ISO's New Service Helps Insurers in Florida and Kentucky Determine and Accurately Pay Local Premium

NEW YORK, Oct. 27, 1999 Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has unveiled a service that helps insurers writing homeowners and commercial policies in Florida and Kentucky determine policyholders' correct tax jurisdictions and pay appropriate local premium taxes.

Using sophisticated geocoding technology, ISO's new Geographic Underwriting System (GUS®) Premium Tax Service enables insurers in these states to correctly calculate local premium taxes and minimize the risk of penalties for non-compliance with state insurance regulations.

"The new GUS Premium Tax Service determines for Florida and Kentucky insurers each policyholder's correct location and premium tax, and even identifies multiple-tax zones in which policyholders' properties may fall," said Patrick McLaughlin, ISO's senior vice president for risk decision services.

"Despite best intentions, insurers are often unable to precisely identify tax jurisdictions of policyholders as municipal boundaries frequently change. As a result, insurers could fail to make appropriate premium-tax payments to local governments and be subject to fines by regulators," added McLaughlin.

With GUS Premium Tax Service, insurers can face market conduct examinations with greater confidence, save on compliance expenses, and enhance employee productivity by automating a labor-intensive, time-consuming process, McLaughlin noted.

The most comprehensive geocoding system of its kind, ISO's GUS Premium Tax Service provides a geographic database of up-to-date information on boundaries of fire districts, municipalities and counties. The system combines such boundary information with current U.S. Census boundary data and premium-tax information from the insurance departments of Kentucky and Florida, enabling insurers to quickly and accurately determine policyholders' premium taxes.

Florida insurance regulations specifically require insurers to have accurate fire-district and municipal boundary information for calculating premium taxes. ISO's GUS Premium Tax Service is the only system that provides insurers location information on both fire districts and municipalities.

The new ISO service generates for Florida and Kentucky insurers a comprehensive premium-tax report that includes for each state: Census county Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS); name of the tax territory; alternate tax-territory name or code for multiple-tax jurisdictions; lines of business subject to premium tax; tax rate by line and tax type; and tax-revision date, reflecting the latest update.

ISO's GUS Premium Tax Service offers insurers a wide range of electronic and paper information-delivery options. ISO will soon provide insurers access to GUS premium tax through ISOnet®, ISO's secure, password-protected Internet delivery platform.

Insurers at present have the following delivery options for GUS premium tax information:

  • GUS Online through a dedicated or dial-up connection;
  • Batch Processing to provide detailed premium-tax data for each policyholder;
  • Application Program Interface (API) that allows integration of premium-tax data with a company's own information systems through a mainframe-to-mainframe connection;
  • Customized tax-jurisdiction maps showing tax zones overlaid onto road maps for easy identification of policyholders' tax jurisdictions and premium-tax processing; and
  • GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data files showing current tax jurisdictions, enabling insurers to process premium taxes with their own geographic information system. GIS files are available on diskettes or CD-ROM.

For more information on ISO's GUS Premium Tax Service, contact ISO Customer Service at 1-800-888-4476, or e-mail at info@ iso.com.

Release: Immediate

Contacts:
Giuseppe Barone / Erica Helton
MWW Group (for ISO)
201-507-9500
gbarone@mww.com / ehelton@mww.com