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How Fire Department Numbers Affect Your Home Insurance Premiums - KOAM TV 7

How Fire Department Numbers Affect Your Home Insurance Premiums

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The Joplin Fire Department releases it's latest performance numbers -- and they indicate calls are up,  and response times are down...
    Chief Jim Furgerson says - they take regular assessments to prepare them for ISO inspections.
    Those numbers, can impact the dollars you pay for home insurance.the national average for response times to a structure fire, is about four minutes, last month, Joplin firefighters made an average response in four and a half minutes which is an improvement for this year.
Those numbers matter first to the Insurance Services Office or ISO, not the factory raters, but the fire safety raters.
Furgerson: "They look at how we respond to the calls, are we getting out the door fast enough, are we getting trucks to the scene quick enough, all while maintaining the safety of all our guys and the citizens."
They build a scale from one to ten.
Joplin, moved from a three to a two in 2015.
Furgerson: "It's a testament to the men and women of the department, they take their jobs very seriously so they want to get out the door as quickly as they can to address whatever emergent situation it may be."
But not every agency has a high rating, and that can result in higher insurance premiums.
Bailey: "Sometimes the insurance is significantly high, it can vary thousands of dollars versus being in town versus being out in the country."
Loretta Bailey with Allstate says response times are one of the biggest factors, especially for rural or volunteer departments.
Bailey: "So if we've got a fire hydrant, it can hook on to that and the pumper just pumps it from that, but if they've got to bring tankers in, how much water does it hold, and how far away is that water to get?"
That leads to a lower ISO rating.  
 She says many people like to move to the country to "get away from it all", but sometimes, that extra peace and quiet, takes a bigger piece of your paycheck...
Bailey: "One of the things to kinda do in the background of looking before you make an offer, is kinda see what the insurance rates are in that area, because it does vary a lot due to your fire district that you're in."

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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