On this day in history, on December 2, 1969, a patent was granted for the first home security system. And speaking of home security, did you know that an alarm system can provide a home insurance discount of 5% on your premium? Not only will it provide peace of mind and a potential deterrent for criminals, but it could also save you money.
California is above the national average for burglaries, and Orange County is nearly double the rest of the state*!
If you have questions or would like to discuss this particular home insurance discount or any aspect of your home insurance policy, please contact me today.
Your friendly Farmers agent, Pavel
* Based on analysis of information provided by the FBI for 2013 and January through June of 2014
The popularity of ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar has opened up a new subcategory of auto insurance. Due to recent litigation, Uber now provides coverage for its drivers as long as they are logged into the Uber smartphone app and ready to accept an assignment. Drivers must obtain their own insurance for all other times of driving, and a personal auto policy is not enough. Many carriers exclude coverage on a personal auto policy if you are using your vehicle as a ride-share driver.
Farmers Insurance provides coverage for just this purpose, and I have received many calls over the last 6 months for this type of “Uber insurance”. The coverage is called a Rideshare Endorsement, and enables drivers to customize their coverage, including:
- Comprehensive and collision coverages that pay for damages to your car
- Uninsured motorist coverage, in case you are hit by a driver who isn’t insured or is underinsured
- Medical payment and personal injury protection (if required)
If you are a driver for Uber, Lyft or any other rideshare program, it is mandatory that you alert your insurance carrier. Failure to do so could result in the denial of a claim. Call me today – I am happy to answer any questions and further explain how the rideshare endorsement works. Farmers provides a great product and competitive rates for “Uber insurance”.
Do you have a vacant home? Maybe your primary residence is under construction and you moved out temporarily. Or your rental property is between tenants. Perhaps you moved out of your home but haven’t sold it yet. Whatever the circumstances, vacant homes present additional risks, since no one lives there. Typical home insurance policies do not extend coverage when a residence is unoccupied. Farmers offers insurance products specifically for unoccupied and vacant homes.
Farmers’ vacant home insurance provides coverage for additional risks such as vandalism and malicious mischief. Those perils are not always covered by policies from other insurance carriers. We also provide a 12-month policy with pro-rated cancellation. This is convenient when you don’t need a full year of vacant coverage. Or if your property becomes occupied earlier than you anticipated. In addition, Landlord policies can be easily endorsed to provide vacant home coverage when your rental property is temporarily unoccupied.
Please call me with any questions or concerns on vacant home insurance for your unoccupied home or rental property. Also please remember to let your insurance agent know if your primary residence will become vacant for any length of time and for any reason. It helps to make sure you are properly covered, should a loss occur while the home is unoccupied.
Slab leaks are a common problem in Orange County, California homes. Depending on whom you ask, there are various reasons for this. Organic matter and other soil minerals can wear away at the copper pipes buried in the concrete slab foundation. Others blame the water district and the additives in our tap water, which could erode the pipes and cause them to fail. And others say high water pressure is the main culprit.
Whatever the truth is, or possibly a combination of all these and other factors, suffice it to say that water damage caused by slab leaks are the most common home insurance claim type I see in my business. And while slab leaks can flood your homes and cause costly damage, they can also go undetected for a month or more. Sometimes leaking water simply drains down into the slab and soil, and you never see damage inside your home at all. Here are three signs to watch out for. Any of these could indicate a slab leak.
- Water heater making more noise than usual, or you notice it running late at night. Slab leaks are almost always a hot water line.
- A warm spot under your carpet or hard floor. The hot spot can even be in a straight line and extend many feet. The water is simply pooling alongside the length of pipe, inside your slab.
- Obviously an unusually high water or gas bill should be investigated immediately.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, one method of prevention is to regularly test your water pressure. And also learn where the water shutoff valves are in and around your home.
If you have any questions regarding water damage or claims related to slab leaks, please contact me.
Young drivers are typically expensive to insure. They do not have years of driving experience, and as a group, they are more likely to make poor decisions. However, Farmers says YES to teen drivers and YES to teen auto insurance discounts! YES stands for You’re Essential to Safety and the Farmers YES program can provide a discount of up to 30% on an auto insurance premium for a teenage driver.
You or your teen can join the Farmers YES program in 3 simple steps:
1. Watch this video about the dangers of drinking and driving.
2. Review the Farmers Wrecked Handbook.
3. Fill out the Certificate of Completion. The certificate can be faxed to me, and I’ll set up the discount on your policy right away.
In addition to the YES program, Farmers also offers a Good Student discount for full-time high school or college students between the ages of 16-24.
For information on teen auto insurance discounts, or to sign up for any of the programs above, contact me.
Your friendly Farmers agent, Pavel