Public meeting will be hosted by Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department to discuss insurance class rating
Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2015
On Saturday, March 7 the Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a public meeting at their station to discuss the department’s insurance class rating.
John Odle, the media coordinator for the department, said they are expecting District 40 State Sen. Angela Burks Hill, R, and other state representatives at the meeting.
“There’s also a possibility that the state insurance commission will come out,” Odle said. “We’re expecting a high turnout.”
Henleyfield Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Sullivan said he’s amazed at how quickly word of their situation has spread to the state capitol.
“When the Item published the story about the insurance rates last month, the story has been circulating around the capitol and has picked up interest,” he said.
Last month, the Item reported that State Farm started testing a grid-based insurance rating system in Mississippi in 2013. The new system uses a geographic information system in order to calculate data associated with the home.
Sullivan said the new rating system changed the department’s class rating from an eight to a 10, which could increase insurance premiums for homeowners near the fire station.
“In order to reduce the rate for homeowners now, the fire department has to purchase land to build a secondary station and get a new truck,” Sullivan said.
Steve Simkins, who deals with legislative work for State Farm in Mississippi, said once the fire departments improve their ability to fight fires and improve losses, homeowners should see a decrease in the insurance rates
Odle said the main goal of the meeting is to get participation from the community.
“This meeting is open to the public and Sullivan will provide a PowerPoint presentation on the issue,” he said. “Our main concern is how this class rating is going to affect the people around here, and other districts since the rating system could affect fire department funding throughout the state.”
He said the department is looking to raise money and build a sub-station on Rock Ranch Road.
“Between the station, the truck and equipment, it will cost $400,000,” Odle said.
This is the first public meeting the department has held concerning the insurance class rating issue, Odle said.
The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. The station is located at 5583 Hwy. 43 N. in Henleyfield.