ISO and AscendantOne Team Up to Offer Property/Casualty Insurers Comprehensive Rating and Policy-Management Solutions

  • ISO Takes Significant Equity Position in Technology Software Firm

JERSEY CITY, N.J., April 15, 2002 — Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has made a significant equity investment in AscendantOneTM Inc., a leading-edge insurance technology and services company, to deliver insurance rating and policy-management products that integrate ISO's loss costs, manual rules and forms information with AscendantOne's flexible XML-based technology solutions.

The deal also calls for ISO to provide sales and marketing support to the Nashua, N. H., company. Terms were not disclosed.

The two companies will seamlessly integrate ISO's loss costs, manual rules and forms information into AscendantOne's RateFocusTM and PolicyFocusTM applications. In addition, ISO will work with AscendantOne to ensure the RateFocus rating calculations conform to the published ISO manual rules.

These AscendantOne solutions — powered by ISO — will provide insurers with an efficient and accurate methodology to quickly build company-specific insurance programs and easily analyze, manage and implement ISO program revisions.

ISO and AscendantOne will make RateFocus and PolicyFocus available for all ISO lines of insurance, beginning with the July launch of ISO's new Businessowners Program (BOP).

"Our investment in AscendantOne enables ISO to deliver enormous value to insurers," said Frank J. Coyne, ISO's president and chief executive officer. These, said Coyne, include:

  • revenue acceleration,
  • cost reduction, and
  • customer satisfaction.

The AscendantOne offering is the first solution that efficiently incorporates ISO loss costs, rules and manual information directly into insurers' rating and policy-administration systems. This unique capability significantly increases the ease and speed of revising insurers' programs with current ISO information.

"Increasingly, insurers have been urging ISO to offer its own rating and policy-administration solutions, and we believe that AscendantOne is the right technology partner to address this market need," Coyne said.

The flexibility of RateFocus and PolicyFocus, combined with essential ISO information, will enable insurers to roll out new products and introduce existing products into new markets more rapidly. What's more, insurers will be able to expedite regulatory filings and implement rate changes more quickly than ever before — benefits that go directly to a carrier's bottom line.

Additional benefits from the ISO-AscendantOne joint product development efforts are insurers' cost savings from eliminating manual input of ISO information into their rating and policy-administration systems, higher productivity and compressed implementation time.

"We are delighted to have ISO as a strategic investor in our company. With the support of ISO, AscendantOne can more effectively deliver its tools and services to the property/casualty industry," said Paul Philp, AscendantOne's president and chief executive officer. "Our complementary strengths will position both companies to provide advanced cost-effective solutions," Philp added.

"RateFocus and PolicyFocus are key components of AscendantOne's versatile Front Office Suite for insurers. These components are designed to be used by insurance business professionals, not programmers, to easily calculate, develop and edit rates and rules, and modify existing ISO insurance programs to match company-defined preferences and rating methodologies," Philp noted.

The AscendantOne Front Office Suite also incorporates flexible quoting and underwriting solutions and an insurance-specific customer relationship management process for end-to-end account management and retention — all from secure, easy-to-use browser-based interfaces. In addition, the AscendantOne offerings support independent insurer programs and non-ISO lines of insurance.

About ISO
ISO is a leading source of information, 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 analysis; 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, and insurance regulators and other government agencies.

About AscendantOne
Headquartered in Nashua, N. H., AscendantOne delivers open, flexible, XML-based technology and services that directly transform property & casualty front office economics, while boosting the marketing and client retention capabilities of insurance providers. AscendantOne introduces new browser-based paradigms for rate/quote/issuance, policy and customer management, strengthening the entire new-business-to-renewals service process in the P&C distribution network. For more information, please visit www. AscendantOne.com.

Release: Immediate

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

Stacey Taylor (AscendantOne)
603-598-5427 x454
staylor@AscendantOne.com