Home and business owners served by the Beaver Lake and Rock Hill volunteer fire departments in Lamar County, Mississippi, could see their fire insurance premium payments fall as much as 35 percent to 45 percent.
The Hattiesburg American reports Beaver Lake — which covers a section of east central Lamar County — saw its rating move from Class 9 to Class 8.
Rock Hill, the newest of the county’s 13 volunteer departments, went from a Class 10 to Class 9.
On the Mississippi Rating Bureau’s fire insurance ratings, the lower number means a better rating.
“Those savings, they could be substantial, so that’s good,” Lamar County Fire Coordinator George Stevens said. “That’s what we’ve been wanting to do.
“We’ve just about got the entire county (in a grading area) now,” Stevens said. “The one, small area that we don’t, we think we’re going to be add that in (to a district), so that would solve that.”
Stevens said Rock Hill’s new grade means that every one of the county’s volunteer departments is at least at Class 9. Of the 13, Rock Hill is the lone Class 9, while Northeast Lamar VFD has a Class 7 rating.
The 11 others are rated Class 8.
The highest rating for any department in Mississippi is Class 3.
The fire insurance grading classification is based on a variety of factors, including personnel and training, equipment and engines, number of stations in an area and availability of water.