Percentage Distribution of Communities by PPC Class
67 PPC Class
Source: Insurance Services Office, Incorporated.
On What Factors Are PPC Ratings Based?
PPC ratings are based primarily on three areas: receiving and handling alarms, fire department personnel and equipment, and water supply. These factors comprise the ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule. Different weights are applied to each area. The effectiveness of alarm response comprises 10% of a community’s rating. The personnel and equipment of the fire department contribute 50% of a community’s rating, while the community’s water supply system comprises 40% of a rating. The overall PPC rating reflects the total capability of the department to respond to, and meet, the fire protection demands of the community.
PPC ratings are one of the many factors that affect insurance premiums. Age of the structure, construction material, and loss history in a particular area also affect the base rate. Factors such as property value, deductible amount, multiple policies, security systems, and credit ratings affect an individual’s rates. Individual insurance companies have the option to accept the ISO classification. Although some companies in some states have elected not to use PPC ratings as part of their premium calculations, in South Carolina, it is still a major factor in setting property and casualty insurance rates. 2
Historical Perspective of Fire Protection in Richland County
In 1990, Richland County entered into a fire service agreement with the City of Columbia Fire Department (CFD), creating the Columbia-Richland Fire Service (CRFS) to provide fire suppression services throughout the county. Over the next 16 years, there was a significant growth in population in Richland County, resulting in a subsequent growth in the fire service in terms of stations, equipment and personnel.
As a result of this growth, the CRFS believed the citizens were receiving a higher level of fire protection service than the PPC ratings reflected. In 2005, the CRFS requested that ISO conduct a new