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Insurance Services Office (ISO) Information

ISO is the principle provider of insurance underwriting, rating, and statistical information to the property and casualty insurance industry in the United States. ISO collects information about a community's public fire protection and analyzes the data using its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule which quantifies the community's fire suppression resources. Fire departments are evaluated on communications, water supply, personnel, training, and equipment. ISO then assigns a public protection classification (PPC) based on those resources, from Class 1 to Class 10, Class 1 represents the best public protection.

The District was graded by ISO in 2012, and at that time, the rating for the District was updated. The District was downgraded from a PPC 3 in the City of Philomath to a PPC 4. Additionally, District Stations 202 and 203 maintained their 8B rating. The following protection classifications only apply to properties with a needed fire flow of 3,500 GPM or less. The classifications for properties with larger needed fire flows are individually evaluated and may vary from other protection classifications in that area.

  • Class (4) residential properties are within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant and within 5 miles of Station 201 (1035 Main Street).
  • Class (8B)  residential properties are over 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant but within 5 miles of any of our three of our stations.
  • Class (10)  residential properties that are farther than five miles of any of our stations.

The formulas homeowner’s insurance companies use to determine their insurance rates are complex and constantly changing. But all other things being equal, a lower PPC score for your area may translate to a lower homeowner’s insurance premium, as it means your home is at a lower risk for serious fire damage. Home insurance companies may offer lower rates if you have a lower ISO rating.

However, how your rating impacts your homeowner’s insurance premium varies by insurer, and it's often only one of many factors it considers with regards to fire safety. For example, some companies will ask about your home's proximity to a fire station or fire hydrant, as well as whether you have a fire alarm or sprinkler system. Also some insurers do not use ISO's score to set homeowners’ premiums at all. Instead, they use their own metrics based on factors like historical fire data.

The relationship between ISO PPC and insurance rates is complex. Based on experience and evaluation, the cost benefit of improving the District’s ISO PPC rating is in the best interest of the District and its patrons. The District is currently (Summer 2019) under evaluation by ISO PPC and is awaiting the results. Those results will be made public as soon as they are released.

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Map of the Fire District overlayed with 5 mile radius circles

Residences within the City Limits of Philomath are rated at a 4 PPC. Residences within the above circles (indicationg a 5 mile radius of one of our 3 fire stations) are rated an 8B PPC. Residences outside the 5-mile radius of any of our stations are rated at a 10 PPC. Residences not included in the green boundaries of the Fire District are considered unprotected by our Fire District, though they may be served by another fire district or department.