Town Weighing Tax Change to Cut Home Insurance Costs

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  • One thing that’s repeatedly come up in discussions about how municipalities can help to reduce insurance liability for their residents is that they might be able to make small investments to improve their emergency response time. While many Americans may not realize it, the ability of a fire or police department to reach a home can have a major impact on their home insurance bills, with quicker turnarounds meaning lower premiums. This is something that insurance agents may want to let people know about in the future, because it could increase their understanding of how their policies work, and specifically work for them.

    The town of Lebanon, Missouri, is pondering a tax increase for residents of its Rural Fire Protection District, and locals will be able to vote on the measure next month, according to a report from the Lebanon Daily Record. If passed, a 0.1719 percent tax would be applied to every $100 dollars of their property valuation, above and beyond the 0.1881 level currently in place. While this nearly doubles the taxation rate, the proceeds from the increase would raise funds to improve the district’s fire department.

    Why would people vote for this?
    Eventually, the money built up via these taxes could pay for not only improvements to the existing fire station, but also construction of a new one, the report said. That could dramatically improve response times, and give the district a higher Insurance Service Organization rating. That, in turn, would probably reduce home insurance premium costs in the area by more than the amount homeowners there would have to pay under the proposed tax.

    “We’re trying to get the tax levy passed so that we can lower the insurance rating for everybody in the Lebanon Rural Fire Protection District,” Lebanon Rural Fire Protection District board member Steve Murrell told the newspaper.

    The more insurance agents can do to generally increase the amount of understanding people have about their home insurance policies, the better off both sides of the equation are likely to be. Consumers will be able to rest assured knowing that they have a more complete cognizance of their policies, and what affects them. That, in turn, will typically help an agent because better communication leads to more customer satisfaction, which will usually result in higher client retention rates going forward.

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