Snoqualmie's Improved Fire Protection Rating May Help Lower Residents' Insurance Premiums

Want some extra money in your pocket?  Starting this April if you live or operate a business within the Snoqualmie city limits your property insurance rates may go down.  That’s because the City of Snoqualmie’s fire protection class ranking will be lowered substantially from a Class 6 to a Class 4 beginning April 1, 2011.

Lower protection class ratings generally result in lower property insurance premiums.  Insurance companies establish annual fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial property owners.  Overall premiums are in part based on the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau ranking system.  WSRB evaluates all Washington communities on their fire protection and suppression capabilities.  They then make calssification recommmendations to insurance companies.  A city’s fire protection score accounts for about 40% of final insurance rating score for individual communities.

During the WSRB grading process communities are assigned Class 1 – 10 ratings.   Class 10 indicates no creditable fire protection.  When grading a community, the WSRB looks at water systems, the number / locations of fire hydrants and their maintenance programs, fire department apparatus, building code enforcement, training programs, public education along with other fire protection components.

Snoqualmie’s last full WSRB review was in 2002 – only 3 years after the city took over fire protection service from King County Fire District #10 – and before the new Snoqualmie Fire Station was built.  There was no historical data for the WSRB to review which affected the initial rating of only a Class 6.  At the time city officials felt Snoqualmie deserved a much better ranking because of numerous fire protection service improvements.

Fire Chief Bob Rowe adds, “The city requested the recent re-grading process from the WSRB to help our taxpayers receive lower insurance premiums.  It has been nine years since we have received a full review by WSRB and our fire department has made significant strides and improvements in that time. The City of Snoqualmie will continue to make every effort to improve fire protection services and promises to reward its residents with superior fire, rescue, and medical services.”

The City of Snoqualmie encourages residents to contact their insurance agents to determine if the new fire protection class can lower their insurance premiums.  Protection class ratings for individual properties outside of city limits are available by calling the WSRB customer service at 206-217-0101.

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