Insurance organization to update fire protection data
Municipalities may be able to lower property insurance rates for themselves and their residents by participating in the Community Outreach Program. The program is sponsored by the New York-based Insurance Services Office (ISO), an independent statistical, actuarial, rating and advisory organization serving the property and casualty insurance industry.
The Community Outreach Program is designed to enhance and improve the data collected for ISO’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) service, which ranks municipalities’ firefighting capabilities based on such factors as equipment, training, water supply and dispatching performance. PPC data is a key rating variable for most personal and commercial property insurance policies written in the United States.
Under the Community Outreach program, ISO is reaching out to communities and fire districts to identify significant changes in fire protection features. ISO plans to contact every U.S. community during the next 30 months for information on significant changes and, when required, schedule field surveys.
Community Outreach data will augment the existing PPC database, which contains detailed information on the fire-suppression capabilities of about 43,000 fire districts and municipalities nationwide. Key pieces of information, such as district boundaries, fire station locations and automatic aid agreements, frequently change and require continual verification and updating.
“The Community Outreach Program is a major step toward ensuring that the information we use to classify municipalities is up to date, but we cannot do it alone,” says Dennis Gage, ISO’s manager of risk decision services. “Municipalities can help their citizens by letting us know of changes in their fire protection resources.”
Under the program, municipalities will receive a public protection information update form and a detailed street map showing ISO’s most recent information on boundaries of the fire protection area and fire station locations. The form and map, once returned to ISO, will be compared with information in the PPC database. If ISO finds significant discrepancies in fire protection features, a field survey will be scheduled by the organization. For more information on the Community Outreach Program, call (800) 444-4554.