Posts Tagged Insurance Services Office

Orland Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Orland Fire Protection District is in line to receive a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office to take effect Dec. 1,. The district will join a handful of departments and districts in Illinois with this rating.

In setting the Public Protection Classification ratings, the ISO, a unit of Verisk Analytics, examines a fire department’s operations, a community’s or district’s water supply and its emergency communications system. Examination of the department includes areas such as response times, the type and extent of training that personnel received, and the maintenance and testing processes for equipment, and a department’s or district’s fire prevention efforts and public fire safety education.

ISO ranks departments and fire protection districts on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating superior fire prevention and suppression capacity and 10 being the poorest level, and it notes that virtually all property insurers use the Public Protection Classification to calculate premiums.

Just 14 of Illinois’ 2,162 fire departments and districts have a Class 1 rating and nationally, 270 of  47,000 departments.

Orland Fire Chief Michael Schofield said the district achieved a Class 2 rating 25 years ago under then-chief Robert Buhs, who served from 1988 to 2002. 

thanks Dan

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Northbrook Fire Department news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Insurance Services Office has rated the Northbrook Fire Department a Class 1, placing it among the top 243 departments of a total 47,000 nationwide.

It’s been a long road to the honor for the department which was rated at Class 5 at the beginning of 1996. The department jumped to Class 3 that year and to a Class 2 about three years later.

On a 100-point system, the rating awards a possible 50 points for fire operations, 40 for firefighting water availability, and 10 for communications, according to the ISO. Northbrook cleared the 90-point Class 1 hurdle with 91.72.

The rating organization has become more accepting of automatic aid in recent years, recognizing that in dense suburban areas, it makes sense to share resources, said Northbrook Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Quinn.

Northbrook’s response times have been inching up in recent years, Quinn acknowledged, adding that the steady growth of the village and the call load have been responsible. Through the use of full-time and paid-on-call firefighters, automatic aid, and non-automatic mutual aid, Northbrook averages 26 people at every structure fire, he said, compared to the 15 that ISO looks for.

Recognition by ISO that mutual and automatic aid is an efficient way of responding to emergencies may be part of the reason that the number of Class 1 departments has tripled to about a dozen over the past decade. Other towns with the top rating include Skokie, Arlington Heights, Downers Grove, and Westmont.

ISO, which sells its rating information to insurance companies, declined comment about Northbrook’s new rating, and referred questions to Northbrook officials.

Northbrook officials have recommended that property owners ask insurers if they qualify for a discount after July 1, when the new rating takes effect, but ISO ratings are often not considered in Illinois premium rate-setting, especially in residential underwriting

Some insurance companies are on record as preferring to use their own history of fire service to customers, as opposed to ISO’s. Allstate uses ISO, but other factors, too.

The top ISO rating is important to fire service professionals as a gauge of how well a department is doing the business of putting out fires.

Northbrook has kept up with training, equipment, and firefighting techniques as a matter of course, and reaching Class 1 status didn’t cost taxpayers anything extra.

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Arlington Heights Fire Department news

Excerpts from the VAH.com:

Arlington Heights Fire Department Receives Top Rating of ISO Class 1

OCTOBER 5, 2016

The Arlington Heights Fire Department has received the Insurance Services Office (ISO) top rating of Class 1. ISO is the insurance industry’s leading source of information about property/casualty risk. In general, fire insurance premiums are lower for communities with top ISO ratings.

The ISO Class 1 rating has been achieved by less than 200 of 47,000 fire departments nationwide, 1/3 of 1%.

“ we are thrilled to receive this very prestigious rating,” said Fire Chief Ken Koeppen.  “Our firefighters are dedicated, well-trained and committed to being the best.”

In addition to evaluating the fire department’s training, apparatus, and response capabilities, ISO also assesses water supply, dispatch operations, and fire prevention programs.

ISO’s assessment of Northwest Central Dispatch System’s capabilities also contributed to the Class 1 rating.  NWCDS provides emergency dispatching services for the village from its communications center that is considered one of the best in the nation.

The ISO Class 1 rating is a confirmation of the Arlington Heights Fire Department’s dedication to its mission to protect lives and property, and to its motto, “Committed to Excellence.”

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Elgin FD achieves ISO Class 2 rating

Excerpts from KaneCountyConnects.com:

The national Insurance Services Office (ISO) regularly evaluates fire departments and classifies them according to their ability to respond to fires.  The review includes an evaluation of the fire department, code department, dispatch operations and water operations in each community. Each entity receives an individual rating, and then those ratings are considered together to determine the final Public Protection Classification.

“Insurance companies use the ISO classifications to establish premiums for both commercial and residential property policies, with a better rating resulting in a lower insurance rate and cost of insurance,” Fire Chief John Fahy explained.  “Achievement of this improved rating is a tremendous benefit to renters, businesses and property owners.”

This improved classification is the highest rating in the 150-year history of the city and reflects well on the commitment to the department’s core values of a safe community. For the previous 20 years, Elgin received an ISO Class 3 ranking on the 1-10 scale, with Class 1 being the best rating.

About the Elgin Fire Department

  • The Elgin Fire Department has 133 sworn firefighters who provide a full range of coverage to 38.8 square miles and service a population of over 108,000 people.
  • The coverage area includes the historic downtown area, two major medical facilities, two college campuses, multiple industrial and office parks, Illinois largest gaming facility, a growing commercial segment, as well as single and multi-family homes.
  • Services are also provided along main transportation routes that include sections of Interstate 90, routes 20, 31 and 25, the Randall Road corridor, the Northwest METRA rail line, and two major freight lines.

thanks Dan

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St Charles FD receives ISO Class 1 rating

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The City of St. Charles has been awarded a Class 1 rating for fire protection from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), designating St. Charles as one of only 99 cities out of 45,000 surveyed in the United States to earn the elite ISO Class 1 status. This ranking could translate into lower fire insurance rates for St. Charles residents and businesses.

The St. Charles Fire Department is one of only 23 fire departments in the country to hold both the ISO Class 1 rating and International Accreditation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

ISO’s Public Protection Classification ratings are utilized to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties. The program provides an objective countrywide standard that helps fire departments plan and budget for facilities, equipment and training. ISO’s evaluation program includes 10 classifications, with 1 being the highest and 10 being the lowest.

The City of St. Charles scored 93.81 points out of 105.5 possible points during an ISO audit in January of this year. The rating is based upon a comprehensive review of fire department capabilities and efforts (50 percent), the water supply system (40 percent) and the emergency communications system (10 percent).

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Barrington touts ISO upgrade after split

The Daily Herald has an article

An imminent upgrade of Barrington’s fire insurance rating is being hailed by village officials as validation of their fire department’s realignment after the Jan. 1 split from the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.

Effective Aug. 1, the Insurance Services Office will upgrade the village’s public protection classification from a 4 to a 2 — putting it in the top 1.5 percent of all fire departments in the U.S., according to the village

While it’s less likely the improved rating will make an impact on homeowners’ insurance rates, Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie is encouraging commercial property owners to tell their insurance agents of the change. The Insurance Services Office’s classifications are based 50 percent on the resources of the local fire department, 40 percent on access to water and 10 percent on communications, Arie said.

Prior to Jan. 1, the village’s fire department provided services for properties within the fire protection district, which covers 48 square miles in parts of Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, Inverness and unincorporated Cook, Lake and McHenry counties. With the split, the fire protection district formed its own department to serve those areas.

As a result, Barrington’s fire department no longer covers large areas outside the village that don’t have fire hydrants.

Barrington officials say the upgraded rating also attests to the reconfigured fire department’s ability to do its job competently.

thanks Dan

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