Junaluska Fire Department gets better rating

Could mean better insurance prices for residents
By DeeAnna Haney | Feb 11, 2013

Those who live in the area served by Junaluska Fire Department could be paying less money for insurance come March thanks to an improved rating with the state.

Fire Chief Charles Wood said the department covers a large area surrounding, but not including, Lake Junaluska, such as County Road, Mauney Cove Road, Shadow Woods and the area near N.C. 209 to Exit 24.

The distance a person’s home is located from a fire hydrant determines the ISO (Insurance Services Office) score.

Those who lived long distances from fire hydrants were paying more for their insurance premiums, Wood said. That’s because the fire department has to transport water to areas farther out in the event of a fire.

Previously, the area the department served was considered a split district, with a mixture of residents with different ISO scores.

Following a recent inspection by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the department received a better score based on a number of criteria, including communication, the department itself and water supply. That score allowed the department to change their area from a split 6-9 district to a flat 6 district.

“By doing a single grade we can save people a lot of money,” Wood said. “Everyone inside our district, no matter where you live, now you get a six.”

The amount of savings depends on the specific insurance company, Wood said, but he believes those who are located more than 1,000 feet from a hydrant will be paying a couple hundred dollars less on their insurance premiums this year.

“People should be saving more on their insurance premiums this year than they paid in taxes to the fire department,” Wood said.

The Junaluska Fire Department is also currently searching for people interested in becoming volunteer firefighters. For more information, contact Wood at 828-507-5113.