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Scurich Insurance Services has been serving the Monterey Bay Area since 1924. Our mission is to partner with our customers and provide them superior service and value. We are a member of United Valley Insurance Services, Inc., a cluster of over 70 California Independent Insurance agencies, which produced over $530,000,000 of annual premium last year. At Scurich Insurance Services we understand your business and our community. Our customers look to us for comprehensive solutions. We have established relationships with more than 40 of the nation’s leading insurance providers, which allows us to deliver multiple, competitively-priced options and a team of experts to guide you through the process. When you need to file a claim, change a policy or process a certificate you can depend on Scurich Insurance Services to respond quickly to your request. SERVICES In order to provide value added benefits to our customers that go beyond the insurance policy Scurich Insurance Services offers the following additional services: Safety Programs – English and Spanish OSHA Compliance Safety Policies – English and Spanish Online OSHA 300 Log Safety Posters and Payroll Stuffers - English and Spanish Certificates of Insurance – If received before 3:30pm done the same day Risk Management Consulting Brokerage Services Represent most major insurance companies to better market your account. Safety tapes/DVD’s BUSINESS LINES Commercial Commercial Packages Business Auto Workers Compensation Umbrella Bonds Directors & Officers Professional Liability Employment Practices Liability Personal Auto Home Umbrella Recreational Vehicles Boatss Life & Health Individual Medical Individual Life Group Medical Group Benefits

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Why your company needs a business continuity plan

Author TonyScurich , 8/7/2015

Business continuity planning is one of the most critical components of any recovery strategy.

Companies today face an unprecedented number of exposures.

The frequency and severity of weather-related events seem to be increasing. Reliance on a complex network of technology and supply chains is expanding. Both leave businesses susceptible to a variety of existing and emerging risks.

Managing these risks is key to the survival of any organization.

Why Business Continuity?

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MISCONCEPTION: "Our people will know what to do in an emergency."

REALITY: Even the best employees cannot be expected to know what to do when disaster strikes. Leaving each to respond in his or her own way only adds to the confusion of an event. Having a well-documented business continuity plan in advance, and training your employees to follow it, gets everyone on the same page — helping ensure an organized, safe and timely recovery.

Scurich Insurance Services, Watsonville, CA, Business Insurance

MISCONCEPTION: "We have insurance to cover our losses."

REALITY: Insurance alone is NOT a business continuity strategy. Proper coverage is a significant and important part of the plan. But it may not fully cover some of the peripheral damages from an event, like loss of customers, loss of market share, or setbacks in development or release of a new product. Consult with your insurance agent to understand what is and is not covered under your policy.

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MISCONCEPTION: "We don't have the time to develop a business continuity plan."

REALITY: Time spent developing and maintaining a business continuity plan is an investment in your company. Your fixed costs will continue after an event whether or not you are open for business. The faster you can return your operations to normal, the more likely you will recover from the event successfully. With so much at stake, your company can't afford to NOT have a plan.

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MISCONCEPTION:  "Business continuity and disaster recovery planning are the same."

REALITY: Business continuity is a proactive plan to avoid and mitigate risks associated with a disruption of operations. It details steps to be taken before, during and after an event to maintain the financial viability of an organization. 

Disaster recovery is a reactive plan for responding after an event. It deals with the safety and restoration of critical personnel, locations, and operational procedures after a disaster, and is a part of business continuity planning.

A business continuity plan is one of the best investments your company can make.

From Hurricane Sandy and 9/11 to the tornadoes in Oklahoma – companies that proactively consider how to respond to events are the first to get back to business, often at the expense of competitors.

A predefined business continuity plan, combined with the proper insurance coverage, maximizes the chance of a successful recovery by eliminating hasty decision-making under stressful conditions. It details how to get businesses back on track after a disruption – in the most thoughtful way possible.

Think your business can withstand a disaster? Think again.

Twenty-five percent of businesses do not reopen following a major event.1 It does not take a major catastrophe to shut down a business. In fact, seemingly minor disruptions compared to widespread natural disasters can often cause significant damage – power failures, broken water pipes, or loss of computer data.

A Travelers study found that 48 percent of small businesses are operating without any type of business continuity plan…Yet 95 percent indicated they felt they were prepared.

  • Is your business continuity plan predominately an insurance policy?
  • Is it predominately an emergency response or evacuation plan?
  • Is it predominately an IT or data recovery plan?
  • Is it something you developed that sits in a binder on a shelf?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, then your business continuity plan may be giving you a false sense of security.

Natural disasters are more common – and costly – than you may realize.

In 2012, nine of the top 10 most expensive world-wide natural disasters happened in the United States. With $77 billion in insured losses worldwide, 2012 was the third costliest year on record. The first was 2011, when $126 billion in insured losses were reported.2

Business continuity planning for a competitive advantage.

An alarming 48% of business owners surveyed by Travelers in 2012 said they have no plan in place. That means business continuity planning is more than smart business – it helps your company remain better positioned to recover from the business interruption, property damage, financial impact, and loss of life that a natural disaster or man-made event may cause.

The time for business continuity planning is now.

Planning for a disruption or catastrophic event should happen when business is going well, not when disaster strikes. Having a pre-defined, well-documented business continuity plan that clearly communicates how your business will respond during an event can help mitigate risk – and is one of the best investments your company can make.

1Source: Insurance Institute of Business & Home Safety; http://www.disastersafety.org/ 2Source: Insurance Journal; http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2013/03/27/286235.htm


When Is it Dangerously Hot to Work?

Author TonyScurich , 8/3/2015
High heat and construction work are simply not compatible. Yet, the work must get completed. Workers must wear protective clothing and gear which diminishes the body's capacity to shed heat. This fact combined with high heat creates specific exposures which require vigilant monitoring. Short-term exposures to heat and humidity:
  • Prevention: Drink plenty of water - a good test is the employee must urinate every three hours at a minimum, two hours is better. If they do not need to urinate, they are not getting adequate fluids. Wear breathable clothing such as cotton. Work in the shade or indoors as much as possible, take frequent water breaks in the shade.
  • Heat exhaustion: the stage prior to heat stroke when many symptoms from dehydration can be noticed. Any dizziness, nausea or vomiting, cramping, or sudden weakness requires immediate attention. Headaches, blurred vision or unusual fatigue can be signs of heat exhaustion. Rest the worker in the shade, loosen tight clothing and provide water. Observe the employee for several minutes. If they quit sweating or any symptom becomes worse, or they breathe rapidly or have a quick pulse, seek emergency medical help immediately.
  • Heat stroke: LIFE THREATENING. Add these to the heat exhaustion symptoms:
    • Hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, illogical behavior
    • High body temperature, red or pale skin, difficulty breathing
    • Unconsciousness or coma
Seek immediate professional help for these symptoms. Bacteria carrying insects love this weather. Lyme disease and West Nile Virus are not uncommon. Prevention includes spraying mosquito deterrent and checking for ticks. Long-term exposures include skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Common sense goes a long way to prevent over-taxing workers. If a concrete pour is scheduled for an extremely hot day, postpone. You'll spare your employees heat related discomfort, and the odds of getting the concrete in before it sets is remote at best. Remember your machine operators too. Check on them throughout the day and carefully observe their performance. Any signs of erratic behavior needs to be addressed immediately. Even air conditioned cabins can create dehydrating condition in the hot sun. If you want your crew working Friday, you need to supply plenty of water and shaded rest breaks Monday through Thursday. The body can only take so much heat.

Stay Safe While Exercising This Summer

Author TonyScurich , 7/24/2015

You might love the warm summer temperatures, but they can be dangerous when you are working out. If you are not careful, you could end up with dehydration or heatstroke. The following tips can help you keep up stay safe while you stay in good shape over the summer.

Exercise During the Cool Parts of the Day Avoid the intense heat of the noon-time sun when possible. Instead of going for a walk during your lunch break, exercise early in the morning when temperatures are lowest. Another option is to wait until the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop in the evening. If you work out before dawn or after sunset, wear reflective clothing so that car drivers can see you more easily. If you exercise during the day, use sunscreen. Stay Hydrated You can quickly become dehydrated when you exercise. To prevent dehydration, men should drink 12 8-ounce cups and women should get 8 cups of water per day. You need extra water when the weather is windy or dry. Consume an additional 2 cups of water about an hour before your workout, and drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes while you are exercising. Weigh yourself before and after your workout, and drink an additional 16 ounces, or half-liter, of water for every pound that you lost during your workout. Symptoms of mild dehydration can include thirst, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramping and muscle weakness. Stop exercising and drink some water immediately if you notice these symptoms. Adjust Your Exercise Program Be flexible with your exercise program during the summer. Water activities, such as swimming laps or taking water aerobics classes, can give you an excellent aerobic workout while you stay cool compared to participating in activities such as running or cycling. You can also adjust your workout program while maintaining a high level of fitness by lowering the intensity of your exercise sessions on hot days. Finally, you can opt for indoors workouts instead of heading outdoors. You can follow an exercise DVD in your own air-conditioned home, or go to a health club with air conditioning. There, you can run on the treadmill, use the stationary bikes or elliptical machines, lift weights, and take group fitness classes without exposing yourself to the sun. With a bit of caution, you can have fun, stay fit, and stay safe this summer.  

Safe packing for travel

Author TonyScurich , 7/13/2015
Nine out of 10 Americans drive to their travel destination.¹ If you are among those planning to hit the road, remember: safe driving starts before you even leave the driveway. Securing luggage, maintaining vehicle balance and keeping clear lines of sight from the driver’s seat is key. Learn how to pack your vehicle for safer travels in these videos with Travelers specialist Chris Hayes — and make your road trip a memorable one, for all the right reasons. Watch "Drive Safe: How to Pack Safe"   Sources: ¹http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/subject_areas/national_household_travel_survey/long_distance.html Travelers

How to Protect Your Personal Information Online

Author TonyScurich , 7/8/2015

Going online has become part of everyday life, whether it is for everyday activities such as shopping, sending email or paying bills, and managing your accounts. But data breaches, in all their forms, can potentially expose the personal information that we share online, putting consumers at risk of identity theft.

According to the 2014 Travelers Consumer Risk Index, 82 percent of Americans worry about loss of personal privacy, and 63 percent worry about identity theft.  Fortunately, there are steps that consumers can take, including not opening unsolicited emails and avoiding unsecure websites, to protect their personal information while online.

The following tips can help you learn how to help stay safe online:

Online Shopping

  • Research potential retailers to make sure they are reputable and have a secure network and website. Try to avoid buying from a site that does not have a secure socket layer (SSL) encryption installed. In order to do this, look for the 's' at the beginning of a URL – HTTPS:// instead of HTTP:// – to help determine if a site is SSL secured.
  • Read the site's privacy policy to learn how the personal information you provide will be used.
  • Use only one credit card for online purchases. Be sure to read statements when received to check for fraudulent or unknown charges or activity.
  • If you receive an email regarding sales or discounts from a particular retailer, log on directly to the official website for the business. Avoid linking to it from an unsolicited email.

Emails and Attachments

  • Do not send personal information in email or instant messages. Emails are out of your control once sent, and can be easily intercepted.
  • Do not click on links you receive by email or encounter online that are suspicious or from unknown sources. Only accept and click if it:
    • Comes from someone you know.
    • Comes from someone you have received mail from before.
    • Is something you were expecting.
    • Does not look odd with unusual spellings or characters.
    • Passes your anti-virus program test.
  • Be cautious of emails you receive regarding your financial accounts. If you are not sure of the email's validity, contact your financial institution directly.

General Online Safety

  • Try to limit the personal information you put on the Internet. Social media sites can be good for networking, but identity thieves can use the information you share.
  • Remember to keep your Web browser up to date. This can help ensure the latest security features are installed.
  • Avoid storing personal information, account numbers and personal identification numbers on your computer.
  • Install firewall and anti-virus software. This can help protect you from exposure to malicious cyber attacks.
  • Choose strong passwords and keep them private.

Protecting Your Child from Secondary Drowning

Author TonyScurich , 7/1/2015

Only one to two percent of drownings are classified as secondary or dry drownings. However, you definitely want to understand this risk and take steps to protect your kids.

What is Secondary Drowning? When someone struggles underwater and breathes in even a small amount of water, it can trigger spasms in the airway muscles. That water can also cause pulmonary embolism, or fluid build-up in the lungs. A victim of secondary drowning may walk away after struggling underwater and look or act fine. He or she could drown in his or her own fluids and suffer from brain injury or die within one to 24 hours later, though. What are the Symptoms of Secondary Drowning? A victim might show several signs of secondary drowning, including bubbling fluid around the lips, chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath, cough or extreme fatigue. Young children may not be able to verbally express to you if they experience these symptoms, however, and you may not notice them if your child is fussy or tired after a long day. That's why you need to be vigilant in looking out for signs of secondary drowning after your child experiences a struggle in the water. What is the Treatment for Secondary Drowning? Hospital staff will provide oxygen treatment or ventilation for a victim of secondary drowning. Prevention is the best treatment, though, as you:
  • Teach your kids how to swim with confidence and how to be safe in the water.
  • Supervise kids in the pool or bathtub every second.
  • Ensure all adults who supervise kids know CPR techniques for all age groups.
  • Make sure the pool is fenced in with childproof locks.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately for someone who experiences a struggle in the water, even if he or she shows no signs of secondary drowning.
Additionally, verify that your homeowners insurance is up to date. It can cover medical treatments required to save a child from secondary drowning.  

Tips for a vacation-ready home

Author TonyScurich , 6/22/2015

family-vacationA vacation is your time to relax and enjoy life.

Vacation is for fun and relaxation. Help save yourself some worry about what could be happening at home by protecting it from theft and damage while you are away. Here is a checklist we have developed to help you have a relaxing and peaceful vacation.

  • Make sure all electrical appliances are turned off.
  • Clean the refrigerator of all perishable foods, and take out the garbage.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Arrange to have the newspaper and mail held until your return, or have them picked up by a trusted neighbor.
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed (or snow shoveled) while you are away. Ask a neighbor to set out your trash on collection day and then retrieve empty cans and recycling bins the same day.
  • Let a trusted neighbor know you will be away and have them keep an eye on your home. It is a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
  • Set timers on interior lights.
  • Make sure to unplug televisions, computers and appliances susceptible to lightning and power surges.
  • Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended period.
  • Store jewelry and valuable items in a safe-deposit box.
  • Arrange for the care of pets.
  • Set the heating system to provide minimum heat of 55 degrees.


Cooking is the cause of two out of every five home fires

Author TonyScurich , 6/19/2015

cooking-fireCooking has long been and continues to be the most common cause of home structure fires and home fire-related injuries. Whether preparing for a family dinner or a quick snack, practicing safe cooking behaviors can help keep you and your family safe.

  • Never leave your range or cooktop unattended while cooking. If you have to leave the room, turn your range or cooktop off.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves. Loose clothing can hang down onto hot surfaces and can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and free of combustible materials. Food wrappers, oven mitts or other materials left on or near the stove may catch fire.
  • Be sure to clean up any spilled or splattered grease. Built-up grease can catch fire in the oven or on the cooktop.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher readily available. Having an extinguisher nearby is important, but you also need to have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.
  • Never throw hot grease in the garbage as it can ignite combustible materials.Be sure to let grease cool and dispose of it in an old can, such as a metal coffee can.
  • Do not store food or other items in your oven. It can be easy to forget there is an item in your oven, and this could catch fire while preheating.

What to Do If a Cooking Fire Flares Up

By exercising caution at all times in your kitchen, you can help reduce the risk of a kitchen fire. But if a fire does flare up, you need to be prepared.

  • Your safety should always come first. If you are unsure about whether it is safe to fight the fire, leave the scene, call 911 for help, and let the fire department control the fire.
  • If a small fire flares up and you are going to attempt to extinguish it, call 911 for help first. A fire may grow out of control more quickly than you anticipate. It is safer to have help already on the way.
  • Smother a grease fire – never throw water on a grease fire. The super-heated water can change to steam, and can cause severe burns. Oil also can splash and spread the fire. If a grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid – while wearing an oven mitt – over the pan. If safe to do so, turn off the heat source. Do not move the pan, and keep the lid on until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.
  • If a fire starts in your oven, keep the door closed and turn off the heat source.Keeping the door closed will help smother the flames. Do not open the door until the flames are completely out.
  • If a fire starts in your microwave, turn off the microwave and do not open it until the fire is completely out. Unplug the microwave only if you can safely do so.

*Source: NFPA. “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment”. Marty Ahrens. 11-2013.http://www.nfpa.org/research/statistical-reports/major-causes/cooking-equipment


Be aware - not all kitchen fires start with cooking

Author TonyScurich , 6/15/2015

fire-3When thinking of the cause of a kitchen fire, it is common to think of cooking. But not all kitchen fires start because of cooking hazards. Non-cooking related fires commonly involve refrigerators, freezers or dishwashers. The following tips can help prevent non-cooking related fires from occurring in your kitchen.

  • Plug all kitchen appliances, including microwaves, toasters and coffee makers, directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord as it can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Use the right outlet for the right appliance. For larger appliances, such as ovens and refrigerators, be sure to only use properly grounded outlets with circuits that match the rating plate on the appliance. If you have older 2-prong outlets in other locations of your kitchen, have a qualified electrician replace it with a properly grounded 3-prong outlet. Do not use an adapter.
  • Replace any power cords that become frayed or otherwise damaged. Never use a cord that shows cracks or other damage.
  • When moving kitchen appliances, be aware of power cords. Rolling over or pinching power cords can damage them.
  • Unplug small appliances when not in use.
  • Keep your stove and oven clean. Built up food splatter or grease can later ignite when the stove or oven is turned on for cooking.
  • Check and clean stove hoods and filters regularly. If your stove hood vents externally, make sure insects or birds do not build nests or otherwise impede air flow through it.
  • Never use a gas or propane oven to heat your home. Not only is this a fire hazard, but it can also give off toxic gases.

What to Do If a Kitchen Fire Flares Up

By exercising caution at all times in your kitchen, you can help reduce the risk of a kitchen fire. But if a fire does flare up, you need to be prepared.

  • Your safety should always come first. If you are unsure about whether it is safe to fight the fire, leave the scene, call 911 for help, and let the fire department control the fire.
  • If a small fire flares up and you are going to attempt to extinguish it, call 911 for help first. A fire may grow out of control more quickly than you anticipate. It is safer to have help already on the way. Using a fire extinguisher

Compile an inventory of your important possessions

Author TonyScurich , 6/15/2015
In the event of severe damage to your home or business, having a current inventory of your possessions — including their make and model numbers — can help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance. While most people think of their home when discussing an inventory, it is important to document the contents of your business as well. Watch "Emergency Preparedness: How Taking a Home Inventory Can Help You Recover Sooner"

Here are some suggestions for getting started.

  • Take a picture. Take pictures of rooms and important individual items. Label pictures with a description, including where you bought it and the make, model and serial number. Remember items that are in storage closets or drawers.
  • Video record it. Walk through your home or office with a video recorder or tape recorder and describe the contents.
  • Create an electronic file – Use your computer or mobile device to create and store your inventory list. Take advantage of mobile applications or free online software like www.knowyourstuff.org to organize pictures or descriptions of your belongings by room or category.
  • Store the list, photos and tapes. Regardless of how you create it (written or electronic list, flash drive, photos, video or audio), keep your inventory along with receipts in your safe deposit box, on a disk or at a friend or colleague’s home. Doing so will help ensure you will have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. When you make a significant purchase, add the information to the inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.
  • Consider expensive items. Valuable items like jewelry, art and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check with your agent to make sure that you have adequate insurance for these items. They may need to be insured separately.

This information was taken from an article from the Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org)