City's fire rating better

archive_import /

By JOSHUA WOLFSON

Now might be a good time to give your insurance company a call.

The city learned Tuesday that its firefighting rating has been upgraded. That could save some business and homeowners money, said Sonora Fire Chief Mike Barrows.

The rating, made by Insurance Services Office Inc., is used by insurance companies to set their fire premiums. The lower the number, the smaller the insurance premium for homes and businesses.

ISO gave the city a rating of four on a 10-point scale, an improvement over its past score of six in the downtown areas and nine in the more rural zones, Barrows said.

"What this means is the ... city is providing a higher level of emergency services," he said.

Better equipment, training and the city's new fire station on Shepherd Street contributed to the improved rating, said Barrows, who will brief the City Council on Monday on the change.

City Administrator Greg Applegate said Sonora residents should check with their insurance companies regarding the new ISO rating.

"This could be a substantial savings," he said.

Applegate said the city might save money on its own fire insurance, although he has not checked the details yet.

When ISO last graded Sonora in 1982, the city was given the split rating because its firefighting abilities varied significantly between the core and rural areas, Applegate said.

Property owners who live in areas that received a nine on the old ISO grading might be in for a big break on their fire insurance bills, said Pete Kleinert of Cutler Segerstrom, a Sonora insurance agency.

"That's a big jump," he said. "That is a Cadillac to a Volkswagen."

Home owners who have been paying $800 to $1,000 annually for fire insurance could see their rates decline to the $500 to $600 range.

"Going from a nine to a four is a big deal," he said.

Business owners in areas that were ranked as a six by ISO could see their premiums decline by about 10 percent, Kleinert said.

11511391
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday May 27, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Sheriff’s deputies respond to alarm at Sonora KFC

05/26/2016

Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies responded with guns drawn to a holdup alarm ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more