Press Release: Fire Dept. Earns Rating That Could Cut Your Insurance Premiums

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chief Ron Moellenberg
512- 251-2801 • rmoellenberg@pflugervillefire.org

FIRE DEPT. EARNS RATING THAT COULD CUT YOUR INSURANCE PREMIUMS

PFLUGERVILLE – Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2 (The Pflugerville Fire Department) has achieved the highest safety rating a fire department can get, and that may mean lower homeowner insurance premiums for many residents.

           An independent rating agency — the Insurance Services Office (ISO) — determines how safe an area is. Many insurance companies use the ISO rating to set the cost of premiums. Even companies that don’t officially use ISO’s rating system may still informally factor it in when they set their rates.

           The lower the ISO rating, the safer an area is deemed to be and the lower the risk for insurers. The lower the rating, the lower the insurance premiums may be.

           The Texas Department of Insurance has notified ESD 2 that it agrees with the improved rating.

           By earning a “Class 1” rating for properties within five miles of a fire station and 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant, the Pflugerville Fire Department joins an elite group of departments in the U.S.

           According to recent figures, of more than 39,000 community emergency services providers in the nation, only 393 attained the Class 1 designation.

           In Texas, where there are almost 1,900 fire departments, only about 80 have earned the Class 1 rating. ESD 2 is the only fire department in Travis County, with the exception of the Austin Fire Department, to hold the Class 1 rating.

           “ESD 2 is constantly trying to find ways to cut insurance costs for taxpayers in the District,” said Fire Chief Ron Moellenberg. “Our men and women have worked long and hard over many years to attain this goal.”

            Factors such as station location, firefighting equipment, staffing and training are included in the long-term strategy of ESD 2.

           “Unlike some other government operations, taxes paid to support fire departments are investments. The return on those investments is lower insurance costs,” said Moellenberg.

           Residents may wish to contact their insurance agents to determine the impact on their premiums. Not all insurers factor in the ISO rating and other factors can determine the premium, but one sample policy showed an 8 percent decrease when it went from the previous Class 3 rating to a Class 1.

           The chief noted that the next challenge is maintaining that low rating and the savings that many property owners will enjoy.

           “Just as we strived to achieve this Class 1 rating for our residents, we will continue to strive to keep it,” Moellenberg said. “We want to protect the investment they’ve made.”

           Adding stations can positively affect the ISO rating. The Pflugerville Fire Dept. opened its fifth station this year, and the need for it was immediately apparent as it quickly became the second-busiest. A sixth station, located near the new Weiss High School and other schools under construction, is planned to serve the rapidly growing area east of the SH130 tollway.

           As more multistory apartments and big-footprint buildings, such as the new Amazon distribution center, are constructed in ESD 2, the fire department may need to add expensive aerial apparatuses to the fleet. Those routinely cost more than $1 million.

           Travis County ESD 2 through the Pflugerville Fire Department was a pioneer in integrating compressed-air foam firefighting technology which can also factor into lower insurance premiums. Use of the foam decreases the time it takes to bring a fire under control and decreases the damage to structures and property.

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Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2, a grassroots government, funds and operates the Pflugerville Fire Department, which provides fire protection and emergency medical response, including ambulance transport, to more than 140,000 people in northeastern Travis County.

For more information, please visit www.pflugervillefire.org.