RISE, the coastal resilience innovation hub, has announced the five winning small businesses in its Flood Insurance of the Future Challenge. The competition aimed to source innovative solutions that reduce flood-related insurance premiums and payouts by 50%, a critical need for economically and environmentally resilient communities.
The winning small businesses, National Flood Experts, Plover Parametric, reThought Insurance, Ric, and True Flood Risk, will receive up to $300,000 in funding each to pilot and commercialize their innovative flood insurance solutions in Hampton Roads, Virginia, until the end of 2023. In addition to funding, the winners will have access to resources at the RISE Innovation Hub and Testbed, including a customized business accelerator through 757 Collab, co-working office and testing space, real-world pilot sites, and introductions to regional municipalities and stakeholders.
“Flood insurance is a critical tool for building economically and environmentally resilient communities, but the majority of homeowners, renters, and businesses are uninsured or underinsured,” said Dr. Paul Robinson, Executive Director of RISE. “These winning ideas represent innovative ways to maintain financial security and stability, and improve access and affordability.”
The winning projects offer unique solutions to address flood insurance challenges. National Flood Experts will pilot a scalable platform that allows municipalities’ floodplain managers and residents to assess costs under FEMA’s new Risk Rating 2.0 more easily. Plover Parametric will structure event-driven insurance products that benefit residents, businesses, and municipalities. reThought Insurance aims to advance its flood risk assessment and pricing capabilities to expand flood coverage to more property owners. Ric will pilot a community-based parametric insurance model with a zero-deductible policy that offers a $10,000 payout within 48 hours based on a triggering event. True Flood Risk will extend its risk management platform capabilities to produce current and future damage estimates and support insurance applications.
Bryan Horn, Director of Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), emphasized the importance of protecting coastal communities for the state’s growing economy. “These five projects will offer new and innovative pathways for our vulnerable coastal communities to protect their financial stability while becoming more resilient.”
RISE, established in 2017 with support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and DHCD, has deployed over $7 million in financial assistance and services to entrepreneurs in the coastal resilience sector. The organization has recently expanded its successful model to the rural Middle Peninsula region of Virginia and plans to launch a Challenge focused on the needs of riverine and mountain communities in western Virginia.
To learn more about the winning projects and RISE’s initiatives, visit www.riseresilience.org/winners.
Paul Stetson Rice
Paul is the creator of NFKVA.com. He was born and raised in Norfolk, graduated from Virginia Tech, and narrowly avoided law school. Chat with him about economics, entrepreneurship, hip-hop, and hiking. When he's not working on five different projects, you'll catch him sharing a beer with friends at a local brewery.