Happy National Nutrition Month!

Assorted nutsTips to Celebrate National Nutrition Month

It is officially March, which means it is officially National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month was started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in order to bring attention to the importance of making healthy food choices and developing sound physical activity and eating habits.

 

Keep these tips in mind to help you take full advantage of National Nutrition Month.

 

  • Make a plan – making a plan of what you are going to eat and going shopping for the ingredients can help to ensure that you are prepared for the whole week. It will also help to reduce the amount of stress you have to deal with at the end of the day when looking for something to make for dinner.
  • Stock up on healthy foods – if you have delicious, healthy foods in your kitchen, you are less likely to make bad choices. Cut up everything you need to throw together a healthy salad or sandwich so that you have a healthy choice when hunger strikes.
  • Remember your fruits and veggies – most people who buy fruits and vegetables end up throwing them out because they go bad. Cut up fruits and veggies and create little “snack packs” in your fridge so you will be less likely to toss out fruits and veggies.
  • Earn your calories – the more calories you burn throughout the day, the more you can eat and maintain a healthy weight. Get moving throughout the day to help you burn more calories all day long.
  • Reward yourself – do not deprive yourself of all guilty pleasures. Try to stick to the 90/10 rule, and leave 10 percent of your weekly diet for eating out and a little sweet snack.

For all of your insurance coverage needs, contact the insurance professionals at Access West, Inc. in Murrieta, California.

Check Out These March Events

Spring background with flowers, grass and a ladybug. Vector.Fun Events In March

March is just a couple of days away, which means it is the perfect time to look for fun events that you can enjoy with the whole family. Make sure to mark your calendar for these exciting local events that people of all ages will love!

 

The Festival of Colors in Los Angeles on March 4th is the best way to bring in spring. The fun event brings together the traditional Indian custom of Holi, in which revelers douse each other in colorful powder as a way to welcome the season with the West coast. Participants will get to enjoy Hatha, Vinyasa, and CorePower yoga sessions, as well as Bhangra dancing and performances by world-music phenoms.

 

Bring the kids out to the Murrieta Senior Center on March 11th for the Kid’s Bicycle Race! The race starts at noon, but make sure to get there at least an hour early to register. The registration fee is only 1 canned food item, which will help support the local food pantry. Feel free to bring more cans to donate if you want!

 

Head down to Old Town La Quinta on March 21st for the La Quinta Art Under the Umbrellas. Over 80 artists will be participating, allowing you to find the perfect treasured memento to display in your house. It is also a great time to explore Old Town shops and restaurants.

 

If you love a good, frosty beer, you will not want to miss out on the Battle of the Brews at Grace Pavilion on March 28th from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. Along with the People’s Choice Main Event, the Battle of the Brews will also feature The Craft Cup to determine the best micro-brewery, and the “Wich Hunt,” which will highlight the best sandwiches from the local area.

 

Make sure to check back for the next What’s Up Wednesday at Access West, Inc. in Murrieta, California for exciting events in the local community.

Group Health Changes for 2015

HEALTH INSURANCEHow Group Health Care Has Changed

If you own a business, chances are you have heard about all the health care changes that could affect you and your employees. You also may be a little confused in regards to what you are required to offer, and when you need to start offering it. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you do not have to pay any heavy fines for not offering the right health care to your employees.

 

In 2015, if your company has 50 or more employees, you are required to offer health insurance to all of your employees. If you do not offer health care coverage, you will have to pay a monthly fee until you comply with the new rules and regulations. The penalty for not offering group health coverage is up to $3,000 for the year for each full-time employee who is receiving a subsidy or tax credit or $2,000 for every full-time employee, excluding the first 30 employees, whichever amount is less.

 

Starting next year, there will be even more changes being made. Groups that have 2 or more employees will be required to offer group health coverage to their employees. Even though this will affect many more businesses, there will still be heavy fines if coverage is not offered.

 

The new health insurance employer mandate also comes with new reporting requirements. The information that employers are required to report to the IRS include:

 

  • Certification as to whether you offer minimum essential coverage to employees.
  • The number of full time employees for each month during the year.
  • Your contribution to the lowest-cost plan’s premium.

For all of your group health insurance needs and to ensure that you are able to offer the right amount of coverage to all of your employees, contact the insurance professionals at Access West, Inc. in Murrieta, California.

Do You Need a Commercial Auto Insurance Policy?

Insurance Protection When You Use Your Car for Business Purposes

Investing in the right personal auto insurance policy is the best way to ensure that you and your car are protected while you are on the road. Unfortunately, if you decide to take on a part time job, which requires that you use your car, your existing auto insurance policy will probably not provide enough coverage.

When you use your personal vehicle for work purposes, you are considered a much higher risk to your insurance company. When you use your car for only personal purposes, such as running errands and going out to dinner, you do not drive nearly as much as you would if you used your car for business purposes. The more you drive, the higher the risk that you will be involved in an accident, which is why your personal auto insurance policy will not provide enough protection.

If you are relying on your personal auto insurance policy while you are driving for business purposes and are involved in an accident, your insurance provider can choose to deny your claim. Since you are more of a risk, your auto insurance provider wants to ensure that you are paying for the right amount of coverage.

There are a few options when looking for the right auto insurance policy when you use your car for business purposes. The first is adding a special premium to your policy that will provide coverage when you use your car for work. If that will not provide enough coverage, you may have to invest in a separate commercial auto insurance policy. Talking with your insurance agent will help you decide just how much extra coverage you need to invest in.

Contact the insurance professionals at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California for all of your car insurance coverage needs and to ensure that you have the right amount of protection.

 

How Renovations Will Affect Your Home Insurance

Renovations and Homeowners Insurance

Starting off the New Year by making renovations or improvements to your home will help to ensure that your home is comfortable for the entire year. Along with choosing the right colors for your walls and tiles, it is also important to make sure that you know how any renovations will affect your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Any renovations that you make to your home will most likely lead to the value of your home increasing, which means your existing home insurance policy will not provide enough coverage. While you are making any renovations, make sure to increase your home insurance policy to provide the right amount of protection for your upgraded home.

If you are adding an addition to your home, keep in mind that you are increasing the overall square footage. Increasing your homeowners insurance policy will help to ensure that your home is properly protected, no matter how much space you add on. Make sure to invest in enough protection to provide coverage for what it would cost to repair your entire home in case it is a complete loss.

Adding a backyard swimming pool or deck during the winter will help to ensure that your home is the number one hangout spot when summer comes around. However, it will also increase the chances that someone will get injured at your home. Make sure to increase your liability limits on your home insurance policy so that you will not be financially devastated from one accident.

For all of your homeowners insurance coverage needs, contact the insurance professionals at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California. As an independent insurance agency, we will work with you to ensure that you have the right amount of protection for your newly improved home.

Don’t Miss Out On These Exciting February Events

February Events

As January comes to an end, it is the perfect time to look for fun, family friendly events for February. Make sure to mark your calendar for all of these February events that people of all ages can enjoy together.

If you are looking for a romantic night out for Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of places that you and your significant other can enjoy together in the Inland Empire. From the Mission Inn in Riverside that is offering a 3 course prix fix menu for $100 a couple to the Jazz Café in Ontario that offers live Jazz music and drinks, you are sure to find the perfect place to spend the night. You can find plenty more ideas on what to do online.

On February 13th through the 22nd, head out to the 69th Annual Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival. There are many different attractions and events to enjoy throughout the fair, including a demolition derby and a battle of the bands. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, the presenting sponsor, is helping to make the fair even more fun and affordable by offering Fantasy $5 Friday.

On February 18th, one of L.A.’s oldest traditions, the Golden Dragon Parade & Chinese New Year Festival is celebrating its 116th year. The neighborhood wide, two-day celebration includes various traditional music acts and kung fu demos on different stages. West meets east this year with Ping-Pong games, food trucks, and a craft beer garden that will feature local breweries.

On February 28th, the Divas Half Marathon is coming to Temecula. Participants are invited to walk or run the course dressed in as much pink tulle as you want! All participants also get to enjoy a complimentary wine tasting after you have conquered the course.

All of us at Access West Inc. in Murrieta, California would like to invite you to check out all of these exciting local events this month!

 

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?

health insurance concept

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

hacker attack background

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.