TORONTO – July 27, 2001 – “Straight from your mind
and through the Internet, into the Information Warehouse and back to your business
strategy.” That’s how developers of the Insurance Data Enquiry and Access (IDEA)
System describe this easy to use tool that allows access to the insurance Information
Warehouse, soon to be available for insurers via the Internet on desktop PCs.

“Access to the Information Warehouse will
revolutionize how insurers approach their strategic planning process,” says Terri
MacLean, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Insurance Bureau of
Canada. “The IDEA System can be used to guide a company in determining where it
should spend its time and money.”

The IDEA System was developed by IBC’s Insurance
Information Division (IID) so that member companies could instantly knit together data
stored in the Information Warehouse into any customized market analysis the user wants.
The system will provide the company’s data and industry data simultaneously, allowing
users to benchmark their company’s performance against the industry.

The key advantage for insurers is that the Information
Warehouse is unique. The Insurance Information Division is the data repository of
Canada’s P&C insurance industry. It maintains statistics and information products
on personal property and commercial property insurance across Canada, and it is the
official statistical agency for commercial liability in Ontario and for automobile
insurance in Alberta, Ontario, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Atlantic
Provinces. This means that the industry-wide information in the warehouse is not available anywhere else.

Currently in the pilot stage with four insurers, the IDEA
System is providing 24/7 access to commercial property data stored in the Information
Warehouse. IBC expects to be able to offer access to commercial liability at a later date.
Providing access to auto insurance data is under consideration.

Data are available for the previous five years and are
constantly being updated. The IDEA System allows for multiple comparative capabilities
including location, time, coverage, and industry class. The system is so flexible that,
with the click of a mouse, it can also analyze information according to measures such as
written premium, earned premium, earned loss ratio, average rate and severity.

Security was a key concern when the IDEA System was being developed.

“Access to the Information Warehouse is by user ID and
password, and the security level meets or exceeds current industry standards,”
explains Henry Hong, Chief Product Architect. “The IDEA System protects the data and
insurers’ proprietary information so that one company cannot get access to another
company’s data.” To ensure the integrity of the system, IID developed a protocol
for data usage, conducted stringent tests and the system has had outside assessment to
ensure that the security and company confidentiality requirements are met.

The benefits of this low-cost business intelligence include
no software to buy, no maintenance to perform, delivery via the Internet and
transferability of the data to other applications.

“Insurers have wanted a tool like this for many
years,” says MacLean. Although it would be valuable in any insurance cycle, we know
it will be particularly welcome now,” she says referring to the industry’s
increasingly weak return on equity.

Timing is everything.

Access to the IDEA System and Information Warehouse will be
available to the industry later this summer.

For more information:

Wendy Vineyard, Public Affairs Consultant, 416-266-0084

Henry Hong, Chief Product Architect, 416-445-5912, Ext. 273