ISO's Location Database Assigns Fire-Protection Class to Property Addresses Throughout the U.S.

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Nov. 27, 2001 — Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has introduced LOCATION®, a database of street addresses of virtually all residential and commercial properties in the country, so insurers can automatically assign accurate Public Protection Classifications (PPC®) to each risk they insure.

Insurers use ISO's PPC program to evaluate communities' fire-suppression capabilities — a key criterion in pricing property insurance coverage.

LOCATION delivers PPC information to insurers every month on CD-ROMs — an alternative to paper-based PPC manuals — with current postal and road data updated every quarter on replacement CD-ROMs.

"LOCATION is an invaluable resource for insurers. This unique database of every street address in the country lets insurers handle rate quotes, write new business, renew existing policies, and more effectively target markets," said William M. Raichle, ISO's assistant vice president for risk decision services.

"Insurers can easily install the LOCATION CD-ROM into their systems environment to ensure 24/7, year-round access to accurate, address-specific PPC information. It's the perfect solution for insurers' e-commerce initiatives," Raichle added.

Regulators in 43 states have approved the use of LOCATION by insurers as an alternative means of determining proper PPC codes.

LOCATION combines the latest geographic information system (GIS) technology with address-specific data provided by community officials throughout the country to provide insurers current, risk-specific information on all U.S. addresses (see attached exhibit).

This detailed information allows more informed rating and underwriting decisions, speeds up the delivery of ISO's PPC information, and reduces underwriting errors in reporting fire-protection classifications.

ISO's PPC program is already approved by regulators as a key rating variable and used by the industry countrywide for the fire-insurance component of both residential and commercial property policies. The long-recognized, significant correlation between PPC grading and insured-property losses is reflected in insurers' underwriting guidelines and rating structures.

More than 46,000 fire districts countrywide rely on the ISO program as a measure of their communities' fire-suppression capabilities. Ninety percent of U.S. fire chiefs said in a recent independent survey that the ISO program was "very important" in helping their departments "save lives and property."

LOCATION is powered by ISO's Geographic Underwriting System (GUS®) geocoding system, a sophisticated risk-evaluation tool widely used by insurers to access address-specific information about PPC, windstorm exposure, premium tax, brush fire, crime, and other key underwriting variables.

ISO will expand LOCATION to include information on rating territories, crime, brush fire, hurricane, earthquake, and severe thunderstorm.

Moreover, as part of ISO's Community Outreach Program, LOCATION will provide subsets of local information to community officials countrywide, so accurate, up-to-date property addresses can be incorporated in the database.

The ISO Community Outreach Program is an important component to ISO's community grading activities. Through this program, ISO has already worked directly with local officials in more than 26,000 communities, who have contributed new information on boundary updates, fire-station locations, automatic-aid agreements with adjacent communities, and hydrant locations. The information is used in assessing communities' fire-suppression capabilities.

LOCATION is the only address-specific database that combines all this information in a convenient CD-ROM format, allowing insurers to accurately assign PPC information to individual risks.

For more information on LOCATION, call ISO Customer Service toll-free at 800-888-4476, or by e-mail:

ISO is a leading source of information, and products and services related to property and liability risk. For a broad spectrum of commercial and personal lines of insurance, ISO provides statistical, actuarial, underwriting and claims information and analyses; consulting and technical services; policy language; information about specific locations; fraud-identification tools; and data processing. In the United States and around the world, ISO serves insurers, reinsurers, agents, brokers, self-insureds, risk managers, insurance regulators and other government agencies.

Release: Immediate

Giuseppe Barone / Erica Helton
MWW Group (for ISO)
201-507-9500 /

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