Valdosta’s new Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating is a Class 1 —and it’s a significant achievement for our city and our citizens. Valdosta’s ISO rating is the highest fire insurance rating in the nation, held by only 136 out of 48,000 communities nationwide, only 11 of them in Georgia out of nearly 700 local governments. Valdosta becomes the first local government in South Georgia to ever receive a Class 1 rating.
The new ISO Class 1 rating, effective April 1, 2016, represents an elite group of communities totaling less than half of 1% of communities rated. Valdosta is proud to share the same rating with some larger nearby cities such as Atlanta, Jacksonville and Savannah.
“This is just another example of the dedication that our city employees display in the way they perform their jobs,” said Mayor John Gayle. “On behalf of the Valdosta City Council, who has demonstrated unwavering support of the Valdosta Fire Department’s mission over the years, we are proud of our new classification and how it will positively impact the insurance rates for our property owners.”
There are a total of 10 classes in the ISO rating scale, with a Class 1 being the highest.
Fire Chief Freddie Broome said the Class 1 rating will help lower insurance rates for most City of Valdosta property owners and praised the professional work of other city and 911 services for making this possible.
“Many factors contributed to a city’s overall rating,” said Chief Broome. “Exceptional water services provided by the city’s Utilities Department contributed to 40 percent of the ISO rating, with a combination of Fire Services (50 percent) and Emergency Communications (10 percent) making up the rest. We are fortunate to have a professional network of outstanding services throughout the city.”
ISO is an independent company that serves insurance companies, communities, fire departments, insurance regulators and others by providing information about risk. The office collects and evaluates information from communities across the United States on their structure fire suppression capabilities.
“This is a great day for our citizens, businesses and property owners,” said City Manager Larry Hanson. “Our Fire Department has maintained an impressive ISO Class 2 rating for over a decade, and has consistently been one of the top fire departments in the state of Georgia. A Class 1 rating has been our goal since receiving our Class 2 rating years ago, and it is a testament to the quality of the fire protection and water supply we are so fortunate to have in our community. It also represents a cost savings to property owners and is a very positive recruitment tool for economic development and business growth in the city.”
“Today is a proud day for our City,” said Hanson.