LOS ANGELES – October 6, 2006 – Marshall & Swift / Boeckh (MSB), an MDA company and the leader in building cost valuation technologies, announces an important enhancement to its industry-leading Residential Component Technology” or RCT valuation software hosted on MSB Express” Web-hosting platforms. Property insurance writers and others can now link seamlessly on to the RCT Express platform to calculate up-to-date home replacement cost values for both main street AND high-value (mansion grade) homes using a single user interface. This modern end-to-end solution enables insurance companies, agents, field inspectors and/or any other support professional accessing the RCT suite of products to enter data in a single input process, which then accesses the proper building cost components for the exact level of home estimating required, inclusive of intelligent input that supports users at the level of their expertise.
The enhancement is one more support tool helping insurers easily and accurately determine proper Insurance to Value (ITV) that is easy to learn and use and extremely valuable.
Accessing this proven technology, an RCT EXPRESS” user has the ability to calculate the replacement cost for either a high-worth home and/or main street residential structure without leaving the data input process. The program interface of the estimating system is now able to understand the input and through use of MSB “knowledge tables” activate automatically the data necessary to complete the valuation. MSB “knowledge tables” also supplement the knowledge and experience of the user for greater efficiency completing the valuation process.
Through use of the MSB seamless data entry process, “the software automatically opens additional fields and pre-populates data options in a seamless manner, ready for review as users complete their home replacement cost values,” explains Sara Earle, Sr. Vice President of Customer Care at MSB. “All the user has to do next is go to a summary screen to review and accept input entries and press the calculate button.”
High value and upscale homes represent an estimated 15% or more of the over 82 million single-family dwellings in the United States. This segment is increasing due to the number of high-value enclaves emerging around the nation, as well as from the many enhancements and modifications people make to their properties that increase overall value. New high worth market segments are emerging not only in metropolitan areas, but in coastal, mountain, island, and resort locations. The construction refinements found in these special homes can present significant risks to a profitable book of homeowners business if they are not valued properly. Since they may go unnoticed, the MSB “seamless” estimating process helps avoid pitfalls.
According MSB president Peter M. Wells: “With this new, ‘smart’ product we’ve taken total component estimating to the next level. Our research shows that simple square-foot valuation methods that merely add components to average base costs do not develop adequate costs for the growing high-worth home market because those methods do not account for the specifics found in the complex elements.”
Likewise, localization needs to be at the 5-digit ZIP code or 6-character Canadian postal code level or more granular since local requirements are increasingly more difficult to define and account for. MSB has solved these problems through use of our enhanced estimating ‘engine’ approach hidden under the Express product,that automatically applies costs for local conditions so users never get involved.”
This advancement places the main street and high-end values end-to-end in manner that’s totally seamless to the user, but allows the system to scale the construction requirements at the component level, localize the cost data to just the items needed, and select from the MSB “total component” database of nearly 100,000 line items the cost variables required for each unique property.
Available now to MSB customers, this advancement provides users with a seamless, end-to-end solution for valuing all types of residential property from mobile/manufactured housing to a mansion, and everything in between. The RCT suite of products, including Express, incorporates all the knowledge tables that MSB has amassed from best-in-class research and years of field and phone inspection processes.
This “next generation” end-to-end technology, driven by customer demand, is the result of investments in technology and extensive research and database management, ready now from MSB.
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 visit MSB’s Web site at 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 3,000 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.