Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fire Chief: Audit Means Savings for OKC Residents

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fire Chief: Audit Means Savings for OKC Residents

Article excerpt

The success of the Oklahoma City Fire Department's recent audit by a major insurance actuarial company will likely mean an insurance policy savings to many residents in the city, Fire Chief Keith Bryant said Tuesday.

"There are several homes and businesses in the area that will see a big benefit from this," Bryant said. "The potential economic impact from some of the surveys we've done and insurance carriers locally is that ... some people could see as much as a 50-percent drop in their insurance rates.

"This is a potentially very good dividend for the investment our citizens have made in public safety over the years," he said.

Insurance Services Office Inc., or ISO, a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics, is a leading provider of underwriting, risk management and legal services in the insurance industry. Insurance Services Office evaluates communities throughout the country on their structure fire suppression capabilities. By means of assessment tools such as Fire Suppression Rating Schedules and comprehensive audits, a community is assigned a Public Protection Class rating, which many insurance companies refer to when drawing up business and homeowners policies.

Attributes that go into a PPC rating range from operational readiness of the staff to the distance between fire hydrants, and the lowest, best ratings are difficult to attain. In the latest assessment, for example, ISO found that the city has dramatically improved its capability to shuttle water to sites where access might not otherwise be available. Insurance Services Office identified Oklahoma City as a state leader in so-called hauled-water operations and among the top 14 in the country.

Of the 47,000 communities ISO rated last year, about 650 were awarded level-2 ratings and about 60 achieved level-1 status on a scale of 1-10. Some insurance companies have discontinued purchasing ISO data to calculate rates and instead focus on actual losses within ZIP codes. …

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