Replacement Cost Estimator Helps NYCM Improve Underwriting Efficiency and Reduce Premium Leakage
BOSTON, Oct. 25, 2004 — New York Central Mutual (NYCM) has received an A.M. Best E-Fusion Award for its implementation of ISO HomeValueTM, a property replacement cost estimator developed by ISO subsidiary AIR Worldwide. NYCM was recognized by the judges in the underwriting management category.
"The E-Fusion Awards are designed to spotlight innovative uses of technology to address insurance business challenges," said Lee McDonald of the A.M. Best Company, the program chairman for the E-Fusion conference. In their presentation, New York Central Mutual described how they utilized ISO HomeValue to help address two primary business challenges: improving underwriting efficiency and reducing premium leakage.
Since implementing ISO HomeValue, NYCM has cut its process time for determining residential replacement costs by 50 percent, dramatically speeding up the entire underwriting process.
"We attribute these remarkable efficiency gains to ISO HomeValue's ability to calculate all replacement values in a single web-based application; seamlessly access key underwriting information, such as ISO's A-PLUSTM reports; and automatically import the actual building characteristics of individual properties," said Kathy Bell, vice president of underwriting at NYCM. "Furthermore, our underwriters and 1,000 independent agents have been thrilled with ISO HomeValue's ease of use. Its implementation required virtually no training."
ISO HomeValue has also been an invaluable tool for helping NYCM address the issue of premium leakage resulting from undervaluation. According to some sources, approximately two out of three homes in the U.S. are underinsured. Because ISO HomeValue incorporates local building and labor costs, as well as highly detailed property information, NYCM has been able to generate more accurate valuations and, at the same time, increase its underwriting revenues without raising rates.
"The premium leakage problem at NYCM has been steadily improving since our agents started using replacement value estimates from ISO HomeValue to renew policies," Bell continued. "Our homeowners loss ratio has improved due to more accurate replacement values provided by ISO HomeValue."
ISO HomeValue is a comprehensive solution allowing underwriters and agents to estimate replacement costs for a wide range of residence styles and values. ISO HomeValue includes a highly detailed database of key building features for more than 50 million residential properties in the United States and detailed data for labor and materials costs at the five-digit ZIP code level. This enables, in many cases, a reliable estimate of a home's replacement value to be calculated by simply entering the address. As users add more information, ISO HomeValue's estimate becomes more refined.
"ISO HomeValue is extremely flexible and can be implemented in the way that best meets the particular needs of the client," said George Davis, actuarial consultant at AIR Worldwide. "For NYCM, AIR hosts ISO HomeValue, which agents access through NYCM's web portal called Agency Lobby. Once NYCM decided to change its process for determining replacement costs, the entire implementation took just a few days."
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 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. A member of the ISO family of companies, AIR was founded in 1987 to provide 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 provider of products and services that help measure, manage and reduce risk. ISO provides data, analytics and decision-support solutions to professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government and human resources. Professionals use ISO's databases and services to classify and evaluate a variety of risks and detect potential fraud. In the U.S. and around the world, ISO's services help customers protect people, property and financial assets.
About A.M. Best Co.
A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best's website at http://www.ambest.com.