fire hydrant next to building
What Is Fire Protection Class In Homeowners Insurance

Fire Protection Class is a 1 - 10 rating provided by ISO that evaluates a county's fire suppression capabilities - how fast can they put out a fire, after it's reported. This rating is used by home insurance carriers to determine the response time of dealing with a fire at your home. A low protection class rating means a fast and efficient response, while a higher protection class means a fire can do severe damage before any assistance arrives. The fire class rating system follows a simple points system:

PC  Points
1 90.00 +
2 80.00 - 89.99
3 70.00 - 79.99
4 60.00 - 69.99
5 50.00 - 59.99
6 40.00 - 49.99
7 30.00 - 39.99
8 20.00 - 29.99
9 10.00 - 19.99
10 0.00 - 9.99

The points give credit for factors relating to Emergency Communications, Fire Department, and Water Supply. Any location can earn the following points if they meet the condition:

Points Condition
3 Emergency Reporting
4 Telecommunicators
3 Dispatch Circuits
6 Engine Companies
0.5 Reserve Pumpers
3 Pump Capacity
4 Ladder/Service Companies
0.5 Reserve Ladder/Service Trucks
10 Deployment Analysis
15 Company Personnel
9 Training
2 Operational Considerations
5.5 Community Risk Reduction
30 Credit for Supply System
3 Hydrant Size, Type & Installation
7 Inspection & Flow Testing of Hydrants

The distribution of fire protection class across the US looks like this:

distribution of fire protection class
Source: 2018 ISO Public Protection Classification Report

What Does Protection Class Mean For The Homeowner?

If you are in protection class 1-8, you usually have less to worry about when it comes to shopping for insurance. Where carriers get a little nervous is protection class 9 and 10:

Protection Class 9: When you have a credible dispatch system, but no reliable water supply is nearby.

Protection Class 10: Does not meet the minimum FSRS criteria for recognition. Usually no water supply within 1,000 feet and no fire station within 7 miles.

can't look uh oh GIF by Katelyn Tarver

A fire claim is the most expensive claim a carrier will usually payout, and they care a lot about how fast a fire can be controlled and extinguished. A twenty-minute delay in fire response time can be the difference between a $50,000 and a $300,000 check from the carrier. Now you know why insurance carriers care so much about fire protection class when pricing risk in home insurance. I hope that helps!

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At your service,
Young Alfred