What Is Fire Protection Class In Homeowners Insurance

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 counties fire suppression capabilities - how fast can they put out a fire, after it is 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 could be doing some serious damage before any assistance arrives. The rating is based on a simple points system:

PC  Points


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 are gathered from factors relating to Emergency Communications, Fire Department, and Water Supply.  Points can be earned as follows:

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 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: A credible dispatch system, but no credible water supply 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 pay out, 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. Hope that helps!

At your service,
Young Alfred