Regulators Approve ISO Fire-Protection-Class Database of U.S. Property Addresses for Insurers' Use Countrywide

JERSEY CITY, N.J., July 22, 2002 — With Maine on board, insurance regulators in 44 states and Washington, D. C., have approved Insurance Services Office, Inc.'s (ISO) LOCATIONTM database of Public Protection Classifications (PPCTM), the ISO program that grades the fire-suppression capabilities of more than 45,000 municipalities in the United States. This represents all jurisdictions in which ISO conducts public protection gradings of fire-protection areas.

The LOCATION database provides insurers a fast, accurate means to assign a PPC code to specific risks by street address. ISO's LOCATION database includes street addresses of residential and commercial properties throughout the United States. Insurers use the PPC program to evaluate communities' fire-suppression capabilities — a key criterion in pricing property insurance coverage.

ISO's LOCATION is the only address-specific database that provides insurers updated protection-class, postal and road data every month on CD-ROM. In the six independent-bureau states — Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Washington — insurers can opt to file the database for regulators' approval to assign PPC information to individual risks. ISO can also help insurers file the database in those states.

"The approval of LOCATION by regulators in every ISO-graded jurisdiction demonstrates the importance of fire-protection class as a rating variable for accurately pricing property insurance," said William M. Raichle, ISO's assistant vice president for risk-decision services. "Insurers recognize a significant correlation between communities' protection class and fire losses, and LOCATION is ISO's latest tool that assigns those classes correctly in a fully automated environment," Raichle added.

ISO's LOCATION enables insurers to handle rate quotes, make sound underwriting decisions, write new business, renew existing policies, reduce errors in reporting fire-protection classes, and more effectively target markets, Raichle noted.

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

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

Moreover, as part of ISO's Community Outreach Program, LOCATION provides subsets of local information to community officials countrywide, so accurate and updated property addresses can be continually incorporated into the database.

Through the Community Outreach Program, ISO works directly with local officials throughout the U.S. for new information on boundary updates, fire-station locations, automatic-aid agreements with adjacent communities, and hydrant locations. The information is used for assessing communities' fire-suppression capabilities.

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

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 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

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

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