Homeowner's insurance and protection class ratings

Reported by Casey Roman - blog|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Though homeowner's insurance rates have been increasing in the area, some rates are getting better thanks to some firefighters.

Your address determines what fire district you live in, and each district is rated by the state on a scale of 1-10.  The rate effect show much you pay for homeowner's insurance.

It could be in your best interest to check up on your protection class.

"I never really considered how much it would affect my insurance rate," said Crestwood homeowner Al Meadowcroft.

Meadowcroft was paying over $1,200 a year for homeowner's insurance.  When his street got a new fire hydrant, his district got a lower class rating that lowered his bill.

"I was happy when I saw it go in down the street and even happier when I got the letter a little while later and found out how much it would save me," said Meadowcroft.

Meadowcroft received a letter came from the fire department, but typically its your insurance agent who should tell you your protection class.  For some people, years of not being notified turned into years worth of rebates.

Wilmington insurance agent Robert McIver keeps an eye on the fire classes and said he has seen a lot of good changes over the past five years.

"They'll call up and say, well I've gotten this sizeable credit, what's going on, I don't usually get money back," said McIver.

Brunswick County Fire Marshall Scott Garner said new ratings and savings are coming to many areas.

"We have a lot of departments who have been a straight nine that now have ratings of 5,6 or 7 because they're getting the equipment, man power and training," said Garner.

Fire officials are taking note of how the state is gauging their stations and your rates.

Out of an 100 point rating:

  • 10% comes from the 911 center which answers your call
  • 50% comes from your district's fire station
  • 40% is from water supply - the distance between your home and the hydrant

Fire officials say their crews work hard to respond to every emergency, everywhere, regardless the state's rating.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.