AscendantOne Signs Agreement with Preferred Mutual Insurance Company

Insurer to Implement AscendantOne Browser-Based Rating, Underwriting and Policy-Administration Solutions for Commercial Lines

Nashua, N.H., Dec. 10, 2003 — AscendantOne®, a unit of Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO),has signed an agreement with Preferred Mutual Insurance Company (PMIC) to license AscendantOne's comprehensive property/casualty suite of sales and service solutions. PMIC will implement AscendantOne's browser-based rate-quote-issuance, underwriting, policy-administration and account-management system.

The AscendantOne system will allow PMIC to web-enable the company's rating, underwriting and policy service processes while greatly reducing operating costs.

PMIC, a New Berlin, N.Y.–based property/casualty insurer, will initially deploy AscendantOne's rating-underwriting and policy-management solutions with ISO's prospective advisory loss costs, manual rules and policy forms for commercial automobile, commercial package policy (CPP) and Businessowners Program 2002 in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

According to Bill Jardinella, vice president and chief information officer at PMIC, "AscendantOne's web-addressable architecture complements PMIC's strategic direction. AscendantOne has already brought to market its advanced business-enabling platform; and during our extensive, competitive evaluation process among rating and policy-management vendors, AscendantOne stood out for its financial stability and its ability to deliver already-validated ISO content."

"We're also impressed by the solution's flexibility in meeting our business needs and the system's price-performance advantage over the long term, mainly because the AscendantOne toolset provides autonomy for our business users and brings greater efficiency to ongoing program maintenance," Jardinella said.

"The modern technology underlying AscendantOne's automated rating process, rules-based underwriting system and web-enabled rate-quote and policy-management workflows is critical to our independent agency distribution framework," said James Crandall, vice president of insurance operations at PMIC. "As an ISO company, AscendantOne's rating and policy capabilities will support our sales, service and distribution objectives. This played a key role in our selection process," Crandall added.

"As we grow in commercial lines, AscendantOne's pre-loaded ISO content, rules-based underwriting and automated capabilities for accurate, ongoing rate management deliver competitive and speed-to-market advantages," said Keith Carpenter, manager of commercial lines services at PMIC. "Cutting the time down on rate management will give us more control and flexibility to expand our commercial lines business. We needed greater insight into our sales, service and account management operations, more real-time collaborative connections with our agency markets, as well as well-improved quote, issuance and endorsement service. AscendantOne solutions will provide us with these essential advantages," Carpenter stated.

"Our solutions are helping insurers eliminate inefficiencies and add greater value within their mission-critical operations," said Neil Spector, vice president of sales and marketing at AscendantOne. "We look forward to seeing our browser-based rating, underwriting and policy-administration solutions contributing to PMIC's growth in commercial lines business."

About Preferred Mutual Insurance Company
PMIC has been providing quality insurance products for over 100 years. The New Berlin, New York, company was founded in 1896 by Frank E. Holmes. Preferred Mutual employs 258 people, has a surplus of $86.4 million and anticipated direct written premium of $164.7 million at year-end 2003. Products are marketed through over 400 independent agencies in New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. PMIC strives to be responsive to the needs of policyholders and agents, and the well-being of its employees and individual professional growth are priorities. The company's financial strength is achieved through sound, progressive management and effective planning. To learn more about PMIC, go to www.pminsco.com.

About AscendantOne
AscendantOne, a unit of ISO based in Nashua, N.H., features the Solution Suite — a comprehensive, browser-based property/casualty rate-quote, underwriting, policy and account-management capability, powered by ISO's manual rules, advisory prospective 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 www.AscendantOne.com.

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 rating, quoting and policy-administration 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.

Release: Immediate

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

Massood Abolfazli (AscendantOne)
(603) 546-2432
massood@AscendantOne.com