Minden’s Fire Rating Suffers under PIAL Changes

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Every five years, fire departments all over the state are rated by Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL). It’s one of the few times where going up means going down.

Minden Fire Chief Kip Mourad told members of the city council Tuesday that his department has gone from a Class 2 to a Class 3, a place where they haven’t been in quite a while.

“We were a 2 rating,” Mourad said. “Under the points system, we had an 82 that put us in Class 2. When we got our results back this time, we went down to a 3 with a 76.3. We contested it.”

A rating representative from PIAL met with Mourad to go over the results.

“We did not do anything different (from past years),” said the chief. “As a matter of fact, we did better, but they changed the criteria and the ratings two years ago. Because they changed the criteria, we didn’t get as many points.”

Mourad said as the representative looked over their scores again, they actually gained two points, taking them to a 78.

“It was not enough to get us that 80,” he said. “There was nothing else we can do right now.”

PIAL’s rating affects homeowners’ property insurance premiums, so Mourad said he talked with a local insurance agent.

“They told me you can’t say it’s going to affect them by $1 a person or $10 a person,” he said. “It all depends on the way that homeowner’s insurance is rated and set up for property.”

Some of the criteria changes include:

  • Credit for engine companies decreased from 10 points to 6 points;
  • Credit for reserve engine companies decreased from 1 point to 0.5 points;
  • Credit for pump capacity decreased from 5 points to 3 points;
  • Credit for ladder service decreased from 5 points to 4 points;
  • Credit for reserve ladder and service trucks decreased from 1 point to 0.5 points; and,
  • Credit for deployment analysis (formerly credit for distribution) increased from 4 points to 10 points.

Minden Fire Department has 15 full-time firefighters and 17 volunteer firefighters. The department is equipped with three pumpers, one ladder truck and one rescue truck that covers half the parish.

The Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (PIAL) is a private, non-profit association composed of all insurance companies licensed to write fire and certain coverages within the State of Louisiana. Founded by its member companies in 1888, PIAL has been in continuous operation for more than 130 years. To read more about the fire ratings, visit pial.org.