An insurance rating for the Cortez Fire Protection District has improved, and homeowners might see more affordable insurance rates as a result.
The fire district’s public protection classification rating improved from a four to a three out of 10, Fire Chief Jeff Vandevoorde said.
“I thought we’d do better, and we did,” Vandevoorde said. “I was really happy to lower that.”
A lower rating is an improvement for the classification, which is administered by New Jersey-based Insurance Services Office, an independent risk assessment firm not associated with insurance companies.
The rating considers response times for fire crews and proximity of homes to fire stations and hydrants, Vandevoorde said. Training, equipment and staffing hours also can lower a department’s rating, he said.
Cortez Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Karen Delay said the new rating will help improve insurance rates for some homeowners.
Those outside a 5-mile radius from a fire station likely won’t see lower rates, she said. Rates for homeowners in forested areas, such as the Summit Ridge subdivision, probably won’t be lowered, either, she said.
Other homeowners could see a small rate improvement, Delay said. For people who have their homes mortgaged in escrow, their house payment could go down, since insurance is included in that payment, she said.
“Every little bit helps,” Delay said.
Even though the fire district is building a new fire station soon, Vandevoorde said that didn’t have an affect on the new rating, and probably wouldn’t affect future ratings, either. The new station will be in the same location as the current station, and the chief anticipates the same number of crew members and hours worked at the new station, he said.