The Storey County Fire Department’s administrative organization was created to maximize the effectiveness of the emergency response capabilities throughout the County, with the goal of serving and protecting our residents and visitors. Therefore, your emergency services team ultimately reports to the residents of Storey County—whom we exist to protect their livelihood, families, pets, properties, homes and businesses.
ISO Public Protection Classification Results
ISO Survey Results Improve Fire Insurance Rating
By Gary Hames, Fire Chief
The ISO re-survey project has been a long and difficult process taking more than three years to prepare for with hundreds, if not thousands of hours of time committed to researching, preparing and completing internal audits. But, we are finally proud to announce the results of the Insurance Service Organization most recent fire department evaluation and rating schedule.
The Insurance Service Organization is an independent company that evaluates a community (or in our case the entire County) fire department to establish a nationally recognized insurance rating. These ratings range from a Class 1 being the best - to a Class 10 being the worst. Insurance companies use this rating, in large part, to establish your residential and commercial fire insurance premiums.
Our new rating will be effective July 1, 2007. Virginia City and Gold Hill have enjoyed being rated at a Class 3 since the last survey conducted in 1997. During the 1997 rating we improved from a Class 6 down to a Class 3. The remainder of the County has been rated at a Class 8 since 1995 when these areas were controlled by the Nevada Division of Forestry. In 2000 and 2001 the Storey County Fire Department took responsibility for all structural fire services from the Nevada Division of Forestry. Since then we have been working extremely hard on our number one priority of lowering costs to our customers through a direct reduction of their homeowners fire insurance premiums. At this time, we are ecstatic to announce that Virginia City and Gold Hill will remain a Class 3 and will retain that rating for another 15 years (until the next survey). The big news though is that the ENTIRE COUNTY (within 5 road miles of a fire station) is now rated at a Class 3. This includes the Painted Rock area even though they are outside of five road miles from a Storey County Fire Station; we have automatic aid with the City of Reno, Wadsworth Volunteer Fire Department, which is recognized as being within the five road mile distance.
Listed below is a general overview to serve as a comparison with other city and county departments:
Carson City Fire Department is a Class 3
East Fork Fire and Paramedic District is a Class 3
Sparks Fire Department is a Class 3
Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District is a Class 4
North Lyon County (Fernley) is a Class 4
Reno Fire Department/Washoe County is a Class 4 with hydrants and 8 without hydrants.
So as you can see we are in great company with a rating of Class 3!
So what does this mean to you our customers? In a survey taken by Churchill/Fallon Fire Department, as copied from their web site, their findings are significant. These break out as follows:
Based on a $100,000 dollar home, rated at a Class 8, the annual premium through All State is $354; the same home at a Class 3 would be reduced to $293 for an annual savings of $61.00. Amortized over 15 years the savings will be $915.00 to each homeowner.
The next survey was taken from Independent Insurance, which at a Class 8, the annual premium would be $520.00, that same home at a Class 3 will be reduced to $401.00, for an annual savings of $119.00. Amortized over 15 years the savings will be $1,785.00 to each homeowner.
The next survey was taken from Metropolitan Insurance, which at a Class 8, the annual premium would be $766.00, that same home at a Class 3 will be reduced to $370.00, for an annual savings of $396.00. Amortized over 15 years the savings will be $5,940.00 to each homeowner.
Assuming an approximate number of 1,500 homes that this rating directly affects the lowest savings amount will be approximately $61.00 per month. This number times the total homes affected is $91,500 per year, over fifteen years, equals a savings of $1,372,500 throughout the County.
Using this same model from the highest quote and savings of $396.00 per year, times the 1,500 homes, is $594,000 per year, over the duration of the fifteen year rating, will save $8,910,000 to our customers!
The important section of this comparison is that it is based upon a $100,000 home. So the savings will be higher if your home is valued at more than the $100,000 used in this scenario.
In closing we would like to thank our Board of Commissioners and our customers for strongly supporting our department and enabling us to accomplish this task. There are many others to thank outside of our department which include former Public Works Director Richard Bacus, new Public Works Director Mike Nevin, County Manager Pat Whitten, Highlands Property Owners Associations, Communications Director Dave Ballard, numerous private companies for donating the below ground water storage tanks in the Highlands and others to numerous to list out in this press release. As the Fire Chief, I want to personally thank each one of our team members for the countless hours committed both on and off duty to accomplish this common goal!