Walker County's ISO Rating Improves; Homeowners Should See Premium Drops

Friday, February 8, 2013

Following a survey of Walker County Emergency Services last October, Walker County’s Insurance
Services Office (ISO).rating has been reduced to a Class 3/8B rating from a previous rating of 4/9. This rating becomes effective May 1.

Officials said ISO has many functions, one of which is rating fire departments for insurance classifications. ISO rates departments on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is the best and 10 is no fire protection. ISO reviews not only the fire department for response times and staffing but also the 911 dispatch center and the water departments to compile an overall picture of the department’s capability (with response, staffing, dispatching, and water supply).

Because most insurance companies base their premiums on the ISO class rating of an address, homeowners can expect to see a reduction of their annual premiums, officials said.

The savings from a Class 4 to 3 is expected to be minimal (averaging less than $100). However, the savings from a Class 9 to 8B is anticipated to be significantly higher (some estimates show as savings as much as $500).

Based on a wood-frame construction home valued at $150,000, a Class 10 rating would yield
an average insurance premium of $2,416 where a Class 3 rating premium would only be $1,041 – a savings of $1,375.

Using this same home, a Class 9 rating would yield an annual premium of $1,903 while a
Class 8B would drop the premium to $1,474 – an annual savings of $429.

Using an example of a brick home in north Walker County with an approximate value of $150,000, a Class 9 rating would have a premium of $1,667 while the Class 8B premium would drop to $1,298 – a savings of $369.

Walker County Emergency Services encourages all homeowners to contact their insurance
company to see if they are eligible for premium reduction compliments of this new rating.

According to ISO, there are 47,242 registered fire departments in the United States with 1,998
department receiving the Class 3 rating. In the State of Georgia, 1,038 fire departments have
been rated. Of these, 56 departments have received a Class 3 rating and one (1) has a Class
8B rating. Walker County will become only the second department to receive the 3/8B rating.

Further, the Walker County 911 Center was the first dispatch center to earn the full 10 points
during the 2003 rating, a score the center maintained in the 2012 rating.


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