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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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Posts tagged with Car - Car

Are You Ready For A Car Crash?

Author TonyScurich , 11/2/2016
  safe-1142432_1920You know the drill after an auto crash, heart stopping panic, and then, especially if there’s major damage or a serious injury, exchanging names, addresses and insurance information with the other driver. Easy, right? However, if the other driver refuses to provide these particulars (or you’re so shaken that you forget to ask for them), you could end up in serious financial, or even legal, trouble. Dan Young, Senior Vice President of Insurance Relations for CARSTAR warns, “[After an accident] sometimes drivers just don't do what they’re supposed to do." To make sure you’re prepared for such a mishap, follow these guidelines:
  • Remain at the scene. Although state laws differ, failure to exchange information or notify police can lead to a hit-and-run charge or loss of your license.
  • Keep a “cheat sheet” in your glove compartment about what to ask after an accident.
  • Use your cellphone to take a photo of the other vehicle, (preferably showing its license plate) as visual proof of the incident.
  • Write down details. As soon as you and your vehicle are out of traffic and harm's way, record the date and time, location, make and model of the cars and actions or statements by the other driver.
  • Ask any bystanders or eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
In the meantime, review your auto policy to make sure that you carry: 1) collision coverage, which will pay for repairing your car and providing a replacement vehicle, if needed and 2) uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance (UM/UIM), which will cover damages for injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. For more information, feel free to get in touch with our agency  

Avoid Sticker Shock For Your Teenage Driver

Author TonyScurich , 10/3/2016
Adding a teenager to your auto policy can raise your rate by more than 40%. The good news: you and your teen can reduce these hikes significantly in a variety of ways:
  1. Get good grades. Most insurance companies offer high school or college students with a B average or better a discount of up to 10%.
  2. Live away from home. Students at college or living at least 100 miles from their parents without a car can usually get a 5%-10% discount.
  3. Take an additional driving class. Although most insurance companies don’t give a discount for mandatory drivers’ed instruction, some companies will reduce premiums by 5% for teens who go to follow-up classes.
  4. Sign a parent-teen driving contract. Your insurer might offer up to a 5% discount if your teen agrees to follow such rules as not driving at night or with friends in the car.
  5. Raise your deductible. However, bear in mind that you’ll have to pay this deductible if your teen driver damages the car. If you repair every ding, you could spend a lot more than you'll save on premiums with a higher deductible.
  6. Reduce or drop some coverage. If you have an older car, you might not need Comprehensive or Collision insurance. Be wary of lowering Liability limits. In most cases, it makes sense to keep Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which pays medical expenses of anyone injured in an auto accident.
  7. Choose a safe vehicle. The higher the safety rating of your car, the lower your premiums – and the safer your teenager will be behind the wheel.
We’d be happy to help you minimize the sticker shock of adding a teen driver. Just give us a call.

Floods, Cars, And Auto Insurance

Author TonyScurich , 9/30/2016
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Floods happen - and nearly half of all deaths related to them involve vehicles, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The best advice for drivers during periods of heavy rain or flooding is to stay off the road. If that's not possible and you see signs of high water or stranded vehicles, pull over or take a different route ("Turn around, don't drown").

However, an unexpected flash flood can easily catch you unawares. If this happens, safety experts recommend taking these precautions to prevent an accident or a water-damaged car:

  • Never drive beneath an underpass during a heavy rainstorm because they're prone to flooding.
  • Be wary of water levels. According to FEMA it takes only one foot of water to float a car, or even an SUV, sweeping it off a bridge or down a road.
  • If your vehicle gets caught in a flood and stalls, or you lose control, get out before the car is carried downstream.
  • If you can't escape and your vehicle is going under, don't panic. Once the car is submerged, open the doors, hold your breath, and climb out.

The good news: If your car is involved in a flood-related accident, Auto insurance can make sure that you don't get swept away financially. Comprehensive coverage will pay for any type of damage to your car up to its actual cash value caused by natural events, such as flooding. If you hydroplane during a storm and flip your car or hit another vehicle or tree, Collision insurance will pay to repair it or cover the actual cash value of the car.

To learn more, please feel free to get in touch with our agency.

 

Will Insurance Cover Your High-Tech Car Key?

Author TonyScurich , 7/18/2016
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Metal car keys are going the way of the land line, as most drivers have graduated to a key fob or remote with a transponder that needs programming before use. If you own a high-tech luxury vehicle you might have a "smart key" - a remote control to plug into your dashboard or leave in your pocket.

Although these devices add convenience, they're pricey. You'll pay $200 to $400 to replace a smart key on a luxury car, plus $100 an hour for labor. If you lose all your keys, you might need to replace the locks, which could cost $1,000. Auto insurance will cover the cost of replacing smart keys (or metal keys) only if the loss comes from a peril covered under the policy. For example, if your keys are damaged when you collide with another car, Collision coverage would pay to replace them. Comprehensive coverage –which reimburses you for loss or damage to your vehicle from theft, vandalism, fire, hail, or flood - would include replacement of the keys, as part of the vehicle. If your car keys are stolen, Homeowners insurance should pay to replace them because theft is a "named peril" under the policy. Bear in mind that your Auto or Homeowners deductible will apply against the cost of replacement. Technology is well on the way to eliminating car keys. According to the AAA, smart phone apps that allow you to unlock and start your car are standard on many vehicles as of 2015. In the meantime, you can avoid paying the high cost of replacing smart keys by keeping spares in a safe place. To learn more, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Auto Insurance: Saving $$ In Your Golden Years

Author TonyScurich , 5/2/2016
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Your Auto insurance rates are based on a variety of factors such as your driving record, mileage, the car you drive and your age.

Rates are highest for drivers in their teens and early 20, tend to fall for those aged 30 to 60-something, and then start climbing again around age 70. Although drivers in this age range tend to drive less and are more mature, their vision and reflexes are declining. They're also more likely to be injured in an accident than their younger counterparts, and to suffer more severely because they're physically weaker. Also. They often drive smaller cars, which are more vulnerable to damage. Here are five ways that senior drivers can keep their Auto insurance rates affordable. :
  1. Update your mileage. You can get a discount of 5% to 10% if you no longer commute or drive long distances.
  2. Use a telematics device. A usage-based or pay-as-you-go Auto insurance program can reduce premiums by 5% to as much as 40%.
  3. Take a class. Most states require Auto insurers to offer "mature drivers" (who can be as young as 55) a discount of 5% to 15% for completing an accident-prevention course.
  4. Exclude a driver. In some states, you might be able to drop coverage on a driver who no longer gets behind the wheel.
  5. Make your car safer. Some insurance companies offer discounts for anti-theft devices, airbags and anti-lock brakes.
Bear in mind that drivers can use some of these methods at any age and save on Auto insurance by raising their deductible or reducing coverage. To make sure you get the protection you need at a cost you can afford, just give us a call.

Beware Of Techno-Jackers

Author TonyScurich , 4/22/2016
3You pull into the grocery store parking lot to pick up a few snacks, and park. As you head for the door, you push a button on your keyless remote to lock it. You don't hear that faint chirp, but you're in a hurry. Fifteen minutes later, you discover that your car is gone. Welcome to the world of 21st-century auto theft!

On the surface, things appear to be improving. Vehicle thefts fell 3.3% nationwide in 2011 (the most recent data) for the eighth straight year. However, auto theft still costs the nation an estimated $5.8 billion a year, thanks to streetwise thugs who feed chop shops and supply lucrative international black markets. These days, car thieves are becoming smarter, more tech-savvy, and harder than ever to stop. 

Anyone can go to a home-improvement store and buy a $20 device that jams the remote keyless entry transmitter on a vehicle. If you aren't paying attention, you walk away from your vehicle, press the button on the remote, and assume that it locks. However, a thief might be two cars over in the parking lot, punching a button to block the signal. The vehicle doesn't lock, and the thief can take your laptop, portable GPS, or whatever else is inside. With enough time, he can even steal the vehicle! 

To guard against jammers, pay attention to your surroundings and make sure your car doors do indeed lock when you press the button. Listen for the click or chirp, or look for the quick flash of lights that confirmations locking on most cars. If the vehicle doesn't lock, try again. However, if locking doesn't work on the second attempt - or if you see someone lurking nearby - move your car to a different spot.

An ounce of prevention..

Help Workers Plan For Their ‘GOLDEN YEARS’

Author TonyScurich , 12/11/2015

For your workers to enjoy the full financial benefits from their 401(k) plans, experts recommend that employee education sessions make sure that participants:

  • Contribute enough to receive the maximum match. One expert estimates that at least one in three employees don’t make the maximum contribution, which means they’re leaving free money on the table.
  • Avoid account trading. Because it’s all too easy for plan participants to panic at market bottoms and be over-confident at tops, advise them not to open their account statements during these periods.
  • Diversify. Concentrating account balances in one or a few funds that employees feel will perform well or are safe means making a risky bet on only one economic scenario.
  • Keep their money in the plan. Employees who take out loans on their funds, make withdrawals or cash out a 401(k) when they change jobs will have to pay taxes and penalties that reduce plan payout by almost 50%, which will make it impossible to save enough for retirement.
  • Keep saving. Workers stop saving for a number of reasons. The equity market falls, their spouse loses a job, they want to save outside the plan for a home, car, boat, marriage, etc. It’s far better to lower their contribution if necessary, without going to 0%. Remember, employees need to average 15% in savings over an entire career to retire at their current standard of living.
  • Focus on the bottom line. The most important factor in a 401(k) is not the allocation of assets, market timing, or investment performance, although these are important. It’s how much the employee saves!

Make sure that you follow these guidelines in retirement planning education for your employees. They’ll be grateful for your encouragement and support.


Three Seconds for Safety

Author TonyScurich , 7/17/2015

Rear-end collisions are the most common accidents between vehicles.1 They occur when drivers do not have enough time to perceive and react safely to slowing or stopped traffic. Increasing your following distance can help give you time to react when someone brakes in front of you.

The Three-Second Rule

Increasing the distance between you and the car ahead can help give you the time you need to recognize a hazard and respond safely. The National Safety Council recommends a minimum three second following distance.2

Determining the three-second gap is relatively easy. When following a vehicle, pick an overhead road sign, a tree or other roadside marker. Note when the vehicle ahead passes that marker, then see how many seconds it takes (count 1-1,000; 2-1,000; 3-1,000) for you to pass the same spot. If it is not at least three seconds, leave more space and increase your following distance.

Think of following distance in terms of time, not space. With a standard of 2.5 seconds, highway engineers use time, rather than distance, to represent how long it takes a driver to perceive and react to hazards. The National Safety Council also uses this standard (plus a little extra for safety) when recommending the three-second rule for following distance.3

Sometimes Three Seconds Is Not Enough

The three-second rule is recommended for passenger vehicles during ideal road and weather conditions. Slow down and increase your following distance even more during adverse weather conditions or when visibility is reduced. Also increase your following distance if you are driving a larger vehicle or towing a trailer.

Distractions, such as texting, reaching for a drink or glancing at a navigation device, also play a role in rear-end collisions. Even if you use the three-second rule, you may not have time to react to a hazard if you are distracted. It is another reason why you should avoid distractions while driving.4

  


Preparing for a summer road trip

Author TonyScurich , 6/22/2015
Summer Travel Safety Tips
During the summer months, many families embark on vacation getaways. Summer travel and readying the car for trips can be the most stressful part of the vacation. Travelers offers some packing and driving tips for families hitting the road for vacation this summer.
Car - Vacation

74%

of Americans taking a summer vacation

plan to drive

Vacation Image Bar
Don't overload When packing, the car can get filled quickly. Spread out the load so the weight is evenly distributed Be a prepared parent Pack snacks, extra clothes and entertaining items that will keep your little ones in the back seat happy. Keep a clear view When packing your vehicle, make sure you maintain a proper line of sight with your mirrors and windows. Ready the roof rack Know your rack's weight limit by checking the user's manual. Recognize the height of your vehicle after packing to prevent damage or accidents.
In 2011alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.‡
Vacation Image Bar2
Know the route Familiarize yourself with the route before leaving for your trip. Relying solely upon GPS can lead to dangerous last minute turns and lane changes. Secure your pets Unsecured pets can become a distraction. Secure your pets appropriately and never let them run about the vehicle. Cruise carefully Cruise control can be a helpful tool, but be careful when using it on long trips, as it can make it easier for drivers to lose focus on the road. Take a break When travelling long distances, it's important to take frequent breaks to help maintain focus and avoid fatigue.
†TripAdvisor, nc:http://ir.tripadvisor.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=764664 ‡ NHTSA: http://www.distraction.gov

Consider a Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract?

Author TonyScurich , 4/15/2015
Hand pen keysOne of the scariest moments of a parent's life is when they hand a teen the car keys and watch one of their most precious possessions, their own flesh and blood, roll out of the driveway. Most parents wonder at this moment whether their kids are really ready for the massive responsibility of driving a car. Will their teen follow the rules of the road? Will she take unnecessary chances in the vehicle? Do their kids really understand how quickly a car can spin out of control or how it takes just a moment's inattention to cause a serious accident? Many parents find that driving adds a whole new set of issues to argue about with their teens. Some parents find that creating a safe driving contract helps everyone in the family get on the same page with regards to driving. This contract outlines what parents expect of teens when they are on the road. Use the following ideas to craft a safe driving contract for your own kids. Passengers Do you want to allow your teen driver to transport friends across town? If so, you should specify how many passengers are permitted in the car. Remember that having other teens in the car can cause the driver to become distracted and possibly cause an accident. Late Nights With the busy schedules that most teens keep, you may want to discuss what time you need your teen to be home. Emphasize that this is a safety issue, rather than a control issue, since sleepy driving can cause accidents. No Drinking and Driving Many teens know this already, but don't be afraid to write it down to emphasize how very foolish the choice to drink and drive is. Tell them that they can always call you to get a ride home, even if they are ashamed of where they are and who they are with. Tickets and Accidents Spell out the consequences of moving violations and accidents. You may want your teen to pay for his own tickets and pay for repairs to the car if the accident is his fault. No Texting and Driving Tell your teen that the cell phone should be on silent and out of his reach while driving. Even reading an incoming text can be dangerous while driving. After you have written down your thoughts about safe driving, discuss the points of the contract with your teen. Be sure to keep the conversation positive and affirming, and remind your teen that driving is a privilege. If he wants to keep this privilege, he has to play by your rules, even if he thinks they are overprotective and silly. If you need advice about your teen's auto insurance, contact Scurich Insurance Services today!