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You are here: www.tdi.texas.gov . fire . fmppcfaq

Public Protection Classification (PPC) Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Public Protection Classification (PPC) system?

Where is the PPC system used?

What is ISO?

How does the PPC system grade local fire protection?

How does a community's score translate into a PPC rating?

What does a dual PPC like 7/9 mean?

Does ISO automatically penalize communities for having volunteer fire departments?

What does the PPC system mean to me?

Do PPC ratings vary from company to company?

In general, how do Texas communities stack up?

Does my community's Public Protection Classification significantly affect my homeowners' insurance premium?

Can you give examples of how differences in PPC ratings affect individual homeowners' rates?

What about homes in remote locations?

How can I learn my community's PPC rating?

How can my community get a better PPC rating?

If my town makes improvements and seeks a re-evaluation, how soon will the improvements affect my homeowners' insurance rate?

Does TDI oversee ISO to assure that PPC ratings are accurate and fair?

Are ISO inspection reports and lists of PPC ratings open records?


What is the Public Protection Classification (PPC) system?

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It is the countrywide classification system used by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to reflect a community's local fire protection for property insurance rating purposes. The public fire protection of a city, town or area is graded using ISO's Fire Suppression Rating Schedule to develop the community's classification.


Where is the PPC system used?

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The PPC system in some form is used in all 50 states. All of the top insurance groups use ISO's PPCs except for State Farm. State Farm developed its own classification system, based on subzones. The subzone rating tracks very closely to the PPC.


What is ISO?

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ISO is a New Jersey-based advisory organization that serves the property and casualty insurance industry by providing inspection services, insurance coverage form development and statistical services. ISO has Texas offices in Dallas and Austin.


How does the PPC system grade local fire protection?

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ISO classifies communities from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst) based on how well they score on the ISO Fire Suppression Rating Schedule, which grades such features as water distribution, fire department equipment and manpower and fire alarm facilities. ISO field representatives use the schedule when surveying a community's fire protection capability. The score that is determined from applying the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule is translated into a public protection classification. A perfect score in Texas is 104.26. It consists of 50 points for fire department capabilities, 40 points for water supply and distribution, 10 points for receiving and handling fire alarms and up to 4.26 points for "Texas Exceptions" that give extra credit for compressed air foam systems, certified volunteers and attending or teaching at the annual firemen's training school at Texas A&M University.
Texas Exceptions to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.


How does a community's score translate into a PPC rating?

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The following table shows the number of points required for each PPC Class:

Points Required for Each PPC Class
Class Points
1 90 +
2 80 to 89.99
3 70 to 79.99
4 60 to 69.99
5 50 to 59.99
6 40 to 49.99
7 30 to 39.99
8 20 to 29.99
9 10 to 19.99
10 0 to 9.99

What does a dual PPC like 7/9 mean?

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In some communities, a split classification is developed. An example of the split classification is 4/4x or 4/4y. The first number refers to the classification of properties within five road miles of a fire station and within 1000 feet of a creditable water supply. The second number, with either the "x" or "y" designation, applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station but beyond 1000 feet of a creditable water supply.


Does ISO automatically penalize communities for having volunteer fire departments?

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No. Canyon's all-volunteer fire department, for example, has a rating of 3.


What does the PPC system mean to me?

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The Public Protection Classification (PPC) program recognizes the efforts of communities to provide fire protection services. Some insurance companies use the PPC information to help establish fair premiums for insurance. By offering economic benefits for communities that invest in their firefighting services, the PPC program provides additional incentives for improving and maintaining public fire protection.

The PPC program also provides help for fire departments and other public officials as they plan, budget and justify improvements.

The most signicant benefit of the PPC program is its effect on fire losses. The better the fire protection, the lower the fire losses. This results in lower insurance rates.


Do PPC ratings vary from company to company?

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Yes, it can, because some insurance companies do not use ISO.


In general, how do Texas communities stack up?

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Larger cities, which tend to have the best fire protection, generally are rated 1 or 2. A few are rated 3. Small towns tend to cluster in the 4-to-7 range. A number of previously un-inspected areas that returned ISO questionnaires about their fire fighting capabilities are rated 7 or 9.


Does my community's Public Protection Classification significantly affect my homeowners' insurance premium?

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Although homeowner’s insurance rates are driven mainly by your area’s claim experience, your community’s PPC can also be important.

Some companies may not use ISO, but for those that do, they assign a rating factor to each classification.  If a community’s PPC improves, in general, the premiums insurers charge will decrease; if the PPC deteriorates, then premiums will increase.  Insurers determine how much each PPC affects premium based on their own experience, so rating factors vary by insurer.  To find out how your community’s PPC affects how much you pay for insurance, contact your insurer or several insurers within your community if you are shopping for insurance.


Can you give examples of how differences in PPC ratings affect individual homeowners' rates?

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Insurer's writing homeowners insurance policies in Texas are not required to use the PPC factors from the Texas Personal Lines Manual. Insurers may file and use their own factors.


What about homes in remote locations?

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Any building more than five road miles from a fire station or outside the boundary of a fire protection area, such as a city or volunteer fire department service area is rated 10. An exception is an area that has an "automatic aid agreement" with a recognized and rated fire department to respond to fires in that area. In such cases, ISO assigns the area a rating after evaluating the agreement. Use of the assigned rating will depend on the distance of individual buildings from fire stations.


How can I learn my community's PPC rating?

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  1. Ask your SFMO/TDI contact, the PPC Oversight Representative, at 512-676-6784 or e-mail jesse.williams@tdi.texas.gov.
  2. Ask your insurance agent.
  3. Call ISO Customer Service at 1-800-444-4554, menu option 2.

How can my community get a better PPC rating?

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By asking ISO for a re-evaluation based on improvements since last inspection. If your community has never been inspected, it needs to start by returning ISO's questionnaire if it has not already done so. City officials can make inquiries by calling ISO Customer Service, 1-800-444-4554 or TDI's PPC Oversight Representative at 512-676-6784. For a re-evaluation, ISO requires a letter from the fire chief or city official.


If my town makes improvements and seeks a re-evaluation, how soon will the improvements affect my homeowners' insurance rate?

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ISO publishes evaluations quarterly. For several reasons, including the fact that homeowners policies are written for a year at a time, it may take a year or longer for a re-evaluation to affect an individual homeowner's premium.


Does TDI oversee ISO to assure that PPC ratings are accurate and fair?

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Yes, TDI has a PPC Oversight Representative that reviews each proposed new classification rating. This review ensures the accuracy of the survey, and will take no longer than 30 days.  If the new rating appears reasonable, TDI authorizes ISO to publish it for use by insurance companies.


Are ISO inspection reports and lists of PPC ratings open records?

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Yes, inspection reports may be viewed at ISO's office in Austin (8911 N. Capital of Texas, Westech 360, Bldg. II Suite 2110, telephone (800) 444–4554, option 2). The current ratings list and certain other documents such as grading sheets and inspections summary sheets are on file with TDI as open records. The Public Protection Classification Office also has copies which are available upon request.



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Last updated: 07/24/2015

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