Kansas City Fire Department’s success fighting fires could save you money

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Fire Department's success fighting fires may lower your insurance premiums.

KCFD now has an Insurance Service office rating of one, the highest classification. The department's rating was a three before. According to insurance agents, the ISO rating is something that factors into insurance premiums for businesses and homeowners.

Tuesday, more than 40 cadets trained at the Fire Academy in the East Bottoms.

"We've modernized our training techniques," Deputy Chief Jimmy Walker said. "Now we use tablets to to train remotely. Instead of having to bringing everyone to the academy we can remote train."

Those new training elements are one of several reasons why the Kansas City Fire Department earned a level one Insurance Safety Office certification.

Scores from a Public Protection Classification report are what determine the ratings. A score of 90 or higher means a level one.

KCFD was ranked on emergency communications, fire department and and water supply.

"We go out and inspect these hydrants and with the water department, we go and everything is computerized so we really identify the areas that need hydrant repairs in a timely fashion and we can get the repairs done quicker," Walker said.

With the new tactics, KCFD improved from a three to a one as of March 2018.

"If it does change to a one it could save them four or five percent possibly on their homeowners," Tom DeMasters, who owns DeMasters Insurance said.

DeMasters says people should contact their insurance agents about saving money with the new ISO rating. You have to seek it out -- the agent won't call you to update you.

"If you have $1,000, you could have $50 in savings possible," DeMasters said.

Saving money aside, KCFD is proud to provide the highest level of protection.

"The department is running 130,000 calls a year," Walker said. "We are busy and we want to give the best service we can."

KCFD has automatic aid agreements with Grandview, Raytown and the South Platte Fire District, so if you live there, make sure you call your insurance agent as well.

Only a small percentage of the nearly 50,000 eligible for the rating actually achieve it.

However, the Olathe Fire Department is also level one certified.

Some insurers will not issue a discount based on ISO ratings. State Farm says your home's location is a main factor, and an ISO would already be factored into the rate.

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