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Insurance rates spike due to lack of fire service

1 year ago February 10, 2014 Feb 10, 2014 Monday, February 10 2014 Monday, February 10, 2014 3:51:53 PM EST in News
Source: WBRZ

ST. FRANCISVILLE - Some property owners in West Feliciana Parish saw homeowners insurance double because they live too far away from a fire station in the parish.

The fire protection district will discuss adding two new stations to meet insurance requirements for property owners. Melvin Harvey owns a camp near Cat Island, which doesn't have a fire station nearby.

"It was quite a shock to see your camp insurance double in one year," he said. "Our homeowners this past year doubled. It went from $700 to $1,400 due to the fact there's not a substation down there to cover the 23 camps that require it."

If any property is more than 7 miles from a fire station, the insurance provider does not have to honor the class rating for that jurisdiction according to the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana. West Feliciana Fire Chief James Wood is working to fix this issue within the parish.

"We've seen that some of the property owners have either had their property insurance denied or it's increased significantly. One of the property owners we spoke with had an annual premium of about $683 and it went up to $1,200, so his actually doubled," he said.

Wood says the fire district will discuss adding a new fire station near Cat Island and another near Peterson Road. Those fire stations would be basic and house just a fire truck to meet requirements.

"These would simply be stations that would would house only a truck so you're talking about a building that would be no more than 18 or 20 foot wide and 36 to 40 foot long. Very basic looking, but it would hold a truck and it would be there available so the people could come get the truck and respond to an emergency," said Wood.

Property owners say they're hoping for the best.

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