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Improved ISO ratings may lower insurance premiums

Residents of Jackson and Gordonville may see a reduction in their fire insurance premiums because ISO ratings in both communities have improved.

After review by the Insurance Services Office, the City of Jackson and Jackson Fire Rescue have announced a new ISO rating of 3/3X (improved from 4/4X).

The new rating is part of a continuing effort by JFR to provide the best assistance to residents and visitors in need of emergency services.

Captain Michael Gentry of the Gordonville Fire Protection District also reported that its ISO rating has improved from a rating of 7 to a 6, following its inspection.

The new ISO ratings go into effect May 1.

The ISO rating determines how well a fire department is able to serve its community in the event of an emergency. They range from 1 to 10 with 1 being the highest rating and 10 being the lowest rating that can be achieved.

To determine a fire department’s ISO rating, the Public Protection Commission evaluates four major areas that insurers use for underwriting and calculation of premiums for fire insurance. These areas directly relate to the reduction of property losses from fire:

• Emergency communications — 10%;
• Water supply — 40%;
• Fire department — 50%; and
• Community risk reduction — +5%.

The largest portion of the evaluation is the fire department itself. Items reviewed include engine and ladder companies, deployment of fire companies (response times), equipment carried on apparatus, pumping capacity, reserve apparatus, personnel and training.


“We are extremely proud of our firefighters and the entire team who worked on this effort so we could improve on our ISO rating,” said JFR Chief Jason Mouser. “My goal is better efficiency, and with that we were able to reach several benchmarks within the ISO rating system.”

Mouser attributes the lower ISO classification to enhanced processes, training, infrastructure, and gaining a better understanding of available water in Jackson.

According to Mouser, Jackson Fire Rescue put forth a concerted effort to improve upon several areas of the Public Protection Classification program. That included logging hundreds of training hours, improving the water distribution system, adding a new fire engine, testing and maintenance of fire hydrants, consolidating the dispatch center, and securing mutual aid agreements.

The residents of Jackson have a long tradition of supporting their community. They passed an $11.5 million water bond issue in 2015. These bonds allowed the City of Jackson to complete many critical improvements to its water system, addressing urgent safety issues as well as current and future water supply needs. City officials thank everyone who supported this important ballot issue.

Jackson’s ISO ratings have improved over the years. In 1980 Jackson was rated as Class 6; in 1990, Class 5; in 2005, Class 4; in 2017, Class 4; and now, in 2023, Class 3.


“I would like to personally thank the men and women who serve our department for their continued hard work and dedication in making this community a safer one,” said Gentry. “I would also like to thank the community members for their continued support in our fire district and thank the Public Water District No. 4 for their assistance with the inspection.

“Residents and business owners residing in the 77 square mile jurisdiction that is our district, Gordonville Fire Protection District, serves should contact their insurance carrier in May to see if this improved ISO rating may reduce their premiums,” Gentry said.

Improved ISO ratings can decrease fire insurance rates because homes and businesses that are less likely to be severely damaged or destroyed by fire are cheaper to insure. Residents of Jackson are also encouraged to contact their insurance providers to see if the new ISO rating could decrease their premiums or payments.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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