ISO Unveils New Program for Small, Midsize Businesses

June 5, 2002

Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has introduced a new Businessowners Program (BOP)—a package policy providing broad property and liability coverage in a single contract for small and midsize businesses—by overhauling many existing coverage provisions and adding new features to enhance coverage.

ISO’s new BOP 2002 program, effective beginning this July in 42 jurisdictions, simplifies the existing policy forms and rating system, expands the number of risk categories eligible for coverage, incorporates a new Businessowners-specific classification table into the BOP section of the Commercial Lines Manual and introduces:

new coverages, including computer coverage, business income from dependent properties coverage and fire extinguisher system recharge expense; and

new optional endorsements, including coverage for food contamination, water backup and sump overflow, functional building and personal property valuation, liquor liability, employee benefits liability, and several coverage and exclusion options for pollution liability.

“The new BOP is a self-contained program, enabling insurers to reduce policywriting expenses with a simplified rating and policy-issuance system,” Domenick J. Yezzi, Jr., ISO’s vice president for specialty commercial lines, remarked. “The manual also provides an enhanced Businessowners classification table and expands eligibility rules to include motels, self-storage facilities, and combined restaurant, convenience food and gasoline risks.” A cross-referencing section has been added to make it easy for insurers to locate information within the manual, he noted.

The new BOP provides a simplified policy form to replace the three existing forms necessary to write coverage. The new policy form includes many features of the old forms and adds a new “named peril” endorsement that modifies the policy to cover only the causes of loss in the current standard property form.

The ISO program also simplifies the existing rating system with a new factor-based methodology that streamlines insurers’ workflow.

Insurers can choose to receive the new BOP loss costs and rating factors through ISO IntegRater™. With BOP advisory loss costs and rating factors on ISO IntegRater, insurers can incorporate ISO information into their rating and policy-issuance systems faster, more accurately and more easily than through conventional means. With the addition of BOP, ISO IntegRater now delivers information on ISO’s general liability, commercial property and commercial package policy lines.

Insurers can also choose a turnkey solution with AscendantOne™ Inc.’s web-based RateFocus™ and PolicyFocus™ quoting and policy-issuance applications, powered by ISO. ISO recently took an equity position in AscendantOne, a Nashua, N.H., technology and services company that develops insurance applications.

Following BOP, AscendantOne’s RateFocus and PolicyFocus solutions will be gradually rolled out for the rest of ISO lines of business.

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