101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

Bella Vista ISO rating to change in 2018

Rating based on city’s fire protection

On Jan. 1, 2018, most of the City of Bella Vista will be classified under a new lower ISO (Insurance Service Organization) rating. This rating is a number on a one-though-10 scale based on a city’s fire protection service, which is sometimes used to determine homeowners’ and commercial insurance rates.

The new classification will be a 4/4x rating.

The last ISO evaluation the city underwent in 2001 resulted in the current single-class rating of 6. On the ISO scale, one is best and 10 is no fire protection at all. Medical services do not play a part in this evaluation.

The city has not been evaluated since 2001 on its ISO rating because it was evident the class rating would not change. However, since Fire Station 4 opened near the Highlands Gate area last year, the city requested an evaluation to update its rating. Ratings are based on a city’s dispatch center, water availability and fire protection equipment, staff and training.

A split class rating means that anyone within five miles of a fire station and 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant will fall under a 4 rating. The 4x rating will apply to anyone in the Bella Vista fire protection district that does not meet that criteria.

Based on this year’s split-class rating, it remains evident that there is still a need for additional fire stations in the city. A lack of a training facility and manpower also negatively impacted the rating. However, the city is currently in the process of hiring nine full-time firefighters to start in 2018, as the result of being allotted federal grant funds for these salaries. It is possible after staffing numbers increase to request another evaluation. Otherwise, a new evaluation will likely happen in five years.

“Within a year, the department will work towards correcting as many deficiencies as we can in hopes of obtaining a better rating,” said Fire Chief Steve Sims.

Residents are encouraged to contact their insurance providers regarding this change to see if their rates will be affected.