What Does ISO Stand for in Insurance?

ISO creates standardized policy forms for the insurance industry.
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Many insurance policies include a legal notice describing a company called ISO as the owner of the copyright. You may wonder what relationship this company has with your insurance provider, and whether you are also entering into a business relationship with ISO by purchasing the policy. Insurance Services Office is the author of the legal language used in the insurance policy. This company has nothing to do with the policy coverage itself.

Insurance Services Office

ISO was founded in 1971 as a company providing information services and business advice to property and casualty insurers. As the company expanded, it stopped using the name Insurance Services Office in favor of the anagram ISO. It does not offer insurance, only services for insurance companies. One of these services is a database of standardized insurance policy forms, so insurers don't have to create these forms themselves. ISO has no connection with the International Organization for Standardization, although customers sometimes assume they are connected because they both use the name ISO.


ISO provides a library of more than 9,000 insurance policy forms for different personal and commercial insurance situations through a service called ISOnet. It also provide legal, support and administrative forms through the same service. One advantage of this service for insurance professionals is that they can look up old versions of forms they may have lost and know exactly what the policy would have originally said. ISOnet also provides a system insurance providers can use to manage their forms.

Access to Forms

While insurance professionals can use the ISOnet service to look up the exact wording of policies and forms, the general public may not be able to. ISO forms can only be obtained by subscribing to ISOnet, and subscription is available primarily to people working for insurance companies or agencies that do business with ISO. On ISO's Frequently Asked Questions pages, the company states that someone other than an insurance professional "may or may not" be given permission to access the forms.

Other Services

ISO also provides tools to identify insurance fraud, insurance risk information about particular places, predictive modeling services, and statistical information and analysis of insurance data. It also provides insurance companies the information they need to meet state regulatory requirements, handle worker's compensation claims and research claims histories. ISO's forms library is updated daily and includes every insurance policy form the company has created since 1994.

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