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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-Insurance costs for some Oktibbeha County homeowners are on the rise.

If you have homeowners insurance in Oktibbeha county, you may have noticed an increase in rates. The inflation in homeowner rates is due to revised class rates by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau in Jackson. Frank Chiles, an Insurance agent at State Farm says these new increases have been hard on some districts.

“Those people who are going through the renewal period will receive those rates. Then as a double whammy on some of the people that were in class eight or maybe even designated class four areas of the county will now be a class 10,” says Chiles.

The fire protection offered by communities are based on fire departments, water pressure and availability; which determine class rates.

“You have established fire department in a class eight you also have anything within five road miles of the fire station would be classified as a class eight. Of course there is certain criteria in there man power, being able to put water on it, and road miles. So this is something that goes into the rating on this thing,” says Chiles.

The Fire Service Coordinator of Oktibbeha county, Kirk Rosenhan, says fire rates have not been raised, but the insurance companies are finally charging districts the proper rates.

“Insurance has gone up a little bit to start with, but insurance companies are tightening up on the values that they give various properties because they have had them erroneously or improperly rated,” says Rosenhan.

A lower Class rating means lower insurance rates for homeowners. In order for rates to go down, more money must be invested in adding fire stations in counties where they are needed most.

“Talk to your supervisor. They are the people that allocate the money for fire protection and in the county. So I would say having fire protection in a county is making housing affordable to the average person,” says Chiles.

“Fires are not put out with water, they’re put out with dollars. So we are scraping by every time we can to provide the best in fore protection, first response, EMS and car accidents,” says Rosenhan.

Oktibbeha County has 14 fire stations and leaders are hoping to add more in the future.

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