Insurance Services Office (ISO)
The Insurance Services Office, Inc (ISO) collects information on municipal fire protection efforts in communities and analyzes the data using a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). ISO will then assign a Public Protection Classification (PPC) ranging from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best and 10 the worst.
Due, in part, to the current water distribution system and positioning of fire stations within the city and with mutual aid partners, the Inver Grove Heights Fire Department, achieves a unique 3/6 rating in different areas of the city, translating to varying insurance benefits throughout the city. The Class 3 is designated in areas of the city where there is a hydrant within 1,000 feet and a fire station within 5 road miles of the address. Addresses that do not have a hydrant within 1,000 feet receive the 6 rating.
Residences and businesses within the ISO 3 area of the city, benefit from some of the best insurance rates in the nation. Approximately 5% of fire departments surveyed in the nation receive an ISO Class rating of 3 or better. The Inver Grove Heights Fire Department is one such department to achieve that rating, albeit only for areas of the city supplied by fire hydrants.
Almost all U.S. insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance — generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection. By offering economic benefits for communities that invest in their firefighting services, the program provides a real incentive for improving and maintaining public fire protection.
A community's PPC depends on:
- fire alarm and communication systems, including telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing, and dispatching systems
- the fire department, including equipment, staffing, training, and geographic distribution of fire companies and stations
- the water-supply system, including the condition and maintenance of hydrants, and a careful evaluation of the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires