Simple Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

Man Cleaning Gutters

The cooler fall weather means that the even colder winter weather is just around the corner. To help make sure that your home is ready for the dropping temperatures and more time spent indoors, keep these maintenance tips in mind.

  • Clean out your rain gutters. Make sure that your rain gutters are clear of any fallen leaves or other debris. Clogged rain gutters can cause water to back up into your roof and walls, causing hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
  • Turn your down spout. Check to make sure that your down spout is facing away from your home so that the run-off water does not damage the foundation of your home.
  • Put away your tools. Clean all of your gardening tools and store them in a cool, dry place to make sure that they will be ready to use when the weather heats back up again.
  • Check the furnace. Hire a professional to come out and check your furnace to ensure that it is working properly. Also make sure that they do any routine maintenance that need to be done.
  • Clean out the fireplace. Hire a professional chimney sweeper to clean out your fireplace and chimney. Chimneys that are full of soot can easily cause a fire and push dangerous carbon monoxide fumes back into your home.
  • Check your alarms. Test all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home. Replace any alarms that are outdated or that are not working properly.
  • Clean out your cabinets. Check all the cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom and throw out any food or medication that is expired.

One of the most important steps in preparing your home for the cold weather is to look over your homeowners insurance policy to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage for any situation. For all of your homeowners insurance needs throughout California, contact the insurance experts at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California.

Construction Codes for Handicapped Bathrooms

White Keyboard with Disabled Icon Button.

If you own any type of public or commercial building, you are required to have a handicapped accessible bathroom. There are many different guidelines that must be followed to ensure that your handicap bathroom is up to code. Some of the most common codes include:

  • Grab bars. Towel bars are not allowed to replace grab bars. The proper height for a grab bar is between 34 and 28 inches off the ground. It is also important to remember that grab bars must have rounded edges to ensure that nobody will be injured by a sharp point on the bar.
  • Clear floor space. In order for a bathroom to be considered handicapped accessible, the minimum dimensions of clear space on the floor must be 30 inches by 48 inches. The clear space is permitted to be located under fixtures, such as a sink, as long as there is still clear space that will allow legs to move freely under the space while sitting in a wheelchair.
  • Rotating space. In order for a wheelchair to be able to rotate freely, there must be an area of at least 60 inches in diameter to allow for a complete 180 degree turn.
  • A handicap toilet must bet at least 60 inches in diameter, as well as have enough space to accommodate the wheelchair on the sides and in front of the toilet. There also must be a grab bar installed behind the toilet, or on the nearest wall, whichever is closer.

It is also important to keep in mind that handicapped accessible bathrooms are not covered under a property insurance policy. To make sure that your property and all other areas have the right amount of coverage in case of any unfortunate accident, contact Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California.

Importance of Earthquake Insurance

earthquake measures and magnifier

With the recent earthquake in Napa, it is the perfect time to make sure that you and your home are covered in case of an earthquake. The only way to fully protect yourself and all of your assets from an earthquake is to invest in an earthquake insurance policy.

Homeowners’ insurance policies will not provide any coverage from damage or destruction that is caused by an earthquake. Even with this knowledge, only 17 percent of homeowners in California have earthquake insurance. Many homeowners have different reasons for not protecting their home with and earthquake insurance policy. Make sure to avoid these common beliefs to ensure that your home is protected with the right insurance policy.

  • My home has survived past earthquakes. Each earthquake is different, so just because your home was not damaged in the last earthquake does not mean that it will survive the next one.
  • My home is retrofitted for earthquakes. While taking steps such as bolting your home to the foundation are a great precautionary measure, it does not mean your home is completely protected.
  • I will give my home back to the bank. Although giving your home back to the bank means that you will not have to pay for any of the damage, it also means that your credit score will be ruined and you will lose all the equity that was built into your home.
  • FEMA will give me money to rebuild. FEMA does offer loans to help homeowners rebuild after a disaster, but it is important to keep in mind you will have to pay back that money. If you have earthquake insurance, you will only have to pay for the deductible, and not have to worry about paying any of the money back.

For all of your insurance needs throughout California, make sure that you are covered from any situation, contact the insurance professionals at Access West Inc. in Murrieta. We will make sure that you have the most comprehensive coverage that best fits all of your needs.

Don’t Miss these Local Events!

Art autumn Pumpkin thanksgiving backgrounds

With the fall weather cooling down, it is the perfect time to enjoy some of the fun events in the local community with your family. Make sure to keep these exciting events in mind next time you are looking for something that the whole family will enjoy.

The Peltzer Farm Pumpkin Patch is open every day, starting on September 28th. The farm offers a unique day at the farm experience that people of all ages will enjoy. There is a chance to ride a train through the pumpkin patch, visit with the animals in the petting zoo, and enjoy all of the other exciting farm activities. There are pumpkins of every size that are available for purchase, as well as gourds, hay bales, and corn stalks.

You will not want to miss the 1st Annual October Fest at Galway Downs in Temecula. All the fun happens each weekend starting on October 11th, and running through October 26th. The festival features fun and games for both adults and children of every age. There is a miniature corn maze, pony rides, hay rides, face painting, petting zoos, and much more. For the adults, the festival also features a car and bike show, vendor market, and drink vendors to enjoy.

Make sure to check out the Big Horse Annual Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch starting October 4th! As the largest corn maze and pumpkin festival in Southern California, the whole family is sure to enjoy their time spent here! There are many activities to keep everyone entertained all day, including a batting cage, face painting, pony rides, piglet races, and pumpkin bowling.

Access West Inc., located in Murrieta, would like to invite you to check out all of these fun events in the local area this fall!

Are you Covered from any Situation on the Road?

Even though it is required by law to have insurance for your vehicle, many people do not have insurance. One in every 7 drivers in the U.S. do not have the required auto insurance. To make sure that you are protected from any unfortunate accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, make sure to invest in the right auto insurance policy.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will provide the protection needed in case you are in an accident with a driver that does not have any insurance, or does not have the right amount of insurance to cover the costs that are associated with any injuries that you sustained in the accident. The policy will cover the costs that the other driver’s insurance would have, including medical bills and any medical care that you need after the accident.

Typically, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage will not provide coverage for the damage to your vehicle or property that was a result of the accident. However, there are additional coverage is available to add on to the policy to provide coverage for damage. Not only will the additional coverage provide payment for the damage done to your vehicle, but it will also cover the cost of repairing or replacing any items that were in your vehicle and damaged during the accident, such as your laptop.

For all of your auto insurance needs to ensure you are protected in any situation while on the road, contact Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California. We can provide you with the most comprehensive auto insurance policy to provide the protection that you need while behind the wheel. As an independent insurance company, we will work with you to ensure that you get the right coverage for your lifestyle, all at the right price.

Delicious Recipe for the Whole Family

Having a delicious family dinner is the best way to enjoy the company of your loved ones, while enjoying a tasty meal. Keep this grilled ratatouille boats recipe in mind the next time you are looking for something to enjoy with your family.

Ingredients

  • 2 lengthwise halved zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1  chopped onion
  • 2 grated cloves of garlic
  • 1 cubed eggplant
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Scoop out the center of the zucchini to create boats. Keep the scooped out zucchini for later. Preheat your grill to medium high.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the rest of the extra virgin olive oil, eggplant, and scooped out zucchini, cover and cook or 8 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and continue cooking and stirring until the entire becomes thick, which will be about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with the salt and pepper.
  3. Fill the empty zucchini boats with the ratatouille mixture, and sprinkle with cheese. Place the boats on the grill, cover, and cook until the cheese is melted and the zucchini is slightly softened.

For more delicious recipes to satisfy the whole family, as well as other great monthly news, sign up for the Access West Insurance mailing list. Also feel free to contact us with all of your insurance policy needs in the Murrieta, California area. We can help you find the most comprehensive coverage that will fit into any budget.

Check out these Fun Events for September!

With so many fun, local events in the month of September, you may have a hard time planning anything else! Make sure to bring the whole family to these exciting, community events to take advantage all that the beautiful Murrieta area has to offer.

On September 3rd, make sure to come out and celebrate the California Wine Month Temecula style with a SIP Passport! The SIP Passport allows you to enjoy California Wine Month every day by getting you into four different wineries whenever you choose. The SIP Passport lets you choose when and where you want to celebrate the month and enjoy some of the most delicious wines available. The Passport is valid all month long, and you have to be 21 years of age or older to take part in the fun.

On September 10th, come out and help Murrieta remember September 11, 2011. The event will take place at Town Square Park at dusk. Everyone is invited to attend and remember all of those who were lost during the tragic event, and salute the first responders.

On September 17th, make sure to get your family ready for the Jazz at The Merc that goes on every Thursday night. The event features live jazz music by a variety of jazz groups, all in The Merc to allow you to really enjoy the show in such an intimate setting. The fun starts at 7:3 p.m., and tickets are just $15 to attend.

On September 27th, check out the 4th Annual Health & Community Resource Fair at the Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fair is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the latest health related information, services, and products that are available for people of all ages. There will be free health screenings, fun activities, and much more to enjoy and learn about.

Access West Insurance Services would like to invite you to check out all of these fun events in the local area.

Mark Your Calendar for the 2015 Open Enrollment Period

With all the new rules and regulations surrounding health care, it can be confusing knowing when you have to sign up, or even if you have the right amount of coverage. If you have not already signed up for health care in the Open Enrollment period for 2014, make sure to mark your calendar for the Open Enrollment for 2015 so that you can avoid paying the fines associated with not having health insurance.

The proposed Open Enrollment period for the 2015 year is from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015. There are also many other specific situations that may allow you to qualify for a Special Enrollment period that is not during the Open Enrollment period. To qualify for the Special Enrollment period, you must have gone through a specific life event that led to a change in your family status, such as the birth of a child or getting married. You can also qualify if you lose your current health coverage. The Special Enrollment period is only available for 60 days after one of these specific events.

In the past few weeks, almost 11,000 California residents were denied coverage because they did not sign up for health insurance through the Open Enrollment Individual Marketplace during the specified Open Enrollment Period. Most of the denials were the result of a change in the health insurance coverage law, which changed the start of Open Enrollment from October 15, 2014 to November 15, 2014.

For all of your health care insurance coverage needs, contact Access West Insurance Services in Murrieta, California at 951-696-4466. We are a certified enrollment agency and can help to ensure that you are have the right amount of coverage that meets all of your needs, and ensure that you are not denied coverage in the 2015 Open Enrollment period.

Fleet Insurance 101

There are many special insurance policies that business owners have to consider to ensure their business is properly covered. If your business has any number of company vehicles, it is important to make sure you have the right fleet insurance, or commercial auto insurance, to cover your employees and vehicles. Fleet insurance covers the physical damage of a company vehicle, as well as providing liability coverage for different amounts, situations, and usage that is not provided by a personal auto insurance policy. A fleet insurance policy is needed if your business has just one vehicle that is used for deliveries, or if your business has a fleet of 40 moving trucks. Fleet insurance policies provide some of the same coverage options as a personal auto insurance policy, just at a different level. Some of these coverage options include:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage – will provide payments for bodily injury or death that is the result of an accident that is your fault.
  • Property damage liability coverage – will provide protection if the company vehicle accidentally damages another person’s property. It will also provide the financial means to hire a legal defense.
  • Combined single limit – this provides the same dollar amount of coverage per covered occurrence whether property damage or bodily injury, either to one person or several.
  • Medical payments, no-fault or personal injury coverage – will pay for the medical expenses of the driver and the passengers in the company vehicle who are part of an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – will pay for the medical expenses and property damage that is associated with an accident with another motorist that either has no insurance, or does not have enough insurance.
  • Comprehensive physical damage coverage – will cover the cost of damage to the company vehicle due to theft, vandalism, fire, flood, and other named perils.

For the most comprehensive fleet insurance coverage in the Murrieta, California area, contact Access West Inc.

How do Tickets Affect your Auto Insurance?

It is no secret that traffic tickets can create a huge hassle. Along with the fees associated with paying off the ticket, the ticket will also most likely make your insurance premiums increase. While the exact amount that a ticket will make your auto insurance premiums rise is kept a secret by insurers, most experts agree that a minor violation will increase your premium by 10 – 15 percent.

A minor violation is not a very serious offense. These are tickets for driving situations such as making an illegal u-turn or going a couple miles per hour over the speed limit. These tickets are taken care of in traffic court, and do not carry a very heavy fine. Most of the time, your first minor violation will not cause your auto insurance premiums to increase.

Correctable violations are also taken care of in traffic court, and include things such as having window tint that is too dark or having a broken headlight. These tickets are not very expensive to take care of, and will not stay on your driving record if they are taken care of.

A major violation is handled in criminal court, and can come with jail time for committing one. Major violations are instances such as a hit and run, a DUI, and vehicular manslaughter.

Every time you get a ticket, points are added to your license. If you get a certain amount of points in a certain amount of time, your license can be suspended, or the DMV can revoke your driving privileges altogether. The number of points on your license will also be used to determine your insurance premium. If you have too many points, certain insurance companies will not insure you. Insurance companies also have the option to not renew your insurance policy if you get to many tickets.

For the most comprehensive auto insurance coverage in the Murrieta, California area, contact Access West, Inc.