West Metro Awarded No. 1 ISO Status: Insurance Savings for Homeowners
West Metro Fire Rescue has been awarded a Class 1 ISO rating, the highest level recognized nationally by the Insurance Service Office. The rating is a gauge of a fire agency’s ability to serve its residents and business owners and is awarded based on a number of key factors, including staffing, apparatus, training, 911 communications and water supply. For businesses or homeowners in West Metro’s district, the No. 1 rating is expected to result in millions of dollars in savings on property insurance.
“Our new ISO rating was driven by West Metro’s commitment to our district – to always be looking for opportunities to improve our service,” said Don Lombardi, Fire Chief, West Metro Fire Rescue. “The new rating is validation for our firefighters and staff that what we’ve been doing is creating a safer community.”
Only 0.5 percent of approximately 46,000 fire agencies across the country earn a Class 1 rating. And, only 60 of the 239 internationally-accredited fire agencies have a Class 1 rating. Many insurance companies use the ratings to set property coverage rates. In West Metro’s district, a typical homeowner, with a home valued at $300,000, could see annual insurance savings of around $200. The new rating will save business owners approximately 3-5 percent on commercial insurance premiums depending on building construction.
The ISO system ranks for a Class 1 (the best) to Class 10, which is no fire coverage at all. The Insurance Service Office evaluates more than 44,000 fire-response agencies nationwide, about every 10 years. Its independent rating is based on a number of factors that relate to the overall effectiveness of fire protection services.
“The program provides an objective, countrywide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training,” said Joseph Masington, assistant vice president of ISO’s Risk Decision Services.
Insurance companies were informed of West Metro’s new rating beginning May 1, and the rating goes into effect Aug. 1. Homeowners can call their insurance companies to verify if a discount is given.