Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale announced that the
Mississippi State Rating Bureau has upgraded the public fire protection facilities of the East Hancock Fire Protection District in Hancock County. The fire prevention and protection facilities of the East Hancock Fire Protection District have been upgraded to a Class 8 fire insurance classification.
“Upgraded fire classifications mean better quality fire protection in that fire district, as well as lower premiums for the homeowners living there,” Dale said. Individual property fire rates are also determined by
such factors as specific construction, occupancy, private protection, and exposure from adjacent buildings.
Since 1988, Dale and the Mississippi Department of Insurance (MDOI) have focused on improving fire protection statewide by expanding the number of rural fire departments and enhancing their capabilities.
There are now 210 rated fire districts in Mississippi. The number of fire
departments has increased from 350 in 1988 to 765 today, while the number of firefighters statewide has increased from 5,000 in 1988 to 15,000 in 2002.
Since 1995, the Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program
(RFTAAP) has distributed nearly $17 million in state funds towards the purchase of 341 new fire trucks by cities and counties whose fire departments primarily serve rural and suburban areas. One in three Mississippians now receive protection from a fire department that has purchased one or more trucks through RFTAAP.
Working with local governments, MDOI has provided fire ground training and administrative know-how along with seed monies to improve the quality of fire protection services statewide. The net result of these efforts: 1.3 million Mississippians have reportedly improved their insurance class since 1995.
“The state’s $17 million public investment easily generates more than that amount in savings to homeowners on their insurance premiums each year,” Dale added.
An improvement in district rating from a Class 10 to a Class 9 can reportedly lead to as much as a 24 percent reduction in homeowners insurance premium, while an upgrade to a Class 8 can add an additional 20 percent savings.
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