Improved fire rating should reduce insurance premiums

November 13, 2012 10:22:58 AM

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Now that the Oktibbeha County District 5 Fire Department has finished its final test, Fire Services Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said the department only lacks a few minor details to complete their report to the Mississippi Ratings Bureau. 

 

"That was it," he said. "Now all we are doing is pretty much waiting on the mailbox." 

 

If the department is successful in improving their fire protection rating from a Class 10 to a Class 8, District 5 residents could see reductions in their insurance, possibly cutting premiums by as much as a third. The reductions will be mostly dependent on each resident's policy. 

 

"We looked at a couple of representative policies, and we were looking at saving roughly a third of the premium," Rosenhan said. "But the reductions won't take place immediately." 

 

Rosenhan estimated the finalized paper work confirming the new rating should arrive in the next couple of weeks, but even if Class 8 is achieved, reductions on existing premiums would not start until a policy was renewed or a new one was purchased. 

 

"Unfortunately, there are no rebates or anything," he said. "But an updated policy will automatically go from being under a Class 10 heading to a Class 8 heading. 

 

The reductions will also not affect the entire District 5 response area, only the rated fire district -- a smaller portion of the actual response area. Rosenhan said he is working on getting specifics on whose policies will and will not be affected. 

 

Last Friday, MRB sent Richard Watkins to monitor District 5 during a water shuttle evaluation that tested the department's ability to move thousands of gallons of water from fill stations in the county to a specified site. While transport trucks ran water back and forth to the site, dumping it into one of three giant tubs, other fire fighters were on hand to ensure that the hose was pumping at a proper pressure. 

 

With help from the East Oktibbeha County Fire Department, not only was District 5 able to transport those thousands of gallons of water more than half a mile, it also maintained an average pumping pressure of 500 gallons per minute for 45 minutes. 

 

In August, the Starkville Fire Department moved to a Class 4 rating after more than 25 years as a Class 5, and like District 5, the city could benefit from some premium reductions. 

 

But SFD Chief Roger Mann told the Dispatch in August that those reductions were only a sure thing for commercial property, and that single-family residential dwellings might not be affected. 

 

"When you start looking at these large commercial structures, it is going to be a really nice savings," Mann said.