East Bank residents in the communities of Destrehan and New Sarpy will see a reduction in their property insurance bills this year after East St. Charles Volunteer Fire Departmentís fire protection grading was upgraded.
The upgrade from Class 4 to Class 3 will result in about a 12 percent savings for local homeowners beginning Aug. 11. For instance, property insurance for a home in Fire District 8 valued at $150,000 formerly cost about $1,409 a year.
Under the new grading, insurance costs are expected to drop to $1,246 per year, saving homeowners about $163 in annual premiums.
However, the rate reduction will vary with the value of the property, where the property is located within the fire district and the individual rate schedule of the insurance company.
East St. Charles Volunteer Fire Chief Donald Peyton said the fire protection upgrade is the result of a years long drive by members of the department that first began under former Fire Chief David Cochran.† †
“They say the word volunteer and I don’t think people know outside of the fire department what it takes to make this thing work. Everyone has fulltime jobs and they spend several hours at the fire station. A lot of things go on behind the scenes that people don’t see to make everything work,” he said.
The upgrade was largely based on improvements to equipment, the local water system, the dispatch system and hours of service from members of the East Side St. Charles Volunteer Fire Department in the grading years 2011-2013.
“It is a lot of little things that add up to make a big picture,” Peyton said. “Once you get to an upgrade you have to work even harder to keep what you have.”
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon praised the fire department for their efforts.
“The improved fire protection grading will bring about insurance rate reductions for many policyholders – but perhaps more importantly, the new grading means that the protection of residents has been significantly enhanced,” Donelon said. “I commend the community for their successful efforts to improve safety.”
East St. Charles operates from three stations in Destrehan and New Sarpy with a membership of 30 volunteers.
Anyone interested in volunteering can call (985) 764-8112 or stop by the Central Fire Station at 1901 Ormond Blvd. in Destrehan and pick up an application.
|The East St. Charles Volunteer Fire Department was recently upgraded to Class 3, which will save an average of $150 a year in property insurance for residents in Destrehan and New Sarpy.|