Protection class has a role in underwriting. When insurance providers look to establish homeowner’s insurance rates, the rates are not just made up. Some factors help determine the cost of homeowner’s coverage, such as age and square footage. An unknown factor that many insurance providers use, but homeowners may not be aware of, is the home’s protection class.
What is the protection class, and how can you find the rating class for your home? Due to the critical role it plays in the cost of homeowner’s insurance, we will go over what the protection class codes indicate and locate the rating on homes in your area.
Public Protection Classification
One of the ways that insurers measure risk is by using Public Protection Classification (PPC). PPC identifies the risk based on the availability of fire protection services. The availability of fire protection is equal to determining the classification class code for a property.
The PPC codes range from 1 to 10, with class 1 representing the lowest amount of risk. Therefore, the lowest grade to insure, while class 10 presents the highest class to insure. Class 10 also means that fire protection is at a minimum, making it the highest possible risk to insure.
How are Public Protection classification ratings determined?
When it comes to providing protection class codes for insurance providers, the source leader has been the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The ISO has provided with Protection Class Codes information since 1971 and uses the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS). The FSRS rating system, which the ISO helped establish, issues the grades for the PPC system.
To help determine a community’s protection class rating, the FSRS looks at its fire suppression program. Including the proximity of the fire departments, fire hydrants, and emergency communications systems. When the FSRS looks at each of the individual systems in place and gives them each a point. The scores can range in total from a zero to as high as 105.5
Public Protection Classification (PPC) Fire Suppression Rating
Class 1 90.00 or more
Class 2 80.00 to 89.99
Class 3 70.00 to 79.99
Class 4 60.00 to 69.99
Class 5 50.00 to 59.99
Class 6 40.00 to 49.99
Class 7 30.00 to 39.99
Class 8 20.00 to 29.99
Class 9 10.00 to 19.99
Class 10 0.00 to 9.99
Items that affect your PPC Class
Where a home is located, and the community it is will determine the PPC score it receives. To get the appropriate assigned score for a community, a member of the ISO office reviews the community’s pertinent information. And rates the community using the FSRS system. Based on these four areas:
- Fire department preparedness
- Availability of water
- Emergency communication systems
- Reduction of risk by community
The factors that help determine the fire department preparedness are the equipment and the first alarm response. Along with fire department preparedness, water availability and fire hydrants’ size also affect when receiving and FSRS rating. The availability of public fire safety education can also affect the FSRS scoring, which can affect insurance premiums.
Finding your protection class
Since protection class codes were created to be used by insurance companies. The ISO does not publicize the PPC information. PPC information is not readily available to the insured or any members of the public. Regardless of the ISO’s lack of information by the ISO, there is a way to locate your home PPC information.
Homeowners do not have immediate access to PPC codes; however, they can do a protection class check by address. Since there is no single database that holds the information. Homeowners must search by state, local municipality, or a lookup protection classes by zip codes to get the necessary information. Upon locating the classification for the area your home is in, you will also find when the ISO rating was given.
Each state has a department of insurance and has information regarding the protection class as well. Individuals can contact the department by phone or state website to get information on classifications. States will have a breakdown of class ratings by area. Typically, class codes in large cities will have a range between 1 and 2. Meanwhile, small rural areas will have ratings from 4 to7.
Insurance for Protection Class 10
Ratings for PPC are done from 1 to 10, with one being the best. Having your home in an area with a number 1 PPC designation indicates that it is in excellent fire protection. However, if a home is in a community with a classification of 10. It is in a low area in terms of fire protection and does not meet the ISO standards. Therefore, many insurers will not provide coverage for homes in areas with PPC classifications of 10.
A home that is located in an area with a protection class of 10 is not entirely uninsurable. Homeowners can help get more favorable protection class in their neighborhoods by reaching out to their local fire station. And community officials to improve fire suppression standards.
Homes that are in areas of protection class of 10 are not routinely left without the ability to get any insurance coverage. Insurers will weigh different factors when looking into the ability to provide a homeowner with coverage. Not all insurers use the ISO system when trying to qualify a home for coverage. Some providers will determine the cost to provide coverage based on the distance a residence is from a fire station. Or the amount of risk and potential losses associated with a specific zip code.
Understanding what protection class a home is in is not something that everyone homeowner or buyer should know. It is something to be aware of in terms of how well your home and community are equipped to deal with when it comes to fire protection. Especially when the classification can make an impact on how much homeowners will pay on their premiums for homeowners’ coverage. Contact us at Florida Risk partners today to ensure you are getting the best available coverage for your home.