AscendantOne Selected by Austin Mutual Insurance Company for Rate-Quote-Issuance, Underwriting and Policy Management

AscendantOne's browser-based property/casualty platform supplies insurer with web-enabled distribution, pricing and service capabilities

NASHUA, N.H., June 2, 2003 — AscendantOne®, Inc., a unit of ISO, has entered into a license and implementation agreement with Austin Mutual Insurance Company,a Minneapolis, Minn.–based property and casualty insurance provider. Austin Mutual will deploy AscendantOne's browser-based rate-quote-issuance, underwriting,policy-administration and account-management solutions to fully web-enable its agency distribution channel, boost service capabilities and reduce policy processing expenses.

The AscendantOne Solution Suite will help Austin Mutual achieve consistent, rules-based underwriting standards and increase business volume from commercial business in the seven states in which the company operates. The company chose AscendantOne for its ability to rapidly build and implement lines of business utilizing ISO-validated advisory loss costs, rules and forms. Additionally, AscendantOne technology provides a distinctive base/exception and inheritance rate-management methodology that allows Austin Mutual to handle and accept ISO and other advisory bureau rate changes more cost effectively.

Under terms of the agreement, Austin Mutual will implement commercial auto and the businessowners program (BOP) immediately, with commercial umbrella, inland marine and other lines to follow. Rating and quoting — along with all associated policy-administration and account-management workflows — will be driven by the browser-based AscendantOne Solution Suite. AscendantOne's XML-based system will also interface with Austin Mutual's existing legacy systems for personal lines policy issuance, in addition to statistical reporting, accounting, billing and claims for all lines.

"Austin Mutual selected AscendantOne to streamline critical quote-issuance-service processing and distribution infrastructures, allowing our company to extend our market scope and meet aggressive growth objectives," said Gary Franssen, IT director, Austin Mutual. According to Franssen, "AscendantOne will provide productive web-based sales and service workflows for Austin Mutual agents, reliable pricing and issuance capabilities for key lines, and the ability to efficiently manage rate changes on an ongoing basis."

About Austin Mutual Insurance Company
Austin Mutual is the lead company of the Austin Mutual Insurance Group, which consists of Austin Mutual and Northern Mutual Insurance Companies. The company's origins date back to 1896, when a group of local farmers and townspeople in Austin, Minnesota, organized the Farmers United Township Mutual Hail Association of Minnesota in order to provide crop hail and later farm windstorm insurance at the lowest possible cost. Through the years the Company has grown by expanding lines of insurance written, states in which it operates, and by absorbing through merger the St. Paul Mutual Insurance Company in December 1963; United Farmers Mutual Insurance Company in December 1969; and a former companion company, Austin Mutual Windstorm Insurance Co., in December 1973. In 1984, the Company obtained management control of the Waseca Mutual Insurance Company, which was merged into Northern Mutual Insurance in 1999. Austin Mutual Insurance Group's mission is to provide insurance products and services crafted to meet or exceed the expectations of its customers. Using the latest technology,the company strives for strategic growth and profitability, remaining good stewards of company resources while empowering employees and encouraging their creativity. For more information, visit

About AscendantOne
AscendantOne, a unit of ISO based in Nashua, N.H., features the Solution Suite — comprehensive, browser-based property/casualty rate-quote, underwriting, policy and account-management capabilities powered by ISO's manual rules, advisory loss costs and forms. Our scalable, XML-driven solutions complement existing IT infrastructures, delivering new network-based economic value to insurers. With distinctive and leverage-able business methodologies, the Solution Suite facilitates efficient pricing and policy service for all commercial and personal lines. AscendantOne's best-of-breed web-services architecture enables highly collaborative and cost-effective new-business-to-renewal workflows — anytime,anywhere and for any property/casualty distributor or demand-chain participant. For more information,see

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 data, analytical and decision-support products; consulting; data processing; and technical, statistical and actuarial services. ISO field services include on-site rating and underwriting services and the evaluation of community loss-mitigation efforts. ISO's products help customers with sales and prospecting, underwriting, rating and quoting, customer management, policy administration, product development, claims administration and fraud detection. ISO's AIR Worldwide subsidiary provides technologies to assess and manage natural and man-made extreme-event risk. Through its ISO Claims Services, Inc. (iiX unit) and Intellicorp subsidiaries, ISO provides motor vehicle reports and criminal-records information and through its AscendantOne unit delivers policy-management and rating solutions. In the United States and around the world, ISO serves insurers, reinsurers, agents, brokers, self-insureds, risk managers, insurance regulators and other government agencies.

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Release: Immediate

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

Massood Abolfazli

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