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School is in session. Watch for school buses!

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Published on: September 20, 2013
8/26/2013 8:17:10 AM
Now that the school year is just about underway, you will certainly be seeing a lot of school buses on the road.  Whether your child is on one of those school buses or you are merely another driver sharing the road with the buses, you will want to pay extra attention to safety.  

When you see school buses on the road, you might cringe at the thought of getting stuck behind them while they make their seemingly endless stops.  Sure, it can be a pain.  Finding an alternate route is in your best interest especially if you want to get to your destination on time.  However, if you can not find a different way to go you will need to know the rules of following a school bus during its route.

School bus drivers will give you plenty of indications that they will be coming to a stop before they get there.  First, they will turn on their yellow flashing lights so you will know to slow down.  Then, those lights will turn to red which means they are approaching a stop.  You will need to stop completely when those lights are on.  Be careful to not block any intersections and leave enough room behind the bus.  

When the bus is stopped, watch for children getting on and off and for parents who will be waiting for their kids.  Remember that kids will be excited and may not follow the rule of walking in front of the bus to cross the street.  They may take off in different directions.  Stay alert and do not drive off until the bus driver has turned off the red flashers.  And never pass a school bus when it is at a bus stop.

School bus safety is important for everyone who shares the road.  Keep everyone safe by paying extra attention this school year for school buses!

Hiring the Right People Through Social Media

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Published on: September 20, 2013
8/19/2013 4:44:12 AM

With more than 1/5 of the world making use of it, social media has become a powerful influence in our lives. Often times, we think about using social media when we think about its use in connection with entertainment. We think about using sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep up with updates on our friends and to find information about our favorite movie stars or products. However, businesses are finding very productive ways to use social media. Quite often, businesses are using social media to help them find high quality employees.

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Since so many people have either a Facebook account or a Twitter account, employers can easily learn some basic information about potential employees from these sites. For example, an employer can get a basic understanding of the work experience an individual has based on the things that they talk about on Facebook. If in their post they mention things like their proficiency with certain computer programs, or if they even have examples of work that they have done using these programs, an employer can feel more secure in hiring this individual.

An employer can also get a glimpse into the work ethic of the individual that they are considering to hire. If they see that a potential employee is always posting to Facebook or to Twitter during working hours, this might make them want to pass on hiring that employee. If you see in their status that they have multiple updates for games that they are playing on social media sites while they should be working, this is an obvious warning sign.

Employers need to use discretion when making decisions about who they will hire and who they will not hire. There are a lot of laws that are in place to protect the rights of individuals who could be the victim of discrimination. However, the same laws could be used in an inappropriate manner and could result in the employer facing an illegitimate potential discrimination lawsuit. For this reason, it is a good idea for every single employer to have insurance to protect them through the hiring process. If a business currently has this type of insurance, it is always advisable to check back with your insurance agent to make sure that the amount you have is sufficient in order to cover any potential lawsuits.

FAQ: How Often Should I Get an Eye Exam?

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Published on: September 20, 2013
8/12/2013 5:13:22 AM

Did you know that the month of August is recognized as National Eye Exam Month? This observance may not seem as exciting as others, but it is certainly just as important!

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In light of the observance, our agency would like to answer just a couple of the most burning questions when it comes to eye exams. First and foremost, allow us to answer the most popular concern: “How often should I get an eye exam?”

According to Mayo Clinic, having an eye exam every two to four years is critical for those who are between the ages of 40 and 65. Mayo Clinic also reports that those OVER the age of 65 should stay closer to one every two years. Of course, if you wear glasses and/or have contacts, you may be visiting more often than others—no matter what age.

Next, people may wonder what the importance is of GETTING an eye exam. There are a number of reasons why it is important, and we have just a few right here:

•    The sooner an eye doctor detects a problem, the better of a chance there is to treat and correct it.

•    Eye examinations can detect early signs of health issues, including diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.

•    Eyes are not likely to feel pain, meaning an individual may never know if there is an underlying health concern. Only a doctor can find this out!

Now that you have the answers, it is time to book an eye examination appointment!

If you are concerned about what it will cost to have your eyes tested and checked, have no fear. With the right medical insurance plan from Mitchell and Mitchell Insurance Agency, you will not have to worry about an expensive bill. Ask about our options and learn more, today!

In Light of National Simplify Your Life Week: Simplify Your Business

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Published on: September 20, 2013
7/29/2013 4:58:08 AM

The first week of August is coming and that means National Simplify Your Life Week will soon be in full swing! While many people tend to associate this observance with at home life, why not apply it to your work life? There are plenty of things that can be simplified in the workplace.

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So, how can you simplify your life at work? Our agency has a few tips to share, right here!

#1: Make it a habit to use a “to do” list. This is a great way to keep yourself focused and on track each and every week. Trying to remember everything in your head is never a great strategy!

#2: Clean out your desk—and clean OFF your desk. A cluttered desk is only going to lead to chaos and confusion. Having a clean work space is a great and easy way to simplify.

#3: Know when to say “no.” Everyone wants to help everyone, but everyone has their limits! If you truly cannot get to a task, do not be afraid to speak up.

#4: Check in on your coverage. If you are a business owner, have you considered simplifying your coverage? Turn to the same agency for all of your business needs, as well as personal. You may receive a bundling discount!

If you are a business owner looking to simplify your business, these tips are sure to come in handy. Hey, if you are an employee, you may still benefit from a few of these!

At Mitchell and Mitchell Insurance Agency, we believe that even the hardest working people deserve to catch a break every once in a while. So this week, make an extra effort to do so! If you are looking to simplify your coverage, do not hesitate to reach out to us at your earliest convenience.

5 Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Add to YOUR Diet!

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Published on: September 20, 2013
7/22/2013 4:59:21 AM

As your health insurance provider, we always want to make sure that your health is in tip-top shape. It is not only our goal to provide solid coverage for you and your family, but to provide useful tips and tricks, too! This week, we have put together a list of foods high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to fight heart disease, cancer, aging, and more. Why WOULDN’T you want to indulge in antioxidant foods?

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Here are five:

#1: Blueberries. July is actually known as National Blueberry Month! Why? Blueberries are the most powerful of all the antioxidant-filled fruits out there. They have been known to provide a variety of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, boosting the immune system, and fighting infections in the body.

#2: Kale. Just ONE CUP of chopped Kale has over 206% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin A. As for vitamin C? 134%!

#3: Raspberries. These berries are high in polyphenolic compounds, antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and even arthritis pain.

#4: Pinto beans. These beans are high in fiber, protein, iron, potassium and folic acids, making them a health AND filling dish. As for health benefits, they are linked to reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke.

#5: Blackberries. Anthocyanins give these berries their deep color, which also means that are antioxidant-packed. They have been linked to the reduction of certain types of cancer and heart disease.

Are you ready to add these antioxidant rich foods to your diet? We thought so! We hope that you have found this post both interesting AND helpful.

Enjoy!

Motivate Employees throughout the Season with Summer Hours

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Published on: September 20, 2013

7/15/2013 5:32:16 AM

Lazy summer days are not only for those who stay home. You may notice a few of your employees are lazy in the workplace, too! Sometimes, the nice weather makes it hard to focus. As a business owner, this is not ideal. So, how can you motivate your employees throughout the summer season? We have the perfect solution: Summer hours.

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For many business owners, the greatest concern when it comes to summer hours is productivity and getting work done on time. While this is a good concern to have, there are always ways to ensure that productivity levels are still up to par. This week, we have three ways you can implement flexible summer hours without losing efficiency.

#1: Working from Home. Telecommuting not only save money on gas, but it will allow employees to lounge by the pool while working on assignments and taking calls. Allow employees to work from home on Fridays or a day of their choosing.

#2: Friday Freebie. If you want to be the best boss ever, you may offer employees to take 3-day weekends throughout the summer. How? Give employees the option to add TWO HOURS to their day, Monday through Thursday. For instance, instead of 9 to 5, they will work 8 to 6, or 9 to 7. Many employees would prefer to work harder for four days in order to have the fifth day off completely.

#3: Half-Day Fridays. Allow employees to flex their schedules in order to leave work early on Fridays. If they work extra hours to get work done during the week, why not allow them to leave at 1PM on Fridays?

If your employees are able to achieve a healthy work-life balance through the summer, they are surely going to be grateful and employee morale will be at its peak.

Are you ready to enjoy summer hours along with your staff? Make a plan and make the announcement this week. There is still time left to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine!

Save your Life with Skin Cancer Prevention Techniques

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Published on: September 20, 2013

7/8/2013 5:50:54 AM

The sun continues to shine in beautiful California! The heat continues to rise, also. The summer months are surely scorching and the sun is at its strongest.

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While it is important to protect your skin all year long, it is especially important during the hot summer months. Californians are no strangers to the sunshine, but that does not mean that they do not need a refresher course on sun safety and skin cancer prevention. After all, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the nation.

Here are just a few ways to prevent skin cancer this summer:

•    Wear the right articles of clothing and accessories! This means wearing a t-shirt to cover up your skin; a wide-brim hat to protect your face, ears, and neck; sunglasses to protect your eyes and surrounding skin.

•    Generously apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before stepping into the sun and reapply at least once every 2-3 hours (especially if you are swimming and toweling off.) SPF should be at least 30.

•    Seek shade as often as possible, especially between 10AM-4PM. During this time frame, the sun’s rays are at their strongest!

•    Never turn to tanning beds or sun lamps. Many people believe that these are safer than the sun but this is not true. It is just as dangerous—if not more dangerous!

Follow the above safety precautions and you may be able to enjoy a scare-free summer!

If you begin to notice skin cancer symptoms, do not hesitate to call your doctor or a professional skin doctor. Symptoms may include changes in spots/moles, new spots/moles, itchiness, sore areas, and more.

The Dangers of Fireworks

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Published on: September 20, 2013

7/1/2013 5:33:36 AM

Can you believe the Fourth of July is this week? Time flies! If you are ready to celebrate by grilling, drinking and fireworking, our agency is right there with you. It should be a beautiful week in California.

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But hey—not so fast! While grilling and drinking may be okay, firework displays are not always legal for everyone. Why? Well, they can be incredibly dangerous and destructive if they are not used correctly or cautiously.  In fact, over 50,000 fires at home are started by fireworks according to statistics. So, first and foremost, it is important to make sure that personal fireworks are legal in your state. Find out if this is the case on the U.S. Fireworks website. If you have the go-ahead, read on!

Here is a list of firework safety tips to keep in mind this Independence Day:

•    Adult supervision is critical. Never allow little ones to play with fireworks (unless there is supervision and aid)

•    Do not make your own fireworks. It is important to only use LEGAL fireworks.

•    Aim your fireworks at the SKY, not people, bushes, trees, homes, etc.

•    Firework displays should be done in an open area, field, or a place where there is few trees.

•    Only light one firework at a time.

•    Always keep a bucket of water or hose on hand. You never know if a fire will ignite!

•    Keep pets away from fireworks.

Now that you have the permission AND have gone over safety tips, it is time to have a “BLAST!” Mitchell and Mitchell Insurance Agency sincerely hopes that you have a wonderful holiday—without any injuries or accidents to put an end to the fun.

Party on—the safe way!

Home Improvement: Contractor Advice for Bathroom Renovation

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Published on: September 20, 2013
6/17/2013 4:53:17 AM

Spring is the season for remodeling the home, and upgrading your bathroom with a new shower stall, faucets, sinks and flooring is a popular choice. The key is to get it done right with minimal headaches. That means hiring an experienced contractor who can do the job quickly, professionally and at a reasonable price. Before beginning the remodeling, be certain that you hire the best contractor. Here are a few tips to consider before hiring an independent contractor to remodel your bathroom.

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Ask if the Contractor is Insured

Ask the contractor if he carries insurance that covers accidents and mishaps. This insurance is necessary to cover an employee who is injured on the job. A homeowner can be sued by an injured worker for medical expenses and wages that are lost.

Ask About Building Permits

Many cities and counties require that building permits are paid for and posted properly. The local government inspector can fine a homeowner for not carrying the proper building permits and stop all remodeling until the proper permits are certified. Ask the contractor who is responsible for securing the necessary permits.

Ask How Long the Job Will Take

The contractor should give you an estimated start and completion date on your bathroom remodel. Contractors usually are working on more than one job. If materials arrive to complete a different project, he will pull the crew off your job to complete the other work. An end date will give the contractor incentive to complete your bathroom remodel on time.

Ask For a Lien Release

The contractor will run up a bill from a supplier for materials as he works on your bathroom. This arrangement allows the contractor to get all the material needed to complete your bathroom. After you pay the contractor, then the supplier is paid. If the contractor doesn’t pay the bill, the supplier can file a builder’s lien in civil court against the homeowner. Insist on a lien release in the contract.

Are You Following Swimming Pool Regulations?

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Published on: September 20, 2013

6/3/2013 5:23:01 AM

Ah, the sun is shining and the weather continues to heat up in California. It’s time to hit the pool! As a homeowner with a pool, you bear a number of responsibilities, especially if you have guests over to swim from time to time. It is crucial that you are following swimming pool regulations, or swimming accidents and injuries may occur much sooner than later.

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If you are not following swimming pool regulations, you may be held liable and/or deemed AT FAULT for an accident or injury occurring on your property. So, how can you tell when you may be at fault? Here are a few cases…

•    Lack of supervision by the pool (especially younger children.)
•    Carelessness (not cleaning up pool area, tripping hazards, etc.)
•    Faulty/damaged pool (damaged ladder, no ladder, etc.)
•    Rough/risky behavior by pool (allowing drinking, diving in the shallow end, etc.)
•    Poor maintenance, resulting in defects

To avoid a pool liability issue this summer, it is important that you keep a close eye on the individuals using your pool, keep your pool well maintained, etc. If you are found guilty of any of the above bullet points, you may be facing a lawsuit much sooner than you had ever anticipated.

Fortunately, having the right liability on your homeowners insurance policy may make all the difference once a lawsuit is near. Our agents at Mitchell and Mitchell Insurance Agency can discuss your liability insurance options at your earliest convenience. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to learn more!

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