Some businesses in and around Apex could see a decrease in fire insurance premiums thanks to improved ratings by the North Carolina Department of Insurance/Office of State Fire Marshal.
After completing required inspections, the Apex Fire Department is excited to announce it has advanced its fire ratings from 3 to 1 — the highest grade possible within the system and a rank that only 16 other municipalities in the state have achieved. Insurance companies use these ratings to determine how much they’ll charge to insure businesses, so improvements can mean significant savings for commercial structures.
The unincorporated area served by the Apex Fire Department, known as Hipex, received a Class 2 rating, joining 38 other departments in the state. Apex Fire Department is the second Wake County department serving an unincorporated area to receive such a grade.
“We’re proud to provide a high level of service to the citizens of the Hipex insurance district, which was recognized by the strong rating that we received,” said Apex Fire Chief Keith McGee. “Our Class 2 rating was made possible in part due to our cooperative working relationship with Wake County and their talented staff.”
The North Carolina Response Rating System’s scale ranges from one (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state). While any rating does not necessarily indicate poor service, a more favorable rating does suggest that a department is better equipped overall to respond to fires – and, therefore, can result in lower insurance rates in that district.
The inspection, which is required by the state on a regular basis, looks for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source. State law requires OSFM officials to inspect departments serving districts of 100,000 people or fewer.
“We are very proud of the Apex Fire Department,” said Wake County Commissioner Maria Cervania. “We look forward to continuing our working relationship with the town to provide the highest level of public safety service to our residents.”
Apex now joins several other Wake County municipalities, such as Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and Holly Springs, that rank in the top 20 for fire insurance ratings in the state.
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey joined Wake County and Apex officials Tuesday to present the new ratings.
“We are proud to be a partner with the Town of Apex Fire Department in the delivery of fire services to the residents of Wake County,” said Darrell Alford, director of Wake County Fire Services and Emergency Management. “We could not be more excited to share the news of their new, improved fire insurance ratings.”