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Fire protection gets a better grade in city

Insurance rates should be lower


Early next year, many businesses and some homeowners can expect a modest decrease in the cost of their fire insurance.

Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rick Paris said this week that the city has improved its fire protection classification from a seven to a six, effective Feb. 1, 2016.

Monday, insurance broker Jerry Kennedy stated that the new rating will definitely save local businesses money on their next fire insurance policy.

“Many homeowners may also see modest decreases in their fire policies,” he said.

“Policyholders should check with their insurance carrier to see how the new rating affects their rates,” Kennedy asserted.

Paris said that in July, Kelly McGougan of the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau spent a day at the Grand Coulee fire station, reviewing records, equipment and the city’s water system.

She later stated that the survey provided information necessary to determine “a fire-insurance-relevant-public-protection classification that can be used to develop fire insurance rates or loss costs.”

The new protection-six classification will apply to dwellings and commercial properties located in Grand Coulee within five road miles of the fire station on Spokane Way.

In conjunction with re-rating the city’s protection rating, the areas protected by Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire Department by contracts and agreements were also reviewed. Lincoln County Fire District 9, east of Grand Coulee, had its rating improved to a level seven for the area both within five road miles of the Spokane Way fire station and with a fire hydrant system. The rest of the area is an 8A or 9A, based on their location within the district.

Grant County’s Fire District 14 rating is based on both Grand Coulee Volunteer Fire and Electric City Volunteer Fire, and was also re-rated from an eight to a seven.

“The volunteers of the Grand Coulee Fire Department looked at this review as an opportunity to see how we do our business and are very proud of the results,” Paris said. He said they “are analyzing the report and making plans to improve for the next review, which will be in about five years.”

Paris said the city’s rating had dropped to level seven in the late 1990s.

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