Southlake businesses may see a favorable economic impact with lower insurance premiums in the foreseeable future. Based on scoring from Insurance Services Office (ISO), an advisory organization that serves the property and casualty insurance industry, the Texas Department of Insurance and the State Fire Marshal’s Office have improved Southlake’s Public Protection Classification (PPC) to the highest rating. The nationwide classification system reflects a community’s fire protection capability for property insurance rating purposes.
Due largely in part to the addition of the DPS North Station that opened November 2013, which was strategically built to better serve northern parts of the city with enhanced emergency response times, Southlake’s PPC rating has improved from a Class Four to a Class One, the highest fire protection rating possible on a 10 class rating system. ISO classifies communities based on how well they score on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which grades a community’s emergency communications capabilities, fire department capabilities, and evaluates the water supply. The score that is determined from the rating schedule is translated into a PPC Class. A score of 90 points or more earns a Class One designation. Southlake received 97.53 out of 106.5 points to join an elite group of 22 cities in Texas and 62 cities in the nation to hold a PPC Class One rating.
Effective September 1, 2014, the new rating should affect fire insurance premiums for Southlake residents and businesses. Business owners should expect to see the greatest impact, with insurance premiums likely to drop more significantly for commercial real estate. Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr said insurance premiums may drop by as much as 11 percent for residential properties and 13 percent for commercial properties.
“It is impossible to know the extent of insurance rate changes until after the new rating goes into effect, and even then, it may vary from different locations across the city. Most insurance carriers will not update this information until the policy renewal date,” said Southlake Farmers Insurance Agent, Brian Zvonecek.
Since insurance premiums are part of the cost of operating any business, the lower premiums in Southlake may benefit local businesses by decreasing overhead expenses. Business owners welcome this change because lower overhead expenses generally have a positive impact on the overall profitability of a business.
“This is just another one of the many benefits of owning a business and living here in Southlake,” stated Dave Garner, owner of Wildwood Grill and Fish City Grill. “This community has supported my family and me for more than a decade. We hope to continue to be a part of the long tradition of excellence we have come to expect here.”
For more information, contact your commercial real estate agent.