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Fire departments ranking could see insurance rates dip
fire rating pic
Turlock Fire received a higher ranking from an insurance analytics company for its efficiency. - photo by Journal file photo

An improved national insurance ranking for the Turlock Fire Department could mean residents and business owners here in Turlock could see lower premium rates on their future insurance bills.

Insurance Services Office, Inc. recently released classification rankings for fire departments across the United States and the TFD received a higher ranking than any previous year.

The ISO issues classifications on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the best. For a long time the TFD has been at Classification 3, but this year the department was moved up a notch to Classification 2.

“I am really proud of the department on reaching this classification,” said Turlock Fire Chief Tim Lohman. “It’s an impressive accomplishment for the department and the city. Very few departments reach this level.”

Just over 1 percent of fire departments in the United States have a ranking of 2 or better, according to the ISO.

The ISO is the leading supplier of data and analytics for the property and casualty insurance industry. It collects and evaluates information on departments’ structure fire suppression capabilities through the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule and Public Protection Classification survey.

In the ISO’s evaluation they look at a fire department’s equipment, communication system, staffing, training, fire station locations, and the water system, along with the investment the community makes in the fire department.

The classifications could translate in pocketbook savings for the community. Most insurers use classification as a factor in their decision-making process about what coverage plans will be offered and what prices will be charged for personal or community property insurance. A community with a better classification could see lower insurance prices.

The classification for TFD will go into effect May 2.