BOSTON, January 26, 2004 — New York Central Mutual (NYCM) has selected ISO HomeValueTM to estimate residential replacement values. NYCM will use the replacement values to write insurance policies that accurately reflect the cost to rebuild a house. ISO HomeValue, which was developed by ISO's subsidiary AIR Worldwide, is an innovative component-based property valuation system that enables NYCM and its almost 1,000 agents to generate replacement values instantly via the Internet. With minimal user input, ISO HomeValue is automatically populated with specific information about individual properties to generate an estimate. This capability will make NYCM's underwriting process more efficient, saving the company and its agents time and money.
"ISO HomeValue is a welcome addition to our suite of underwriting applications. NYCM was glad to see other companies enter the property valuation market that had previously been dominated by just one or two companies," said Kathy Bell, vice president of underwriting at NYCM, which is the largest regional carrier in New York state. "We are very pleased with the ISO/AIR offering and the excellent service we have received from them. With their help it took just one day to integrate ISO HomeValue securely into the policy administration system used by all of our agents."
ISO HomeValue is linked to a highly detailed database of key building features for more than 50 million residential properties in the United States. Insurers, including NYCM, can simply enter the street address of a property, and ISO HomeValue will "pre-fill" property characteristics from the database to make an initial estimate of the replacement value. As the user adds more information, ISO HomeValue's estimate becomes more refined.
"ISO HomeValue's ability to incorporate automatically actual information about NYCM insured properties is truly unique to the industry and will enhance our underwriting process," Bell continued. "Furthermore, the component-based methodology in ISO HomeValue makes us confident that valuations are as accurate as possible based on actual construction costs in our region of the country."
The component-based approach behind ISO HomeValue incorporates the location, size, age, number of stories, construction materials, and exterior and interior finishes, among other considerations, to determine the replacement cost of a property. ISO HomeValue estimates are based on thousands of individual component costs, including costs of materials, labor and equipment. The component data incorporated into ISO HomeValue was compiled from multiple public and private sources at both the national and regional levels to ensure accurate replacement costs.
"Before developing ISO HomeValue, ISO and AIR sat down with a number of insurers to determine what features in an insurance-to-value product would most improve their underwriting processes," said George Davis, actuarial consultant at AIR. "A Web-based product that is easy to use was high on the list of insurer requests. ISO HomeValue is so intuitive it requires virtually no formal training, enabling an easy transition from legacy products."
About New York Central Mutual
Established in 1899, New York Central Mutual (NYCM) is the largest regional carrier in New York state, with total direct written premiums of more than $515 million. It is the sixth largest writer of homeowners insurance in New York, with an independent agency system of almost 1,000 agents.
About AIR Worldwide Corporation
AIR Worldwide Corporation (AIR) is a leading risk modeling company helping clients manage the financial impact of catastrophes and weather. Utilizing the latest science and technology, AIR models natural catastrophes in more than 40 countries and the risk from terrorism in the United States. Other areas of expertise include site-specific seismic engineering analysis, catastrophe bonds and property replacement cost valuation. Founded in 1987, AIR offers its insurance, reinsurance, corporate and government clients a complete line of risk modeling software and consulting services that produce consistent and reliable results. Headquartered in Boston, AIR has additional offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.air-worldwide.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 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.
Mike Gannon (AIR)