Calif. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Contracts with MS/B

June 17, 2005

Marshall and Swift / Boeckh (MS/B), a provider of building cost data and estimating technology to the property insurance industry, has entered into a contract with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA) to provide replacement cost valuations for approximately 16,700 homes in the CalVet home loan program using MS/B’s Tele-Estimating Service.

The replacement cost project will take place over three years in two phases, assisting the department as well as the homeowners in the CalVet loan program to determine proper coverage limits.

“It is important for primary insurers to undertake these kinds of initiatives that help them better understand the risks insured while ensuring policyholders are adequately protected should disaster strike. MS/B’s Tele-Estimating Service is a comprehensive process that enables policyholders and insurers to better understand the risks insured in a consumer friendly process,” said Peter Wells, senior vice president at MS/B.

MS/B’s Tele-Estimating Service utilizes trained consultants to contact policyholders via telephone and mail to complete an easy to understand scripted series of questions. Then MS/B calculates the ‘total component’ replacement cost value for each home or business property.

Homes in the CalVet home loan program are covered for property damage by CDVA through a combination of self-insurance and commercial property insurance.

This contract is reportedly especially important in light of recent wildfires and other catastrophes that have shown that that nearly two-thirds of American homes, including CalVet covered homes, are seriously underinsured for property damage. This shortfall is closely linked to remodeling projects that are not reported to insurers. It is reportedly not uncommon for these unreported changes to result in a 20 percent increase in value over several years.

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