Fire rating districts in Clay County will help lower insurance prices

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

Clay County volunteer fire departments are looking to establish fire rating districts in the county, which will lower homeowner’s insurance rates for those living in some districts.
Clay County Volunteer Fire Coordinator BJ McClenton said the county was divided into seven districts which are rated by the Mississippi Rating Bureau, with one being the best and 10 being the worst.
McClenton said the number of personnel and trucks a department has, the distance of a property within a five-mile radius of a fire station and the amount of gallons a truck can hold all can affect a fire rating within a district.
“The city of West Point is currently at a five or six rating,” McClenton said. “Other parts of the county are at a 7 or 8, but some are at a nine. We are looking to improve those ratings.”
McClenton said the fire rating districts will most affect volunteer fire departments in the county and not the West Point Fire Department.
Clay County Chancery Clerk Amy Berry said the Northeast Volunteer Fire Department district will expand the already established district to its full five-mile radius of the station, and new districts will be established for the Una Volunteer Fire Department and the Una Palo Alto Volunteer Fire Department.
Berry said the improved fire district ratings will cause insurance costs to go down for those living within the districts.
“The improved fire rating districts will directly affect homeowners within five miles of the two departments in the newly established districts because the cost of their homeowner’s insurance will go down 15 to 20 percent,” Berry said.
Berry said the Clay County Board of Supervisors will host a public hearing on this matter at a later date.