Rice Department Improves Rating

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PRINCE EDWARD — Getting reclassified can be a good thing.

A very good thing.

Effective February 1, homeowners in the Rice community may be eligible for a break on their homeowner’s insurance. Rice’s Volunteer Fire Department has been hard at work.

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“It took us practically two-and-a-half years to get this completed with a estimated cost of approximately $7,000 to bring everything up to date,” cited Rice Volunteer Fire Department President Andy Ellington.

It’s money that could have, of course, been used for equipment.

“The insurance company, the ISO…require so much equipment per apparatus that we own,” Ellington explained, “such as ladders, air packs, tools, etcetera. All the hoses and pumps have to be tested yearly. You have to prove your training records—so much training per year.”

A fire department’s ability to effectively fight fires is factored into the cost of a homeowner’s insurance. ISO, Insurance Services Office, provides a Public Protection Classification for fire response jurisdictions, which are then used by insurance providers to calculate premiums on home insurance.

And Rice’s department’s work has improved their rating, which would mean lower insurance premiums for those located within a specific mileage radius of the department.

Ellington said it was a “huge accomplishment that we as a department are very proud of.”

He said they are encouraging those from the Lockett District to reach out to their insurance companies and advise them of the new rating and acquire a new homeowners insurance estimate.

“I kept getting requests from local insurance agents who were quoting insurance quotes for residents and they were wondering why they were so much higher. And the reason was because we were rated a nine and if we could get it reduced to the 8B status, that was (going to) be the significant savings. If they could save their clients—and us as a fire department—it was a way that we could contribute back to the community as well,” Ellington said.

The department has 29 active members with many young firefighters.