La Grulla receives improved fire rating

LA GRULLA — Residents here could see a decrease in their insurance premiums after a rating of the city’s ability to suppress fires saw an improvement.

The Insurance Services Office provides “statistical, underwriting and actuarial” information off which insurance companies base their premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties.

On Monday, ISO notified La Grulla Police Chief Desi Olivarez they were recommending a classification of Class 05/5x, an improvement from their previous classification.

Olivarez could not recall the city’s previous rating but said a news report from a few years ago reported La Grulla had one of the worst ratings, if not the worst rating, in the Rio Grande Valley. It was that report that prompted him to look into improving the city’s rating.

A request for information from State Fire Marshal’s Office was not returned as of press time.

The chief said they were last surveyed by the ISO in 1996. Since then, the city has implemented a volunteer fire department with a pumper and brush trucks.

As part of the survey, Olivarez said they had to ensure they had policies in place, SCBA masks for the firefighters, and adequate water supply which was confirmed by checking hydrants at high-occupancy areas, among other requirements.

“ The survey was lengthy,” Olivarez said, adding that the process started approximately two years ago.

The city’s new rating won’t become effective until the Texas Department of Insurance/State Fire Marshal’s Office approves the rating, according to the letter issued by ISO.

Once it does go into effect, though, Olivarez recommended that residents call their insurance providers to notify them of the change to possibly lower the cost of their insurance premiums.