The invention herein generally pertains to underwriting an insurance
policy utilizing sensors to detect, determine, measure and assess
one or more conditions, states of affairs, physical properties and
process as each relates an insurable property interest. More specifically
is disclosed a method and computerized system for managing the underwriting,
quoting and binding an insurance policy with regard to the technology
used to militate against the financial consequences of certain property
losses. The significance of operable safety related devices or system
loads are important diagnostic safety markers for measuring one
or more properties affecting the safety or risk aversion and for
underwriting an insurable interest. This invention also relates
to a system and a method for acquiring and assessing the qualities,
variables and parameters that affect the underwriting premium for
a building structure (commercial or residential), vehicle, aircraft,
marine craft or cargo.
1. A system for underwriting an insurance policy comprising: one
or more means to detect one or more conditions relating to a property
interest and a means to utilize said detection in underwriting an
insurance policy pertaining to the property interest.
2. A system for underwriting an insurance policy comprising: one
or more means to determine one or more state of affairs relating
to a property interest and a means to utilize said determination
in underwriting an insurance policy pertaining to the property interest.
3. A system for underwriting an insurance policy comprising: one
or more means to measure one or more physical properties relating
to a property interest and a means to utilize said measure in underwriting
an insurance policy pertaining to the property interest.
4. A system for underwriting an insurance policy comprising: one
or more means to assess one or more processes relating to a property
interest and a means to utilize said assessment in underwriting
an insurance policy pertaining to the property interest.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the property interest is a stationary
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the property interest is a building
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the property interest is a vehicle.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the property interest is a marine
9. The system of claim 1, wherein the property interest is an aircraft.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein the property interest is a cargo.
11. The system of claim 5, wherein the stationary structure is
12. The system of claim 5, wherein the stationary structure is
13. The system of claim 1, wherein the property interest is an
14. The system of claim 1, wherein one or more conditions are selected
from the group consisting of: states of affairs, a physical properties,
15. The system of claim 1, wherein a means to detect includes sensors.
16. The system of claim 2, wherein a means to determine includes
17. The system of claim 3, wherein a means to measure includes
18. The system of claim 4, wherein a means to assess includes sensors.
19. The system of claim 1, wherein one or more conditions includes
a measure of quality.
20. The system of claim 1, wherein one or more properties of the
conditions include a rate of travel.
21. The system of claim 1, wherein one or more conditions include
a level of gaseous substance.
22. The system of claim 1, wherein one or more conditions include
a level of water.
23. The system of claim 1, wherein the variables affecting the
insurable interest include a biological agent.
24. The system of claim 1, wherein the variables affecting insurable
interest include a meteorological event.
25. The system of claim 1, wherein the variables affecting the
insurable interest include friction.
26. The system of claim 1, wherein the variables affecting the
insurable interest include vibration, pitch, yaw or roll.
27. The system of claim 1, wherein the variables affecting the
insurable interest include aerodynamic features.
28. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include global position.
29. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include type of structure, vehicle and goods.
30. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include the age of the insurable interest.
31. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include a standard industrial code.
32. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include the business to which the insurable interest
33. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include past insurance claims made against the
34. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include the financial status of the owners of
the insurable interest.
35. The system of claim 1, wherein the conditions affecting the
insurable interest include the type of goods stored in the insurable
36. The system of claim 1, further including a means of communicating
the measurements to a remote location.
37. The system of claim 1, further including a means of communicating
the measurements over the Internet.
38. The system of claim 1, further including a means of communicating
one or more control messages to a remote location to acquire measurements.
39. The system of claim 1, further including a means for computing
a condition at a remote site.
40. The system of claim 1, further including a means for computing
risk mitigation information and a program to evaluate the statistical
variations between one or more conditions.
41. The system of claim 1, further including a means for determining
the utilization of risk mitigation to reduce a premium associated
with the insurance policy.
42. The system of claim 1, wherein the means to utilize said detection
include an expert system to ascertain the affect a technology has
on a premium associated with the insurance policy.
43. A system for underwriting an insurance premium comprising:
a means to measure safety or risk, a means to produce a transmission
record of an indication of the safety or risk and transmit, said
record communicated to a computer for analysis.
44. The system for underwriting an insurance premium in claim 43,
further including a recorded medium having stored thereon one or
more data structure selected from the group comprising: a first
field containing data representing an indication of the conformity
to a prescribed level of risk due to the use of risk mitigation
technology; a second field containing data representing the address
of an insurable interest associated with said first field data;
a third field containing data representing a premium; a fourth field
containing data representing a premium adjustment related to the
utilization of the risk mitigation technology.
45. A method for underwriting an insurance premium comprising the
steps of: measuring the qualities affecting safety or risk aversion
at a remote site; communicating the measurements affecting the safety
or risk aversion; and computing the underwriting premium utilizing
one or more of the measurements.
46. A method of underwriting insurance by accounting for a technology
that militate against loss comprising the steps of: identifying
a technology that mitigates a risk associated with a property loss
for which an insured purchases insurance; determining if the technology
is present in an insurable interest and providing an insurance policy
that accounts for the utilization of the technology.
47. A method of underwriting insurance in claim 46, further including
the step of advising the prospective insured to obtain the technology.
48. A method of underwriting insurance claim 46, further including
the step of advising the prospective insured about the cost and
benefits of obtaining the technology.
49. A method of underwriting insurance claim 46, further including
the step of providing a specification of best practices to mitigate
losses through the application of a technology.
50. A method of underwriting insurance by account for a technology
that militate against loss comprising: maintaining a database identifying
a plurality of technologies that reduce risk of loss suitable to
an insurable interest; maintaining a database of risk mitigation
factors associated with said technologies and associated insurable
interests; identifying an insurable interest that requires insurance;
calculating the risk associated with the insurable interest; accounting
for the risk reduction resulting from incorporation of at least
one of the plurality of technology into the insurable interest,
maintaining a communication means between the insurable interest
and an underwriting means; creating an insurance policy for the
insurable interest upon the verification of the incorporation of
risk reduction technologies in the insurable interest.
51. A method of underwriting insurance in claim 50, further including
the step of polling the insured interest to determine its compliance
with incorporation of at least one of the plurality of technologies
into the insurable interest.
52. A system for identifying matches between installed risk mitigation
technology and risk mitigation technology listed in an insurance
policy comprising: a database storage means; a processor programmed
to: maintain the database storage means wherein is identified installed
risk mitigation technology; communicate with an insurable interest
to audit the insurable interest by acquiring sensor data relating
to the risk mitigation technology; compare the sensor data to the
risk mitigation technology stored.
53. A computer readable medium having stored thereon one or more
data structure selected from the group comprising of: a first field
containing data representing an indication of the conformity to
a prescribed level of risk of safety or risk mitigation; a second
field containing data representing an indication of the quality
of the sampled unit; a third field containing data representing
a metric relating to the quantity under consideration; a fourth
field containing data representing the result from a predetermined
number of samples.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 This invention discloses a method and a computer system
in combination with sensor technology located proximate to an insurable
interest for transmitting, such as over the Internet, risk mitigation
utilization data to a centralized database for analysis, publishing,
underwriting, selling and managing insurance products.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 A notable fact about insurance premiums is that they are
billed in advance of the period of insurance during which the policy
period runs. Insurance premiums are not set on the basis of the
utilizing of technology, as viewed on a real time basis or by ascertaining
the level of risk mitigation utilized during a particular period.
If the degree of utilization and compliance regarding risk mitigation
technology can be determined accurately, it provides for the option
of setting premiums after a term during which the carrier has had
an opportunity to measure compliance.
 Underwriting is the process of establishing insurability
and premium levels that will economically and profitably transfer
risk from a policyholder to an insurance company.
 In determining insurability and premium, insurance carriers
take into account such factors as profit goals, competition, legal
restrictions and the costs associated with losses (claims costs),
loss adjustment expenses (claim settlements), operational expenses
(commission and brokerage fees), general administrative expenses,
and the cost of capital.
 More particularly, an insurance carrier typically assesses
a unit of exposure based on a premium, known and predicted exposure,
and loss and expense experience. In this manner, carriers establish
the basis of potential loss and the general direction of trends
in insurance claim costs. The carrier establishes and subsequently
adjusts premiums based upon the risks it underwrites. The premium
is based upon damage to structures, vehicle accidents, human loss,
as well as changes in claim costs, claim frequencies, loss exposures,
expenses and premiums; the impact of catastrophes on the premium
rates; the effect of salvage and subrogation, coinsurance, coverage
limits, deductibles, coverage limitations or type of risks that
may affect the frequency or severity of claims; changes in the underwriting
process, claims handling, case reserves and marketing practices
that affect the experience; impact of external influences on the
future experience, including the judicial environment, regulatory
and legislative changes, funds availability, and the modifications
that reflect the impact of individual risk rating plans on the overall
experience. However, notably absent from the factors customarily
taken into account and one of the most profound influences in loss
experience is the effect of technology. Therefore, an underwriting
process that considers the continuing technology revolution would
be anticipated to better assess loss ratios for insurable interests.
 It is widely assumed that using various technologies may
reduce the risks of loss associated with structures, vehicles and
the cargo such vehicles carry. Consequently, state, local and national
safety codes and regulations affecting such things as loads, use,
performance and parameters (such as tire pressures), are constantly
being revised to keep up with modern trends and technological advancements.
 Beyond the requirements imposed through legal regulation,
owners and those with insurable interests in structures and vehicles,
may also employ systems that further militate against one or another
loss or hazard. For well over a generation, the auto and trucking
industry have mandated the use of seat belts and air bags to reduce
injury losses from accidents. Many types of marine craft and aircraft
have fire safety alarm and fire inhibitor systems that automatically
trigger upon sensing a particular state of affairs, and thus minimizes
fire damage and reduces human loss through early detection, central
alarm, and appropriate response. Flame-retardant technology is widely
employed in offices, homes, automobiles and trucks to reduce damage
from fire. In some instances, one technology replaces another as
to improve a condition that is inherently dangerous, but the replacement
technology retains the fundamental objective of reducing damage.
For example, asbestos has been virtually banned as a building material
in favor of flame retarding products as a means for reducing fire
hazards. As new hazards are discovered, newer technology will be
incorporated to achieve the benefits of a safer society.
 From a baseline related to minimum regulation and code requirements,
underwriters of property casualty insurance factor into the risk/loss
proposition items that relate to the structures, vehicles and cargos
to be insured, (such as, the year of construction, type of construction,
and its use. For cars, trucks and aircraft: miles traveled per year,
geographic scope, the property's physical address, the existence
of safety devices, such as air bags, seat belts, fire apparatuses,
its current market and replacement value may be deemed pertinent.
Underwriters also take into account items not directly related to
the physical properties of the insurable interest, but that have
been statistically shown to correlate with risk/loss as by way of
example, the insured's credit rating, business industry codes, age
of the structure or vehicle, owner's age and record of insurance
claims, and the insured's driving record.
 Contemporary underwriting practice is typically reduced
to a binary choice to issue or not to issue a policy of insurance
based upon the aggregate of statistically relevant underwriting
criteria, rather than producing insurance products tailored to combinations
of risk reduction technology. As such, the benefits of a class of
technology may not be adequately considered during the underwriting
process. Significantly, the ranges of efficacies associated with
specific technologies within a class of technologies are ignored
as salient facts. However, various classification schemes may be
utilized to form associations that may represent a logical, qualitative,
comparative or quantitative evaluation (collectively hereinafter
referred to as a "difference") which difference may be
assigned a weight typically referred to as a weighted difference,
between the an unmitigated risk, and field a mollified risk.
 A prime example might be an underwriting practice that does
not factor in the functional details of available technology, such
as by way of example: type of vehicle braking system or the corresponding
brake performance, tire pressure, average accelerations and speeds,
air bag detectors, fire detectors, and intrusion systems. For structures
and cargos, such incidents as: radiation, chemical or biological
hazards (such as the detection of explosive devices, illegal drugs
or disease producing agents) may not be adequately assessed because
no means exist by which such incidents can feasibly be reported.
 Also, the current insurance underwriting practice does not
factor in details on various actively responsive technologies that
are currently available such as by way of example, the type (i.e.
specific functionality) of the presence of chemical release systems
to extinguish fires generally, gasoline fires in vehicles particularly,
or products that automatically communicate medical emergencies from
homes or vehicles.
 In regards to vehicles, products as familiar as the common
auto theft alarm system, fog lamps, air bags, blow out proof tires
and anti skid braking and all wheel power systems, are available
to consumers. Importantly, the current insurance underwriting practice
does not factor in or discriminate between extant technology and
actual, continuous functionality (monitoring) of relevant technology
designed to reduce damage and insurance risks.
 Stationary structures, such as buildings (e.g., commercial
and residential), utilities (e.g., dams, bridges, power grids) and
transports (e.g., automobiles, trucks and construction machinery,
aircraft, and marine vessels, collectively, referred to as "vehicles"),
as well as warehoused goods and cargo (collectively, "goods")
do not typically incorporate devices, such a sensors that measure
and transmit risk factors that may be useful to insurance underwriters.
Such risk factors typically would concern the status of a building's
existing fire apparatus, a vehicle's safety features or the manner
in which a vehicle were operated. Such operating details may serve
as important diagnostic markers relative to potential insurance
loss. Little exists in the prior art that provides real time access
to data regarding structures, vehicles or goods and to ascertain
precisely what contributes to, safety hazards, safety violations,
accidents and other property and casualty loses.
 In the future a wide variety of products will employ diagnostic
tools, measurement devices, detectors and sensors (collectively,
"sensors") to ascertain the potential for risk and consequent
loss, and whether such systems can arrest or ameliorate hazards
to building structures, vehicles and goods, in addition to personal
safety. Knowledge and the corresponding use of theses kinds of devices
will lead to a safer environment and less expensive insurance premiums.
To adequately and reliability factor in these advances into the
insurance underwriting equation, a carrier must not only have information
on the existence of the technology, but that the technology is properly
installed and working.
 Thousands of separate and distinct materials and products
are employed in the use and construction of building structures
and vehicles. Large numbers of these products have a significant
impact upon personal safety and the ability of the insured interest
to withstand catastrophic events. Architects, design and safety
engineers and vehicle owners have considerable opportunity to chose
among diverse products that might for purposes of discussion be
separated into categories such as engineering materials, sensor
technologies and responder technologies. An exhaustive list of products
from these categories, relevant to loss prevention and mitigation
could reasonably be expected to run into the millions of combination
(e.g. more than 100 different materials times, 100 different sensor
technologies times 100 different responder technologies). Various
specific combinations may have corresponding efficacies with regard
to the amelioration of loss. In each instance, the consumer would
anticipate a corresponding premium to reflect the expected loss
ratios attendant to using a particular product or combination of
products (and might be influenced to make more economically sound
judgments in incorporating materials/technologies that reduce damage/risk,
if the benefit of such choices could be clearly articulated in costs
savings from reduced premiums over the life of the material/technology
 However, as indicated, the insurance industry generally
does not factor into its underwriting rules the reduction in risk
with sufficient specificity to affect premiums or expand coverage
that can be underwritten within acceptable loss premium ratios (either
by increasing specificity as to exclusions, qualifying risk allocation
based upon risk reduction technology or providing extended coverage
under excess premium conditions).
 Related to the problem of adequately accounting for working
technology, the industry does not publish or otherwise make available
to the consumer sufficient information on the underwriting process
to allow the consumer to make informed choices on products and technology
that may result in costs savings, both to the consumer and the carrier.
In as much as classical underwriting depends to a large degree on
statistics surrounding conditions relevant to loss, the difficulty
in utilizing technologic innovation in the actuarial computations
has to do with the small sample sizes and/or lack of data on the
effect of a particular technology.
 As apparent, the salient combination of technologies utilized
in a structure or vehicle is typically vast, and searching for specific
combinations and relating them to loss ratio and premiums is a time-consuming
process utilizing current information processing systems. Nonetheless,
such data rich environments may feasibly be handled utilizing expert
systems and neural networks. See, U.S. Pat. No. 5,696,907 and U.S.
Pat. No. 5,893,072.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to offering insurance contracts
based upon a range of efficacies presented by employing suitable
technology within a class of technology. The offered contracts specify
a requirement or an incentive to employ a particular technology
to militate against loss entitlement and a premium payable upon
binding or as a function of utilization during a billing cycle.
 In the present invention, one or more electronic means located
in a building, vehicle or on goods having requisite interface devices,
accumulates data from one or more observational devices, measurement
devices, detectors, or sensors (collectively "sensors")
related to physical points determinative of salient risk related
information and transmits the information to a central computer
 The present invention deals specifically with a system and
a process for determining the existence and the functioning of a
set of technologies that mitigate certain insurable risks. To accurately
assess the existence and function of certain technologies, the methodology
herein described, observes, measures, detects and senses (collectively
"senses") and establishes the metrics required to assess
features, benefits, and qualities to effectuate an improved insurance
underwriting system related to insuring structures, vehicles and
 When a carrier can accurately access the utilization of
a spectrum of risk mitigation technologies, as viewed in real time,
it provides for the option of setting premiums after a term during
which the carrier has had an opportunity to measure compliance.
With a real time record of utilization, the premium can be established
as a time related function of utilization, whereby premiums include
terms relating to the utilization of technology:
 Where: P.sub.tot is the total premium due at the beginning
or the end of a period;
 P.sub.B is a function of a base premium established on the
basis on non-technology issues;
 P.sub.t(t) is a function of premium based on the use of
a salient technology; and
 t is the interval, during which the technology is in use.
 In one embodiment of the invention, once the insurance policy
has been issued, the insurance carrier can monitor the insurable
interest for compliance with the various conditions set forth in
the policy as these relate to the utilization of quantifiable risk
mitigation technologies. For example, the risks that attend a moving
vehicle depend on a myriad of factors such as its use, its speed,
the design of the chassis and body, the fuel type and storage, the
gross weight, the load, the tire pressure, braking system, the route
traveled, and the driver's observance of highway safety (speed,
lights, seat belts) to cite but a few of the important factors.
Once the vehicle has been insured, the carrier has an interest in
checking that risk mitigation technologies associated with these
parameters remain operable.
 One aspect of the invention is drawn to a system of sensors
that can determine the salient factors that influence a building's
(commercial or residential) or vehicle's risk aversion characteristics.
Sensed data is collected for the insured interest and transmitted
to a remote centralized database for analysis to ascertain whether
the subject property is operating within standards developed either
theoretically, from models, or from the universe of properties (buildings,
vehicles), from which representative data has been collected and
 Upon transmitting the data, a centralized computer performs
an analysis of the insurable interest that typically leads to a
hypothetical loss experience. Thereafter, the system generates reports
containing summaries of the data in the form of listings, graphs
and correlations regarding a specific safety or lose performance
against a pooled performance or subpopulations of structures and
vehicles, based on similar construction, types structure or vehicle,
loads, locations and use, etc.
 For both structures and vehicles, the acquisition of data
must be automated to feasibly carry out the process of monitoring
the effectiveness of a particular technology. But, the amount of
data collected can be anticipated to be large. To this end, the
centralized computer and accompanying databases can be a part of
a larger expert system where data is acquired and analyzed to produce
meaningful actuarial data to underwriters. For example, vehicle
sensor data acquired from a fleet of similarly situated vehicles,
such as brake performance, average speed, and other safety factors
for similar vehicles, traveling over similar routes is collected
statistically significant categories (e.g. means, standard deviations,
variances). The record of pooled statistics form a basis to compare
specific vehicles to vehicles in the fleet pertaining to specific
insured vehicles. The pooled performance creates a normal population
and essentially a standard for future comparisons. An insurance
analyst might, for example, use the pooled performance to draw attention
to a vehicle that begins to fall outside some statistically significant
boundary related to risk.
 The location of structures is easily determined and established
as a constant in the present invention. However, because vehicles
and other insurable interests such as cargos, by definition are
non-stationary, a need exists to associate the technology with a
global position. There may be differences among vehicles operated
in similar manner based on the effects of global position, and to
that end sensors capable of establishing a global position, such
as the Global Positioning System and related vehicle devices are
included in the group of available sensors. In accordance with these
differences as they may relate to safety, the system employs devices
and methods for estimation of underwriting premiums for a vehicle
over a chosen route or particular cargo. Insurance costs bore by
a carrier over each road, air lane or marine lane segment can be
estimated, using information on one or more of the following previously
collected variables: actual insurance loss, safety programs, and
operation details related, by way of example, to stationary locations,
routes traveled, actual inclines and declines along the route, vehicle,
length and condition of the traveled segment; actual condition of
the segment; or the resistive or drag component due to the medium,
speeds attained and where relevant altitudes and weather conditions.
 For certain vehicles other variables need to be taken into
account such as traffic density along the road segment; applicable
constraints such as high altitude or excessive inclines along the
route; and typical weather conditions.
 In one embodiment, the sensed data is accumulated in a computer
located in the building (commercial or residential) or vehicle,
where various calculations regarding quantifiable safety performance
variables may be made and given corresponding values. The data obtained
is then formatted for transmission and transmitted to a computer
site for further analysis. The invention contemplates that the system
designer will decide, based on the efficiencies and practicalities
of the particular system, where the most advantageous place to perform
 The system of the present invention as it relates to vehicles
accumulates data in real time from sensors that measure brake performance,
tire pressure, fuel rates of consumption, acceleration, drag on
the vehicle, trip time, idle time, and other pertinent parameters
and variables to monitor the overall performance of the vehicle's
operation. In the case of structures, sensors measure the function
of smoke detectors, fire detectors, water level detectors, mold
detectors, intrusion systems, radiation, chemical or biological
hazard detectors (such as the detection of disease producing infectious
agents, causing viral infections or the presence of allergens related
to common allergies and forms of sinusitis).
 The outputs of each of the sensors are sampled to provide
data representing the magnitude of each of the sensed characteristics
at a particular time. The sampled data for each sensor is then accumulated
in real time, so that subsequently, one can analyze safety related
devices or system loads that are important diagnostic safety markers
as they occur.
 In the local or the central computer or in the combination
of both computers, the data is analyzed and pertinent operational
data is produced. In the case of vehicles pertinent data may include:
trip time, idle time, driving time, frictional drag due to tire
deformation and the lubricants of the vehicle and other pertinent
information relevant to vehicle operation. The system may also measure
and indicate the forces being produced by a vehicle's prime mover
at any instant, accounting for acceleration, average speed, braking
frequencies, aerodynamic (frictional and viscous drag) in addition
to gravitational and inertial acceleration factors which may be
relevant in certain marine or aircraft operations. An electronic
audit trail and data regarding these and other such elements provide
an indication of the vehicle's overall compliance and insurance
contract performance. The safety and risk aversion in marine and
aircraft are partly related to the density of the medium of travel,
medium currents (air, fluid), wind resistance, surface friction
as well as the effects of motion in terms of vibration in any axis,
pitch, yaw and roll. Some of these variables will be related to
the vehicle or crafts design and more specifically its aerodynamic,
marine dynamics, and hull or chassis design. When a craft exceeds
its design specification, risk of loss increases. The invention
herein contemplates the use of sensors that monitor the design limit
established for such craft.
 The system allows indication of as many variables as required
to determine instantaneous loads on the vehicular system. These
variables may also be sensed, formatted and transmitted to a local
computer or central site computer for further statistical analysis
and underwriting decision-making.
 Typically, a central site computer initiates the remote
site polling process through a sampling cycle that telephones or
broadcasts a signal, which typically includes a digital address
unique to the insurable interest such as a residential home or vehicle,
which accordingly acknowledges contact. Thereafter the central site
transmits a digital start code, which is interpreted, by a communications
controller situated in the home or automobile, to initiate a sampling
of the sensors, which measure a unique physical state or property.
In yet another embodiment, the central site computer initiates a
communication, as it might by utilizing a radiotelephone over the
Internet and thereafter, transmits a digital start code, which is
interpreted by the communications controller to initiate a sampling
of the sensors, to measure a unique physical state or property.
In another embodiment, regardless of whether the central site computer
initiates the measurement process, the central site computer simply
polls or requests transmission of data that has been collected during
some predetermined time interval by the insurable interest's computer
and stored as data records.
 In order to provide analysis of the data the accumulated
sensor data may be transmitted to a central site where programming
means convert the partially processed or raw accumulated sensor
data into standard units of measure so that it can be analyzed and
displayed or printed in a meaningful manner. The data from various
sensors is also combined to derive data representing additional
safety related devices or system loads that are important diagnostic
safety markers. Further, the data from various types of sensors
is statistically correlated, so that relationships between diverse
profiles may be ascertained. Statistical analysis of the data is
also carried out to determine the mean and variances and other statistical
parameters that best reflect the pooled performance as well as similar
data analysis to determine the time rate of change of safety performance.
The data summaries may take the form of data listings or graphs
such as histograms. In one aspect of the invention, collected data
at a central site may be made available to a variety of different
users via a variety of presentation modules through use of data-interfacing
programs. The data also may be available over a computer network
such as the World Wide Web via a server designed to present the
data in an appropriate format for the network. This format may include
graphical data, text, sound or other multimedia format. More specifically,
the system includes the ability to collect sensor data, numerical
data, textual data, graphs, and pictures to the structure or extent
the structural or vehicle is equipped with such information gathering
technology; to superimpose the sensor data, numerical, textual and
graphical data on said pictures; and to communicate the image to
the central site. In this case, real-time images collected by a
video camera at the same time as the sensor data is being collected,
may be stored for reference.
 An advantage of the present invention is that it can collect
data from multiple transports in a fleet and to communicate that
data to a central processor; automatically process that data into
predetermined informational subsets, all in real-time or off line.
Another advantage is that the system is programmed to operate in
as a real time, windows-based (or similar) software environment.
It is also contemplated that the system will support foreground,
background data processing and thereby permit multiple executable
files (or processes) to run simultaneously on the central site or
local computer. Thus, the central site computer can display in real-time,
data screens from structures, vehicles and goods, while receiving
and processing new sensor data.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The novel features of the present invention are set forth
with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself,
however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together
with further objects and advantages thereof, may be best understood
by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with
the accompanying drawings, in which:
 FIG. 1 is illustrates a system, which communicates safety
or risk aversion data to a central site computer for analysis.
 FIG. 2 shows a block diagram of a computer system for receiving
sensor data and underwriting, quoting, binding and billing for an
 FIG. 3a is an illustration of a polling system implemented
in conjunction with system 100 and system 200.
 FIG. 3b is a block diagram or the polling process.
 FIG. 3c is a block diagram or the polling process.
 FIG. 3d is a block diagram or the polling process.
 FIG. 3e is a format or a record containing sensor data.
 FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of the logical organization
of the methodology used in the invention as it relates to underwriting,
quoting, and binding an insurance policy.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 In the figures to be discussed, the circuits and associated
blocks and arrows represent functions of the process according to
the present invention, which may be implemented as electrical circuits
and associated wires or data busses that transport electrical signals.
Alternatively, one or more associated arrows may represent communication
(e.g., data flow) between software routines, particularly when the
present method or apparatus of the present invention is implemented
as a digital process.
 With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the sensor data communication
system 100 includes, a system 200, which includes local area terminals
225, having a database file server 250, input devices 208 and output
devices 203, including such telecommunications as may be located
in modems 260, or in a related set of terminals 210a(1) through
210(n) configured by software for accumulating, processing, administering
and analyzing insurance in an automated workflow environment. Additionally
the system is in communication with a data processing center 290,
either through a data connection 211 or via an Internet 135 connection.
Significantly, the system is equipped to poll remote sites, such
as structures 110(a) through 110(n), vehicles 120(a) through 120(n)
and goods 115(a) through 115(n). Each of the foregoing structures,
vehicles and goods, contain electronic devices, such as computers,
data acquisition means and telecommunication means (collectively,
"computer (s)") that serve to interrogate and control
sensors 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n), and 118(a)
and 118(n), respectively.
 The system 200 utilizes one or more software programs 295
for on-line quoting, rating, and binding of insurance policies,
electronic data transfer and the evaluation and access the data
resources, such as data base file sever 270 containing, among other
things, technology information pertinent to reducing costs associated
with certain avoidable hazards and losses. The communication means
248 provides for real time on line polling of sensors installed
at the sites 110(a) through 110(n), vehicles 120(a) through 120(n)
and goods 115(a) through 115(n) utilizing the internet 135 connection
or other suitable electronic communications means, such as telecommunication
means 246. The system also provides for publication of the quantitative
effects of one or more technologies upon the underwriting process,
based upon inquiries, specifying a range of variables related to
technologies incorporated into the data stored on database file
server 250 or optionally database file server 270.
 The sensors 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n),
and 118(a) and 118(n) data is transmitted 150, 151, 152 over various
means available, such as over a public telephone network, 145, private
radio/telephone cellular telephone service 147, or radio communications
link 149. In any of the various communication instances, the transmission
may proceed over the Internet 135 utilizing appropriate connectivity
as provided for by wireless communications or through telephone
land lines 153 and servers 155 and any one of various standard file
transfer protocols such as FTP, TCP/IP with PPP or SLIP standard
connectivity. The foregoing description of system 100 and system
200, as configured, is by way of illustration and example only,
and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and scope
of the present invention being limited only by the terms of the
 System 200 receives the sensor 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a)
through 128(n), and 118(a) and 118(n), input data 102(a)-102(n)
for purposes of analyzing, underwriting, quoting, binding and billing
as each relates to an insurance policy. The processing of the information
is carried out in the terminals 210a-210n, each having a corresponding
CPU, display, memory and input devices, such as CPU 206, display
203, memory 204 and keyboard 208. The system 225 and the system
290 are typically used in conjunction for underwriting, creating,
selling and managing insurance policies. In addition, the database
means 250 interconnected to the terminals 210(a)-210(n) stores predetermined
underwriting rate data. Output means 255 produces documents in at
least one of text, graphics, and electronic transfer mode, said
output means being interconnected and responsive to CPU 245 and
CPU 206. The plurality of terminal means, such as terminal means
210(n); and, a corresponding input means 208 provides user data
input to the CPU 206, and a software means(unshown) for configuring
each of said plurality of processor means 206.
 Device 260 represents one or more input or output devices,
such as other facsimile machines that have access to rate filings,
which may be stored on database 250. Input/output source 215 also
communicates with one or more network connections for receiving
data over network 220, e.g., a global computer communications network
such as the Internet, a wide area network, a metropolitan area network,
a local area network, a terrestrial broadcast system, a cable network,
a satellite network, a wireless network, or a telephone network,
as well as portions or combinations of these and other types of
 Other computer systems functionally equivalent to system
290, may be in communication through Internet 135 or through line
211 with terminals 210(a)-210(n). System 290 and terminals 210(a)-210(n)
are in communication with database means 270, to store sensor data
102(a)-102(n). The database server means 270 also contains underwriting
rate information and stores information related to hazard ratings
for any suitable purpose in underwriting, and managing insurance
policies in connection with the publication of the quantitative
effects of technologies upon the underwriting process.
 In addition to on-site databases, such as database means
250 and database means 270, data may be provided from a data provider
280 that may, by way of example, accumulate, sensor data 102(a)-102(n);
and store and forward such data to the computer system 200.
 As will be apparent to those skilled in the art of computer
software, the programming language, and where and on what computer
the software is executed is a design choice. The foregoing description
of system 200 as configured is by way of illustration and example
only and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and
scope of the present invention being limited only by the terms of
the appended claims.
 Referring to FIG. 3a, the system 200 initiates a polling
process 301 to acquire sensor data 102(a)-102(n) from one or more
sensors 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n), and 118(a)
and 118(n). In FIG. 3b system 200 initiates a sampling of a one
or more sensors 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n), and
118(a) and 118(n), via a telephony connection 303 or a radio communication
304. One of a plurality of communication controllers, such as controller
310(n), having a corresponding digital address 309(n) unique to
the insurable interest accordingly acknowledges the establishment
of communications between the system 200 and the sensor 108(n).
The communication controller 310(n) responds 305 by connecting 313
the system 200 to the sensors 108(n). The process 301 checks whether
transmission errors prevent further communications, and if a connection
cannot be made the process 301 terminates 311. System 200 reports
the event as unprocessed sensor data. The system is then free to
call another address.
 When a connection 313 has been established, the system 200
responds by transmitting 315 a start sampling code 314, which is
interpreted, by the communications controller 310(n) and which responds
by initiating 320 a sampling of the sensors 108(n), resulting in
measuring 325 and storing 322 a condition, state of affairs, physical
property or assessment of the insurable interest.
 As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art of telecommunications,
various means are available to acquire the sensor data 102(a)-102(n).
In an aspect of the invention, regardless whether the system 200
initiates the determination sequence, the system 200 may poll and
request transmission of data that the sensors 108(a) through 108(n),
128(a) through 128(n), and 118(a) and 118(n) collected during a
predetermined time interval by the insurable interest stored as
data records 323.
 Referring to FIG. 3a and FIG. 3c, electronic means 103(n)
responds to system 200 polling process 301 by initiating a sequential
operation: (1) to determine 334 whether to transmit data previously
collected 322 and stored 323 or (2) (a) to prepare to sample 335
the selected sensor 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n),
and 118(a) through 118(n); (b) to extract a sample 337 during a
prescribed time interval; (c) optionally to permit the sample to
settle 339, during a second time interval; (d) optionally to calibrate
340 the sensors 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n), and
118(a) and 118(n), if required; and (e) to measure 342 the sample
utilizing the sensor 108(a) through 108 (n), 128(a) through 128(n),
and 118(a) and 118(n); (f) hold 344 sensed data 102(a)-102(n).
 As shown in FIG. 3d. the system 300 optionally proceeds
to (h) digitize 350 (if the sensed data is analog) and store 355
a digital result in a record 358; (i) continue the sequence from
decision point 360 through 335, until the predetermined sampling
period or decision 360 indicates the last sample 360; (k) await
a forward command 365 from the system 200 requesting the transfer
of data from the record 358 store to the system 200. Thereafter,
the record 358 is transferred 370 to the system 200 via the particular
network transmission protocol as discussed above.
 In one embodiment of the invention, the sensors 108(a) through
108(n), 128(a) through 128(n) and 118(a) through 118(n), measure
the status or degree of conformity or compliance with a standard
unit of safety or risk mitigation and produces a data file 380,
comprised of a plurality of records containing: (a) an indication
of the conformity to a prescribed level of risk of safety or risk
mitigation; 382 (b) an indication of the quality of the sampled
unit, 384; (c) a metric relating to the quantity under consideration
386; and (d) the result from a predetermined number of samples 388.
 In order to provide analysis of the data, the record 323,
record 358 and the data file 380 may be transmitted to the system
200 where a program 296 converts the partially processed or raw
data 102(a)-102(n) into units of measure, so that it can be analyzed,
displayed at display 203 and printed at device 255. The data from
the sensors 108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n) and 118(a)
through 118(n) is combined at the system 200, to derive data relevant
to diagnostic risk and safety markers. Further, the data from sensors
108(a) through 108(n), 128(a) through 128(n) and 118(a) through
118(n) is correlated to diverse data sets and underwriting profiles
residing on system 200 database 250, database 270. Statistical analysis
of the data is also carried out to determine the mean and variances
and other statistical parameters that reflect the pooled performance,
as well as data analysis to determine the time rate of change of
a safety performance and risk mitigation effectiveness. The data
summaries may take the form of data listings or graphs, such as
 According to the invention, collected data in database means
250 database means 270 may be made available to a variety of different
users, via a variety of presentation modules through use of data-interfacing
programs. The data also may be available over the network 135 to
present the data in an appropriate format for a user. This format
may include graphical data, text, sound or other multimedia format.
More specifically, the system includes the ability to collect sensor
data 102(a) through 102(n), numerical data, textual data, graphs,
and pictures related to the structure 110(a) through 110(n), vehicle
120(a) through 120(n) goods 115(a) through 115(n) and to combine
the data on various media to further the intents of the invention
 Referring to FIG. 4 a flow chart illustrates the operation
of a software system 400 for underwriting, quoting, binding, issuing
and managing insurance policies, by an insurance underwriter of
a casualty and property insurance dependent upon the technology
existing within the insurable interest, in accordance with a preferred
embodiment of the present invention. Software system 400 is preferably
implemented on the computer systems, 225, 290 such as illustrated
in FIG. 2. In the present instance, the system 200 allows users
to access system 400 to perform underwriting functions; quote policy
coverages and premiums, and to create casualty insurance policies.
The foregoing descriptive process of system 400 is by way of illustration
only and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and
scope of the present invention being limited only by the terms of
the appended claims.
 Although the following description will refer to a system
for the generation of a commercial property and casualty lines of
insurance for structures, vehicles, and goods, an equivalent process
is applicable to any insurable interests where the underwriting
criteria and the premium are influenced by the absence or presence
of technology. In referring to FIG. 2 and FIG. 4, A process 400,
a user in a first step 402, through input device 208, logs into
system 200 through the associated terminal 210(n) having the display
203, that connects to a database means 250, providing first and
second data bases. In the next step 404, utilizing the input device
208, the user enters quotation information pertaining to the insured
party for whom casualty insurance dependent upon the technology
is to be underwritten. Such information typically includes, the
name, address, telephone number of the insured party, the date the
request for the quotation was received, a description of the insured's
operation and the standard industrial codes ("SIC"), which
are associated with the insured's business.
 The process 400 selects and stores at least one SIC associated
with the business for which the property is used. A plurality of
SIC records corresponding to a plurality of SIC are stored in a
database resident in a database means 250 and database means 270.
Each of the SIC records are linked to underwriting guidelines(unshown)
established and filed by the insurance carrier. These criteria include
guidelines related to minimum premiums, hazard rating, underwriting
authority, and referral criteria. The process 400 displays, on display
203, a plurality of candidate risk modifiers associated with one
or more technologies that mitigate the risk of loss or hazards associated
with the insurable business property and the retrieves the SIC record
for documenting and storing a selected risk modifier code and related
underwriting criteria associated with the business property and
associated policy. The process 400 develops the quotation using
a detailed description of the insured's operation, the minimum premium
information, the selected hazard code, the selected risk modifier
code 405, and primary insurance limits.
 In step 405 a user retrieves a risk modifier code 240 developed
from the analysis and determination of the mitigating effect a technology
on the insured risks. The risk modifier code 240 is an actuarial
function of the mitigation of risk due to the incorporation of specific
technology. The risk modification value of the code 240 may be further
modified by the actual use of the technology as assessed by the
acquisition of sensor data 102(a) through 102(n).
 The process proceeds to step 406, where the user enters
the name of the carrier, the coverage type and coverage limits of
the insurance policy. Since the underlying insurance policy may
have separate limits for general liability and specifically named
liability coverages, the insurance policy producer may enter separate
primary coverage limits for general liability and specific liability
coverages in this step. In step 406, the user enters the expiration
dates of the proposed insurance contract and a description of the
 In step 408, the process 400 retrieves from a first database
242 resident in database means 250 and 270, public bureau rating
information. The present invention maintains a database, which contains
a rating means for storing information relating to the potentially
insurable risk, mitigated by a technology in the second database
246. In step 410, the rating associated with the insurance carrier,
which will underwrite the casualty insurance being quoted, is compared
against a predetermined minimum technology-rating threshold established
by the carrier issuing the insurance quotation. The process 400
takes into account the risk modification in step 411 where a second
risk modifier code 241 factors into the decision the effects of
the mitigation of risk due to the incorporation of specific technology.
Notably the risk modification code 241 may be determined by the
actual use of the technology as assessed by the acquisition of sensor
data 102(a) through 102(n). If, as a result of this comparison,
the system 400 determines that the rating of the insurance carrier
is below the predetermined threshold, the system proceeds to step
412, where the insurance underwriter may decline to issue a quotation
or refer the submission to a managing authority for further consideration.
If the user declines to issue the quotation in step 412, then the
process 400 generates a declination letter, indicating that no quote
will be submitted for the casualty policy dependent upon technology;
otherwise, the system 400 proceeds to step 414 where the underwriter
is typically required to document reasons for writing coverage that
does not meet minimum underwriting criteria.
 In step 416, the process 400 retrieves and displays underwriting
guidelines associated with the SIC that were previously entered
in step 404. The present invention maintains a database on database
means 250 and database means 270, which contains underwriting instructions
and guidelines, including minimum premiums, loss or hazard mitigation
technology and hazard rating instructions, corresponding to each
SIC that a user might enter into the system 400 in step 404.
 The loss or hazard mitigation technology and hazard rating
instructions contain factors that are considered when associating
a risk to a particular SIC. Based on risk mitigation technology
and hazard rating information, the user selects one or more ratings
for the quotation in step 418. The selected risk mitigation technology
and hazard rating(s) are then stored in 419 in the system 200 databases,
means 250, 270 as part of the computer file associated with the
 In step 420, the user chooses one or more of the coverage
types which are applicable to the casualty insurance policy dependent
upon the specific risk mitigation technology being considered in
the quote. Thus, for example, if the policy being quoted includes
coverage for premises/operations liability, the process 400 would
display a range of predetermined risk modifiers for the selected
coverage. A risk modifier 423 is the result of the classification
of the various technologies that are applicable to the insurable
interest under consideration. The loss control programs and technology
that the insured institutes, essentially influences the magnitude
of the risk modifier 433. The risk modifier 423 is retrieved in
step 422 to indicate where the specific underwriting risk falls
in relation to a base or average risk for a given classification.
In the present invention, the base risk has two components, a first
specific risk 251, historically associated with the insurable interest,
and a second specific risk 252 that mollifies the first risk dependent
on the technology utilized. The insured's loss control programs,
technology that the insured may have instituted, and the utilization
of the technology influences the weight of the risk modifier. In
steps 424 and 426, the user selects one of the predetermined risk
modifiers for the selected coverage, and then documents the reasons(e.g.,
loss mitigation technology or loss control programs) for the specific
risk modifier that the user selected. In step 428, the process may
be repeated for each type of coverage dependent upon number or different
technologies to be included as part of the quotation.
 In step 430, the system 400 generates insurance premium
amounts corresponding to a plurality of different insurance attachment
points. For each attachment point, the corresponding premium amount
generated by the system 400 is based on, among other things, a minimum
premium amount associated with the SIC input in step 404, the hazard
rating code(s) selected in step 418, and the two risk modifier code(s)
selected in step 422. In a preferred embodiment, the premium amounts
253 are generated in step 430, from a table stored on the system
200 database means 250 or 270.
 Next, in step 432, the user selects one or more of the attachment
points generated in step 430 for quotation, and the system 400 then
generates a quotation describing the policy being quoted and stating
a premium for the policy. The quotation is then communicated to
 While preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown
and described herein, it will be understood that such embodiments
are provided by way of example only. Numerous variations, changes,
and substitutions will occur to those skilled in the art without
departing from the spirit of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended
that the appended claims cover all such variations as fall within
the spirit and scope of the invention.