Q. We heard that Kootenai County Fire & Rescue has just received a new lower ISRB fire rating. Could you explain what this means?
A. ISRB stands for Idaho Service Rating Bureau. The ISRB fire insurance rating for a community is the foundation on which most insurers build their insurance coverage programs. The ratings are based on many factors, including the quality of the fire department, the water supply and hydrant locations, the communication systems, the building codes, and the building inspection programs. The ISRB ratings range from 1 to 10, with 1 being perfect. Since the ISRB fire ratings are used by property insurance companies to set insurance premium rates, the lower the ISRB fire rating, the lower the insurance premium.
Q. What is the ISRB rating for Kootenai County Fire & Rescue?
A. Currently Kootenai County Fire & Rescue rating is 3/8/9. The first number in the rating (3) is for the areas of the Fire District that are within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant and within five miles of a fire station. This would be primarily the cities of Post Falls, Dalton Gardens and Fernan Village, some other areas with qualifying water systems may also be included. The second number (8) is the rating for the rural portion of the county less than 5 miles from a station and more than 1000’ from a hydrant. The third number (9) is for those areas more than 5 miles from a station and more than 1000’ from a hydrant. These are our most rural areas.
Q. How does the Fire District receive a new and lower ISRB rating?
A. It is an extremely difficult process. Tests must be performed annually on 1,500 fire hydrants in the fire district and a total examination of the entire Fire District is made by the Idaho Survey and Rating Bureau (ISRB) with an extended visit by their representative to our Fire District. KCF&R’s ISRB rating has been Class 4/8/9 since the consolidation of Kootenai County Fire Protective Dist.#1 and the Post Falls Fire Protection District in 2001. Beginning June 1, 2011 the new rate has been a 3/8/9. This means that if you live within five miles of one of our fire stations and within 1000 ft. of a fire hydrant, your rating dropped from a 4 to a 3 Class rating.
Q. What will this new ISRB rating mean for the cost of our homeowners insurance?
A. If you live within one thousand feet of a fire hydrant and within five miles of a fire station, your insurance rate could be reduced. Reductions in premiums will depend on your individual insurance company, as each company uses different guidelines.
Q. What should we do about contacting our insurance company for a discount?
A. The new rate became effective June 1, 2011. Check your insurance policy for renewal dates and contact your insurance provider.