, that’s also no problem.

Lots of customers decide to put the sensor on the part of the building they think is most likely to flood first — like the low point close to the river shown here — which is totally fine. If you wanted to put it somewhere else, that’s also fine.

Where have other customers put their sensor?

As above, most customers select the area they think is most likely to flood first, and likely to experience the deepest flood. For customers whose property has no area more likely to flood than another (e.g. on flat, level ground) we have seen them select a location based on aesthetics or convenience — out of the way around the side or on the back of the building, for example, rather than on a shop-front. This is also totally fine.

Another factor to bear in mind is that it can be useful to place the sensor next to something that allows you to tangibly select a trigger height — for example, if a customer has already installed flood barriers to protect up to 60cm, they often put their FloodFlash sensor next to the barrier and select a trigger height of 60cm. They then know that they will receive their settlement at the same depth that the barriers become overwhelmed.

An important thing to remember when placing your sensor is that the pay-out is dictated by the flood depth above ground level, as measured by the sensor, at the point at which the sensor is installed. There’ll be more on this in our upcoming post on choosing a trigger depth.

What height is the sensor installed at?

The majority of sensors are installed with the base at ground level. This will almost always be the case for and any trigger-depth up to 1.2m. If you opt for a higher trigger depth, the sensor will be mounted higher on the wall. This will all be taken care of by our trusted installation engineer — you don’t need to do anything different.

A standard, ground-level FloodFlash sensor installation

What’s the installation process?

No DIY required! FloodFlash sensors are installed by our trusted engineers. When you purchase your FloodFlash policy, your broker will ask for your preferred dates and times for the installation of your sensor. Once booked, Tom (who runs operations here at FloodFlash) will arrange for your sensor to be shipped. Your installation engineer will call you a day or so in advance to confirm arrangements.

Before the engineer arrives you’ll need to have chosen a location for your sensor and will need to make sure the area is free from obstructions for them access to the site.

Should you have any questions at all regarding our sensors, Tom or any of the rest of the team would love to assist. Please get in touch.

Tom: world expert on FloodFlash sensors