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County’s ISO rating drops to 5

Effective Sept. 1, the county’s Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating will drop to its lowest ever at a 5 rating in areas within five miles of fire stations in Pike County. ’In the past, all the cities have had their own ISO rating survey, but this time it was a countywide survey,’ said fire chief Rick O’Barr. ‘There are eight stations in the county, so 95% of the county now has an ISO rating of 5.’ Meansville, which has its own fire department, was also rated as a 5. After the effective date Sept. 1, citizens may call their insurance companies and inform them of the ISO rating change. ’The fire chief and his staff did an incredible job during the test period and they performed a water shuttle test for the inspectors,’ said county manager John Hanson. ‘This is huge for the citizens and we still have room to improve. The ISO rating has never been a 5 in the history of Pike County that I know of. This is a fabulous job done by a volunteer fire department and a volunteer fire chief.’ The ISO rating plays an important role in the underwriting process at insurance companies and lower ISO ratings may result in lower insurance premiums for Pike County citizens. Each insurance company independently determines the premiums for policy holders, and the ISO rating for the area is often used to determine the cost. ’Through ongoing research and loss experience analysis, we identified additional differentiation in fire loss experience within our PPC program, which resulted in the revised classifications,’ said Dominic Santanna, manager for the ISO National Procession Center. ‘The new classifications will improve the predictive value for insurers while benefitting both commercial and residential property owners.’ Citizens in the five cities in Pike will have an ISO rating of 5 as well as citizens who live within five miles of a fire station. ’ISO appreciates the high level of cooperation extended by local officials during the entire PPC survey process,’ said Santanna. ‘The community protection baseline information gathered by ISO is an essential foundation upon which determination of the relative level of fire protection is made using the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.’ County attorney Rob Morton noted at a recent commission meeting that several automatic aid and other agreements were put into place to help with the county’s ISO rating. Around 50% of the classification for ISO is based on the fire department, how units are dispatched to a fire and the ability of the department to fight fires based on the personnel and equipment available. Around 40% of the classification is based on the water supply available and the last 10% is based on the alarm system used, such as 911, and response times.

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