When tornadoes swept through Chickasaw County two years ago many in the community found out the value of insurance. Those with good insurance saw their homes repaired promptly.
Sadly, fire destroys more homes in our community than tornadoes and we are fortunate to have municipal fire departments and county volunteer fire departments ready to come to our aid.
This newspaper was pleased to report in a Page One story last week that local fire departments are working to reduce the cost of insurance premiums. It’s called a water test and the goal is to transport approximately 30,000-gallons of water 1-1/2 miles and pump 500 gallons a minute continuously for one hour.
They will now invite the Mississippi Insurance Commission to come in and certify that local departments can provide a certain level of security and risk reduction against fire. Lower insurance premiums to homeowners will follow.
Currently there are some insurance companies that recognize a Class 8 rating in the area adjacent to the Houston city limits. But some companies don’t and those holding those policies pay up to $500 more each year in insurance premiums.
The actual water test could be conducted as soon as late September or early October. Once paperwork is submitted and properly filed, rates could go down as early as the first of the year.
Twenty years ago when Chickasaw County first started talking about volunteer fire departments, the goal was to get insurance ratings to an eight. If municipal and volunteer fire departments can successfully complete this water test, it will go a long way to making that happen.
Probably no other state program has helped economic development in rural areas than the forming of rural volunteer fire departments. Prior to their organization, those wanting to build a house in the county couldn’t get a loan from the bank because insurance to cover the build was too expensive.
We want to thank our city and volunteer fire departments for the work they do. The training and time you spend does have an economic impact on Chickasaw County.
Let’s all get to work and pass this test.