Long County homeowners received good news last week, when the results from a recent Insurance Services Office inspection dropped the county’s risk rating.
With the change, according to Ludowici/Long County Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Smith, residents’ home-insurance premiums should drop. The new rating takes effect Nov. 1.
“If you live in the county, as most of our residents do, the estimates show that homeowners who (live) within 5 miles of a fire station will have their insurance premiums drop by around 30 percent,” Smith said. “For those people who live in the city, theirs won’t drop as much, but they still should save about 10 percent.”
The ISO rating went from a 5/9 to a 4/4X. Smith said that previously, residents in the city had a rating of a 5 now their rating is a 4, and residents in the county had a rating of a 9. Those county residents within 5 miles of a fire station will have a rating of a 4, but those outside the 5-mile mark will remain at 9. Smith said that in regards to ISO ratings, the lower the number, the lower the insurance premium, with the best rating being a 1 and the worst a 10.
“When you consider that most of our homes had a 9 rating, which is almost the worst rating you could have, and now they have a 4, that is quite an improvement,” Smith said.
Smith said he gathered the estimates on how much homeowners can save from a local agent with an established insurance office in Ludowici.
The assistant chief said approximately 90 percent of the residents will be affected. He said that regrettably, residents living more than 5 miles from a fire station will not see a change in their rates. He said that is approximately 10 percent of the homes in the county.
“I wish we could have got a lower rating for everybody, but we’re looking into what we can do to help them, too,” Smith said.
Attaining this new rating, Smith said, was the end result of a lot of hard work from the department’s firefighters and many supporters.
“We would like to thank all of the Long County firefighters, the county commissioners, the city of Ludowici, the McIntosh 911 center, the residents of Long County and all other agencies for their help and support in achieving this new rating,” he said.