The Rochester Hills Fire Department has received an improved insurance classification from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), a leading independent source of information about property/casualty insurance risk.
The ISO's Public Protection Classification (PPC) program helps to establish fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial properties by analyzing relevant fire suppression capabilities within communities.
The city joins seven other Michigan cities with a class two rating, which may lower insurance rates for residential and commercial property owners. Insurance policy holders can contact their provider to determine how the new classification may effect premiums. The new rating takes effect on July 1, 2018. The city previously held a class four rating, awarded in 2011.
The improved classification comes on the heels of a significant investment in the city's fire stations, equipment, staff and training. A charter amendment passed in 2104, along with strategic budgeting practices, funded and increased staffing, apparatus and upgrades to each of the city's five fire stations over the past several years. Station number four, on Walton Boulevard, is the final station to benefit from an update, with renovations expected to be completed this fall.
"This is a tremendous achievement for our city," said Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett. "Only 45 percent of communities in the state and fewer than five percent of communities nationwide have received this classification. I'm incredibly proud of the accomplishments of Chief Sean Canto and his staff, and the priority our city council has placed on fire and emergency services.
"The improved rating not only speaks to the city's ability to suppress fires, it has a tangible benefit for Rochester Hills residents and business owners. Effective July 1, 2018, they all have the opportunity to reduce their insurance premiums."
According to the ISO, a community's investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. The analysis is based on a combination of a department's first alarm responses, including factors like personnel, apparatus and training, the water supply system, emergency communications capabilities and other factors.
"We're committed to continuous improvement and building the best department in our region and beyond," Canto said. "This new classification proves that we are moving in the right direction. I'm thrilled with the commitment and progress of this team."