Fond du Lac Fire Department is joining good company as they now have an Insurance Service Office (ISO) Class 1 fire insurance rating. The rare classification has only been awarded to 178 cities out of at least 48,000 cities nationwide. The second city in Wisconsin to be identified as a Class 1, Fond du Lac is the only city in the state to be internationally accredited.

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Beer says the City’s score improved significantly since the last audit for the rating. He says there score improved by 8 points since 2010 and more than 5 points came from doing risk assessments. The fire department did risk assessments for over 2,700 commercial structures in the City. Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says the department will continue to strive for improvements and raise the bar for the department.

The new rating should be a point of interest to the people of Fond du Lac as it can have a positive effect on insurance rates for homes and businesses alike. “It is a huge deal for our city and, this information is used by virtually all insurance companies to determine property insurance rates,” says Cathleen Christensen of Hierl. The change is effective July 1st and as customer’s policies renew, Hierl will work with their underwriters to make sure they recognize this improvement wherever possible, according to Christensen.


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ISO is a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance risk. They provide statistical, actuarial, underwriting, and claims data; policy language; information about specific locations; fraud-identification tools; consulting services; and information for marketing, loss control, and premium audit.

Through the Public Protection Classification (PPC™) program, ISO evaluates city fire-protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. A community’s investment in fire mitigation is a proven and reliable predictor of future fire losses. So insurance companies use PPC information to help establish fair premiums for fire insurance — generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection. Many communities use the PPC as a benchmark for measuring the effectiveness of their fire-protection services. The PPC program is also a tool that helps communities plan for, budget, and justify improvements.