Several Louisiana Fire Districts Improve Ratings

June 28, 2012

Homeowners in Gross Tete and Rosedale, La., can expect to see a dramatic drop in their fire insurance rates.

Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon tells The Advocate the rate decreases, effective July 9, have been made possible because of fire protection service improvements in Fire District 5 in Gross Tete and Fire District 4 in Rosedale.

Areas within both districts had been graded either a Class 9 or a Class 10. Gross Tete’s district grading jumped to Class 6 while Rosedale improved to a Class 5, Donelon said.

The Property Insurance Association of Louisiana grades fire districts on a 1 to 10 – with 1 being the best.

PIAL surveys a fire district’s protection services to determine a grade based on such factors as number of firefighters, type of training they’ve received, number of fire stations and fire trucks in an area and the availability of water.

Mike Hughes, fire chief for Gross Tete and Rosedale, said the departments spent two years working on the improvements to the fire districts’ grades.

“A lot of things went into it,” he said. “We had to come up with prep-plans on all our buildings, we had to get enough equipment to cover our areas. It was a lot of record keeping. If we had more water flow it would have been better.”

Hughes said about 25 volunteer firefighters serve both districts.

Donelon said insurance premium reductions will vary depending on property value, where their property is located within a fire district and the rate schedule of a homeowner’s insurer.

The savings could amount to several hundred dollars a year for some homeowners, according to information provided by Donelon.

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