Several homeowners who live in part of Lake Joilet Vue subdivision, on Adams Lane and the East Baton Rouge side of Highland Meadows neighborhood off La. 968 attended an informational meeting about fire ratings Nov. 18 at the Zachary Fire Department.
According to Zachary Fire Chief Danny Kimble, those three areas are located in Fire District 1 and more than seven miles from the nearest fire station. As a result, the fire rating is a class 10.
The Property Insurance Association of Louisiana grades municipal areas in terms of fire protection capabilities for the purpose of fair insurance ratings of graded areas, and PIAL ratings directly affect insurance premiums for residents.
“The better the rating, the less you pay,” Kimble said.
A class 1 is the best rating, while a class 10 is the worst.
Kimble said the Zachary Fire Department has implemented a plan to place a fire truck at the city-owned property at the intersection of Brian Road and La. 964 which should reduce homeowners’ insurance premiums.
“Yes, it is an unmanned truck, but it should help,” said Kimble. “We’ve gotten numerous calls about this, but putting a truck there should help you out tremendously.”
Kimble said the plan will help reduce the fire rating to a class 4 and suggested the homeowners begin calling their insurance companies in January.
An agreement between Fire District 1 and the city of Zachary is being negotiated and is due to be signed Dec. 1, he said.
Residents who live in the same areas but are within the seven-mile fire clause, presently have a class 4 rating.
Homeowner Mark Powell said initially, when he first bought property in the area, he was told his property was about a quarter mile beyond the seven-mile boundary and the class 10 rating would affect his homeowner’s insurance drastically.
“After further checking, the property was actually within the seven miles, and we ended up with the lower fire rating. It’s a difference of about $6,000 annually,” Powell said.
Currently, the nearest dedicated fire station to the Lake Joilet Vue, Adams Lane and Highland Meadows areas is the Zachary station on Flanacher Road, which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Kimble said.
Several other residents at the meeting said they were pleased with the plan.