Carfax, Topa and UCAR Make Announcements

June 25, 2019
Carfax Releases Total Loss Valuation Tool

Carfax has released a total loss valuation service that is available through its web portal,

The new product helps adjusters considering total-loss claims determine a vehicle’s unique pre-accident value using Carfax’s “History-Based Value, “which is unique to the vehicle identification number. Carfax said it uses pricing data from millions of used car listings in combination with each vehicle’s unique trim and options, mileage, condition, location and hundreds of other attributes drawn from Carfax’s database.

“The existing practice of valuing a total loss vehicle based on the values of a small number of comparable vehicles is fraught with subjectivity,” stated Peter LaPlaca, global insurance executive and consultant. “Furthermore, it does not consider the unique history of a vehicle and the impact of that history on the vehicle’s value.”

Carfax in addition to providing the value and history of the loss vehicle, the Carfax Total Loss Valuation report includes information on comparable vehicles available for sale in the used car marketplace. Each comparable vehicle is based on similar year, make, model, trim, options, location, mileage and vehicle history, and is presented in a side-by-side comparison.

Carfax, based in Centreville, Virgnia, said it serves 300 insurance organizations nationwide, assisting with underwriting, rating, fraud detection, material damage assessment, subrogation and total loss valuation.

Topa Appoints Assistant VP for Claims

Topa Insurance Co. on Monday announced the promotion of Kelly Yates as assistant vice president for claims.

Yates oversees Topa’s Property and Commercial Auto Business and its special investigations unit. He provides claims training on new lines to examiners and attends mediations on complex cases.

Yates joined Topa, a “boutique carrier” based in Calabasas, California, five years ago as a claims examiner and was later promoted to claims manager. Kelly’s coverage interpretation expertise was called on when he worked with the underwriting team to draft and edit property insurance policy forms and endorsements for Topa’s new commercial package policies, the carrier said. He previously worked for State Farm Insurance, Topa said.

Yates has achieved the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter and Associate in Claims designations and is as a licensed property casualty adjuster by California.

‘Constellation’ of Satellites to Improve Storm Forecasts

Six small satellites that are scheduled to launch this week will lead to better hurricane forecasts and provide information about upper atmospheric disturbances that can affect global communications systems and electrical grids, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research said in a press release.

The Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate-2 (COSMIC-2) system is equipped with array of innovative sensors to probe large areas of the atmosphere, UCAR said. The international project is a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Taiwan National Space Organization (NSPO), the U.S. Air Force, the National Science Foundation, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

The satellites will take up to 6,000 vertical profiles of the atmosphere every day, from the Earth’s surface to more than 30 miles high. This will provide information about remote regions that are difficult to measure with traditional instruments, enabling forecasters to provide better weather predictions, particularly of the timing, location, and intensity of tropical cyclones and other destructive storms across much of the globe, UCAR said.

UCAR’s COSMIC-2 Data Processing Center will process the satellite data and make them freely available in near real-time to meteorological and academic organizations worldwide.

“COSMIC-2 will open a new window on the atmosphere, generating consistent measurements of water vapor and other atmospheric properties over places where data have been scarce, including vast stretches of ocean,” said Bill Schreiner, director of the UCAR COSMIC program. “These data will enable meteorologists to provide vulnerable communities with more detailed and accurate forecasts, helping to save lives and property.”

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