TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Merger does little for insurance rates in Wilkinsburg

Daily Photo Galleries

Monday, April 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Wilkinsburg residents have reason to feel more safe from the risk of a fire than they did three years ago, but that doesn't mean they pay less for homeowners insurance.

Pittsburgh in 2011 absorbed the borough's 26-member fire department, tripling the number of firefighters available to respond to calls. Trevor Lloyd, principal of Lloyd's Insurance & Investments in Regent Square, said quotes from his agency dropped suddenly after the merger but have inched back up because of claims from bad weather.

“All things being equal, a better (safety) rating will mean better premiums. Unfortunately, not all things are equal,” he said.

Still, an improved rating from the Insurance Services Office, a Jersey City, N.J.-based group that provides risk analysis for insurance providers, can soften the hit of rate increases.

“(Wilkinsburg residents) might have gotten a $50 increase in your premium instead of a $75 increase,” Lloyd said.

The ratings are based on a community's communications system, water infrastructure and fire department training, equipment and coverage.

“Before, with any structure fire in the community, we would have only had a maximum of eight firefighters responding — nine with the chief,” borough manager Marla Marcinko said. “With the partnership with the city, we have 24 firefighters responding in the same amount of time.”

Lloyd said Wilkinsburg's rating of 2 is good, and rare in Pennsylvania. A rating of 1 is the best on the 10-point scale. Previously, Mt. Lebanon was the highest-rated suburb with a 3, he said.

Business owners such as Tom Norulak of Norulak Screen Printing, Chris Miller of Wilkinsburg Beverage Co. and John Stanton, owner of Stanton Industrial Electrical Supply on Penn Avenue, are among those who say their rates haven't changed, though.

“I called my insurance guy about (the upgrade) when I heard,” Stanton said. “But he told me that anything up to a six (rating) is always about the same for business insurance rates.”

Wilkinsburg will pay Pittsburgh $7.6 million total through 2015 for fire coverage. Under the arrangement, the city hired Wilkinsburg's firefighters. Wilkinsburg has one fire station, on Ross Avenue.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Wintry mix of rain, freezing rain and snow bearing down on Pittsburgh area
  2. 2 arrested in Wilkinsburg shooting
  3. Woman, 77, dies in Monroeville house fire
  4. Propel school sends students home because of phone threat
  5. Psychiatrist: Man accused of setting Homestead fire not competent to stand trial
  6. Uber gains PUC approval to operate in most of Pa. for 2 years
  7. Pa. police departments worry order on criminal seizures hurts bottom line
  8. Medical examiner identifies man in Pleasant Hills police standoff as Justin Hay
  9. Federal grand jury indicts man for violating poultry law while operating illegal slaughterhouse in his Jefferson Hills home
  10. Beaver County man arrested in 24-year-old Clinton County cold case
  11. Steelers paying $1M to revive sculpture that graced former Manchester Bridge