Improved fire protection comes to you along with some cash, potentially. Property owners should check with their insurance company to determine how much their insurance premium can be reduced based on a new “ISO” rating for their fire department.
Harris Township provides fire and emergency medical services by being part of the Clay Fire Territory (CFT). Two representatives of Harris Township represent the township as fire commissioners on CFT’s governing board — currently the trustee (Ken Lindsay) and board member (Jeff Broadwick).
Because much of Harris Township does not reside within a city, there are few hydrants. In recent years the territory developed a comprehensive water strategy, upgraded equipment to bring more water to fires, and has arranged for access to some newly installed City of Mishawaka hydrants along with access to a number of other water sources. A new well is planned in Granger for 2017.
Based partially on the above improvements, an external agency just upgraded CFT’s rating to ISO 2. There is no ISO 1-rated department in the state, and only a few ISO 2-rated departments! While this may be ‘nice to know’, some insurance companies consider the ISO in the calculation to set the insurance premium for property insurance,including homeowner’s insurance. This rating change could mean real dollar savings to you. We’re aware of one instance of savings over $200 annually. Ask your existing insurance company to make sure the new ISO rating is applied. And you might want to take this opportunity to shop around. Please note that not all insurance companies use the rating — and if yours doesn’t you can at least feel good about the level of protection provided by your fire department.
Clay Fire Territory’s related press release:
September 28, 2016
NEW ISO RATING RELEASED FOR CLAY FIRE—
ENTIRE SERVICE AREA IMPROVES TO ISO CLASS 2 RATING
GRANGER, IN — Fire Chief Timm Schabbel announced today that the communities served by Clay Fire—including Clay, German, and Harris Townships, as well as the Towns of Roseland and Indian Village—have received the results of the agency’s latest Public Protection Classification (PPC) evaluation from the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). Chief Schabbel proudly revealed that the entire service area for Clay Fire has received an upgraded score to an ISO Class 2 rating.
This new rating may result in a significant decrease of annual insurance premiums within the Clay Fire service area. Residential and commercial property owners within Clay, German and Harris Townships are encouraged to contact their insurance providers to inquire if their premiums will be impacted by the improved classification rating. The new ISO Class 2 rating— which includes the entire Clay Fire service area—will go into effect on October 1, 2016.
According to Fire Chief Timm Schabbel, “This improved ISO rating is yet another reflection of Clay Fire’s commitment to provide the highest quality public safety services to the citizens of our community. This improved rating would not be possible without the dedicated members of Clay Fire who perform outstanding work each and every day.”
Clay Fire is now one of only seven communities in the state of Indiana, including Indianapolis, to achieve a Class 2 rating. The ISO rating in the City of South Bend was also recently upgraded to a Class 2, which went into effect on August 1, 2016. Presently, there are no ISO Class 1 rated communities in the state of Indiana. The ISO rates more than 48,000 fire departments nationwide. Less than 2% of all fire departments achieve such an exceptional rating. This improved rating represents another significant milestone for Clay Fire. In 2004, the agency was the first fire department in the state of Indiana to achieve “Internationally Accredited Agency” status by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI), and remains one of only four accredited departments within the state of Indiana. ISO collects information on communities and analyzes the data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. This Fire Suppression Rating Schedule evaluates four primary categories of fire suppression – fire department, emergency communications, water supply, and community risk reduction. Class 1 generally represents superior fire protection, and class 10 indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum standards. ISO’s Public Protection Classification can play an important part in an insurer’s decision when underwriting property insurance. The new ISO PPC for Clay Fire will be effective October 1, 2016.
This improved rating is the result of the first ISO review since the amalgamation of the Clay, German, and Harris Township Fire Departments into the Clay Fire Territory. Chief Schabbel stated, “This improved ISO rating serves as yet another example of the benefits which were achieved by merging these three agencies into one. Many of the value-added programs in place today would not have been possible without the unification of these three fire departments.” The assessment for the fire department component, which accounts for half of the overall rating, was improved by over 55% since the last review in 2003. In addition, the Community Risk Reduction Division—which provides public education, fire inspections, and fire investigations—received nearly all of the possible points available in that category. Chief Schabbel credits the fire department’s effort of becoming an internationally accredited fire department as a significant contributor used to identify, track, and document the improvements within the agency.