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Insurance rating could mean savings for property owners

December 17, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Berkeley County property owners stand to potentially benefit from an insurer-supported survey that is used to calculate insurance premiums, county officials said Thursday.

The county's "building code effectiveness grading classification" improved to a Class 4 rating from a Class 7 on a 10-class scale, Stefanie Miller, director of  land use planning and engineering for Berkeley County, told the Berkeley County Commissioners. Class 1 is the best rating possible.

"It's very, very good news," Miller said.

The improved rating, which was determined by the Insurance Services Office, Inc., could have  a positive effect in the form of a reduction in rates for homeowners, said Commission President Ronald K. Collins, who commended Miller and her department for their efforts.

The ISO analyzed building codes adopted by the county and the efforts made to properly enforce them, according to a Dec. 8 letter from its office to County Administrator Deborah Hammond.

ISO officials told Hammond in the letter that insurers are not required to use the organization's advisory material.

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