LAMPASAS — City officials recently learned Lampasas improved its ISO rating from the Insurance Service Office from a Class 4 to a Class 3.
The ISO rating assesses a city’s public protection classification, which is then distributed to insurance companies for the purpose of establishing insurance rates paid by businesses and homeowners.
The rating system is based on a 10-point scale, with Class 1 being the best rating possible. However, less than 50 cities in the United States hold that distinction, according to the ISO.
ISO surveys are generated randomly and not at the city’s request, Fire Marshal Reece Oestreich said. Lampasas’ last ISO rating was issued 10 years ago, and the latest review took place in April and May.
“This is a survey we didn’t ask for,” Oestreich said. “It was computer generated, but the importance of this is, it’s what insurance companies base their rates on. We were hoping the rating would improve, knowing that at the worst it could have gone up.”
The in-depth survey that measures the competency of fire protection services and other services the city provides.
“It’s a very involved study,” Oestreich said. “They inventory our fire trucks, personnel, output, capabilities, 911 dispatch services, and they go to the water department, too, to see what the water output and pressures are. Code enforcement is also included — they want to see how proactive the city is in trying to prevent fires from spreading.”
Although residents will see only marginal savings on their insurance rates, Oestreich said the bigger picture shows Lampasas is making drastic improvements in the services it provides residents.
“This means we’re moving in the right direction and improving in our fire protection,” Oestreich said. “It makes us feel good we’re providing the best fire protection we can for our community.”
City Manager Finley deGraffenried said the commitments city officials have shown toward making improvements to Lampasas’ infrastructure are just starting to show.
“Obviously, it’s positive news,” deGraffenried said. “It’s difficult to get an exact figure in terms of cost savings, but this will have a positive effect on property hazard rates for the residents of Lampasas. It may not be much of a real savings, but it certainly will be some.”
DeGraffenried believes the rating will encourage development, reduce disruption of city services and show residents the increased level of commitment elected officials invested.
“I appreciate the city and their commitment to fire safety,” deGraffenried said. “This lower rating is, in part, due to the elected officials and their support of fire, building and service officials. All this required an investment from the city.”