Cincinnati Fire cuts could mean higher insurance premiums - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Fire cuts could mean higher insurance premiums

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati Fire Union officials say 71 fewer firefighters on the force will, in some cases, increase response times up to a couple minutes.

However, the smaller staff and longer response times could be a formula for higher insurance premiums.

"Less police protection and less fire protection, it is reasonable to assume the rates will ultimately go up because of it," said Tom Tassert, President of HTT Insurance Agency.

For many years, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) has given the City of Cincinnati Fire Department a 2-rating. It's the second highest rating a department can receive. Insurance companies use this rating to calculate home insurance premiums.

"It's very important," said Tassert. "Cincinnati has always had a very favorable protection class rating."

Local 48 President Matt Alter says 71fewer firefighters will impact Cincinnati residents' pocket book.

"It absolutely could effect the ISO rating, which would mean your insurance would go up," said Matt Alter, President of Cincinnati Fire Fighter Union Local 48. "So you effectively could pay more for your insurance for less of a service." 

FOX19 asked City Manager Milton Dohoney if the ISO rating would drop.

"I don't know that we are at that point," said Dohoney. "We are going to have on average about 10 brownouts a day."

Insurance agents say fewer firefighters and less cops could have an impact not only on home insurance premiums, but also on car insurance premiums.

Experts say it's too early to determine how much premiums would increase if the ISO rating is dropped.

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