Your Guide to Insurance Services Office (ISO) Ratings
Because fire is the largest single cause of property loss in the United States and fires injure approximately 20,000 Americans annually, evaluating the risk of fire is of keen interest to insurance companies. Instead of blindly paying billions of dollars in claims for fire damage, these companies use a rating system to charge policy holders fees relative to their fire risk. Insurance companies believe that a community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses and therefore encourage communities to mitigate that risk. Since 1971, the ISO has maintained the risk database and issued these ratings through its Public Protection Classification (PPC) System.
ISO PPC Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10. Class 1 represents exemplary fire protection; Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. Criteria include:
- Number of telephone lines available to receive emergency calls
- Number of dispatchers available to answer incoming calls
- Number of Engines (Pumpers) meeting minimum criteria
- Number of Ladder Trucks meeting minimum criteria
- Distribution of apparatus
- Availability of firefighters
- Training facilities and programs
- Adequacy of water supply (municipal and private)
- Hydrant distribution
- Hydrant inspection program
The categories of communications, water supply and fire department provide 10, 40 and 50 percent of the overall evaluation respectively. As a result, PPC Ratings can change as fire departments, water districts and other entities improve infrastructure and services.
Evergreen Fire Rescue is no exception. We use ISO Ratings to influence our level of service and our budgets that pay for those services. Based on national standards, we’re striving to lower the ratings in the district and at the minimum we’ll maintain the current ratings. All of our volunteer firefighters live in the fire district as do many of our employees, so we’re interested in low PPC Ratings for personal reasons in addition to helping our neighbors save money.
Our fire district has multiple classifications. Effective as of September 1, 2018:
- Any property within 5 miles of a station AND within 1000’ of a hydrant or a 30,000 gallon cistern should be a Class 3.
- Any property beyond 1000’ and still within 5 miles of one of the stations or a neighboring fire districts station should be a Class 4.
- An property greater than 5 miles from a fire station, Evergreen Fire/Rescue or a neighboring fire districts station should be a Class 10W.
Brook Forest and Marshdale Elementary school fire hydrants are not recognized by ISO.