Fire Protection

Fire insurance is one of the most basic of coverages. The fire protection of your location will affect your rate and help determine the premium you will pay.

For your personal property policy whether it be your home or rented dwelling there will be rates for people who live in a town that has fire hydrants. Next comes rates for those who live in a town that has a fire hall. If you live in the community with a hydrant within 100 metres then you will pay considerably less for the same coverage then someone living 15 km out of town.

Business insurance will look at other factors in regards to your rating for fire insurance. Fire protection includes alarm systems, type and number of extinguishers and possibly an indoor sprinkler system.

Each community has a grading assigned. The Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) gradings are given to communities that have organized public fire protection. The grade is based on the fire protection's ability to extinguish and control fires. The FUS grading system is administered by the CGI Insurance Business Services. Each community is evaluated on the physical fire defense systems.

One part is the Dwelling Protection Grade (DPG). This measures the ability of a community to handle fires in small buildings such as homes. The fire apparatus, response distances, whether firefighters are professional or volunteer, water supply and the way alarms are dispatched is part of determining the grade.

Another part is the Public Fire Protection Classification (PFPC) is also known as the town grade. This is a grading on the ability to fight major fires that could be expected to occur in industrial institutional, multi-family residential and commercial properties. This is done by a review of all facets of a town's fire defenses. This could include the administration of the fire department and its operations, the water supply system, communications network and the fire safety inspection programs.

The FUS is only one of several factors used by the insurance company to determine fire insurance rates. The PFPC is also used to determine the capacity of an insurance company in a given area. If the insurance company feels that they have a lot of insurance in that area and a potential loss would be significant then they may back away from doing more business in that given area. This is called to choose whether or not they will indemnify the risk. It is interesting to note that the past fire claims are not considered. What is looked at is the resources available to control fires. This is based on the community's structural conditions.

What can you do? You can actually help improve the rates by supporting your local fire department. Encourage fire safety and expert training in your town.