November 23, 2012 11:04:06 AM
A total of 757 residences in the Oktoc area will see their insurance premiums reduced as much as a third when they renew policies thanks to a new Class 8 fire protection rating, according to Oktibbeha County Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan.
Those living in the District 5 fire response area should check with their insurance providers to see what the exact reductions will be, and Rosenhan said some insurance companies will even able to pro-rate customers for the remainder until their current policy expires.
The improved Class 8 rating is the result of a multi-year effort, and reflects District 5's enhanced capabilities to access water supplies in the rural community. Previously, the district held a Class 10 rating.
But just because District 5 obtained the Class 8 rating, does not mean they cannot lose it.
"We have a bunch of work to do to keep the rating where it is," Rosenhan said. "They will be making sure we do with constant check ups."
The "They" Rosenhan spoke of is the Mississippi Rating Bureau, which is actually owned by the insurance companies and is funded through dues from those companies.
The MSRB not only provides guidelines and requirements for fire departments, but also draws lines separating fire response districts and employs certified reviewers to ensure all of the above are abided by.
District 5 is one of four rated fire districts in Oktibbeha County. Central, East Oktibbeha and Adaton-Self Creek round out the list.
Of the four rated districts, District 5 response area has the fewest number of residences. East Oktibbhea fire response district boasts nearly 1700 residences, almost a 1,000 more residences than District 5.
Rosenhan said District 5's Class 8 rating is the best rating possible the area can obtain due to its limited access to a water supply. The only way to improve the rating would be to build another fire station in the district, something Rosenhan said is impractical right now.
"We can expand the district, though," Rosenhan said. "And that is what we start working on now."
1. Saturday night fire destroys Columbus home COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. After 11 years as EMCC president, Young stepping down COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. 6-candidate race forms for Lowndes circuit clerk COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY