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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 Fire - Fire

Planning And Evaluation: The Keys To Effective Fire Drills

Author TonyScurich , 8/31/2016
3 If you held your last fire or emergency evacuation drill more than six months ago, it's time to think about staging another. Careful planning and evaluation can help you get the most out of these exercises, enhancing your employee's chances of a safe evacuation. Bear in mind that unannounced drills give you an idea of how workers might actually react in an emergency situation. On the other hand, announcing drills offer them the opportunity to prepare for and practice specific skill sets they would need. Before a fire emergency arises, workers need to know:
  • How to activate the appropriate alarm system(s).
  • How and when to contact the fire department.
  • What to do before they evacuate—such as shutting down equipment.
  • Their role in the evacuation. For example, they might need to assist disabled co-workers, help contractors or visitors on the premises, bring essential items such as visitor logs that can be used to verify that everyone is out of the building, provide first aid for injured co-workers, or act to prevent or minimize hazardous chemical releases.
  • How to evacuate their work area by at least two routes.
  • The locations of stairwells (workers should not use elevators to evacuate).
  • Places to avoid - such as hazardous materials storage areas.
  • Assembly points outside the building.
After the drill, evaluate the exercise to determine which problems need addressing. Ask such questions as:

Builders Risk Insurance: A Must-Have

Author TonyScurich , 8/1/2016

Your last newsletter discussed the benefits of Building Ordinance insurance. If you're planning to build on your property or adding to an existing structure, a related policy - Builders Risk - can protect you from losses during construction, helping make sure that you finish the project.

The amount of coverage should reflect the total value of the completed structure (including the costs of material and labor, but not the value of the land). In most cases, the construction budget will be the best source for calculating this amount. The policy is usually written for a period three months, six months, or 12 months. If needed, the term can be extended once. Builders Risk covers damage to the insured structure(s) from a wide variety of causes, ranging from natural disasters (wind, lightning, hail, and lightning) through accidental events (fire, explosion, or vehicle accidents) to human activities (such as theft and vandalism). Coverage usually also includes:
  • Fire department service charges for saving or protecting property from a covered cause of loss.
  • Removal of debris from property damaged by a covered loss.
  • Losses from the backup of sewer and drains.
Most policies exclude losses from earthquake, flooding employee theft, mechanical breakdown, contract penalties, war, government action, or faulty design and workmanship. You might be able to add coverage for some of these exclusions - such as earthquakes and flooding - if the building is in an area that's prone to one or both of these natural disasters. Bear in mind that this policy does not provide Liability coverage for accidents or injuries on your property. We'd be happy to tailor a comprehensive Builders Risk product that fits your needs - and budget. Just give us a call.

MANAGING SAFETY FOR AN AGING WORKFORCE

Author TonyScurich , 6/27/2016
1 Nearly one of four people aged 64 to 75 are still at work - and the number is skyrocketing, with more Baby Boomers who reach retirement age staying in the workplace. The good news: Older workers have a lower injury rate. The bad news: Their injuries tend to be more serious and require more time away from work. Senior workers have specific safety issues. Their retention is often shorter, they're more easily distracted, have slower reaction time, declining vision and hearing, and a poorer sense of balance. These physical limitations lead to specific types of injuries for older workers, ranging from falls to accumulated injuries after years of doing the same task What's more, they sometimes deny their deteriorating abilities, which can lead to them to trying to work past their new limits. Indicators that older workers might need accommodations can be physical (fatigue or tripping), psychological/emotional (loss of patience or irritability), numbers and patterns of sick days, or more frequent minor injuries or near misses. You can help protect your senior workers by:
  • finding ways for them to work smarter, not harder
  • decreasing activities that require exertion, such as working in heat or cold or climbing ladders
  • adjusting work areas with better lighting, reduced noise, fewer obstacles, and less need to bend or stoop
  • redefining standards of productivity
  • learning the limitations of older workers, perhaps by conducting annual hearing or vision tests
Make sure that safety culture becomes an institutional value for all employees. For example, when on-the-job feedback indicates that an older worker is having trouble, don't fire the person. This will discourage honest input from employees who might feel responsible for their co-worker's loss of employment. For more information on making your workplace safer for older employees, feel free to get in touch with us.

Inland Marine Insurance: Don't Go Near The Water

Author TonyScurich , 6/10/2016
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Although you have insured the business property on your premises, this protection does not extend off site - unless you carry Inland Marine insurance.

This type of policy goes back as far as the 17th century when Lloyd's of London extended coverage on ship cargos beyond ocean voyages to their final destination "inland." Today, Inland Marine covers the property of a business when it's in transit - or stored at a location away from the premises - as well as the property of third parties that's held on the premises. Because this property is essentially "floating," these policies are also known as Floaters. Inland Marine coverage would apply in such scenarios as:
  • A truck carrying designer handbags for an upscale department store is hijacked at a rest stop.
  • A hailstorm damages bulldozers on a machinery dealer's lot.
  • A fire at a dry cleaners scorches customers' clothing.
  • A defective sprinkler system in a "big box" store warehouse soaks dozens of TVs.
You can buy Inland Marine insurance on either a "named peril" basis (which lists the specific risks covered) or as an "all risk" policy (which covers losses from all causes not specifically listed). This coverage can provide valuable protection for the mobile or moveable property of almost any business, large or small: everything from camera shops and computer manufacturers through building contractors and jewelry stores to museums/art galleries and trucking companies. As Business Insurance professionals, we can tailor a comprehensive Inland Marine policy to the needs of your company. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

Alternative Risk Financing: Not Just For The Big Guys

Author TonyScurich , 6/3/2016
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Unfortunately, many small businesses ignore business continuity planning - perhaps because this seems so simple that they just don't need to do it. Here are five basic (and cost-effective) steps you need to take before disaster strikes:

  1. Define who's in charge. Because you might be unavailable after a disaster - injured, ill, on vacation, etc. - designate an order of succession to avoid confusion and unclear responsibility during the recovery process.
  2. Avoid a communication breakdown. Normal communication infrastructure might be disabled after a disaster, so make sure you have alternatives for employees, customers, clients, key suppliers, and subcontractors. At a minimum, have phone numbers (landline and cellular), and e-mail addresses. Don't rely on outdated, unreliable methods such as phone communication trees. Use a voicemail system supported by a vendor with communication equipment offsite. Don't forget to consider backup power needs.
  3. Perform data backups. Be sure to make duplicate copies of data regularly, with one copy at a location that's easy and inexpensive to access.
  4. Have a Plan B. if your facility is destroyed or access is denied by civil authorities, can you conduct certain business operations from home or a local hotel? For example, what steps can you take to replace computers and retrieve data?
  5. Make sure you have enough insurance. In a worst-case disaster scenario (major fire, windstorm, civil disorder, etc.), you might well lose your business assets and face a period of downtime - zero cash flow. Insurance can keep you afloat until you're back on your feet.

We stand ready to help design a comprehensive, cost effective program that can make your business less risky.


Scurich 2/6 - Is your home properly insured in case of fire?

Author TonyScurich , 5/1/2016

You already know that you need homeowners insurance to protect this huge investment that you've made. Since fire is one of the catastrophes that this type of insurance covers, you might think that you are in the clear and that you don't have to worry. There are some instances, however, during which your insurance company might not pay out as you expected. 

Replacement Cost 

While you might think that your homeowners insurance allows you to replace your home and its contents, chances are that your insurance company will pay out only the actual cost. The discrepancy between the two values could lead you to having to come up with some money out of pocket to rebuild your home. In order to make sure that your insurance pays out at the replacement value of your home and belongings, speak to your insurance agent about a policy rider that you can purchase. 

Historic Options

Homes that are historic in nature or that have customized interior work might need to be covered with special insurance coverage. A standard homeowners insurance policy will pay only to have the industry standards replaced within your home. This could result in either a reduction in the value of you home or a significant out-of-pocket expense for you to restore it to its prior state. 

Debris Removal

Clearing out the debris caused by a fire is something that is typically only partially paid for by a standard homeowners insurance policy. This is especially true if your home is deemed to be a total loss that must be demolished or if you live in a mobile home whose value is negligible. 


Why Coinsurance Makes Sense

Author TonyScurich , 3/25/2016
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Insurance spreads the risk of loss among every policyholder and the insurance company.

The "coinsurance clause" in a Business Property policy reflects the fact that the coverage divides this risk by setting premiums based primarily on the value of the property. Those who insure their property for less than its actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost will have to pay the uninsured portion of any covered loss out of their own pocket -- in other words, "coinsuring" the risk -- which encourages policyholders to buy coverage for the full value of their property.

The coinsurance clause usually requires policyholders to insure their property for 80% of its ACV. For example, if the property of your business is worth $500,000, you would need to purchase a $400,000 policy. If a fire caused $300,000 worth of damage, the insurance company would pay $240,000 (80% of $300,000), leaving you to pick up the other $60,000. However, if you had purchased the full $500,000 in ACV coverage -- paying a higher premium -- the insurer would cover the entire $300,000 claim.

We'd be happy to discuss the benefits that the coinsurance clause offers. Feel free to give us a call.


EMERGENCIES: When To Go And When To Stay

Author TonyScurich , 2/22/2016
Grass Fire, Firefighter, Smoke, Preventive BurningWhen an emergency (anything from an explosion to workplace violence) strikes your business, taking the wrong action can result in confusion, damage, injury -- or even death. That's why it's vital to have a comprehensive plan for dealing with different types of mishaps.

For example, in the event of a tornado, you'd want to have your workers sheltered in a safe place inside your facility. On the other hand, in a fire, you want them to be able to flee the building quickly and safely. The type of building might be a factor in your decision. Most modern factories and office buildings have steel frames, which means they might be more sound structurally than small business premises. However, a major earthquake or explosion will affect nearly every type of structure; some buildings will collapse, while others will be left with weakened roofs, walls, or floors.

Consider both emergency situations that would require evacuation and those that would indicate the need to stay put, and plan accordingly. For example, what would happen if a part of your facility caught fire? Suppose there were severe flooding in your immediate area? How would you respond to a chemical spill? What would you do if an ex-employee with a gun was threatening your workers?

Certain natural disasters, such as windstorms or large-scale chemical or biological releases outside your facility call for "sheltering-in-place" (selecting an interior room or rooms, normally with no or few windows, and taking refuge there). In many cases, local authorities will issue advice to shelter-in-place via TV or radio. Designate a safe haven, or havens, inside your building for employees until the danger has passed. Hold shelter-in-place drills, as well as evacuation drills.

If any employees need to stay behind in an emergency so that they can shut down certain equipment or perform other duties, your action plan should set out detailed procedures for them. Make sure that these workers are able to recognize when to abandon the operation or task and evacuate before their exit path is blocked.

To learn more about designing and implementing an emergency action plan for your business, please feel free to get in touch with us at any time. We're here to help you protect your business from risk.


Crisis Planning - Don't Wait

Author TonyScurich , 1/15/2016

3Natural disasters can do significant damage to construction firms. Some suffer direct hits, while others endure massive service demands and shortages of help and supplies.

Although you might escape massive destruction and distress, what other events might cause your company to suffer a crisis? IT failure? Burglary or vandalism? Professional liability? Fire? Loss of market?

Whether disaster strikes as a catastrophic or stressful disruption, the best way to prepare for them is crisis management. Now is the time to develop a plan that will allow you and your staff to mobilize the right resources in the right order quickly to get you up and running as smoothly as possible.

How do you develop such a plan? What's the process? Who should you include? How often should you review and update it?

We can help by providing risk management advice and recommendations, together with materials and resources tailored to your needs and exposures. Although insurance might not solve all your post-crisis problems, it can certainly provide a solid foundation for your planning should the worst happen.

Don't wait for a crisis to uncover the gaps in your current preparations. Start now.


Create a Business Continuity Plan in Four Steps

Author TonyScurich , 8/28/2015

There are many reasons why your company needs a business continuity plan. Having a strategy – before an event happens – helps to maximize the chance your business can recover while minimizing the loss of property, life and assets.

Developing your business continuity plan should be a thoughtful process resulting in a plan that can be beneficial to you if an event occurs.

Start by assembling a team of key decision-makers who will lead your continuity planning efforts. Senior management, team leaders and anyone with in-depth knowledge about business operations should be included.

4 steps to an effective business continuity plan

Four Steps to Developing an Effective Business Continuity Plan

  1. Identify threats or risks Understanding the risks that could leave employees, customers, vendors, property and operations vulnerable is fundamental. Threats can include, but are not limited to natural disasters, malicious attacks, power outages and system failures. Identify the risks most likely to occur based on historical, geographical, organizational and other factors. Then weigh the probability of each event against its potential impact to your business, as well as your readiness to respond.
  2. Conduct a business impact analysis Identify the people, places, providers, processes and programs critical to the survival of your business. What functions and resources, if interrupted or lost, could impact your ability to provide goods and services or meet regulatory requirements? Consider who and what is absolutely necessary to restore critical operations. Then prioritize the need to restore each item after the event. Plan to use limited resources wisely. Complementary functions can always be restored later.
  3. Adopt controls for prevention and mitigation Prevention and mitigation planning and activities are intended to help prevent an event (such as a fire or explosion from unsafe conditions) as well as to reduce the impact or severity of an event (such as relocating critical equipment to a higher elevation in flood-susceptible areas). Your prevention and mitigation plans should address, among other things, emergency response, public relations, resource management, and employee communications.
  4. Test, exercise and improve your plan routinely A business continuity plan is an evolving strategy that should adapt to your company’s ever-changing needs. Test and update it regularly – yearly at a minimum  or any time critical functions, facilities, suppliers or personnel change. Train employees to understand their role in executing the plan, too. Exercises can include discussions or hypothetical walk-throughs of scenarios to live drills or simulations. The key is to ensure the plan works as intended.