ALACHUA COUNTY, FL – The owners of thousands of Alachua County properties (improved parcels) may soon see a reduction in their fire insurance rates thanks to an Alternative Water Supply Certification achieved by Alachua County Fire Rescue. This new certification went into effect on October 1, 2015.
The Insurance Service Organization (ISO) is a nationwide private company that provides analytical data and a nationally recognized standard rating system to evaluate the firefighting capabilities of communities. This rating system is called the Public Protection Classification (PPC) assigning a class from 1 to 10, with Class 1 representing the best public protection and Class 10 indicating no recognized protection. The PPC number is used to help establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties. Every four years, fire service organizations throughout the United States are reviewed in a wide range of topics. This determines the appropriate protection class rating for insurance companies in the local area.
Two of the most important factors in determining a properties PPC classification are the driving distance to the closest fire station and the closest fire hydrant. The best rates are given to those properties within five driving miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. For those areas without the advantage of municipal piped water systems, ISO will credit the higher delivery rate to departments that can demonstrate hauled-water operations in the form of an “Alternate Water Delivery Certification.”
To achieve the Alternative Water Delivery Certification, Alachua County Fire Rescue had to demonstrate the ability to begin delivery of a minimum of 250 gallons of water per minute within five minutes of the arrival of the initial apparatus, and maintaining the flow for no less than two hours anywhere within five miles of a County fire station.
The portion of Alachua County that is serviced by Alachua County Fire Rescue has received a PPC of 3. Previously, portions of this area received a PPC of 3X which usually translates into significantly higher insurance premiums. This certification will effectively remove the requirement to live within a 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant for the parcel owners to receive the best rating for fire insurance. Each insurance company, not ISO, incorporates the PPC information differently to establish the premiums they charge policyholders.
After October 1, 2015, Alachua County Residents who have insurance on an improved parcel in the area within five miles of an Alachua County Fire Rescue fire suppression station, but outside the area serviced by fire hydrants should check with their personal insurance carrier to see what this certification will mean for their insurance rates.
For more information, visit the Alachua County Fire Rescue website or call 352-384-3101.