Pavel's Insurance Blog

Pavel Levitanus

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Recent Posts

  1. Making Customer Satisfaction a Top Priority
    Thursday, April 03, 2014
  2. 10 Ways to Save Money on your Home Insurance
    Wednesday, February 12, 2014
  3. Farmers Insurance New Payment Options
    Wednesday, January 15, 2014
  4. Tips for Road Rage
    Friday, October 11, 2013
  5. Protect Yourself Against Uninsured Drivers
    Saturday, October 05, 2013
  6. 5 Reasons You Should Consider Life Insurance
    Monday, September 30, 2013
  7. How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?
    Saturday, September 28, 2013
  8. Leave a Legacy of Love
    Sunday, September 22, 2013
  9. How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?
    Monday, September 16, 2013
  10. What Kind of Life Insurance Fits My Needs?
    Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Pavel's Insurance Blog

Making Customer Satisfaction a Top Priority

Farmers Insurance recently scored very high in an annual customer satisfaction study. As an agency owner, I have always made customer satisfaction my top priority and I am proud to be associated with an insurance company that, as a whole, does the same.

If you are not a customer of mine, please contact me and let me show you how important your business is to me.  If you are already a customer of mine, thank you! Your reviews and referrals are always appreciated. 

If you have any questions about Farmers Home and Auto Insurance, please call me at (949) 436-0740.

10 Ways to Save Money on your Home Insurance

If you are a homeowner, home insurance is an expense that will never go away and unfortunately, always seems to increase. I want to share some tips on how to save money on your home insurance:

  1. Ask about multi policy discounts. Most insurance companies, including Farmers, will give you a 15% discount for insuring both home and auto insurance with the same company. Farmers also gives 5% off home and auto policies if you also have a life insurance policy with us.
  2. Ask about affinity discounts for certain jobs and educational achievements. Farmers Insurance offers up to 15% off home insurance for occupations such as teachers, firefighter, police, engineers, scientists, realtors, doctors, CPA’s and many more. Affinity discounts are also available on Farmers auto policies.
  3. Burglar alarm/Fire alarm Discount - most insurance carriers will discount premiums by 5%-10% for having a burglar alarm system installed with active monitoring such as ADT or Brinks.
  4. Pay in full discount - most carriers will charge you a nominal fee for paying your insurance premiums monthly. If you are a Farmers Insurance customer, you should consider setting up electronic bank payment to eliminate this monthly fee. (Farmers does not charge a monthly fee as long as you pay by electronic bank payment.)
  5. Home safety discount - Farmers Insurance offers up to a 10% discount for having a gas shutoff valve at your home or an Energy Star/EPA Certified home for energy efficiency.
  6. Ensure proper replacement cost. Many insurance carriers will try to over-insure your home, which increases annual premium costs. Make sure to ask for a home insurance replacement cost estimator if it seems your home is not properly insured.
  7. Opt for a higher deductible. We have found that the average home insurance customer makes 1 claim every 10 years. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by choosing a higher deductible such as a $2,000 or $2,500.
  8. Smoke-free discount - let your insurance carrier know you are not a smoker and they will often offer discounts.
  9. Are you claims-free? Most insurers will discount your home insurance premiums by 15-20% annually if you have no claims in the past 3 years.
  10. Ask for a home insurance review! Call your personal agent or insurance company every few years and have them review your policy to make sure you are getting a good value.

If you have any questions about Farmers Home Insurance, please call me at (949) 436-0740.

Farmers Insurance New Payment Options

Currently, Farmers Insurance accepts payment via Visa, MasterCard, EFT, personal or company check, and cash. However, effective April 12, 2014, Farmers Insurance will start accepting American Express and Discover for all personal lines insurance policies. Farmers Insurance Commercial customers will be happy to know that we will begin accepting all major credit cards effective June 12, 2014.

Also, as before, there are easy ways to pay online!

Customers will then have the same payment card options across all Property and Casualty lines of business (21st Century, Bristol West, Foremost Insurance, and other specialty, business and personal lines). The addition of these new payment cards is a great option for our customers. We are pleased that we are able to accept these additional card brands. We continue to look for new ways to help our customers make their premium payments.

There are a number of other initiatives coming throughout 2014 to improve our customers experience with Farmers. Watch for details of these coming your way soon.

If you have any questions about Farmers Insurance, please call me at (949) 436-0740. Happy New Year!

Pavel Levitanus

Tips for Road Rage

Road rage is a dangerous problem and can lead to serious accidents. However, road rage is sometimes listed as an exemption in many auto insurance policies since damage caused by aggression isn't typically an "accident", but rather the results of unnecessarily risky behavior, or negligence.  Use these tips to avoid aggressive driving and become a safer driver.

I hope these tips and others can decrease the road rage occurrences in our community! Travel safely, friends!

Pavel (949) 436-0740

Protect Yourself Against Uninsured Drivers

It is a law in the state of California that every motorist must carry auto insurance. However, there are still many people who drive without it.  In fact, it is estimated that in 2009, nearly 15% of all California drivers were uninsured.  And likely now, that number is even higher due to years of recession, economic downturn, and unemployment rates.  What does this mean for you, my customers? YOU NEED UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE.

via Insurance Research Council

In California, many drivers carry only the state minimums for liability insurance. So if you are in an accident with someone who does not have insurance, or someone who does not have ENOUGH insurance, this coverage will pay medical bills for bodily injury for you and those inside your car. It is also available to cover lost wages, property damage (damage to your vehicle), and pain and suffering.

Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in California, but is relatively inexpensive (usually $10/month or less) and any good insurance agent will recommend that you carry it for your car or motorcycle insurance package. In fact, all insurance carriers in California require signed rejections if this coverage is declined.

To understand more about your California auto insurance policy, read here and here.  And as always, feel free to call me with any insurance questions or needs.

Pavel (949) 436-0740

5 Reasons You Should Consider Life Insurance

Think you don't need life insurance?
These 5 reasons are why you should consider it. (via Learnvest)

Call me to discuss any of your insurance needs.
Pavel Levitanus (949) 436-0740

How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

This is the last post in a special series of posts for September: Life Insurance Awareness Month where I provided easily understood answers for some tough questions relating to life insurance, such as Why Do I Need Life Insurance? and How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

But How Much Does Life Insurance Cost?

This is the question everyone fears the most. However, the answer may surprise you. Life insurance is more affordable than you think. In fact, people tend to overestimate the cost by more than double.  Will it cost less than your Starbucks habit? Possibly. Less than the cost of insuring your home? Usually.

Life insurance is not as costly as you might expect. Contact me for a quote - I can help you find the right life insurance product and solution for your individual needs.

Your friendly Farmers agent,
Pavel Levitanus
(949) 436-0740

Leave a Legacy of Love

If you have any questions about life insurance, please call me.

Pavel Levitanus (949) 436-0740

Your friendly Farmers agent

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

This post is a continuation of a blog series about Life Insurance. To start at the beginning of the series, click here.
Previously, we addressed the questions of Why Do I Need Life Insurance?, Life Insurance for ANY Family, and What Kind of Life Insurance Fits My Needs?

This post asks the question: How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

The simple answer is that you need enough life insurance to help take care of your dependents if you die. An easy calculation will help:


However, this calculation may become complicated once you analyze the needs of each category.  To assist you in obtaining a general sense of how much life insurance you need, check out the Farmers Life Insurance Needs Calculator. It will walk you through the calculation - you will enter your current assets, expenses and income. You can also adjust for an inflation rate and your expected rate of return to see how these variables may affect your insurance needs. The calculator will provide you with an estimate of your insurance needs. Try it out - it only takes a few minutes!

And after you do, call me for personal guidance and assistance. I can help you find the best ways to protect your family's future.

Your friendly Farmers agent,
Pavel Levitanus (949) 436-0740

Life insurance issued by Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, 3003 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

What Kind of Life Insurance Fits My Needs?

This post is part of a special series for September: Life Insurance Awareness Month where I will be providing easily understood answers for some tough questions relating to life insurance, such as Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

In a nutshell, there are 2 types of life insurance: Term insurance and Permanent Insurance.

Term insurance provides coverage for a specific time period and is typically less expensive. It provides the greatest amount of coverage for the lowest initial cost. Term insurance is a good choice if you needs are temporary or your funds are limited.

Permanent insurance, which includes Whole Life and Universal Life, is useful when your coverage needs are more long-term like income for a spouse or "inheritance" for children or end of life expenses. Permanent insurance initially will cost more than term insurance, but Permanent insurance can accumulate cash value.

It's difficult to determine which kind of life insurance fits your needs - that will depend on the coverage needed given your individual circumstances and financial goals. Sometimes, the right solution is a combination of Term and Permanent insurance. Just how much life insurance might you need? Read here.

If you need assistance with your life insurance coverage, please call me.

Your friendly Farmers agent,
Pavel (949) 436-0740

Life insurance issued by Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, 3003 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

Life Insurance for ANY family

Some interesting facts about life insurance and how it might benefit today's modern family.

If you have any questions regarding life insurance for your family, please call me.

Your friendly Farmers agent,
Pavel (949) 436-0740

Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

In efforts to simplify the understanding of life insurance, this post is part of a series for September: Life Insurance Awareness Month.

This post will answer the question: Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

Life insurance is intended to help provide for your family after you are gone. As unpleasant as it is to think about our own deaths, life insurance provides some peace of mind that after you're gone, your family will be OK without your income. Life insurance may be used for purposes such as:
  • Paying the mortgage
  • Maintaining current standard of living for loved ones
  • Funding the kids college education
  • Paying for final expenses (burial/funeral costs, etc)

Most people think of life insurance in this way, as a replacement of income. And used this way, life insurance can help ensure financial security for your family. 

What many people don't know is that life insurance can also be a financial tool for individuals and families approaching retirement, or for those already retired.

  • You have an aging parent or disabled relative who depends on you for support
  • You have a large estate and expect to owe estate taxes
  • You own a business and have a partner
  • You have a substantial joint financial obligation, such as a personal loan for which another person would be legally responsible after your death

Many retired couples depend on Social Security and pension income to survive. When one spouse dies, those payments may be reduced - survivor benefits are often much lower than retiree benefits - while many of the ongoing expenses remain for the survivor. You can help protect your surviving spouse from this reduction in income with Life insurance. The death benefit can replace your missing income so a personal loss does not become a financial one as well.

It's a good idea to review your life insurance needs annually - more often if significant changes or life events occur. Read more about major life events that might trigger the need to re-evaluate your life insurance coverage and the kind of life insurance that 's right for you.

If you haven't completed a Life insurance income replacement analysis, or if any of the life factors discussed above have changed, feel free to call me. I can work with you to make sure you have the coverage you want.

Your friendly Farmers agent,
Pavel Levitanus (949) 436-0740

Life Insurance: The Basics

September is Life Insurance Awareness month. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series of topics about life insurance in efforts to provide simple answers for the tough questions and hopefully make the life insurance process easier to understand.


Please review these life insurance facts and just begin thinking how life insurance could benefit your family. I hope my posts over the next few weeks are informative and I would encourage you to evaluate your life insurance needs and call me with any questions.

Your friendly Farmers agent,
Pavel (949) 436-0740

Life insurance issued by Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, 3003 77th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040.

Top 20 Most Secure Large Metro Areas for California: 2012

Each year, Farmers Insurance ranks hundreds of U.S. communities based on safety and security. Using  2012 data complied by researchers at Sperling’s BestPlaces, the study of safest cities took into consideration a number of criteria, including economic stability, crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities, and employment numbers.

“Our most secure large metropolitan areas are islands of security in our challenging times,” said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling’s BestPlaces. ”Some have a stable economy due to their local colleges and seats of government, and some may be fortunate that their locale is not prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. Although each metropolitan area is different, they all possess a desirable combination of factors (jobs, low crime rates, housing, climate, health, reduced levels of natural disasters) that make these some of the best places to live in the United States.”

Our own Orange County metro area is featured as number 19 on the list - we should all feel grateful to live in a safe community, which allows us to take advantage of relatively low insurance costs.

If you have any insurance questions or would like a free no-obligation quote, please call me. 

Pavel (949) 436-0740

Preparing for College: Ready, Set, Go!

It's never too late (or too early) to start preparing for your children's education. College is exciting, challenging and usually expensive. Here are several tips that may help reduce the costs if your child - or you - are thinking about college.

GET READY: Prepare early!
  • And by early, I mean when your child is in diapers.  Call me and we can discuss smart ways of saving for your child's college education.
  • Begin researching colleges when your child is in high school. The high school guidance counselor can help point you in the right direction, and there are many online resources are well. The College Board website,, is a great help in looking at types of colleges, majors offered, costs, etc.
  • Consider all options. Of course private colleges are more expensive than public, but financial aid is based on the difference between cost and the ability to pay, so you may qualify for more financial aid at a private school. Don't rule out accredited online schools, and of course staying in-state or attending a local community college can save you money because in-state tuition is typically lower and your child may be able to live at home.
  • Seek scholarships.  Eligibility may depend on on merit or need, or both.  Most scholarship information is available from the granting organization or school free of charge; avoid so-called "services" that charge a fee for obtaining scholarship information on your behalf.

GET SET: College may affect insurance coverages

  • Farmers recommends a "dorm inventory", similar to a home inventory checklist, which lists all the electronics, furniture and comforts of home that your child brings with him, if he moves out of your home for college. offers a free online tool for keeping an updated inventory, which can help you determine how much insurance you need and will expedite the claims process in the event of a covered loss.
  • If your student has been driving the family car, and will now be away at college, your auto insurance costs may decrease. If your student owns a car, it is very important to let your insurance agent know if the  car will be taken to school or left at home, as the cost of the insurance is based on where the car resides.  I can also tell you about discounts that may apply to your student - including the Y.E.S. program as well as the Good Student Discount.
  • For many students, living away at college, there may be no need for additional insurance, as they will be covered under your existing homeowners policy, assuming that your student is still calling your address his or her primary residence. If your student has an expensive laptop, HDTV or other high-value items in his or her dorm room, you may consider purchasing a personal property floater.

GO! (but don't forget the bigger picture)

  • Whatever college option is part of your family's life right now, just remember: This is only PART of your life. Try not to sacrifice your retirement savings for your child's education. Financial aid is available to students and not to retirees!
  • Do what you can to see that your child's educational future is intact. That's where life insurance comes in. Could the student in your family - whether teen or adult -  continue if something happened to you? I can show you several life insurance options that may suit your needs and budget and help ensure that no one's education is cut short.

Please contact me to discuss any insurance needs you may have, or just to ask questions on how much insurance you need or want.

Your friendly Farmers agent,
Pavel Levitanus (949) 436-0740

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