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City Fire Insurance Rating Improves
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
March 11, 2015

The city of Chillicothe's fire insurance rating has improved to its best level ever based upon the city's water system, fire department, and communication system. The overall system was issued a "4" rating in its Public Protection Classification survey, an improvement from the "5" rating it had for around 20 years, according to Fire Chief Darrell Wright. The survey analyzes the structural fire suppression delivery system provided in Chillicothe.

The rating improvement will translate into approximately a 10 percent savings on insurance premiums for property owners within the city. "This will lower the average rates 10 percent on residential and medium to smaller businesses," Wright said. Owners of larger buildings should also see a reduction in premiums, although less than 10 percent.

The premium reduction also will affect properties within five miles of the Chillicothe fire station that have adequate water supplies. The new rating is effective June 1, 2015.

Systems are evaluated every 10 years, or more frequently upon request, or if significant changes have been made. Chillicothe's system was last evaluated in 2005. Areas evaluated include the water department and the fire department being approximately the same size as far as water flow, the fire department itself (training, daily activity, response time, maintenance records, personnel going on calls, updated gear, etc.), and the communication system. The fire department received 50 out of 50 points possible on operations.

Wright said it is difficult for rural areas to improve upon a "4" rating; however, the local department will continue making improvements. "We have a few things to work on to improve the rating," Wright said. The chief stated that through the evaluation process it was determined that a second fire station, which had been discussed, was not needed. The analysis was conducted by ISO, the leading supplier of data and analysis for the property/casualty insurance industry. Most insurers use the Public Protection Classification for underwriting and calculating premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties.

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