ISO fire inspection process yields lower homeowner's insurance rates
Caswell County Fire Marshall Vernon Massengill (left) alongside a Yanceyville Fire Department truck. County leaders recently learned that the county’s ISO fire inspection process is yielding considerably lower homeowner’s insurance rates - as much as 25 percent for some residents.

Over the last several months - and even for the last couple of years - Caswell County’s ten Fire Departments - Yanceyville, Milton, Casville, Providence, Prospect Hill, Pelham, Semora, Cherry Grove, Anderson, and Leasburg - have been engaged in an extensive ISO fire inspection process. 

“Caswell County, within the last three months, has undergone a state ISO insurance service organization inspection. Caswell County, because of the work we’ve done - ten departments in this county - is an exemplary model for the rest of the counties in this state,” Caswell County Fire Marshal Vernon Massengill said.

The process included an extensive inspection day back on August 25, when all of Caswell County’s fire services came together on a Saturday for a long day of drills, physical fitness tests, maintenance examinations, and measures to determine the competence of local firemen. 

Caswell County had to wait a few months for the results, but they are now in. 

At Monday night’s Caswell County Commissioners meeting, Chair Rick McVey indicated that the county’s insurance rates should see significant decreases in areas within a few miles of the local Fire Departments. 

“I want to give a big round (of applause) to the Fire Departments,” McVey stated. “We’ve gotten our insurance rates, and they should be lower. So the Fire Departments are doing an outstanding job with their training. It should be countywide, within five to six miles (of any Fire Departments). There’s different ratings throughout the county. And there’s a lot of issues that play into that - whether they have pressurized hydrants, and that kind of stuff. In a lot of rural areas, you don’t.”

Residents located within five to six miles of the Yanceyville Fire Department should see some of the largest decreases. But even rural areas of the county will see dramatic decreases due to the improved capabilities of local fire agencies.  

“There are different ratings in different areas. Everybody didn’t get the same rating that Yanceyville did,” Caswell County Commissioner David Owen said. 

Due to the hard work of local fire officials, some locations will see decreases by as much as 25 percent due to the improved overall capabilities of the various stations. 

Much of the improvements can be attributed to a series of USDA loans that have been provided throughout the county for new trucks and other necessary equipment. 

“Your insurance, if you live within five miles of any (Fire) department in this county, your insurance rate is going to go down considerably. Because of the help (the USDA) has given the fire service,” Massengill said.

Massngill indicated that one of the Department of Insurance officials met with state Fire Marshals all over the state, chastising them for not being able to keep up with Caswell County’s efforts. 

“For a small, rural county, to do what we’ve done in this county - I can’t say how proud I am of these guys,” said Massengill, nearly overcome with emotion. “They’ve just done a lot of work in this county. And we’re appreciative.”