Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto has been named as one of only three cities in the state to receive an Insurance Services Office (ISO) Class 1 rating under its code for Development Services. The Class 1 rating indicates that the City maintains the highest standards for structural safety, and it also reduces the cost of insurance for the community.
With a Class 1 rating, ISO will now apply credits to new construction in Palo Alto that received a Certificate of Occupancy in 2014 and could possibly result in lower insurance rates for property owners.
"It is gratifying to be among the very top of municipalities that have received a Class 1 rating," said Palo Alto Director of Development Services Peter Pirnejad. “Even more importantly, the rating is recognition of the City's focus on protecting the community by minimizing the economic and social disruptions from catastrophes.”
The ISO is expected to recognize the City’s accomplishments when it presents a plaque at the regular City Council meeting tonight, March 23.
The ISO provides a rating after a thorough review of a department’s operations and practices. They consider caseload (number of permits issued, and reviews and inspections per employee), building codes used by a city, and training and certification of staff.
The Building Code Effectiveness Grading classification scale ranges from 1 to 10, with a rating of 1 considered excellent. The rating is used by insurance company underwriters as one factor in determining property insurance premiums. The City’s rating will assist in lowering its Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) community flood ratings system, which will also potentially reduce insurance rates.
The ISO evaluated approximately 14,000 building departments nationwide and 297 in California with only three, including Palo Alto, receiving a Class 1 rating.
For more information about the City of Palo Alto’s Development Services, go here.