Risk Management Solutions Inc. (RMS), Newark, Calif., has launched what it calls the first-ever probabilistic model designed to enhance the way commercial account underwriters quantify and manage exposure to fire risk. Aimed at primary commercial and specialty insurers and reinsurers, the RMS Account Fire Model provides an explicit link between engineering best practices and the account underwriting process, and supplies comprehensive data at the account level, which has been unavailable until now.

According to RMS, fire represents approximately 60% to 70% of the “all risk” premium paid to an insurer for a typical property account and by helping to improve risk selection and pricing, the Account Fire Model can deliver substantial gains to the bottom line.

To assess the risk, the model simulates the behavior of a fire as it spreads through a building’s open doors and breached firewalls, and actively demonstrates the effect of sprinkler systems in helping to contain damage. The impact of fire department activity is then modeled by simulating response and control times based on actual U.S. fire incident statistics.

Coupled with an advanced analysis of fire hazard and suppression, the Account Fire Model provides an engineering assessment of the vulnerability of buildings, contents and business interruption to fire, the company says.


FirstBest Systems Inc., a Lexington, Mass.-based provider of Underwriting Management Systems (UMS), designed to enable commercial insurance carriers to profit from better underwriting, and Insurance Information Technologies Inc. (INSTEC), Naperville, Ill.-based commercial lines rating and policy administration solution provider, announced a strategic alliance to deliver underwriting solutions for property/casualty insurers.

FirstBest and INSTEC will explore opportunities to develop innovative underwriting solutions that leverage INSTEC’s rating engine and FirstBest’s UMS, an underwriting management system designed to deliver advanced underwriting automation with real-time agent/underwriter collaboration, enhanced underwriting discipline and consistency, integration with predictive analytics, and greater visibility into the book of business and underwriting processes.


Pyxis Mobile Inc., Waltham, Mass., a provider of wireless applications for the financial services industry, says its mobile application platform—Pyxis Mobile 6.0—is now available. The new platform will include its Application Studio, designed to provide IT staff, integrators and developers the ability to build and customize mobile applications, connect to enterprise data sources, and manage mobile deployments without coding, compilation or software re-deployment.

Application Studio provides a rich graphical platform where customers can design screens, menus, reports and charts, dashboards and other features using an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface. Administrators can generate new mobile applications in minutes by connecting to existing databases or Web services. Customers can continue to choose from Pyxis Mobile’s library of pre-built applications for wholesalers, bankers, portfolio mangers and other financial professionals, and may now opt to customize those packaged applications to meet additional business requirements.

Application Studio is the central management interface for all application design and administration, user management, logging and auditing, and data connectivity. New role-based access control allows segmented access for each administrative group.


First American Spatial Solutions, Santa Ana, Calif., specializing in spatial and natural hazard risk solutions, announced the launch of its U.S. Flood Catastrophe Model (Flood Model), a key component of its new suite of Advanced Flood Risk Solutions, which includes geospatial analytics, basic flood data, flood risk scoring and near real-time monitoring of actual flood conditions.

The Flood Model is a risk management tool that is designed to allow insurance companies to measure their financial exposure to floods at the portfolio, policy and property level. The Flood Model takes into account riverine and coastal flooding hazards throughout the continental U.S., allowing insurers to utilize a single solution for evaluating flood risk on their entire portfolio. Based on proven hydraulic science and actual historical flooding events, the Flood Model has been validated against hundreds of thousands of claims and reports probable maximum loss to average annual loss and key return period losses.


MSB, Brampton, Ontario, a MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) company and provider of building cost data and estimating technology to the property insurance industry, announced a French-language version of BVS Express, MSB’s Web-based commercial and agricultural building replacement-cost estimating application. The French-language version, which went live April 1, 2008, enables French-speaking brokers and underwriters to calculate “total-component” building replacement cost estimates in their language of choice.

BVS Express is a Web-based commercial and agricultural building replacement-cost estimating application with a workflow-driven design and an interface that is easy to learn and use. The Web-based, browser-accessed solution integrates easily into existing workflows, says MSB.

The comprehensive system is designed to estimate costs for commercial structures such as manufacturing facilities, cold storage warehouses, public buildings, churches, ice rinks and commercial equipment such as tanks, conveyors, racks and cabinets, escalators and generators.

BVS Express also features comprehensive reports, administrative tools and import and export capabilities intended to further streamline workflows and improve productivity and estimating consistency.

(c) 2008 Insurance Networking News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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