New Homeowners Protection Class Ratings in Florida Cause an Insurance Coverage Dilemma

The Insurance Service Office of  Florida’sInsurance Industry has created new Protection Class Homeowners Ratings for  those high risk counties in the state of Florida.  The Florida Insurance Rating Agency which provides the state’s Insurance Carriers with vital claims statistics, underwriting and actuarial data for setting  an insurance company’s policy rates, has made it difficult for those rural Florida residents to acquire Homeowners Insurance Coverage.

More rural areas of florida have now been rated as a Protection Class 10.  Protection Class 10 are homes that are over 1000 feet from a fire hydrant or 5 miles away from a fire station. The Insurance Service Office determined that it would take over 15 minutes for the fire department to reach these homes in the event a fire broke out.  To provide you with a little context , most of us whom live in an urban or suburban area of the state. Our homes are located in a city or neighborhood where fire protection services are always available. These ares are considered a Protection Class of 1 to 8A.  This means there is a fire hydrant near your home and a fire station or water source is close by.  Once your home is located in a Protection class 9 or above – you find it more difficult secure Homeowners Insurance Coverage. Protection Class does not have an effect on Cheap Online Car Insurance, Direct Commercial Auto Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Boat Insurance, or Renters Insurance.

Polk County, which is in rural Florida, is one of the areas affected by the new ratings. The new rating has placed over 3,000 homes in the county in this high risk zone. This translates into about 8 percent of the county’s residents who will see an increase in their homeowners insurance rates. In response to the new ratings, an informal survey was conducted by the fire department in Polk County. The survey revealed that homeowners in the county within the Class 10 designation might be required to pay over $100 more on their existing premiums and over $150 more for newer properties.

Insurability is already a problem for rural Florida areas in genera.  With the existing difficulty of rural Floridians getting Homeowners Insurance coverage, the new Protection Class will make it more difficult.  Homeowners insurance customers will be forced to buy specialty or surplus lines type of coverage. which might take longer to obtain and be more expensive for the homeowners.

As of now, the recently designated Protection Class 10 homeowners have been left on their own in the face of new ratings and overall insurance market. Insurance carriers also face the challenge of providing these homes with enough fire insurance coverage.


Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602