Does My Local Fire Department Impact My Home Insurance Policy?
We rely on our local fire departments for many things, including helping with medical emergencies and providing fire education in addition to their more apparent job of running into burning buildings. But do we also rely on them to help keep our home insurance rates low? Well, to some extent, we do. Read on to find out how your neighborhood fire department may affect your homeowner’s insurance.
How Are Home Insurance Rates Determined?
Insurance companies consider many different things when determining the cost of your home’s insurance policy, including your neighborhood’s crime rate, facts about your home and its location, pets, and your personal claim history. And different companies come up with their rates in different ways, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact formula. However, there are some common data that almost all insurance companies consider and weigh heavily on your insurance rates, one of which is your community ISO fire rating.
What Is an ISO Fire Rating?
The risks your home is exposed to, including its likelihood of having a fire and if your local fire department has the resources to put the fire out, primarily helps determine the cost of insurance coverage for your home.
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) gives ratings to communities based on the dependability of their fire departments and water supply to help insurance companies estimate this risk. The lower your community’s ISO rating, the more affordable your insurance premiums will be.
How Are ISO Ratings Decided?
There is quite a bit of information that the ISO factors into your communities fire rating; however, they are looking to see how prepared your fire department is to prevent and react to fire emergencies. Therefore, four critical components are factored into the score, including your local fire department, water supply, emergency communications systems, and community risk reduction.
Your Local Fire Department
The ISO gathers information about your local fire department and gauges their quality. They include information about their equipment and supplies, pump capability, engine and ladder companies, training, and personnel. This information is used to help determine how prepared the department is to respond to a fire and get it put out and carries the most weight during the rating process.
Your Local Water Supply
The ISO will look at the fire hydrants in your area and consider both their quality and the quantity available. They will also check the frequency of local fire hydrant inspections and testing. Properly working and accessible fire hydrants significantly improve the department’s ability to contain house fires.
Your Local Emergency Communications Systems
The quality of your local 911 system is gauged during the ISO rating process, including personnel training and technology used. The ability of local emergency communications systems to quickly and correctly handle fire calls helps them score well in this area.
Community Risk Reduction Programs
In this area, the ISO looks at anything extra your community is doing to battle fires and educate the public. This includes fire prevention and safety, as well as fire investigation programs.
Although your local fire department does weigh in on your homeowner’s insurance, many other factors are looked at when determining your final rates. And our knowledgeable team works hard to find you the best possible rate while not sacrificing coverage. Contact Absolute Choice Insurance today and let our highly skilled team help find you the best homeowners insurance policy to fit your needs.