Friday, August 9, 2013

Council meeting Aug 6 Fire Insurance rates going down......

Here is the last issue of great importance from the council meeting of August 6, in one of his final acts before he leaves the municipality Albert Headricks Director of Protective and Community services presented the Underwriters review explaining how the Municipality did in the Insurance grading system.

"Fire Underwriters Survey is a national organization that represents more than 85 percent of the private sector and casualty insurers in Canada. Fire Underwriters Survey provides data to program subscribers regarding public fire protection for fire insurance statistical and underwriting evaluation. The last review conducted was in 1993 where at that time each Fire Station was assessed individually on their capacity to provide an adequate level of fire protection.
Since the restructuring of Crowsnest Pass Fire/Rescue in 2012/2013, the community departments were reduced from five (Blairmore, Coleman, Hillcrest, Bellevue and Rescue) to three stations and amalgamated as one operational collective. The 2013 review by Underwriters Survey focused on our ability to provide an adequate level of fire protection as a single identity and or operation.
The following Fire Insurance Grades will be published to the Canadian Fire Insurance Grading Index as a result of this assessment. Overall the results show that an improved level of fire protection is being provided within the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass with Public Fire Protection Classification (PFPC) 4 being published. This shows a marked improvement from PFPG 7 and 8 previously published back in 1993. Class 1 represents the highest grading possible and Class 10 indicates that little or no fire protection is in place.
The PFPC grading system evaluates the ability of a community’s fire protection programs to prevent and control major fires. Multi-family residential, (apt buildings, hotel, motels, B&B’s, Lodges) commercial, industrial, institutional, mercantile, buildings, and of course construction developments should experience a reduction to insurance premiums. This would pertain to renewals and new policies. Existing policies may not experience any reduction due to the fact they were determined in relation to the previous grading analysis of 1993. What also needs to be understood is that each insurance policy will vary in relation to the category pertaining to the fire insurance portion identified in the overall policy.
Fire Underwriters Survey also assigns a second grade for community fire protection. The second grading system, entitled Dwelling Protection Grade (DPG), assesses the protection available for small buildings such as single-family dwellings. The DPG is a numerical grading system scaled from 1 to 5. One (1) is the highest grading possible and 5 indicate little or no fire protection being present. The Fire Insurance Grades for the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass have improved
since the previous assessment due to improvements in the levels of public fire protection provided by the Restructured Fire/Rescue Service.
The Municipality in the urban areas is presently assigned as 3A Dwelling Protection Grading but due to the change of status from a Volunteer to Composite Fire/Rescue Service, Fire Underwriters Survey will be reviewing the coverage currently being proposed is indicative of an equivalency of a composite fire hall typically assigned Dwelling Protection Grade (DPG) 2.
They will be requesting that 24/7 staff tracking be provided to their office over a period of 12 months at which time an assignment for DPG 2 will be considered. Council and Senior Administration of Crowsnest Pass have the upmost respect, confidence in the Fire/Rescue leadership under the Direction of Fire Chief Steve Munshaw, Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Wilkinson and members. They have been a strong advocate, participant in the changes necessary to achieve the successful outcomes required. In turn home owner policy holders of single family dwellings should experience some reprieve in the very near future. To review the interim report, please visit the Municipal Web Site."

Also check out the story on the Pass Promoters site

It sounds great like we can all can expect a decrease in our Insurance rates, well you know the old saying if its to good to be true......... especially just two months prior to the election.

Very impressively our commercial  "Public Fire Protection Classification" rating when from a 7 to a 4. Well done 
Our residential " Dwelling Protection Grade" is projected to go from a 3A to a 2 over the next 12 months, also well done. 

Where will we spend all our savings? 

After doing a little research I came up with the following information, which tells us how much impact  these grading changes will have on our rates. Apparently  Insurance companies break down their customers into three categories the first being "Protected" the second "semi-protected" and the third "unprotected".

Under the "Dwelling Protection Grade" a grade of 1,2 or 3A falls into the protected, a 3B or 4 falls into the "semi-protected" and a 5 falls into the "unprotected" category.   

So I assume at this point going from a 3A to a 2 means we go from the "protected" grouping to the "protected" grouping. Does it sound like no change to you? 

Not be satisfied maybe I was misunderstanding the information I found.  I phone my Insurance broker and ask if they could check with their underwriters and see what effect this grade change will have on my personal Insurance, I also asked if she could check and see what impact it would have on commercial properties. 

Well this afternoon I get a call back and the lady tells me Dean I have to explain for Fire Protection purposes customers are placed into three categories "Protected", "Semi-protected" and "unprotected" unfortunately neither residential or commercial will see any change.

Now in all fairness Mr Headricks did say everybody should check with their Insurance companies and I would recommend you do that.      

On page 36 of the following report done for the city of Kelowna you can see how the grades are grouped

Note: Cost of administration $4325 per day


Anonymous said...

I called my Insurance company they told me the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Was that the 21st Century insurance company? You bet!

Jim said...

I called mine. The same - no change.

Anonymous said...

How much will my tax bill go up because of the changes to the protective services? Does anyone know?

I am still waiting for the promised efficiencies to lower my tax bill. Hopefully, no one will use the word "efficiency" in the upcoming election.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand your article. The article I read said business could expect decreases, and homeowners maybe in a year or so.

Anonymous said...

Again....the score is:

promises, promises - 10
action/results - 0

Anonymous said...


What Dean is telling you is your Insurance rates are not going down. He is also suggesting that you contact your insurance company to check it out for yourself. I called mine the lady said you must have read the article on the Promoter web site because you are the 7th person to call today.

Anonymous said...

Since when did insurance companies decrease the income from a past form of revenue??

Anonymous said...

This council was sold bill of goods by consultants and now they are passing the bill to the rest of us,

Anonymous said...

Dean quit making this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

"Dean quit making this stuff up."

My guts hurt.

Maybe he just messed up a little on the last election, as he didn't promise us all a free trip to Disneyland.

Anonymous said...

"Lower your tax bill". Are you on planet Mars. Get real. Where in the world would that ever happen. I have never once seen a tax lowered. To even think something like that is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Ha. Ha, No one could make this stuff up. We have elected a buzzard and six turkeys, serves us right.

Anonymous said...

The proof is in the pudding - Cost of new fire department = increase in taxes (% allotted to fire) + decrease in house/business insurance (if any). Don't hold your breath. Same category means no decrease in insurance cost.

Anonymous said...

We need someone with professional accounting credentials to look at the books and put the numbers together.

The argument the new fire structure is more affordable for the community is not credible until the numbers are crunched and put side by side.

Anonymous said...

Look on Gallants blog. If there were savings on insurance do you not think that the very first to get some of these savings would be the municipality. Brian had not even considered this.
Then he is asked about FACTUAL costs and he pulls out a power point dream future slide show.
Is it really so difficult to tell the truth?
3 full time in administration,how many full time fireman, paid volunteer fireman, new trucks etc. and they want you to believe that we are saving money.

Anonymous said...

I see Mr Gallant is trying to shift the focus from the insurance savings that Mr Headrick's brought up to the superior fire/rescue department we now have.
Can't wait for another of those reports in the paper; 26 members attended to smoke in apartment.

Sad part is Mr Gallant can preach about all the wonderful things they have done and at such great savings but nobody will know the real numbers until six months after the election once the auditors come in.

Anonymous said...

It looks like mini Bruce's campaign as begun. In a ceremony set for Sept 23 Bruce surrounded by an honour guard comprised of both peace officers and all of his administrative team will officially pass the torch to mini-Bruce. The first ceremony will take place at 12 noon (sharp) for invited guests, dignitaries, business leaders etc we will have wine and some amazing little square treats available.
At 2pm the ceremony will be repeated for the rest of the folks we anticipate there will be no wine or amazing little square treats left. But you are all still welcome to see the next step in building the dynasty that will move the Crowsnest Pass into the 22nd century.


Anonymous said...


This 'wining and dining' of invited guests must stop. After all it is illegal.

This from

-A Private (non-sale) licence allows the licence holder to provide liquor to invited guests free of charge.

-Post liquor licence in a prominent location at the event.

-Private non-sale licence: $10.00

Seems that laws are only applied to enforce council policy. ( eg.TITV)

Anonymous said...

This council has very little credibility left. There will be nothing at the Crowsnest Center but a gaping hole.

Very soon they will try to pull Riversdale Resources into their campaign strategy, but we are now wise to their over-reach.

What is the well dressed Edmonton PR guy doing?

Anonymous said...

No one can trust any numbers coming out of this council and administration. It does not look like they can count or keep records. Can anyone remember how they tried to present a budget for the Thunder in the Valley?

Anonymous said...

This is comparing 1993 and 2013. Was all the improvement in training and equipment since the 2012 restructuring? Nothing improved in the previous 19 years?

Anonymous said...

The point is that any improvement in training or standards of service is great. But do not try to sell me on the fact that our insurance premiums will drop.

Anonymous said...

Need to move away from la la land. Have you actually ever seen anything drop in price.

Anonymous said...

In the 2012 budget

there was 4 X $17,843 Fire Department "Honorariums" + $34,346 benefits = $105,718.

In the 2013 budget, page 9

there is $219,477 wages and benefits. Supposing we are only spending half as much on volunteers, that leaves about $167,000 wages and benefits for full time firefighters. That only looks like enough for 2 firefighters. Do you think the chief and deputy wages and benefits are in the administration (not fire) budget? Could that be why they quietly promoted one firefighter to deputy?

Anonymous said...

Do I think any one of these guys did there homework? not a chance they are trying to tell us that Insurance companies will be shamed into dropping their rates. That will happen right after I swim my first length of the new Indoor pool.

Anonymous said...

Did a grown person say Crowsnest Pass will shame national insurance companies to reduce premiums? No wander they are spending our tax money like drunken sailors.

Anonymous said...

Posted on Gallant's blog:

"It’s amazing that $219,477 pays for wages and benefits for a portion of a director, fire chief, deputy, two firefighters and 44(?) volunteers ($1300 each)."

Anonymous said...

So, Dean, am I missing something here? $219,000 seems impossibly small, even with the $39,000 "contract services". No comment from Gallant yet, but I didn't phrase it as a question, so he probably wont.

Also there is the $200,000 shortfall in fines.

Can they legally just shuffle funds to Fire and Enforcement from other budget sections, or do they have to amend the budget by resolution?