New MS/B Price Surge Database Protects Carriers from Unexpected Severity

LOS ANGELES DECEMBER 16, 2005 – Marshall and Swift / Boeckh (MS/B), the leading worldwide provider of building cost data and estimating technology to the property insurance industry, announces the availability of a Price Surge Indicator (TM) database that addresses the volatility and special cost considerations following catastrophic events. The database, which reflects price surge occurring in local markets, is updated and delivered on a monthly basis.

The Price Surge Indicator allows underwriters, actuaries, and modelers to better understand and respond to construction cost volatility, track demand surge to identify normative cost escalation, and predict and measure the future impact of similar catastrophic events on building costs.

“Planning for the surge in pricing following natural disasters has become part of the national discussion,” says Peter M. Wells, President of MS/B. “Leading consumer and trade media carry reports of insurance carriers, regulators, and consumers who have questions about identifying and measuring the impact of the recent hurricanes on residential and commercial construction in the affected communities. Today, the Price Surge Indicator enables carriers to better manage their books of property business, assure appropriate claims payments, perform trends analyses, and create fair, targeted coverage and pricing programs.” Wells also explains that claims departments will have important component-level information at their fingertips to help settle property losses fairly and efficiently, and regulators will have insights to help guard against unfair pricing practices.

The first release of the Price Surge Indicator presents commercial and residential restoration/reconstruction cost changes arising from the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes and other catastrophic events. Data is delivered geographically segmented by 3- and 5-digit ZIP codes. Data veracity is assured by hundreds of thousands of actual claim files that MS/B monitors, by MS/B professionals on-site, and by input from suppliers. The Indicator tracks the “ripple effect” as cost variables change while claims are being settled; the costs that become a lasting phenomenon will eventually merge into non-surge cost trend data that is delivered through MS/B’s underwriting and claims products.

MS/B also manages sophisticated geo-spatial technologies that can be used to work with a client’s claims files to map and then apply Price Surge Indicator knowledge to the entire book, revealing overall exposures wherever business is written.

About MS/B

Marshall & Swift / Boeckh (MS/B), an MDA company, is the leading supplier of local building cost information, residential and commercial property valuation technology and services for the property and casualty insurance sector in the United States and Canada. MS/B has five offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. For information, please contact Marsha Berenson, Media Coordinator, at 800-285-1288, Ext. 2828, e-mail MAILTO:[email protected], or visit MS/B’s Web site at HTTP://

About MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)

MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance in business and government organizations worldwide. MDA employs more than 2,500 people in locations across the United States, Europe, and Canada. The company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.