LaPlace fire insurance rates to drop

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

LAPLACE – Commissioner of Insurance J. Robert Wooley says St. John Parish Homeowners in Fire District 2 (Belle Point and LaPlace areas) can expect a significant rate reduction in their fire insurance premiums, effective Dec. 12, 2005.

Wooley commended the community and local officials in Fire District 2 for the improvement of their protection rating from level 4 to level 3. This improvement will bring about insurance rate reductions for many policyholders.

&#8220The effort you have put into making your lives and property safer by improving your fire protection has the added benefit of lowering insurance rates on your homes and other property,” Wooley said.

For example, fire insurance for a home valued at $80,000 has been costing residents in Fire District 2 about $753 a year. That cost is likely to drop to about $694 a year for fire insurance under the new rating, which will save homeowners about $59 in premiums.

&#8220That may not sound like a lot,” Wooley said. &#8220But when you consider how many homes there are in the district, it’s a major impact. The amount of the premium rate reduction will vary, depending on the value of the property, the fire district where the property is located and the rate schedule of the company insuring the property.”

Fire insurance premium rates for fire protection districts are promulgated by the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana and approved by the Louisiana Rating Commission of the Department of Insurance. Fire districts are rated on a scale of 1 to 10 by PIAL, with 1 being the best.

Rankings may change any time PIAL resurveys a district, or they may remain the same. An upgrade (such as Class 6 to Class 4) will probably mean a drop in insurance rates.

PIAL conducts surveys of fire district’s fire protection services before issuing a rating. Factors that affect an area’s rating include the number and type of training of firefighters, the number of fire stations and fire trucks, and the availability of water. If PIAL surveys a district and finds it is offering fewer services than before, they may &#8220retrograde” the class, from a 4 to a 6, for example. When this happens, fire insurance rates go up.

Policyholders in the affected area should contact their insurance producer (agent) if the expected reduction in fire insurance premiums is not reflected in their next renewal notice.