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Improved ISO rating will lower insurance for Crosby/Barrett

By CHRIS BLACK, Assistant Fire Chief, edit. by LEWIS SPEARMAN

CROSBY – Completion of a three year project by Crosby Volunteer Fire Dept. and Rural Fire Pretection District #8 will result in lower insurance premiums for residents and business owners in Crosby and Barrett Station.

Crosby VFD, in conjunction with RFPD #8, achieved the second best rural department ISO grade in the United States and also tied for the second largest one step drop in ISO classification in the country.

The Insurance Service Office rates fire protection classification on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being best rating and 10 being worst. Using this rating classification, Crosby/Barrett Station was multi-rated 6, 9, 10. If a building was within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant maintained by one of the five water municipalities in the fire district, the building was rated an ISO Class 6. If the building was outside of that 1000 feet but within five driving miles of a fire station, it was rated as an ISO Class 9. If the structure was outside that five mile drive distance, it was rated as an ISO Class 10.

Effective August 1, 2004, the entire fire district that encompasses the Crosby/Barrett Station area (approximately the same boundaries as Crosby ISD) will become an ISO Class 4. This translates into significant savings for residents and business owners on their insurance premiums. The departmental goal was originally a district wide ISO Class 5, but as we got further into the process, we realized that we had the potential to exceed that original goal and put forth the extra effort to achieve the Class 4.

The following table of potential savings was pulled from the Texas Department of Insurance web page (www.tdi.state.tx.us/fixe/fmppcchanges.htinl). The table was summarized here to reflect the ratings relevant to Crosby and Barrett Station.

Numbers shown in the table are not necessarily reflective of savings a resident can expect. Savings may depend upon the value of the home, the levels of coverage selected, deductibles, the specific insurance company the resident has, etc.

“While I’m not an insurance professional, it’s my understanding that insurance companies aren’t required to re-evaluate a policy while it’s still in effect. Each policyholder should contact their agent to determine if they are eligible to realize the savings immediately or if they must wait until their policy renews.” explains Assist. Chief Chris Black, the ISO Project Facilitator.

“We knew it was going to be a huge project for us to tackle with our available resources,” said CVFD Fire Chief Alan Kutak. “But we were able to identify some avenues that we had not pursued in the past.”

“The biggest, single contributing factor to us being able to improve our ISO rating was the community voting to support a property tax in May 1998,” continued Chief Kulak. ‘That provided us with a more reliable and consistent funding source so we could secure loans and rental agreements for the equipment and resources we were going to need. If it hadn’t been for the residents of Crosby and Barrett Station giving us their show of support, we never would have been able to do this.”

“A tremendous thanks to all firefighters who participated in the multiple timed trial evolutions while under the scrutiny of a video camera, repeated the necessary tasks again and again until we felt we couldn’t do it any better, and didn’t complain until after picking up the thousands of feet of large diameter hose that we have tested and laid out in various drills.” added Black.

Assistant Chief Chris Black concluded, “Finally, thank you to the citizens of Crosby and Barrett Station for being patient with us while we worked our way through this endeavor. I know that many of you have been wondering and asking about when their insurance was going down, and I apologize for it taking so long for us to bring this to completion. But, in spite of us working through the surprises that arose during the process, me making multiple changes in the scope and plan, and some uncontrollable delays in the ISO offices, we made it! Congratulations!”