INSURANCE SERVICES OFFICE PLANS TO OFFER DATA OVER THE INTERNET

INSURANCE SERVICES OFFICE PLANS TO OFFER DATA OVER THE INTERNET

The president of Insurance Services Office Inc. said Tuesday the firm is speeding to keep up with its customers already on the information superhighway.

At ISO's annual business meeting, Fred Marcon announced that ISO will offer the circulars, sample policy forms and Commercial Lines Manual long bought in paper form over the Internet this spring.''Internet delivery will instantaneously bring accurate, up-to-date ISO information to the desktops of insurance professionals throughout the country,'' he said.

Using the Internet is ISO's way of trying to keep up with exploding changes in the way insurance companies do business.

ISO had been funded by the insurance industry until it reorganized last year to become a for-profit, more independent company.

Mr. Marcon said ISO is ''beating its own schedule'' of increasing revenue by $100 million by 2001, although he did not detail exactly how much ISO has earned in 1997.

As a result, the firms buying its products will still be paying 1996 prices for ISO services and products, he said.

However, he did detail just how busy ISO was last year in acquiring other data-related businesses as a way of expanding its product base and trying to be more things to insurance industry customers.

During 1997, ISO did the following:

* Began providing data management services to an affiliate of reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter & Co. for the production of a catastrophe index. The index used as the basis of catastrophe futures traded on the Bermuda Commodities Exchange.

* Started offering catastrophe consulting services to help insurers, investors and regulators appraise the costs and benefits of buying catastrophe options.

ISO made arrangements with two weather prediction firms, Applied Insurance Research and Risk Management Solutions, to include their data in the analyses.

* Bought the American Insurance Services Group, which provides claims information and technical advisory services, from the American Insurance Association.

* Arranged to manage the National Insurance Crime Bureau's claims database. Mr. Marcon said the NICB and AISG deals will allow ISO to create a comprehensive database to help insurers fight claims fraud.

''In the years ahead, ISO will continue to grow through acquisitions,'' Mr. Marcon said, ''but those acquisitions will be consistent with our core competencies.''