Fire District 7 insurance rates drop

Published 4:17 am Friday, March 15, 2013

Home owners in Washington Parish Fire District 7, which is in the Ben’s Ford area southwest of Bogalusa, will see their fire insurance premiums drop next month thanks to the district’s improved fire protection grading.

FD7 advanced from a Class 6 to Class 5 and hit the halfway mark on the 10-point Property Insurance Association of Louisiana scale.

As a result, fire insurance for a home in the district valued at $150,000, which formerly cost the owner about $1,752 a year, is likely to drop to around $1,670 a year, according to Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon, who commended the improvement.

“A variety of factors are considered in determining a district’s grading, everything from the number of dispatchers on duty, to the number of firefighters and fire trucks, to the availability of water affect a district’s grading,” he said.

FD7 Chief Richard Breedlove described the local improvements.

“We got some new pumpers and some more tankers,” he said. “We went from pumping 1,000 gallons a minute to 1,250 gallons a minute.”

The increased capability will significantly and positively affect operations, Breedlove said.

First and foremost is safety, but a price cut doesn’t hurt, he said

“We went from a six to a five,” Breedlove said. “In April the insurance rates will hopefully drop.”

Donelon said the change will be effective April 8.

“The improved fire protection grading will bring about insurance rate reductions for many policyholders-but perhaps more importantly, the new grading means that the protection of residents has been significantly enhanced,” he said. “I commend the community for their successful efforts to improve safety.”