Yuma Homeowners Insurance Rates Could Go Up

August 25, 2004

A national insurance organization has lowered its rating on Yuma, Arizona’s family home building codes, a move that could result in higher home insurance rates here.

The Insurance Services Office reviewed the codes and rated Yuma just one grade from the bottom on a scale of 10 – six grades lower than its previous rating.

The city last updated residential codes in 2001.

Larry Nichols, a building official for the city, recommended that the code be reviewed and amended by the City Council.

“It’s a prudent and good thing for the city to update its present residential codes,” he said.

Developers, however, have expressed concern that code changes will drive up costs and slow growth in the city.

“We’re happy with the code we’ve got,” said contractor Bob Kammann at the residential advisory and appeals board meeting last week. “We got our subcontractors trained. We don’t want to start all over again.”

Nichols said sticking with the current code could hurt insurance rate payers though. ISO supplies statistical and underwriting information to property insurance companies.

Ken Keslar, an agent with American Family Insurance, said insurance companies consider the ISO ratings when calculating rates.

“As the rating goes up or down, it does have an effect,” he said. “If there is a negative change, it could have a very detrimental effect on the insurance rates.”

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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