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Orange County Home Insurance Rates

Orange County home insuranceThe cost of purchasing a home in Southern California is quite pricey due to the high demand to live here. However, the price for home insurance is comparable to the rest of the country and many times even lower. The reason for this is that Southern California doesn’t typically experience the devastating perils that affect other areas of the country such as hurricanes, tornadoes, freezing, and windstorms.

We normally insure homes in the Orange County area from $150-$200 per square foot. More customized homes will be insured from $200-$300 per square foot. It’s important to remember that home insurance replacement cost is for the dwelling and not the land. So it is not uncommon, especially in the Orange County area,  for the replacement amount or dwelling coverage on the home insurance policy to be less than the purchase price. Thus, Orange County home insurance rates are similarly priced to the rest of the country.

A standard home (1,500-2,400 square feet) in Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego) will typically run $1,000-$1,500/yr to insure on average. This price is lower than many other parts of the country like Texas and Florida that get battered by hurricanes a few times per decade. If you factor in our 25% home/auto insurance discount, the Farmers affinity discounts, and other discounts, we can often insure your home for under $1,000/yr in premiums.

If you have any questions about home or condo insurance prices in the Southern California or Orange County area, please call me at (949) 436-0740.

Insurance Discounts for Seniors

insurance discounts for seniorsAre you above the age of 55 and looking for a discount on your insurance? Here is some good news: Farmers offers auto, home, and motorcycle insurance discounts for seniors.

The Senior Defensive Driver Discount provides customers over the age of 55 a savings of 10% annually on their auto insurance policy. To qualify,  drivers must successfully complete the senior safety course offered through AARP. The course costs $15 and can be completed within several hours. Upon completion of the course, a certificate can be sent to us and the discount will take effect immediately.

The Senior Defensive Driver Discount is in addition to other available discounts, such as the Good Driver Discount, Affinity Discounts, and multi-line policy discounts.

Farmers also offers home insurance discounts for seniors over the age of 55. Those 60 and older will receive an even bigger savings.

If you have any questions about Farmers Home or Auto Insurance or insurance discounts for seniors, please call me at (949) 436-0740.

Good Student Discount on Auto Insurance

good student discount on auto insuranceDid you know Farmers offers a Good student discount on auto insurance? The cost of auto insurance is extremely high for high school students. In order to qualify for the discount, your teenage driver must be between the ages of 16 and 24 and enrolled full-time at a high school, college or university. You will also need to provide documentation from that school for the previous quarter or semester that the student had a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 for all subjects OR was included in the “Deans List” or “Honor Roll” in a school that maintains such a list.

The Good Student Discount normally results in a savings of $400-$600 annually on auto insurance. Combining this discount with the Farmers YES discount will save you as much as 60% on the cost of auto insurance for your teenage driver. It is also imperative that young drivers always go to traffic school if they receive a citation or traffic ticket. This ensures that their driving record is clean, and guarantees the lowest possible rates on insurance.

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

10 Ways to Save Money on 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 you can save money on 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 your home insurance or how Farmers can help, please call me at (949) 436-0740.

 

Preparing for College: Ready, Set, Go!

It’s never too late (or too early) to start preparing for college. Your child’s education 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.

 

preparing for collegeGET READY: Prepare early!

  • And by early, I mean that you can start preparing for college 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. A high school guidance counselor can help point you in the right direction, and there are many online resources are well. The College Board website, www.collegeboard.org, 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. KnowYourStuff.org 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 attending school 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 how you can start preparing for college!

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