Denise Johnson: My Homeowners Policy is 4X's higher than last ye - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Denise Johnson: My Homeowners Policy is 4X's higher than last year


You can imagine my shock when I opened the bill for my Homeowners Policy and it was four times higher than last year. 

The balance due was $2,100, but last year I paid $538 dollars. I had no claims on the homeowners policy, so why the change?    

I immediately called the insurance company and explained that there must be a mistake on my bill.

I explained that the house is a two bedroom, one bath with no basement and that I renovated last year out of foreclosure. The insurance company couldn’t explain why at the time, but said it had something to do with the fire department and its location.

After researching online on here’s what I found out.

Apparently, there is something called an ISO Rating and a Fire Service ISO.  The  Insurance Service Office is an organization that provides statistical  data on risk for insurance companies. 

The fire departments are rated from 1 to 10, 1 being good to 10 being the worst. They ratings are based on the quality of the fire department and how many miles away from your home it is located. 

Factors considered are if the department is full time or volunteer staffed and the location of fire hydrants in your area. 

Your insurance company uses the ISO rating for your local fire department to calculate the risk of loss on your home. Apparently, the fire departments are rated every couple of years and this makes a huge difference in the amount you have to pay.

I found out that  the Warsaw Fire Department is 8.7 miles from my home and there are not many fire hydrants  on the on rural roads in the area. 

I spoke with Captain Boots of the Warsaw Fire Department and he informed me that they are a Volunteer Fire Department and have an ISO Rating of 9. 

I am thinking that I need to put a sprinkler system in to my little house, it sounds like the odds are against me.

I did find out that not all insurance companies, such as State Farm, use ISO ratings but instead rely on their own data to calculate fire risk. I called State Farm and will be able to SAVE $1,100 dollars a year.
Food for thought, if you are looking for a home one more factor you might really consider is checking the ISO rating on the local fire department. 

It could save you thousands of dollars a year.

Take it from me, I learned the hard way.

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