New Iberia residents may face insurance hike

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Homeowners insurance could rise in New Iberia, as the city’s fire rating falls in 2014.

The Property Insurance Association of Louisiana sent New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry a letter on Wednesday, saying there were some “deficiencies” with the city’s fire protection.

“There is something with the water pressure, but I’m not sure exactly what the issue is or where the locations are,” said Mayor Curry.

The city will meet with consultants for Louisiana Water Company—or LAWCO—next Thursday to discuss the details surrounding the alleged water pressure issues and come up with a plan of action.  

Every five years the association grades a municipality based on their fire protection, using a scale of one to 10; one being the best and ten being the worst. Curry said New Iberia is a two, but could face moving to a three.

Although fire ratings are tied to homeowners insurance rates, the city’s Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Doerle said, a downgrade wouldn’t make much of a difference in New Iberia.

“More than likely it won’t, because our rating was really superb [last year]. Even though it went down a little bit our rating will be fine for that,” said Doerle.

Besides, Curry said, this isn’t the first time the city has been threatened with a downgrade.

“In the past, you know, we’ve always had deficiencies. But, you come back and you correct those deficiencies. You keep your rating if you do,” said Curry.

The city has 30 days to come up with a plan to fix water pressure issues and then six months to put that plan into action, said Curry, before New Iberia’s fire rating drops.

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