Understanding your fire protection class
One of the tools that homeowner insurance companies use to determine how much you will pay for your homeowner insurance is your fire protection class. Fire protection classes range from 1 – 10. An independent company rates City and County Fire Stations. This company is Insurance Services Office or ISO.
Some of the factors that are used when ISO rates a City or County Fire Station are: how many fire trucks, amount of water the trucks can carry, amount the trucks can pump per minute and the number of firemen that work for the fire department.
ISO in effect is looking at the response time and how much man power and equipment is available to put out the fire upon arrival.
The fire protection class is assigned to your home based on your responding fire department and its fire class. The class is determined by the responding fire department that will respond in the event of a fire. If you are inside the city limits whatever your cities assigned protection class is will be your protection class.
If you are in the county, there are two main factors that can impact your fire protection class, the number of miles your home is located in proximity to a fire station and the number of feet that your home is located in proximity to a fire hydrant. In order to qualify for the fire protection class of the closest responding county fire department, your home must be located within 5 miles of the station and within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant. 1000 feet is the approximate length of 3 football fields. If you meet these two criteria, then you will be assigned a protection class 1 – 8 based upon the rating of the county fire station.
If your home is not within 5 miles of a responding fire department then your home is assigned a protection class 10.
If your home is within 5 miles of a responding fire department but there is no hydrant within 1000 feet, then your home is assigned a protection class 9.
If you are assigned a protection class 1 – 8, then you can expect your insurance rate to be lower than a home that is assigned a protection class 9 or 10.
There has been a change in the way that ISO recognizes homeowners that are NOT located in the city limits. You may be familiar with paying an annual subscription to the city to take advantage of the city fire protection. In the past, if you were outside the city limits but within 5 miles of the city fire station and you have a hydrant within 1000 feet, you could pay an annual subscription rate that would allow your insurance company to use that cities protection class as your fire protection class. ISO stopped honoring subscription based rating. This has impacted homeowner’s insurance rates that have been paying the annual subscription rates. In some instances where there is not a county fire station within 5 miles your protection class may have changed to a class 10 causing a drastic increase in your insurance rates.
If you have been impacted by a fire change and your rates have gone up, we will be happy to take a look at it to see if we can quote your home else where to save you money.