Findlay residents could see hike in homeowners insurance thanks to fire station closure

FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Last week, Findlay residents voted down an income tax levy that would have funded city services. As a result, city officials are considering closing one of Findlay's fire stations, among other things.

Officials say the closure of a fire station could lead to an increase in homeowner's insurance premiums for city residents.  Homeowner's insurance rates are based on several factors, one of which is a city's Insurance Service Office, or ISO rating.  One of the factors that goes into determining a city's ISO rating is fire response time.  The closure of a fire station could increase the Findlay Fire Department's response time, and in turn the city's ISO rating.

Findlay officials say, though, that another fire station is located just a mile and a half from the station that could be closed. They suggest that any change in insurance rates would be minimal.

"There are a lot of other factors that go into the ISO rating, your communication system is one; ours is top notch, using the MARC system. And our dispatch is state of the art," said Findlay Service Safety Director Paul Schmelzer. "The conversations that I've had with underwriters that deal with residential structures indicated that if we dropped, it would have a very minimal impact. Also did some of our own research here locally in the event that this would have occurred, for companies here, companies like Cooper and companies in Industrial Park, what kind of impact a drop in ISO rating would have on them. And we were told pretty much unanimously by those companies that it would have a minimal financial impact on their insurance rates as well."

Findlay City Council should finalize a 2013 budget sometime next month.

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