What is a Fire Protection Class?

One of the most important things when underwriting a home for Homeowners Insurance is the Fire Protection Class.  The fire protection class is a score that ranks from 1 to 10, with one. being the safest number and ten being the highest risk.  The Fire protection class is an ISO product.   This score is extremely important when determining the overall costs for home insurance, especially in California.

Fire Protection Class

How long will it take the fire department to get here?

What is the Fire Protection Class/ Public Protection Class (PPC)?:

“ISO collects information on municipal fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States….ISO analyzes the relevant data using our Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS).” (ISO) ” then assign(s) a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10.” Class 1 is considered the best and Class 10 ” indicates that the area’s fire-suppression program doesn’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.”  Source: ISO Fire Protection

IRMI states that there are three main factors in determining the Protection Score:

1. The Quality of the Fire Department: “this includes its equipment (e.g., ladders, fire trucks), staffing (i.e., paid or volunteer), training, and geographic distribution of firefighting companies…”  This is the most important factor.

2. The Water Supply System: “this includes the condition, distribution, inspection, and maintenance of fire hydrants and a comparison of the available water to the amount needed to extinguish a fire…” This is the second most important factor.

3.  Communications and Fire Alarm: “this includes telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing of these systems, and the quality of the dispatching system…”

Source: IRMI Protection Class

Do All Insurance Companies use the Fire Protection Class system?:

In my experience, almost all the home insurers that I have worked with use some version of this system.   Obviously I cannot universally answer this question for everyone.

How does the PPC affect my Insurance Rates?:

Insurance companies pull a report that lists the ranking of your home / neighborhood and uses this information to calculate an estimated premium when you are shopping or when calculating your renewal premium.

How does the Fire Protection Class work within Marin County?:
This ranking is especially important within Marin County for all sorts of reasons, but especially since the danger of wildfire is almost always a consideration.  One thing to note: The Fire Protection Class is distinct and different from a brushfire score.   What is a brushfire score?  Please read a future post.

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Fire Protection Class and Marin

Insurance Agent Scott W Johnson

Scott W Johnson