Improved South Whidbey fire protection rating to lower homeowners insurance

Insurance holders within the South Whidbey Fire/EMS protection district should see a change in their insurance rates in the next few months.

The district recently received an upgrade in its protection rating from a Class 7 district to a Class 6.

“It affects every single person who owns property in the fire protection district,” said Chief Rusty Palmer.

“Going up one point is sometimes pretty hard to do.”

Exactly what impact it will have on homeowners and commercial property owners was not known, said Palmer, as the possible savings will depend on the property and the insurance company.

During an evaluation by the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau last year, South Whidbey Fire/EMS demonstrated improvements to its department and water supply. The district owns five water tenders that can draw thousands of gallons of water from any number of more than 400 water hydrants around South Whidbey, including those in Langley.

In a previous rating inspection, the district missed out on points for its use of water tenders, Palmer said, as the bureau wanted more water hydrants. This time around, the district sufficiently demonstrated its water tender capabilities.

“We’re able to have an adequate supply of water within minutes,” Palmer said.

Palmer added later, “Over the next months and year, folks should see a change to their insurance for the better.”

The volunteer fire protection district operated with about 85 volunteers last year and six paid staff: a chief, assistant chief, two deputy chiefs and two administrative assistants.

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