South Carolina state government and two school districts have a number of buildings in Richland County outside the city limits of Columbia. State agencies are self-insured through the Insurance Reserve Fund.11 School districts insure school properties through commercial underwriters. Although the impact of PPC rating changes will not be as great as it is on residential insurance rates, governmental entities may see reductions in their property insurance rates.
Churches in Richland County vary in size from small, rural churches to multi-million dollar churches with dining halls, gymnasiums and other activity buildings. With varying sizes and construction types, it is difficult to calculate an estimate of property insurance premium savings for churches. One of the state’s leading insurers of church properties estimates that churches in areas with old PPC ratings of five and six will save an average of 16% on premiums and those in areas previously rated nine will save an average of 25% on premiums.
Richland County and the City of Columbia have made significant investments in the CRFS in order to improve fire service to the County’s residents and businesses. Although saving lives and property is the ultimate goal of the CRFS, Richland County citizens now realize the financial benefit of reduced insurance premiums as a result of CRFS’ efforts. As Richland County continues to grow, the city and county will have to make further investments in the CRFS to maintain the improved PPC ratings.
What has not been determined is if the investments made to improve the fire service in Richland County have had an impact on fire department performance. Later this year, IPSPR staff will undertake a study comparing PPC ratings and fire department performance.
Many other communities across the nation are undergoing PPC rating studies conducted by ISO. The methodology used in IPSPR’s analysis can assist these communities, particularly those with split ratings, in determining the financial impact of improved PPC ratings and can give property owners a better estimate of savings on insurance premiums.
About the Authors
Anna Berger earned a B.A. in Political Science from Columbia College and a M.P.A. degree from the University of South Carolina. Since joining the Institute for Public Service and Policy Research in 1997, Ms. Berger has devoted most of her time to the South Carolina Municipal and County Benchmarking Projects. She serves as director of the South Carolina Local Government Service Delivery Forums and provides technical assistance and group facilitation for state and local governments ranging from reengineering processes to strategic planning. Ms. Berger also develops and conducts training programs specifically designed for government managers and leaders on performance measurement, benchmarking, process mapping, team building, group decision-making tools, and emotional intelligence.
Mark Bondo is a Research Associate with the Institute for Public Service and Policy Research at the University of South Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of South