South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. (West Columbia, S.C.; $114.4 million in total assets) is enhancing its catastrophe risk management system, AIR Worldwide's (Boston) CLASIC/2, with the vendor's ISO HomeValue Web-based residential replacement cost estimator. The carrier, which selected ISO HomeValue in 2005, decided to abandon its estimating procedure -- which involved measuring the statewide value per square foot based on construction characteristics and the age of the house -- after discovering that estimating residential cost based on these metrics hindered agents from calculating the most competitive premium. "Our prior procedure had been very conservative on value and sometimes resulted in differences compared to evaluations used by other insurers," says David Wylie, VP of underwriting for South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual.
ISO HomeValue estimates cost by retrieving information on properties from its database. The database contains information on more than 50 million properties in the U.S., allowing adjusters to estimate a refined replacement cost. This information from ISO HomeValue is then entered into CLASIC/2. South Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual will have all 250 members of its captive agency force using the software before the end of the year, the company says.