OFD earns decrease in ISO rating

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2014

The City of Opp and Opp Fire Department received word this week that its Insurance Services Office (ISO) ranking has dropped from a class 5/9 to class 4/4X, a designation that Fire Chief Cory Spurlin says will save residents some money.

“The ISO’s Public Protection Classification plays an important role in the underwriting process for insurance companies,” Spurlin said. “Most insurers use PPC information as part of their decision making when deciding what businesses to write, coverages to offer or prices to change for personal or commercial property insurance.”

Spurlin said the drop from a 5/9 to a 4/4X may look odd on paper, but represents a change in how ISOs are calculated. The bottom line, he said, is the lower the number, the better the rating, and the lower the rating, often times the lower the insurance premiums for local residents.

ISO monitors fire departments’ abilities to respond to emergencies, as well as infrastructure, water departments and many other agencies that factor into an area’s overall safety. ISO then rates the overall safety of an area on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the safest and 10 the most unsafe.

Spurlin said the new ranking is evidence of a job well done by several city and county agencies.

“Of course, it’s not only the fire department,” he said. “The (Opp Utilities) Water Superintendent, Charlie Madden, and of course, because we have some Covington County hydrants, the Covington County Water Authority and Supervisor Randy Ward also deserve credit for helping us get this lower rating.”

Spurlin also thanked his predecessor, former Fire Chief Joel Williams, who retired from his post in 2013.

“All the equipment we have that we use to provide these services and do these jobs is because of what he had done in past years,” Spurlin said. “We owe him a big thank you. He was big player in this.”

Spurlin said the new ISO ranking goes into effect Sept. 1.

“I hope local residents and businesses will start seeing some lower insurance premiums around that time,” he said.