Have you ever wondered about some of the terms your insurance agent uses to describe the location of your insured property?  What exactly goes into developing the insurance premiums that you pay?  It’s not like you can see, touch, or taste insurance coverage, but it’s something that you should have, even if it’s just so you can sleep well at night knowing you’re protected!

There are many factors that go into determining how much it will cost to cover your business in the event of a fire loss. These include limits, the age of the building, square footage, type of construction, etc. Another factor is your community’s Public Protection Classification (PPC).

The International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) website defines a Public Protection Classification program as the “rating system with a range from 1 (best) to 10 (worst) that numerically ranks a community’s municipal fire protection system.” The lower your number, the lower your insurance premiums might be.  Your community’s Public Protection class is determined by the following:

  1. Emergency communication systems (fire reporting, dispatch of fire departments, training, etc.).
  2. The age of your fire department, the type of firefighting equipment, and geographic deployment of fire companies.
  3. Your water supply needed to suppress fires.
  4. Your community efforts to reduce the risk of fire (fire prevention, safety, education and investigative programs).

If your Public Protection class is not high enough to help reduce your premiums, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and possibly receive credits on your policy:

  • Make sure your smoke detectors are in working order.
  • Make sure you have working fire extinguishers.
  • Have a central station alarm installed with fire monitoring or at least a local alarm.
  • Consider investing in a portable fire pump. If you are in a community with a grading of 10 which includes water flow issues, find out where the nearest body of water is such as a pond or lake in the event of an emergency.

For more information about Public Protection classifications visit the Insurance Services Office (ISO) website.

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