Tyler's public protection classification rating improves - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tyler's public protection classification rating improves

Released by the City of Tyler:

The City of Tyler Fire Department announced today that they have received notification from the Texas Department of Insurance, State Fire Marshal's Office of a change in the Public Protection Classification (PPC) for the City of Tyler.  The current classification for Tyler is a Class 3.  The recommended change will improve Tyler to a Class 2/10 effective July 1, 2010. Because of the better rating, local fire insurance rates could be driven down as much as 8.1 percent and save residents a combined total of more than $2 million annually.

"The City is elated with the result of the ISO evaluation," said Mayor Barbara Bass.  "With the implementation of the six year service plan that included the addition of a new fire station this year, new fire trucks and the relocation of another station, we felt that the timing was right to request a reevaluation of our rating.  With many of our citizens struggling to make ends meet, this extra savings on their home owner's insurance is wonderful news."

The change is due to a recommendation from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) after a review of Tyler on Aug. 6, 2009.  ISO is the leading supplier of statistical, underwriting and actuarial information for the property/casualty insurance industry.  The ISO process measures the major elements of a community's fire-suppression system and develops a numerical grading called a Public Protection Classification (PPC).  Elements evaluated include:

  • Fire alarms and communications - Ten percent of the overall grading are based on how well the fire department receives fire alarms and dispatches its fire-fighting resources.
  • Engine companies - Fifty percent of the overall grading is based on the number and distribution of engine companies as well as manpower, training and equipment condition. 
  • Water supply - Forty percent of the grading is based on the community's water supply. This part of the survey focuses on whether the community has sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption as well as hydrant assessment.

The new rating for Tyler means that all structures currently in the City of Tyler will have a PPC rating of 2.  Certain unimproved properties in the City will have a PPC rating of 10.

"The largest single cause of property loss in the United States is fire and a community's investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predicator of future fire losses," said Fire Chief Neal Franklin.   "Most insurance companies use this information to help establish premiums for fire insurance and generally offer lower premiums in communities with a better rating."

The City of Tyler Fire Department requested the ISO field review after making several improvements to the system since the City's last rating inspection in August, 1996.  Recent changes include:

  • Reorganization of Fire Department staffing to allow for the establishment of two truck companies;
  • The addition of six new firefighter positions;
  • Construction of the new fire station number 10;
  • Relocation of fire station number 7;
  • The pending relocation and reconstruction of fire station number 5; and,
  • The purchase of eight new fire engines.

"The new PPC rating will take effect on July 1, 2010.  This does not mean that you will see the reduction in your rates immediately upon the effective date.  It is our understanding that most insurance companies will apply the new PPC rating as individual policies are renewed," added Franklin.

Tyler currently has approximately 26,517 single family dwellings and the average homeowner's insurance premium is $1,094 per year.  The credit for having a class 2 rating is estimated to be 8.1 percent which would result in an estimated savings of $2.3 million annually for residential properties.

ISO reports that only 4.36 percent of rated municipalities from across the state score well enough to attain a public protection classification of 2.   Additionally, a mere 1 percent of cities in the nation achieved this rating.

"This new rating is further evidence and confirmation that Tyler is in an elite class when it comes to City services," added Mayor Bass.  "Methodical implementation of good planning efforts has once again benefited our community and citizenry – this time in the form of excellent fire protection and lower costs to residents."

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