updated 5/17/2011 10:16:15 AM ET 2011-05-17T14:16:15

JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 17, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verisk Analytics announced today that the Verisk Catastrophe Index™ has expanded to cover U.S. earthquake risk, including fire following earthquake. The Verisk Catastrophe Index provides reliable, transparent, industrywide insured property loss estimates by county and line of business based on data from ISO's Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit and AIR Worldwide® (AIR), two subsidiaries of Verisk Analytics.

The Index leverages PCS insured industry property damage estimates by state and line of business. AIR uses detailed information about the location and characteristics of the catastrophic event — as well as the distribution, value, and vulnerability of insured industry property exposure affected by that event in each state — to estimate each county's contribution to the overall statewide loss by line of business. This methodology allows the Verisk Catastrophe Index to account for an event's location and intensity and the geographic distribution of buildings and assets impacted by that event to determine where losses occurred within each affected state. Each county's estimated share of losses is then used to disaggregate the PCS state and line-of-business insured property loss estimates to the county level.

"Expanding the scope of the Verisk Catastrophe Index beyond the U.S. hurricane peril to include U.S. earthquake risk provides a way for issuers to adopt a common established framework for multiperil risk-transfer transactions," said David Lalonde, senior vice president at AIR Worldwide.

"PCS industry loss estimates are a long-standing and well-accepted means of transferring risk on a nonindemnity basis," said Gary Kerney, assistant vice president at PCS. "The Verisk Catastrophe Index provides insurers, reinsurers, and other risk-exposed entities with a standard, PCS-based framework designed to protect their insured exposure at a county and line-of-business level. The Index also allows companies to estimate reserves more accurately, assign finite claims management resources where they are most needed, and increase the precision of their risk-transfer benchmarking by an order of magnitude."

In addition to U.S. earthquakes, the Verisk Catastrophe Index covers U.S. hurricanes, providing both continuity and transparency across perils in its loss settlement mechanism. The Index's provision of rapid initial estimates along with resurvey data and final estimates further enables robust and timely catastrophe risk management decisions.

Registered Index subscribers can now download earthquake and hurricane loss estimate reports from the Verisk Catastrophe Index website, www.verisk.com/indices , where you can also find more information about the new Verisk Catastrophe Index.

About Verisk Analytics

Verisk Analytics is a leading provider of information about risk to professionals in insurance, healthcare, mortgage, government, and risk management. Using advanced technologies to collect and analyze billions of records, Verisk Analytics draws on vast industry expertise and unique proprietary data sets to provide predictive analytics and decision-support solutions in fraud prevention, actuarial science, insurance coverages, fire protection, catastrophe and weather risk, data management, and many other fields. In the United States and around the world, Verisk Analytics helps customers protect people, property, and financial assets. For more information, visit www.verisk.com .

The Verisk Analytics logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6694

         Rich Tauberman
         MWW Group (for Verisk Analytics)
         Investor Relations
         Eva Huston
         Head of Investor Relations
         Verisk Analytics, Inc.

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