Determining your ISO and how much you pay for insurance

Published 9:37 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

ISO is a term that most people rarely hear, but it can have a profound impact on your wallet! ISO stands for Insurance Services Office and it is a company that provides data about community risk to insurance companies. This basically tells your insurance company how risky it is for them to insure your home or property and, in-turn, the insurance company uses that information to determine how much to charge you monthly or your premium.
To determine risk, the ISO looks at various information to determine how risky your home or property is. ISO looks at the likelihood of natural disasters that may occur in your area such as earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding, and sinkholes. They may also look at the characteristics of your home such as what year the home was constructed, were any updates and renovations were ever completed, does the home include fire alarms, are there deadbolts installed, and does the home have an alarm system.
One of the last, but certainly the biggest, is the services provided by your local governments. They look at what building codes and standards are adopted and enforced by the local government. They consider the condition of the infrastructure such as the ability of the water lines in the area to provide adequate water and pressure in the event of a fire. One of the categories with the most points is the fire suppression category. In this category, they consider many things, including the number of firemen employed per citizen, the number and types of fire trucks, location of fire stations in relation to your home, how much training is provided, and back-up agreements. All of this information is aggregated and used to determine how much risk there is that your home would be damaged from any kind of disaster.
ISO comes to Elizabethton every four years to evaluate our system to determine what our ISO rating is. Recently, Elizabethton moved up from a Class 4 rating to a Class 3 rating, placing our fire department in the top 5 percent of all fire departments in the United States for fire suppression. A Class 3 rating is a reflection on the excellent job our firefighters are doing as well as the improvements to our water infrastructure to be able to provide the fire department with water needed to put out fires. A savings on home insurance via ISO is another way your city government is working to create a better community to live in. Let’s talk about this!
(Jon Hartman is Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of Elizabethton. He can be contacted at: or at (423) 542-1503)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox