Civietown Fire Department lowers ratings; homeowners to save money

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

SUPPLY—About three quarters of homeowners in the Civietown fire district should see a decrease in their homeowners' insurance after the fire department’s recent fire rating drop.

Assistant chief Mark Hewett said the department’s recent reduction in the state’s department of insurance ratings should mean lower homeowners' insurance for 74 percent of homeowners in their six-mile fire district.

The department recently reduced its fire rating from an “8-9” to a “6-9,” meaning homes within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant now have a “6” rating, and homes farther than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant remain at a “9” rating. The “9” fire rating is the lowest rating the department can receive with homes out of the 1,000 feet threshold, Hewett said.

But the good news is for homeowners now in the “6” fire rating, he said.

A “6” rating results in the cheapest insurance that can be recognized by the state department of insurance, he said.

The ratings drop, “is very hard to do,” Hewett said.

“We had to double up on training and equipment. It’s an on-going process,” chief Bobby Hewett said.

The majority of equipment is up to date, Bobby Hewett explained, but some of the department’s equipment will be replaced in the first part of next year.

Another factor in the ratings drop—how the department handles calls for home or structure fires, a division in which Civietown scored well.

The new ratings take effect Jan. 1, 2009. Homeowners have to contact their insurance agencies to let them know their fire rating is lower.

Mark Hewett said Advantage Insurance in Shallotte calculated homeowners should save between 28-32 percent per year in their homeowners' insurance. Homeowners with a $100,000 insurance policy should see a savings of about $400, Mark Hewett said.

For more information about fire ratings, contact the Civietown Fire Department at 754-8392.