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New Hanover County Fire Rescue improves fire response, residents could see lower fire insurance rates

New Hanover County Fire Rescue
The improved ratings come after a routine inspection was conducted in February, by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal.

New Hanover County Fire Rescue has received an improved fire response rating, which county officials say could lead to lower fire insurance rates for residents starting in August.

New Hanover County's southern and northern fire districts both received a Class 2 rating from North Carolina Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey. Since 2012, both districts had been rated as Class 4.

The NCRRS rating system ranges from 1 (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state). Higher ratings suggest a department is overall better equipped to respond to fires in its district, and can also significantly lower homeowners insurance rates in that fire district.

The improved ratings come after a routine inspection was conducted in February 2021 by officials with the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal, as part of a requirement of the North Carolina Response Rating System.

Among other things, the routine inspections looked for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities, and availability of a water source. The last time the county received a new rating was after its 2012 inspection.

“The improved rating demonstrates the Board of County Commissioners and the County’s Fire Rescue Department’s commitment to provide exemplary fire protection to the citizens of New Hanover County, which will result in lower fire insurance rates and money savings for our residents,” said NHCFR Chief Donnie Hall.

“We have exceptional staff who serve in Fire Rescue. They continuously improve our level of service to the community and make lives safer, and this new rating is a direct reflection of that commitment.”

Commissioner Causey congratulated Chief Hall, saying “the citizens in these districts should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of an emergency.”

The change becomes effective on August 1, 2021. The NC Department of Insurance Office of the State Fire Marshal has already advised the NC Rate Bureau, which is in charge of insurance rates on dwellings, of this rate change.

However, if you need any documentation to provide to your insurance provider, the fire district rating letters are below:

For homeowners in the unincorporated county, click here to look up your address and see your fire rating.