Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation: FAQ
November 8, 2021, seven fire departments within District 69 successfully completed Superior Tanker Shuttle testing. The City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach fire departments along with Errington, Coombs-Hilliers, Bow Horn Bay, Dashwood and Nanoose volunteer fire departments participated. As a result of this success, they have received Superior Tanker Shuttle accreditation for the fire protection boundaries within their respective areas.
- What is Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation?
Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation is a program of the Fire Underwriters Survey that recognizes a rural fire department's ability to supply water to a fire scene in sufficient volume equivalent to a hydrant water supply. This enhanced service is provided when a fire department is able to demonstrate through testing and documentation that it can “shuttle” water to a fire scene by way of tanker trucks. This accreditation is required to be renewed every five years and requires annual training.
- What is the Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS)?
Fire Underwriters Survey™ (FUS) is a national organization administered by OPTA Information Intelligence, formerly CGI Insurance Business Services, formerly the Insurers' Advisory Organization and Canadian Underwriters Association. FUS provides data on public fire protection for fire insurance statistical work and underwriting purposes of subscribing insurance companies. Subscribers of the Fire Underwriters Survey represent approximately 85 percent of the private sector property and casualty insurers in Canada.
- What are the Dwelling Protection Grades?
The Canadian Fire Insurance Grading Index applying to detached dwellings calls for less water, resources and equipment than for commercial risks, mainly because fires are more likely to be smaller in nature. Within the Regional District of Nanaimo boundaries, there are two commonly achieved grades, 3A, 3B and 3 B(S). 3A means a dwelling must be within 8km driving distance from a fire hall and must have a hydrant within 300m of their home. 3B means an area that has no hydrants, but the fire department has achieved the Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation. And 3B(S) an area that has no hydrants, but the fire department has achieved the Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation and a water supply is within 5km of the dwelling. See the table below for more information.
- What is the difference between residential vs commercial accreditation?
There are two different levels for Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation, residential and commercial. To see if you are covered under either, check with your local fire department. There is no increased benefit if you have a residential line of insurance, and your fire department has commercial accreditation.
- For residential lines, fire departments must meet a standard of 200IGPM for 2 hours. To benefit from the Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation properties must be within 8km driving distance from a fire hall and 5km driving distance to an approved water source.
- For commercial lines, fire departments must meet a standard of 400IGPM for 2 hours. For commercial lines the distances are different, to benefit from the Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation, properties must be within 5km driving distance of a fire hall and 2.5km driving distance from an approved water supply.
- What is the eligibility to benefit from Residential Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation?
For a dwelling to benefit from the Residential Superior Tanker Accreditation, dwelling must be within 8km driving distance of a fire hall. To get additional benefit from the 3B(S) rating, that dwelling must be within 5km of an approved water source which could include hydrants or water tanks that meet specific requirements. Additionally, this accreditation only applies to detached homes, which means apartment buildings do not apply.
- What is the benefit of Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation?
Those residential lines of insurance on dwellings that are not within 300m of a fire hydrant are recommended to reach out to their insurance agent to inquire on reduced rates. Eligible dwellings may see a reduction of between $300 and $500 in annual fire insurance premiums if their insurer recognizes the accreditation. Not all insurers will recognize that accreditation and they are not required to.
- How far am I from the fire hall?
If you would like to determine how far your property is from a fire station or water source, you can utilize a mapping site such as google maps. Insert your address and the address of the closest fire station or water source to determine the distance or simply drive from your house to the fire station/water source closest to you and check the distance on your odometer.
- What do I qualify for?
To find out if you are covered by the Superior Tender Shuttle Accreditation, reach out to your local fire department who can clarify what you may qualify for from a fire department response perspective. If you don't know who is your local fire department check out this map of Fire Protection Areas in the RDN
To find out if you are eligible for a reduced rate on your insurance, reach out to your insurance agent who can advise you on options and eligibility.
- What do I need to provide to insurance companies?
Each Fire Department will be issued a letter and a certificate for successfully completing the Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation in their area. Each insurance company should have a copy of these documents from FUS. If an insurance company does not, just reach out to your local fire department for a copy of these documents. A sample of what those should look like is at this link: Nanoose Bay Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation.
The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) does not recommend any insurer over another. Always seek qualified, licensed and professional advice when reviewing your insurance policy(s). The RDN does recommend that residents investigate the potential benefits of the Superior Tanker Shuttle Accreditation on insurance, which many fire departments within the region have successfully accomplished.