Eugene Springfield Fire's improved rating should save homeowners money on insurance

The EugeneSpringfield Fire Department responded to a small fire on the third floor of Villard Hall on the University of Oregon campus. The building has been evacuated. According to the University of Oregon Fire Marshall, the first and second floors will be operable by Tuesday afternoon. However, the third floor will continue to remain closed to the public until further notice. Photo by Kjersten Hellis, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. - Homeowners in Eugene and Springfield may see savings on property insurance rates thanks to an improved rating for Eugene Springfield Fire, the fire department said.

The Insurance Service Office raised the fire protection rating for Eugene Springfield Fire to Class 2 from Class 3, the fire department said Tuesday.

"Insurance companies use ISO fire protection ratings to determine home owner and business insurance premiums," the fire department explained in a statement. "ISO evaluates fire department equipment, staffing, station locations, training, fire prevention efforts, the community water system, 9-1-1 systems and many other factors to assign a protection rating. The Insurance Service Office has been evaluating and assigning ratings to fire departments since 1971."

The scores range from 1 to 100, with 5.5 bonus points available for Community Risk Reduction efforts.

Eugene Springfield Fire's Class 2 rating could result in insurance rate reductions of $35 to $56 for a property owner paying a $700 annual premium, the fire department said. The savings run about 5 to 8 percent, depending on the home.

"Despite economical changes resulting in reductions in staffing and resources, we're very pleased that we've managed to receive a score of 83.56 and improve our ISO rating, which plays a part in reducing everyone's cost of living in our Eugene Springfield community," said Fire Chief Joe Zaludek. "Whether or not you pay property insurance directly, ESF's strong ISO rating helps to keep premiums low, and these costs affect everyone."

A Class 2 rating requires a score of 80 or more. Of the 46,000 departments rated by the Insurance Service Office, fewer than 1,500 have earned a Class 2 rating. Fewer than 250 agencies have a Class 1 rating, which requires a score of 90.

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