Insurance costs for many Currituck County homes will drop by more than $2,000 annually after local fire departments received their best state ratings ever.
The new rates come after inspectors determined that local departments had trucks, equipment, trained volunteers and water pressure, among other things, to better respond to fires. New rates will take effect Nov. 1.
This is the biggest jump in mainland department ratings. For many years, Currituck’s volunteer departments remained unrated. But units have gradually added fire trucks, equipment and trained volunteers. Eventually, departments were rated 9, the first level that allows for discounts on homeowners’ insurance.
"A lot of people don’t realize what the departments had to do to scrape and scrounge … to get where we are today," said Chris Dailey, chief of the Crawford Township Volunteer Fire Department.
The Crawford department improved from a rating of 9 to a rating of 6, which drops annual insurance rates on a $200,000 wood-frame home from $4,647 to $2,446, according to a breakdown by the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal.
The Moyock and Lower Currituck departments rose from ratings of 9 to ratings of 7, for an insurance savings of $1,589 annually. Corolla already had a rating of 6. The Carova and Knotts Island stations will remain at 9.
Stations are rated after inspections every three to five years by the Office of the State Fire Marshall, Dailey said. Higher ratings cover homes within five miles of the station or within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant.