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Texas Department of Insurance
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FAQ: Public Protection Classification


What is the Public Protection Classification program?

The Public Protection Classification (PPC) program is a community fire protection scoring system based on a Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) used by the Insurance Services Office, also known as ISO Mitigation.

Communities get a PPC score from 1 to 10.

  • 1 means the community has superior property fire protection.
  • 10 means the community’s fire protection efforts don’t meet ISO’s minimum criteria.

Most home and business insurers use PPC scores to determine insurance premiums. Businesses and individuals in a community with a good PPC score typically pay less for fire insurance.


Where is the PPC program used?

All 50 states use the PPC program.


What is ISO?

Insurance Services Office, also known as ISO Mitigation, is an organization that provides property and casualty insurance risk information to insurance companies. ISO provides:

  • Actuarial, statistical, underwriting, and claims data
  • Policy language
  • Specific location information
  • Tools for identifying fraud
  • Consulting

How does the PPC system score local fire protection?

ISO field representatives use the FSRS when reviewing a community's fire protection capability. The FSRS scores water distribution, fire department equipment and manpower, fire alarm facilities, and other factors. The FSRS score is then converted into a Public Protection Classification (PPC). In Texas, a perfect score in the categories below is 109.76.

 Most points available in each PPC category:

  • 10 points – Emergency communications
  • 50 points – Fire department review
  • 40 points – Water supply review
  • 5.5 points – Community risk reduction
  • 4.26 points – Texas exceptions for training and technology

For more information, see the Texas Exceptions to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule.


How does a community's score become a Public Protection Classification?

Below is a table showing the score required for each PPC and the PPC descriptions.

Points Required for Each PPC Class
PPC Score
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 and 8B 20 to 29.99
9 10 to 19.99
10 0 to 9.99

Classification descriptions:

  • Class 1-8: The fire suppression system includes an FSRS creditable dispatch center, fire department, and water supply.
  • Class 8B: Is an exception for Class 9 areas that have a superior fire protection system but lack the FSRS minimum water criteria.
  • Class 9: The fire suppression system includes a creditable dispatch center, fire department, but no FSRS minimum water supply.
  • Class 10: Does not meet minimum FSRS criteria for recognition.

What does a split classification like 7/7Y mean?

In 2015, split classifications were revised to X = 9 and Y = 8B. Some communities will have a split classification. For example, 4/4X or 4/4Y.

The first number is the classification of properties within five road miles of a fire station and within 1,000 feet of a creditable water supply.

The second number, with "X" or "Y," applies to properties within five road miles of a fire station but more than 1,000 feet from a creditable water supply. For example, a 4/4Y was a 4/8B in 2014, and a 4/4X was a 4/9.


Does ISO penalize communities with volunteer fire departments?

No. Volunteer fire departments and paid fire departments are scored on their ability to respond to first alarm structure fires and fire mitigation with the FSRS.


What does the PPC program mean to me?

In Texas, the PPC program shows how well your community fire department responds to first-alarm structure fires and fire mitigation. Improving your community’s PPC score could reduce home, business, and fire insurance premiums in your area.

An improved PPC score means a safer community. A good PPC score shows the community is working to provide fire protection for property owners and citizens. The FSRS also helps identify areas that need improvement and can help justify funding requests.


Does my community's PPC score affect homeowner insurance premiums?

Although home insurance rates are driven mainly by claims in your community, the local PPC score is also a factor.

If a community’s PPC score improves, insurance premiums will generally decrease. If the PPC score declines, premiums may increase. Insurers determine how much a PPC score affects premiums based on their experience, so the amount will vary by insurer.

To find out how your community’s PPC score affects your insurance costs, contact your insurer. If you are shopping for insurance, contact several insurers in your community.


What about homes in remote locations?

Any building more than five road miles from a fire station or outside the boundary of a city or volunteer fire department service area has a PPC score of 10.

An exception is an area that has an automatic aid agreement with a recognized and rated fire department. In those cases, ISO assigns a score after evaluating the automatic aid agreement. The score will depend on how far individual buildings are from a fire station.


How can I find my community's PPC score?

Contact your insurance company or agent or call ISO Customer Service at 800-444-4554, option 2.


How can my community get a better PPC score?

By making improvements to fire protection and services. The community’s fire chief or a city official can then send a letter to ISO requesting reevaluation. City officials can call ISO Customer Service at 800-444-4554.

If your community has never been inspected, contact ISO Mitigation.


Does TDI make sure PPC scores are fair and accurate?

Yes. TDI has a PPC oversight officer who reviews proposed classification scores to ensure accuracy. If the new score is accurate, TDI authorizes ISO to publish it for use by insurance companies.

If you have questions or concerns about accuracy, contact the PPC oversight officer at PPCOversight@tdi.texas.gov.


How do I file a complaint about the ISO or the PPC process?

If you want the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office to look into an issue with the fire suppression rating process or the Insurance Services Office (ISO):

  1. Fill out the Fire suppression rating complaint form (PDF).
  2. Email the form to PPCOversight@tdi.texas.gov.

Where do I send notices for annexations, new fire stations and hydrants, or street name changes?

Email notices to the State Fire Marshal's Office at PPCOversight@tdi.texas.gov and the Insurance Services Office at ISO_Texas@iso.com. These notices help us identify the specific property affected by the changes. If possible, please include a shapefile or map of the updates.

For more information, contact: PPCOversight@tdi.texas.gov

Last updated: 8/22/2022