Fire Rating Improves:
Insurance costs may be lower


May 31, 2001
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana


The Seeley Lake Fire District is proud to announce that the Seeley Lake area has received a new rating. For most homeowners, this means a savings on your fire insurance. One resident reported that his insurance dropped $100 with the new rating.

The new rating was given after the fire department, the water district and the 911 Center in Missoula were evaluated last year by an Insurance Services Office, Inc. representative.

Residents should contact their insurance companies and let them know about the change. The district was formerly "Class 8/9" and has been reclassified to "Class 7/8".

The following is directly from the letter from ISO Insurance Services Office, Inc. Chicago, Illinois, for you to use if your insurance company needs something in writing as proof:

"We have completed our evaluation of the fire insurance classification for your district and advise that the protection class has improved to Class 7/9. Additionally Dwelling Class 7/8 also applies.

Formerly Class 8/9 applied to the district. The new classifications may result in a decrease in advisory property insurance calculations for many insured properties within the district. The new class will be effective June 1, 2001. The change will effect properties to a degree depending upon the type of building construction, the hazards of occupancy and other factors. Insurance policyholders should contact their agent or company to determine the effect this change in classification might have on their policies.

Class 7 applies to properties within 1,000 feet of a public hydrant, five (5) road miles or less of the responding fire station and with a fire flow of 3,500 gpm or less. Class 8 applies to all dwelling properties within five (5) road miles of the responding fire station but beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. Class 9 applies to all other properties within five (5) road miles of the responding fire station but beyond 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant. Class 10 applies to properties beyond five (5) road miles of a fire station. The private and public protection at properties with larger needed fire flows are individually evaluated, and may vary from the district classification."

As you can see in the paragraph above, both Class 8 and Class 9 have the exact same wording. The class assigned to your property is assigned by your agent or company.

We urged those outside of the five-mile responding area to call your insurance company and tell them about the new classification. While some insurance companies rate anything out of the 5-mile road distance from the department as a 10, some rate those homes under a rule called the "Subdivision Rule", which takes into consideration the fire department's rating thus giving a lower rating system to the homeowner.

The fire department and volunteers have worked toward receiving this new rating by adding newer equipment, improving services and recruiting new firefighters. We are happy that we have been able to improve the department enough to earn the lower rating.