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New ISO rating could mean lower insurance bills
Statesboro Fire Department W

As of last month, a new Insurance Services Office, or ISO, rating came into effect that could mean lower insurance bills for many people in Statesboro’s 5-mile fire service district.

Those who had an ISO fire protection rating of 2Y may have had higher rates after the Statesboro Fire Department improved its ISO rating from 3/3Y to 2/2Y, said Statesboro Fire Chief Tim Grams.

That move reduced insurance rates for most, but “because the 2/2Y is a ‘Split Classification’ and the ISO modified how they evaluate water sources available

Chief Tim Grams Web
Statesboro Fire Chief Timothy Grams
to fire departments for fire suppression requirements, some property owners residing inside the district actually saw their premiums rise,” he said.

The ISO provides data to insurance companies and issues fire protection classifications on a basic scale of 10 to 1.  A 10 rating means there is no recognized public fire protection, while a rating of 1 is the best fire protection possible.

Even though the ISO rating had been reduced from 3/3Y to 2/2Y, glitches in the system involving proximity to water sources caused some people with a 2/2Y rating to experience insurance rate hikes, he said. 2/2Y represented a lower level of protection available for addresses that are not on the city’s water system and had a private water supply not certified to provide sufficient flow. Households with a 2/2Y rating were approximately equivalent to a 9 ISO rating.

In the past, locations had to be within 1,000 feet of a recognized water source, such as a hydrant, to qualify for the 2 classification. The “recognized water” source requirement was removed, he said.

As of Sept. 1, efforts by Gram’s department to solve that problem came to fruition.

“Through much research and implementation, the department earned an ‘ISO Flat Classification 2,’” he said. “The Class 2 rating applies to all properties within the city of Statesboro as well as those properties located within 5 road miles of a Statesboro Fire Station or a Bulloch County Fire Station that provides automatic aid to the fire district, regardless of their proximity to a creditable water source.”

Grams said between 90 to 95 percent of the residents in the fire district were eligible for the flat classification.

Grams encourages those owning property within the Statesboro Department Fire District who experienced the increase in insurance premiums to contact their insurance representatives to take advantage of the benefits of the Class 2 rating.

 

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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