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.
Are 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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Smoke-free discount – let your insurance carrier know you are not a smoker and they will often offer discounts.
- 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.
- 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.