Tropical Storm Risk Reports More Hurricanes on the Way for U.S.

August 15, 2005

  • August 16, 2005 at 12:30 pm
    Linda Jovanelly says:
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    The Problem: Underinsured Homeowners

    Many U.S. homeowners may be significantly underinsured on their homes and may also be unaware or unsure how to find out what the appropriate replacement cost of their home should be. Marshall & Swift Boeckh estimates that 61% of the American population of homeowners is underinsured by an average of 25 % or more.

    Background and Impact: Real Estate Boom has Homeowners Cashing Out and Adding On.

    Recent real estate boom times have had millions of homeowners taking advantage with cash-out refinancing for home improvement projects. Just look at the corresponding rise in sales of home improvement products for evidence of this trend. However, many of those same homeowners are now underinsured and may not realize that they should be re-evaluating their homeowner’s insurance.

    In the HIRI forecast report prepared by Global Insight in June 2005, the dollar estimate of home improvement product sales for 2005 was revised upward by a total of $5.7 billion to a new record high level of $286.5 billion, representing an increase of 5.8% vs. 2004*. The consumer portion of this market that includes DIY as well as BIY currently accounts for nearly three-fourths of the total and is expected to just slightly outpace the Professional portion in growth over 2004 (5.9% vs. 5.3%)*.

    *SOURCE: Home Improvement Research Institute

    The Solution: AccuCoverage â„¢ — an online replacement cost calculator for homeowners

    Marshall & Swift/Boeckh, a leader in the insurance and appraisal valuation industries for over 75 years, have recently launched “AccuCoverageâ„¢” — an online calculation tool that enables homeowners to determine the estimated replacement cost of their homes for just $19.95.

    Now accepting interviews regarding this important new tool for homeowners.

    Product details and press release attached.

    Media Contact:
    Romina Cusenza, Marketing Coordinator
    800-421-8042 x2763

    For Immediate Release

    Easy-to-Use On-line Tool Reduces Homeowners’ Risk of Underinsurance.

    Los Angeles, Calif., August 4, 2005 – Marshall & Swift/Boeckh (MS/B), the company recognized in the insurance industry as the leading provider of reconstruction cost data and estimating technologies, is pleased to announce the launch of AccuCoverageâ„¢, an online calculation tool for homeowners to calculate the estimated replacement cost of their homes.

    With nearly 61 percent of American homes undervalued by an average of 25 percent, underinsurance is a widespread concern, and has prompted a concerted nationwide effort to help educate homeowners on how to evaluate the amount of coverage they need.

    “Homeowners understand that they need to protect their greatest investment,” says Peter Wells, President of MS/B. “Yet most Americans are unaware that their homeowners’ policy may not fully cover them if a total loss occurs. Unfortunately, it usually takes a natural disaster, like the California wildfires of late 2003 or last year’s series of hurricanes, to really expose the risk of underinsurance.”

    For only $19.95, homeowners can calculate a replacement cost estimate that details the unique characteristics of each home and the estimated cost to replace it if it were totally destroyed. All estimates are calculated from the same reconstruction cost data trusted by the insurance industry. The estimate is designed to help homeowners discuss homeowners’ policy limits and coverage with their insurance company or agent when reviewing their policies.

    “State insurance departments acknowledge that it is necessary for the homeowner to participate in determining whether his or her home is properly covered,” explains Wells. “But until now, homeowners have lacked a viable method to verify that they have appropriate coverage. responds to this critical demand with a quick and effective way for homeowners to determine the estimated replacement cost of their homes.” produces a home replacement cost estimate using specific information about the home known by the homeowner and MS/B’s comprehensive reconstruction cost database, which contains current building material and labor costs specific to each home’s ZIP code.

    Homeowners need to know that their insurance policies do not automatically adjust to account for any new improvements or additions. “Each year, Americans spend over $200 billion on remodeling,” Wells explains. “Adding a deck or remodeling a kitchen significantly increases the value of a home, but homeowners may not remember to tell their agents.”

    Now with, homeowner concerns of underinsurance can be addressed with this powerful Web-based calculation tool.

    To learn more, visit

    About MS/B
    Marshall & Swift/Boeckh (MS/B), 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. MS/B has five offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. For information please contract Romina Cusenza, Marketing Coordinator, at 800-421-8042 x2763, email or visit MS/B’s website at

    About MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA)
    MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance in business and government organizations worldwide.

    MSA employs more than 2,500 people in locations across the United States, Europe and Canada. The company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.

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