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King George improved ISO ratings effective March 1

The King George Board of Supervisors heard a report from an Insurance Services Office (ISO) representative on Feb.18, who provided information about the results of the rating process for the county that was performed over a 10-month period last year.


The county’s ISO ratings were improved in all three areas surveyed. The higher ISO ratings went into effect on March 1.

King George Fire & Rescue Chief David Moody introduced Phillip Leitma, Senior Field Representative from Verisk Analytics for ISO.

ISO performs surveys in the county about every ten years that can be used by insurance companies when setting premiums charged on home and business insurance policies. ISO ratings are often used by insurance companies as a factor when determining property and casualty insurance risk.

Leitma told Supervisors, “There’s been a significant change in the fire insurance classification for the county.” He added, “The county is to be commended for the hard work through the fire department, the water department, and emergency communications. This is good news.

There are a lot of communities where they go backwards and get a worse classification or stay the same. But here in King George, it actually improved its insurance rating.”

Supervisors had received copies of the ISO reports in December from county administrator Travis Quesenberry during a board meeting on Dec. 3. The reports are lengthy and the rating schedule is complex.

The reports also note that the way an insurance company uses ISO’s information may also depend on other considerations, such as its fire-loss experience, ratemaking methodology, underwriting guidelines and marketing strategies.

 

CLASSIFICATION PROCESS
During ISO field surveys conducted in localities, ISO objectively evaluates four major areas. They are emergency communications systems, fire department, water supply, and community risk reduction.

After completing the field survey, ISO analyzes the data and calculates a Public Protection Classification.
ISO ratings are based on a scale of 1 through 10, with 1 being the best and 10 the worst rating.

FIRE DEPARTMENT SUPPLY (FDS)
The Fire Department Supply report has to do with fire suppression delivery systems for structures within five road-miles of a fire station.

The county’s rating went from a ‘9’ to a ‘6’.

That means that insurance companies that use the ISO ratings may use the rating when determining the premiums they charge customers whose houses and other structures are within five miles of a fire station. However, ratings for homes and other structures farther than five miles from a fire station would be rated a 10. Fire stations located outside of the county operated by adjacent localities also count for individual homes and businesses within five miles of them.

FIRE PROTECTION SERVICE AREA (FPSA)
The Fire Protection Service Area report has to do with fire suppression capabilities for structures within five road-miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant.

The latest ISO report in this regard indicates that the county’s new rating will be a ‘5’ compared to its last rating by ISO in 2002, which was a ‘6’.

The King George County Department of Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services is a combination volunteer and paid department which has three locations in the county.

Company 1 is located on Route 3 (Kings Hwy) next door to the Citizens Center and across the street from the Food Lion Shopping Center.

Company 2 is the Dahlgren Fire/Rescue station located in Dahlgren on Dahlgren Road. Company 3 is the Fairview Beach Fire/Rescue station located in Fairview Beach.

BUILDING CODE EFFECTIVENESS RATING SCHEDULE (BCERS)
ISO’s Building Code Effectiveness Rating schedule indicates the county’s classification is a ‘3’ for one- and two-family residential properties and also a ‘3’ for commercial and industrial property.

Quesenberry noted that the county’s effectiveness had improved from a ‘4’ in this category from ISO’s 2002 report.
According to ISO’s website, its Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule assesses the building codes in effect in a particular community and how the community enforces its building codes, with emphasis on the mitigation of losses from natural hazards.

Municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes are expected to have better loss experience due to such things as high wind events and earthquakes that can be reflected in lower insurance rates, depending on the insurance company’s use of the data.

for more information, please see this article: IMPROVEMENTS SINCE PREVIOUS ISO SURVEY

Phyllis Cook

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