LOS ANGELES — September 7, 2006 – Marshall & Swift / Boeckh (MSB), the leading worldwide provider of building cost data and estimating technology to the property insurance industry, recently concluded its fourth annual Advisory Board Meeting bringing together the top thought leaders in the industry today. The sessions were held over an intense two days in San Diego, California, and were attended by top insurance executives and advisors on both the underwriting and claims sides from 31 companies.
The collegial setting brings together both the underwriting and claims sides of the property business on common ground to discuss not only the relevant issues MSB has identified, but also the important issues of today that most affect the industry. By encouraging the exchange of ideas and initiatives, this conference helps leading industry experts and decision makers better communicate about issues that can affect the future of the property insurance industry.
“We’ve been getting great feedback from all levels of attendees about this year’s sessions and feel that our Advisory Board Meeting is quickly becoming recognized as the annual event held for the benefit, and betterment, of our industry,” says Peter M. Wells, President, MSB. “Besides having an opportunity to interface with their peers, attendees got a chance to hear from, and question, expert panel members, including: Jeremy Bowler of J.D. Powers, Jeff Kucera of EMB America, Ed Collins from Allstate, and Dennis Chookaszian, former CEO of C N A Insurance.
Because of interest in catastrophes and associated best practices surrounding managing books of property business and Insurance to Value in property insurance matters, two top insurance commissioners, Christine Urias, Arizona Department of Insurance; and Hon. John Garamendi, State of California; also attended the conference and made presentations to the audience. Both high-profile officials presented their state’s views on critical business management initiatives, updating the group as well on the potential for national catastrophe insurance.
“The event drew top-level executives together for a common-ground experience where a spirit of collaboration and cooperation was very evident,” states James Thornton, CEO of MSB. “They got a chance to assess their own company’s direction, see where the industry as a whole is heading, and then determine how they could take on an advocacy role within it all in a high-level, forum-like atmosphere.”
“While several important themes surfaced during the sessions, much of the ‘buzz’ centered around MSB’s innovations for risk-based modeling,” Wells notes. At the present time, MSB is working with insurers and thought leaders around the country in the area of risk and peril-based property scores. MSB provides services that incorporate vast amounts of property-specific information about homes to determine risk desirability assessments based on the characteristics of properties and loss patterns, helping insurers design more risk specific coverage. In addition, using real claims and underwriting data from participating carriers, MSB analytics services enable risk-based modeling to help carriers develop more sophisticated, tiered models. Through risk-based insights, carriers will be able to gain efficiencies and increase profitability, while developing an additional layer of risk measurement as a supplement to other alternatives. “The plan is to use already gathered historical data in a new way by assigning a property within a given geographic area a loss score for each peril that it may face. Property writers then have a competitive advantage in that they can design customized policy language that reflects the scores,” continues Wells. “This sophisticated policy approach based on specific property risk profiles can impact a company’s book of business for the better.”
Marshall & Swift / Boeckh (MSB), 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. MSB 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:Marsha.Berenson@msbinfo.com, or visit MSB’s Web site at http://www.msbinfo.com.
MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.
Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of earth and space based information solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored information services, to electronic information products.
MDA employs more than 2,700 people in locations across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The Company’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.