To find the insurance protection class for a home or business, use the Protection Class & Distance to Coast Lookup tool on State Auto's website. Enter the address, city, state and ZIP code information, and the tool attempts to find the relevant public protection class information, per State Auto.
The insurance protection class refers to a one to 10 ranking system used to measure the quality of a city's fire protection systems and policies, notes Zacks. Houses in rural areas with limited fire-fighting services may receive a nine or 10. Locations in cities are usually among the higher classes. Each home's rating also changes based on its proximity to a fire hydrant.
Roughly 50 percent of the classification depends on the quality of the fire department, while the water supply system counts for another 40 percent, according to IRMI. Fire alarms and communications make up the remaining 10 percent. Almost all insurance companies in the United States use this system when calculating rates.
It is possible for a building's or home's protection class to change if the city improves or falls behind in its fire fighting ability. There are some cases where insurance agents falsify protection class details to ensure lower premiums. If this occurs and the insurance company finds out, it can result in higher rates or cancellation of the policy, states Zacks.