The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: City improves insurance-rating class

By Jane Smith

Delray Beach has another bragging right.

Its Fire-Rescue Department worked to improve the Insurance Service Office rating from a 2 to a 1 in areas it serves.

Fire Chief Neal de Jesus told the City Commission on Oct. 2 that the Fire Department was evaluated on nine criteria, including personnel training and age of the equipment.

“Property owners will have to request that their brokers review their premium costs,” he said.

“We will send out a notice to all property owners via their utility bills,” he said. “We will encourage them to reach out to their insurance carrier to let them know that their Fire Department was designated a Class 1 and request a quote.”

The improved rating will go into effect on Jan. 1.

The decrease in the nonwind premium will be modest.

Commercial property owners could see as much as a 4 percent drop in their nonwind insurance premium, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

“It will again be determined by how the companies have set up a rating system and many policyholders may see no change in premium due to the better protection class,” Karen Kees, Insurance Office spokeswoman, said in an email.

Homeowners who have nonwind coverage through Citizens Property Insurance Corp. would see no reduction, Kees wrote. That insurer groups classes 1 through 6 together. Homeowners with private policies could see a 1 percent drop in their nonwind premiums, Kees estimated.

The city provides fire-rescue services to Gulf Stream and Highland Beach on the barrier island. De Jesus said property owners there could also qualify for the rating discount. 

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