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ISO's Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS)

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is a leading source of information about risk. They supply data, analytics, and decision-support services for professionals in many fields, including insurance, finance, real estate, health services, government, and human resources. Their products and services help customers measure, manage, and reduce risk.

The Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) assesses the building codes in effect in a particular community and how the community enforces its building codes, with special emphasis on mitigation of losses from natural hazards.

The concept is simple: municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes should demonstrate better loss experience, and insurance rates can reflect that. The prospect of lessening catastrophe-related damage and ultimately lowering insurance costs provides an incentive for communities to enforce their building codes rigorously especially as they relate to windstorm damage.

The anticipated upshot: safer buildings, less damage, and lower insured losses from catastrophes.

The BCEGS program assigns each municipality a BCEGS grade of 1 (exemplary commitment to building-code enforcement) to 10. ISO develops advisory rating credits that apply to ranges of BCEGS classifications (1-3, 4-7, 8-9, 10). A grade of 98 is given if a community refuses to participate in BCEGS.  ISO gives insurers BCEGS classifications, BCEGS advisory credits, and related underwriting information.

Follow the links for frequently asked questions about BCEGS:

BCEGS Questionnaire

If your community has not yet received a BCEGS grading or if you've recently made improvements in your building code enforcement services you may be eligible for a BCEGS survey. During that survey, an ISO field representative will use the BCEGS Questionnaire to assist in the evaluation of your community's resources for code enforcement. ISO will use the information for the purpose of establishing your community's BCEGS grading. If you'd like ISO to consider your city, town, or jurisdiction for a BCEGS survey, send your request to your ISO Regional Processing Center.

If ISO has already scheduled your community for a survey, you can expedite the process by answering the questions in the BCEGS Questionnaire in advance of the ISO field representative's visit. Download the BCEGS Questionnaire in Microsoft Word format, and complete or print it with your own Word software. You can also download just the Employee Data Sheet, which you need to submit for each building code enforcement employee. Or use the on-line order form to request a copy of the BCEGS Questionnaire.

The ISO has compiled a list of communities with the highest grades and those that have refused to participate.