Valdosta ISO finally recognized - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta ISO finally recognized

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June 13, 2008

Valdosta- What if your insurance company owed you money but you didn't know it?  That may be the case for more than 1,000 property owners in Valdosta.

Those properties were annexed into the city nearly two years ago.  They were supposed to get a break on their homeowners insurance.

That's because the City of Valdosta has one of the best Insurance Service Office or ISO ratings in the state.

"Its a group that comes to the city and evaluates your fire department, water capabilities and evaluates your city to determine hat the insurance rate is going to be for home owners and commercial properties inside the city," says Valdosta Fire Chief J.D. Rice

That was good news to the 1100 property owners who were annexed from Lowndes County into the city back in 2006.

"It's a tremendous savings for property owners inside Valdosta that we have a class two rating," Rice adds.

Because the lower the rating, the lower the cost for fire insurance.

"The annexation meant a lot of things to us. It gave us some additional services and we looked forward to the reduction in insurance rates," says Ralph Brown.  He was one of the homes annexed in but that reduction never came.

Somehow, the ISO jurisdictional maps used by insurance companies to calculate premiums did not reflect the city's Class 2 rating. But no one noticed. That is until Brown realized he was losing money. So he appealed to city officials for help.

After nearly two years, the problem has finally been fixed.  "we are now benefiting with the increased protection."

And he's saving money too.  "It will be $81.47 less then it was last year!"

In all, they estimate the annexed properties will collectively save $100,000 a year if they each make just one call.

The city encourages those property owners to call their insurance companies or the City's Public Information Office to make sure they're getting the break they deserve.

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