City property insurance costs going down

Barbourville Fire Chief Doug Dozier speaks to the city council Thursday as council member Sherman Lawson looks on.
Barbourville Fire Chief Doug Dozier speaks to the city council Thursday as council member Sherman Lawson looks on.

Barbourville property owners, both residential and business, will soon see a drop in the price of their homeowner’s insurance thanks to the city’s most recent reclassification of its fire protection system.

Barbourville Fire Chief Doug Dozier told the City Council last Thursday that the ISO (Insurance Service Office) has changed the City of Barbourville’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) from a Class 5 to a Class 3.

The actual dollar amount of the insurance price reduction could be different for property owners depending on their insurance company.

According to Karen Campbell, Nationwide Insurance Associate Agent, located on the courthouse square, a typical homeowner’s policy that would normally cost $1,000 a year, would now cost $927, after the city is reclassified from Class 5 to Class 3. This reduction in cost should take affect at the next policy renewal.

In order to determine the city’s classification, the ISO looked at all of the major elements of Barbourville’s fire protection system, including the city’s fire suppression system, which includes its 911 emergency communications, fire department and water supply. They looked at the fire department’s paperwork, its equipment, hoses and appliances on the trucks. The inspector even had the water department test the hydrants around the city for water pressure requirements.

In addition, the ISO’s report included a Community Risk Reduction section that recognized Barbourville’s efforts to reduce losses through fire prevention, public fire safety education and fire investigation.

“We’ve been constantly working to improve how quickly and efficiently we handle fires,” said Chief Dozier. “This says a lot about the dedication of our firemen since an important part of the inspection is the number of firemen that actually respond to fires. I’m proud of the department and how the firefighters have handled themselves over the years.”

Not everyone will notice an immediate change in the cost of their homeowner’s policy. The new classification will officially take effect on Dec. 1, 2015.

Campbell says the reduction in cost should be automatic on everyone’s next renewal, but sometimes the timing of the classification change could inadvertently keep someone from getting the lower rate. She suggests that if anyone has not noticed the change reflected on their homeowner’s policy renewal, they contact their local agent to see that that are receiving the updated protection class rating.