The Leander Fire Department received the second highest rating for public protection classification last week from the Insurance Service Office. Because of that, Leander citizens may see a decrease in home insurance premiums.
Leander Fire earned a score of 87.98, and was classified as a rank 2 fire department by the Insurance Service Office. Only 1.1 percent of all fire departments across the U.S. have received a 2 classification or higher, while only 4 percent of fire departments in Texas have earned a score in those categories.
Because of the high ratings, and depending on the insurance company, the improved score could mean as much as a $60 savings per year on a Leander homeowner’s premium and $400 per year for a commercial business, officials said.
“Our improved insurance rating is one of many accomplishments that allow us to provide more comprehensive and effective fire protection services for Leander citizens," said Leander Fire Chief Bill Gardner.
The Insurance Service Office (ISO) appropriates fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties through the Public Protection Classification (PPC) program. The score is tabulated based on a variety of things including emergency communications, water supply, training and risk reduction.
“Insurance companies need reliable, up-to-date information about a community's fire protection services, and ISO provides that information through the Public Protection Classification program,” said Mike Neu, City of Leander spokesperson.
Leander Fire has continued to improve their PPC classification from a 6 in 1999, to a 3 in 2012 and a 2, effective the start of next year.
Going forward, Leander Fire aims to push for a top classification rating with plans to upgrade their phone system, build two more fire stations by 2020, acquire more fleet and hire more staff, according to a press release.
"The growth projections for Leander are strong, and we believe a successful fire department is essential to making this a truly viable city,” Gardner said.