Eagle River Fire Protection District’s rating hits nation’s top 10 percent; you might pay less for insurance | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Fire Protection District’s rating hits nation’s top 10 percent; you might pay less for insurance

The Eagle River Fire Protection District's work to improve its rating paid off. It's now in the top 10 percent in the nation.

AVON — A local fire protection district's rating just improved to the top 10 percent in the country, which means your insurance rates could go down.

The Eagle River Fire Protection District hit that national mark with improvements in its public protection class rating.

That means that you could approach your insurance company and ask to renegotiate rates or use the information to challenge a claim denial or canceled coverage, said Tracy LeClair, risk-management officer with the Eagle River Fire Protection District.

Insurance companies use ISO ratings in determining your rates, whether they'll pay a claim and whether they'll cover you at all.

The previous ISO rating was a Class 5/9; the new ISO rating is a 3/3x. The rating scale is from a 1 to a 10, with a 1 being the best. The district's ISO rating was updated on Sunday, July 1.

Call your insurance company with questions about possible changes to your insurance premiums. Your premium may not reflect the ISO rating until your next annual premium review date, unless you call and request a review, LeClair said.

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'It Was worth it'

"It was lots of work throughout the fire district, from crews doing inspections, work with water supplies, risk reduction efforts, training … and it was worth it," LeClair said. "That's our mission: to reduce the risk in our community. The ISO rating is one of the things we do."

It's no small consideration, considering the wildfires Colorado has seen so far this summer. Also, given the large number of wildland fire-related claims in Colorado since 2012, some people are being dropped from insurance coverage, LeClair said.

Improved throughout district

The fire district's rating from the Insurance Services Office improved throughout the district, stemming from improvements in multiple areas of its fire-suppression rating schedule, including the new Avon station location and the relocation of the district's ladder truck to Avon.

Water availability and quantity, deployment analysis and firefighter training and staffing also improved. Community risk reduction activities, including fire prevention, fire inspection and fire investigation provided additional bonus points, LeClair said.

The Eagle River Fire Protection District serves Tennessee Pass, Camp Hale, Red Cliff, Minturn, Eagle-Vail, Avon, Mountain Star, Wildridge, Beaver Creek (by contractual agreement), Bachelor Gulch, Arrowhead, Homestead, Edwards, Lake Creek, Singletree, Pilgrim Downs, Cordillera, Bellyache Ridge, Red Sky Ranch and associated portions of Interstate 70 and U.S. Highways 6 and 24.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Reminder about restrictions

All of Eagle County is currently under Stage 2 fire restrictions, meaning the following things are banned:

• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood-burning stove or sheepherders stove, including in developed camp and picnic grounds. Devices with shut-off valves using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted;

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building;

• Using an explosive including but not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets and tracers or incendiary ammunition;

• Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor and without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches that is readily available for use;

• Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame, except with a current permit, contract or letter of authorization;

• Use of motor vehicles off National Forest system roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway and except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and at trailheads.

Restrictions in Eagle County also apply to private lands. That means no charcoal grills. Also: All shooting ranges in the county are closed until further notice.

A comprehensive listing of fire restrictions throughout the state and other fire related emergency information can be found online at http://www.coemergency.com.