"Of the 200 to 300 (companies) who write property insurance, off the top of my head, only 4 will write insurance for a rating of 8, 9 or 10," he said.
Stephens said some people would receive premium savings. But to really get the benefit for the majority of people, Stephens said the rating would need to be at level 5 and within a 5-mile radius of a fire station.
With city cooperation, Stephens said two places in the county could potential meet that qualification now.
Stephens said first he would draw up fire districts around the existing stations and help the people who are not already saving from the Natchez stations. Stephens said some insurance companies might already be giving residents in Broadmoor and
Once that is done, Stephens said it would be more obvious where the two fire stations would need to be located to benefit the most people. With only two stations, Stephens said "no man's land" spots, where they would not see any insurance savings, would still exist.
People in "no man's land" might still be insured, potentially through the surplus line market, but they will be paying high rates for it.
"You can insure a house that is currently on fire, but you might be paying more than you like," he said.
Applewhite said a fire district could be graded through shuttling water from another location to the scene of a fire, though the water supply system could still potentially factor in.
For areas without at least 4-inch water mains, the grading bureau has a shuttling alternative requiring a supply of 250 gallons per minute being sustained for a period of an hour within five minutes of arrival of the first engine to the scene.
Even in the shuttling situation, fire hydrants are still required, and the fire rating bureau recommends 6 -inch mains on fire hydrants.
Lazarus said with use of the volunteers, the county could potentially meet the water shuttle qualifications in most areas within the proposed fire districts.
Applewhite said consolidation of fire service with the city would also potentially help
The board also briefly discussed the fire districts created this past week within a 5-mile radius of the
Typically with volunteer stations, training and documentation are the biggest deterrents in the rating upgrade, he said. Applewhite said volunteers could be doing a lot of training, community outreach and making runs in mass force, but if it is not recorded on paper, it is for naught.
Lazarus said he hoped to have Applewhite meet with Smith within a week to grade the three fire districts.
(c)2016 The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.)
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