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Free Smoke Alarms Program

The Public Protection Classification (PPC) Program: ISO's Analysis of Public Fire Protection Capabilities

How does ISO evaluate local fire protection? And what does the classification mean for individual property insurance costs in my community?

ISO's expert staff collects information about municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the United States. In each of those communities, ISO analyzes the relevant data and assigns a Public Protection Classification (PPC) - a number from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire suppression program does not meet ISO's minimum criteria.

Virtually all U.S. Insurers of homes and business property use ISO's Public Protection Classifications in calculating premiums. In general, the price of fire insurance in a community with a good PPC is substantially lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other factors are equal.

For more information about ISO's PPC program, please visit our special ISO Mitigation Online website.

What do the initials ISO stand for?

ISO began life in 1971 as Insurance Services Office. While we still serve the property/casualty insurance marketplace, our business has expanded greatly. Therefore, in recent years, we have not used the old name in most of our communications with customers and others.

Is your company related to the organization that promotes standardization around the world?

No, the International Organization for Standardization, which also uses the initials ISO, is not related to our company. You can find the other organization's website at

Is ISO my insurance company?

No, ISO is not an insurance company. ISO provides advisory services and information to many insurance companies. On your insurance policies, you may see notices showing ISO (Insurance Services Office, Inc.) as the copyright owner. That's because ISO develops and publishes policy language that many insurance companies use as the basis for their products. But your policy is a contract between you and your company. ISO is not a party to that contract