ISO Ratings & Fire Fees

What is an ISO fire insurance rating?  The Public Protection Classification (PPC) program, also known as the ISO (Insurance Services Office) Fire Score, recognizes the efforts of communities to provide fire protection services for citizens and property owners. Insurance companies use the score to help set home insurance rates since a home that is less likely to be severely damaged or destroyed by fire is less expensive to insure. However, the impact of the ISO score on your homeowner’s insurance policy will vary by each insurance carrier.  An ISO fire insurance rating is a score from 1 to 10 that indicates how well-protected (i.e., low-risk) your community is by the fire department. 

In the ISO rating scale, a lower number is better: 1 is the best possible rating, while a 10 means the fire department did not meet the ISO's minimum requirements or a fire department for that area does not exist. Any area that is more than five driving miles from the nearest fire station within the Town limits is automatically rated a 10.  Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) collects and evaluates information from communities in North Carolina on their structure fire suppression capabilities.  Among other things, the routine inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities, community risk reduction, and availability of a water source.

What is Ocean Isle Beach’s ISO rating?  OIBFD has a split rating:  The NC Department of Insurance evaluates most NC Fire Departments to determine a Public Protection Classification (The larger departments are evaluated by ISO).  The scale of classification is from 1 to 10.  The classification is then used by insurance companies to determine rates for residential and commercial insurance. Ocean Isle Beach is currently a class 3/9 split.  Class 3 is for locations within the town limits, and class 9 is for locations in the rural area, outside of the town limits.  The class 9 grade is due to travel distance and water supply. 
What are fire fees?  Fire fees are a source of revenue charged to both residential and commercial areas within the Town’s fire district. The fees are charged for improved properties (with buildings) based upon the heated square footage of the building, and for vacant land based upon the acreage of the property. The fees are not based on the tax value of the property.