Lower rating to help homeownersPublished 9:06pm Monday, July 16, 2012
Homeowners in the Clark’s Neck Volunteer Fire Department’s coverage area could see a decrease in their homeowners’ insurance premiums in the near future.
After a routine inspection of the fire department was completed, N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, also the state fire marshal, announced the department had received a 7/9E rating. That rating takes effect Sept. 1.
“Our department worked very hard to receive this rating and would like to let our district know a reduction in insurance cost is forthcoming. Clark’s Neck FD has rated districts in both Beaufort and Pitt counties,” wrote Bryan K. Dixon, chief of the department, in an email.
Asked how the department’s firefighters are responding to the new fire rating, Dixon said, “They’re elated. We’re really tickled to get the drop to seven. We were at a 9S prior to our evaluation.”
Dixon said people in the department’s coverage area are receiving the news of the new fire rating with positive responses.
“We actually had on to donate a pig (for a pig pickin’) to show appreciation for the department,” Dixon said.
“I’d like to congratulate Chief Dixon for his department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” Goodwin said in a news release. “The citizens in the Clark’s Neck Fire District should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”
The inspection is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System. Such inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, availability of water sources and communications capabilities, in addition to other things.
The NCRRS ranges from one (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state), with most rural fire departments placed in the 9S category. While lower ratings do not always indicated poor fire service, a higher rating suggests that a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district. Higher ratings in fire districts may result in significantly lower homeowners’ insurance rates in those districts.