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Verisk Announces ISO Files Revisions to Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, Public Protection Classification Structure

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ISO announced today that it has filed revisions both to modernize and enhance its Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) and to restructure property rating rules to recognize a revised Public Protection Classification (PPC) structure. ISO is a member of the Verisk Insurance Solutions group at Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq: VRSK).

"ISO undertook a comprehensive effort to review the content of the FSRS with the goal to identify those portions of the current grading evaluation that warranted necessary revision,"   according to Robert Andrews, vice president of Community Hazard Mitigation, who is responsible for countrywide implementation of ISO's PPC program. "ISO initiated dialogue with national water, fire, and emergency communication associations and dozens of municipal fire authorities to develop a significant body of feedback relating to modernization of the FSRS."

"To enhance the predictive value of our PPC program, ISO conducted extensive actuarial and statistical modeling analyses," Andrews emphasized. "We evaluated each section of the FSRS to determine its correlation with fire losses. The result is an increasingly predictive and modern schedule that incorporates standards developed by professional organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association, American Water Works Association, and Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International."

ISO collects information on municipal fire protection efforts for more than 47,000 fire response jurisdictions throughout the United States. Using the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, ISO assigns a Public Protection Classification from 1 to 10, with Class 1 generally representing superior property fire protection and Class 10 indicating that the area's fire suppression program doesn't meet minimum criteria. When applied by ISO's staff of professional field surveyors, the revised FSRS provides crucial information for understanding the entire landscape of risk associated with a specific property.

"The PPC has long been recognized as a pillar of property insurance where reliable, up-to-date information about a community's fire protection services has been proven to correlate directly to underlying risk," said Kevin Thompson, president of ISO Insurance Programs and Analytic Services.

"During development of the new edition of the FSRS, we examined commercial property and homeowners loss experience," added Thompson. "Based on the results of that analysis, we plan to introduce new categories within the PPC structure to recognize favorable loss experience for certain communities, relative to split classifications, that reflect the reduced loss potential when compared to single-class communities."

A split classification is one in which properties within a given community may vary in class based on their distance from a responding fire station or distance from a recognized water source (for example, hydrant).

ISO will begin applying the new schedule this summer, with the revised PPC structure taking effect in 2014.

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