Release Date: August 21, 2014
Bob Klein , Building Official
The Town of Hilton Head Island has received confirmation of a Classification 3 Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) rating for 1 and 2 family residential property and 3 for commercial/industrial property. This is an improvement from the 2010 rating of a 4 Classification for both 1 and 2 family residential property and commercial/industrial property. The Town has participated in BCEGS since 2002. The program could apply credits to insurance policies held by participating insurers for any new construction that has been issued a Certificate of Occupancy in 2014 and forward.
BCEGS is used to assess building codes in effect in a particular community and the manner in which the community enforces such codes, with special emphasis on mitigation of losses from natural hazards. It is administered by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). ISO is an insurer-supported organization with the primary mission of providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. ISO began implementing the BCEGS program in states with high exposure to wind (hurricane) hazards and high seismic exposure, and later expanded the program nationwide. Municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes demonstrate better loss experience, which in turn is reflected in better insurance rates. BCEGS allows insurers given ISO authorization to apply credits to individual insurance policies, thereby recognizing safer buildings and communities that would sustain less damage from catastrophes. This rating could also assist in lowering the Town's Community Rating System grading which affects flood insurance.
In the State of South Carolina, 23 communities out of 262 (8.8%) have achieved this high rating. Just 18 percent of all BCEGS evaluations nationwide result in a Class 1, 2 or 3 rating (1 being the highest rating). The prospect of lessening catastrophe-related damage and ultimately lowering insurance costs provides an incentive for communities to enforce their building codes rigorously.