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Fire rating may lower insurance in Hall County

POSTED: July 15, 2014 12:18 a.m.

An improved insurance rating for Hall County Fire Services could spell financial relief for some residents, according to county officials.

The Insurance Services Office has bumped up Hall County’s rating to Class 3 following a review of fire department resources, water department operations, emergency communications systems and prevention initiatives. Class 1 designation is the highest rating that can be obtained.

Scores in every category improved since the last review was completed in 2005.

The latest rating places the county fire services within the top tier of departments in the state and nationwide. Hall County outperforms nearly 45,000 other fire departments across the United States, according to a report by the fire department.

The Class 3 designation, which applies to departments that have stations with a five-mile service radius of homes and residences, as well as hydrants within 1,000 feet, officially takes effect in October.

About 46,000 residences are served by these fire stations, and Fire Chief David Kimbrell said these homeowners could see their insurance premiums drop.

“If residents are unsure they can call our office or their insurance agent to request an update of their rating,” he added.

Kimbrell estimates total savings of nearly $2.8 million for impacted residents.

Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs said the improved rating shows tax dollars can help reduce the expenses of county residents, adding there is a “direct correlation between your premiums and your risk.”

Kimbrell said the fire department can improve its rating even more through an upgrade of the 911 system and expansion of fire stations.

Funding for these upgrades could come from SPLOST VII if county voters approve extending the 1 percent sales tax for capital projects next spring.

The county has identified about $12 million in revenue from SPLOST for the new communications system, and Kimbrell is seeking about $20 million in funding for new fire stations, trucks and additional resources.


ThatIsLife: July 15, 2014 7:49 a.m.

Mr. Gibbs did this save premium dollars for all of us on our insurance rates? The answer is "no" but yet you see fit to make all of us pay for the new fire station so a select few can lower their protection class from a 10 non protected. People who knowingly build expensive homes in non protected areas should not expect the rest of us to then chip in to pay for them a new fire station/truck.

Sneezy: July 15, 2014 5:55 p.m.

Really the answer yes..... If you live within 5 miles of fire station and 1000 feet of a fire hydrant. You will go from a class 4 to a class 3. Yes it works for us all. I bet you benefited from the lower ISO classification or will you give your savings back to the insurance company? I bet you will keep it. I personally am going to save 60 bucks on mine....I checked with state farm who is my carrier. I live no where near the lake. So you see the lower the classification the more we homeowners save on our insurance premium's. We all pay the fire tax which is the best investment we can have. Fire stations help us all and put money back into our pockets. You got to quit playing politics and look at the big picture. Remember when we were a class 7. My rates were very high. The fire tax is really the only tax that gives back...if you can see through the politics. Way to go Fire department. By the way the stations were built by SPLOST dollars so even the visitors and non property tax paying folks paid for them.

Sneezy: July 15, 2014 6:06 p.m.

And by the way if you built or bought a house in an area where there is no fire hydrants or 5 miles from a fire station you are in the same fix as the folks you are complaining about. Using you philosophy the fire department should just do nothing to improve coverage.

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