It Is National Blood Donor Month!

Blood Guy Asking You To DonateNational Blood Donor Month

January is National Blood Donor Month, which is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves to give back. National Blood Donor Month has been celebrated since 1970 as a way to call attention to the need for blood donations and to recognize those who have done their part to save lives by donating.

There is a constant need for blood, but there is an even greater need for blood during the winter months. Blood donations tend to drop during the winter due to weather conditions that cause blood drives to be cancelled, as well as illnesses that cause people to cancel their appointments. While there is a need for every blood type, type O negative is even more sought after since it is the universal donor and can be transfused into anyone, no matter their blood type. Each time you donate blood, you have the opportunity to save up to three lives.

There are thousands blood donations centers across the country, ensuring that you never have to drive more than a few minutes to get to the center closest to you. The Red Cross has made it even easier to find your nearest blood donation center though the use of their donor app. The free app that is already available for download can help users schedule blood donation appointments, track their donations, locate the closest blood donation center, earn rewards, and invite friends and family members to join their life saving team.

All of us at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California would like to encourage you to do your part to save a life this month by donating blood!

Have You Signed Up For Health Insurance Yet?

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Open Enrollment Deadlines

The last day to sign up for health insurance during open enrollment is February 15, 2015, so make sure that you have the right coverage for the year. If you do not sign up for coverage during open enrollment, you will be left without coverage for the 2015 year and will face heavy fines.

If you had enrolled in health insurance for 2014 through open enrollment, you will automatically be re-enrolled in the same policy. However, you should still take the time to look at the new policies that are available to you, since your current policy may have changed, leaving you with less coverage, or even increasing in price. Looking over the new policies that are available can help to ensure that you are paying the right price for the right amount of coverage.

If you do not sign up for health insurance for 2015, the penalties will be much higher than in 2014. The fine is either 2 percent of your household income for the year or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child in your household for the year, whichever amount is more. The penalty will come out of your 2015 federal income tax return that is typically filed in early 2016.

The date that you sign up for coverage will impact when your coverage starts. If you sign up between the 1st and the 15th of the month, your coverage will start on the first day of the following month. If you sign up between the 16th and the last day of the month, your coverage will not start until the first day of the second following month.

For all of your health insurance coverage needs, from individual to group health insurance, contact the insurance experts at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California.

 

Keep Your Company Safe From Cyber Attacks With These Tips

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Tips to Avoid Cyber Attacks

Businesses tend to be their busiest at the beginning of the year, with all their employees trying to start the year off right. With an extra workload, it is easy for a simple mistake to turn into a serious issue. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your business stays safe from any cyber attacks all year long.

  • Properly train employees – make sure that all of your employees know how to protect sensitive information to help reduce potential exposures to the business. Train all employees on how to create confidential, strong passwords and how to properly lock up customer records each day. Employees should also know how to handle a data breach if one were to occur.
  • Update your technology – make sure that all of the antivirus and firewall technology on your company computers are properly updated. Set the computers to automatically update when an update is available to keep your protection up to date. Maintaining all of your security protections can help to make sure that the entire system is effective.
  • Monitor Wi-Fi access and mobile devices – establish standards of usage for all employees and their mobile devices. Ensure that your employees only use public Wi-Fi when it is completely necessary, since public Wi-Fi connections are much easier to breach.
  • Have a plan – even if you do everything you can to protect your business from a breach, it does not mean that you are 100 percent safe. Create a plan of what to do if a breach does occur, including a clear protocol for everyone in the company.

Having the right cyber insurance policy is the best way to ensure that you stay safe in case of a hack. Contact the insurance professionals at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California for all of your business insurance needs.

 

Don’t Miss These Exciting Local Events!

Happy New Year 2015.Fun Events for the Whole Family

January is just a few days away, which mean it is the perfect time to look for fun and exciting events in your community. Make sure to mark your calendar for these local January events that the whole family can enjoy together.

On January 13th come down to the Murrieta Public Library and join the LEGO Club! Children ages 3 to 12 are invited to join other LEGO fans starting at 4 p.m. and build a unique creation that is all your own.

The Murrieta Public Library is also hosting a Frozen Holiday on January 12th starting at 4 p.m. The exciting event is the perfect place for children to make their own arts and crafts, inspired by the movie Frozen. There is limited space, so make sure to get there early.

Every Wednesday until January 1st, try a new restaurant in the area! Not only will you find a new favorite lunch and dinner location, but you can enter to win door prizes for free! You can also bring your own door prize to raffle off at different restaurants to help promote your business. There is no need to make reservations, just show up!

Les Miserables is coming to Pechanga Resort and Casino on January 23rd and 24th. The musical is based on the 19th century literary masterpiece by Victor Hugo and has become one of the most celebrated musicals around. Les Miserables has won eight Tony Awards and is one of the longest running musicals on Broadway. Tickets range from $55 to $85.

Bring the whole family to the Old Town Temecula Community Theater and witness the excitement of the River dance Chicago. The critically acclaimed dance group is known for their dynamic, sensual, and athletic repertoire. The group was founded in 1989 under Frank Chaves and continues to demonstrate sophistication and depth, which creates an enriching experience for everyone in attendance.

For more fun and exciting community events that you and your family can enjoy together, contact Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California.

Top 5 Cars For Families

Driving Down the RoadBest New Cars for Families

There are many things to consider when you are looking for the right family car. From safety features to fuel economy, it can be hard to make sure that you invest in the right vehicle. If you are looking for the best vehicle for your family’s needs, make sure to consider these top 2015 family cars.

  1. Chevrolet Malibu – the Malibu offers plenty of power with excellent fuel economy and a smooth, comfortable ride. With a spacious trunk to bring all of your children’s toys along for the ride, you should have no problem fitting all of your family members in.
  2. Chevrolet Equinox – if you are looking for a slightly larger vehicle, the Equinox is big enough to tow a small trailer while still getting 32 miles to the gallon on the highway with the four-cylinder model. The second row reclines allowing for a comfortable ride no matter how big your kids get.
  3. Ford Fusion – the Fusion features a roomy interior and engaging driving dynamics that will please every member of your family. It also has many new technologies packed in, including self-parking, voice activation, and keyless entry.
  4. Subaru Outback – with the room of an SUV and the gas mileage of a sedan, the Outback offers the best of both worlds. If you live an active lifestyle, the Outback is a great choice since it offers better off road capabilities than most other all-wheel drive cars.
  5. Toyota Prius – if you are looking for the best way to get around while reducing your impact on the environment, the Prius is a great choice. With optional safety features such as a rearview camera and lane departure warning, you can customize the Prius to fit your needs.

No matter what car you invest in for your family, having the right auto insurance policy is the best way to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected while on the road. Contact the insurance professionals at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California for all of your auto insurance coverage needs.

Insuring Your Holiday Party

Group Of Friends Having Outdoor Barbeque At HomeThe holiday season is officially here, which means breaking out extra chairs and tables for your annual holiday party! Along with making sure that you have enough food and drinks for all of your friends and family, it is vital that you have the right amount of insurance coverage in case of an accident at your home.

 

Typically, your homeowners’ insurance policy will provide enough coverage for any problem that you may run into. Make sure to call your insurance agent to find out if you need to raise your limits for your party. Your homeowners’ insurance policy will provide coverage for many scenarios, such as if someone slips and falls at your home or gets food poising from the food served.

 

If you are serving alcohol at your party, be sure to invest in a liquor liability insurance policy. If one of your party guests leaves after having one too many cocktails and gets into an accident that causes injury or property damage, you can be held liable. A liquor liability insurance policy will provide coverage for any legal and medical fees associated with an accident that occurs after your party. There are some steps that you can take to help lower the chance of any alcohol related incidents, including stopping alcohol consumption a couple of hours before your party ends. Also, make sure to serve plenty or non-alcoholic beverages and food to help your guests sober up.

 

For all of your insurance needs this holiday season, contact Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California. We will work with you to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage for all of your holiday parties this year.

You Could Win a Free Mini iPad!

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Last Year’s iPad Winner, Brian Alberre!

The holiday season is almost here, and what could be a better gift than a brand new iPad Mini? A free iPad Mini! Each time you refer a friend to Access West, you will receive a $5 gift card and will be entered into our drawing to win a free iPad Mini. The more friends that you refer, the more times your name will be entered into the drawing!

At Access West, we strive to provide the most comprehensive insurance policies to each and every one of our clients. As an independent insurance agency, we work with many different insurance companies, ensuring that we are able to offer the best policies at the right price! We build a personal relationship with each of our clients to help guide you through the entire insurance process and to ensure that you feel comfortable if you ever have a question or concern about your policies.

All of our independent insurance agents are local to the area, and we know what it takes to provide the right amount of insurance coverage in Southern California. Working with the right insurance agent at Access West is the best way to know that you and your family are adequately protected.

For more information on the drawing and for all of your insurance needs, contact Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California.

Don’t Miss Out on These Local Events!

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November is almost over, which means it is the perfect time to start looking for fun, family friendly December events in your local community. Make sure to mark your calendar for these exciting events next month.

Head out to the Festival of Trees and Push Cart Parade on December 6th in Town Square Park. The event will take place from 3pm until 8:30pm and will be fun for people of all ages! The festival features food vendors, a craft village, and a kids area where little ones can get their picture taken with Santa. The Push Cart Parade will start at 5pm at Kalmia. Santa and his friends will light the new city tree in Town Square at the end of the event.

Grab your scarf and head out to the outdoor ice skating rink in the heart of Old Town Temecula. The state of the art rink is open now until January 4th, and has colorful lighting and rental skates that are available if you do not have your own. The rink is open from 10am until 10pm.

Get into the holiday spirit every Thursday through Sunday evening at Temecula City Hall by listening to holiday carols and the ringing of the City Hall bells. Shows will be put on each night at 7pm, 8pm, and 9 pm!

If you are already starting to plan for New Year’s Eve, look no further! The New Year’s Eve Grape Drop at the Temecula Civic Center clock tower has two countdowns, one at 9pm for Eastern Time and another at midnight. The event will feature live bands to keep everyone entertained all night long. Restaurants and bistros in Old Town will be offering special New Year’s Eve menus and even more entertainment and celebrations.

If you are looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, stop by Western Eagle Bargain Store. Their low priced inventory is mostly comprised of items that are donated by large retailers, such as Macy’s and Target. All of the proceeds from the Bargain Shop help to cover operating costs and subsidize Project Food Box.

Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California would like to invite you and your family out to enjoy all of these exciting events next month!

Is Your Emergency Kit Properly Stocked?

Healthcare conceptA disaster can strike with little to no warning. While there may not be a way to predict disasters, there are many steps that you can take to prepare. Having the right emergency kit in your home and car can help to ensure that you are prepared for any unfortunate situation.

 

When stocking your emergency kit, it is important to make sure that you have certain necessities that will help during an emergency. Your emergency kit should include:

 

  • One gallon of water per person, per day, for at least three days.
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable food for both people and pets. Try and pack high-energy foods, such as nuts and dried fruit that will help keep your body fueled.
  • A hand crank or battery powered radio. Make sure that you have spare batteries!
  • Flashlights and extra batteries. Look for bright flashlights that are weatherproof.
  • A first aid kit that has supplies for a wide range of injuries.
  • At least a three-day supply of medications and an extra pair of reading glasses.
  • Dust masks to help filter contaminated air, as well as duct tape and plastic sheeting to create a makeshift shelter if needed.
  • A whistle that can be used to signal for help.
  • Garbage bags, moist towelettes, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
  • A tool to turn off the utilities at your home.
  • A can opener.
  • Local maps.

Your car emergency kit should include these same items as well as flares, a blanket, jumper cables, and a jack. Having a special car emergency kit will help you be prepared in case of a disaster if you are not at home.

 

Having the right homeowners and auto insurance policies can help to ensure that you are covered from any disaster. For all of your insurance needs, contact Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California.

What to Consider When Buying a Convertible

Convertible

There are few things better than driving down the road in your convertible and feeling the wind blow through your hair. Before you go out and buy your first convertible, there are many things to consider! Make sure to look into these aspects of convertible ownership before writing a check.

  • The mild California weather allows you to enjoy your convertible all year long. However, it is important to make sure to keep a scarf or long-sleeved shirt in your car if it gets a little too cold. You should also consider the hot summer sun. Make sure you have the proper sun protection, including sunscreen and hat to protect yourself from the sun when riding with the top down.
  • The different weather elements can damage the top of your convertible, which is why it is important to invest in a cleaner that is specifically designed for convertibles and provides protection from UV rays. You should also try to park your convertible in a garage or under some type of covered parking to keep it looking and running its best.
  • One of the most common safety issues with convertibles is a blind spot, which come from small rear view windows. When buying a convertible, it is important to make sure that you ask about the roll safety ratings and warning systems to ensure that you are as safe as possible.
  • Soft vs. hard tops. Hard tops are slightly more expensive, but they also provide extra protection from weather elements and car crashes. No matter what top you choose, it is vital to take good care of it.

When buying a new convertible, make sure that you invest in the right auto insurance policy to provide the right amount of coverage. Contact Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California for all of your auto insurance policy needs.