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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 Insurance - Insurance

Reporting Insurance Scams: It’s The Law!

Author TonyScurich , 10/5/2016
  As you go about your daily business, insurance fraud is probably one of the furthest things from your mind. However these all-too-common scams, everything from homeowners who report a non-existent burglary to collect on their policies to drivers who stage auto accidents and file injury claims – are criminal acts that you have a legal obligation to report. If you’re aware of, or suspect, a fraudulent act that involves insurance follow these steps:
    • Inform the insurance fraud bureau in your state either through its telephone “hot line” or online.
    • Contact the fraud department of the insurance company involved. Most companies have hotlines for this purpose. If a fraud hotline isn’t available, or if you’re uncomfortable using it, write the fraud department instead.
    • If the alleged fraud involves a medical issue – such as a claim for a non-existent condition – contact your state medical board or chiropractic board immediately in order to protect the complainant, as well as other possible victims.
    • If appropriate, notify other authorities, such as the police (if someone’s life might be in danger) or your local Social Security office (in case of suspected Social Security fraud).
    • Remember that, as a witness, you must report all the details involved: full names, dates, organization, company name, the amount of money involved, etc. Provide any documentation or other information you think might help with the investigation.
    • Be patient. Investigating complaints takes time; it might be months before the investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring the perpetrators into court.
A word to the wise. insurance scams costs billions of dollars a year, driving up premiums for everyone – including you.  

How Well Do You Know Your Insurance?

Author TonyScurich , 9/7/2016

With so many demands on their time, many business owners find it difficult to learn enough about their insurance programs.

You've probably found yourself asking questions such as:

  1. Do I have the right coverages to protect my business from financial loss?
  2. Do I have any exposures to loss that aren't covered and should be?
  3. Exactly what am I buying?
  4. Am I getting the best value for my premium dollar?

As insurance professionals, we help you answer these questions because we:

  • Offer policies providing protection against a wide variety of risks that can threaten your business - everything from Accounts Receivable and Business Interruption through Employment Practices Liability and Glass Insurance to Theft coverage and Workers Compensation.
  • Recommend an insurance company (from among the quality carriers that we represent) that will provide quality protection.
  • Make it a point to learn how your business works so that we can pinpoint potential sources of loss.
  • Design a program that minimizes the impact of these losses (incidentally, we don't always recommend insurance).
  • Provide comprehensive protect that's tailored to your needs - and your pocketbook.
  • Work with you to make sure that your coverage stays updated as your business grows.

In short, we take over one phase of your business for you, and work with you to accomplish your first goal - protecting your profits.

To help us help you make sure that your business insurance makes business sense, please feel free to get in touch with our agency's professional at any time.

We're here to serve.


Demand For Contractors Professional Liability Rises

Author TonyScurich , 8/12/2016
New approaches to building projects, as well as new techniques, are leading to increased demand for Professional Liability insurance for contractors. A few years ago, people would shake their heads at the idea of this coverage, asking how contractors could be held liable for professional risk when they don't provide professional services. However, there has been a blurring of the once-sharp lines between contractors and architects and designers, as more and more contractors are being drawn into the design process. Under the traditional "design-bid-build" method, a project would be designed, bids put out, and the project built. However, the spread of the "design-build" concept - which decreases the amount of time, and the cost, of the project involved - has meant that medium sized and large contractors often take the design responsibilities in-house, and even subcontract them to design firms. These contractors' biggest exposure is for claims filed against them for project delays and cost overruns. However, traditional General Liability insurance offers coverage only for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, and does not cover financial or economic losses. Contractors Professional Liability insurance fills this gap. Because these policies are relatively recent, only a limited number of insurance companies offer them. These companies haven't paid enough claims for underwriters to establish the underwriting history and set standard rates - which means that policies are usually negotiated on a case-by-case basis. The amount of insurance can be up to $50 million; if a contractor needs more capacity, coverage can be added through excess layers. If your firm is (or might be) taking on project design responsibilities, a comprehensive Contractors Professional Liability policy can help protect your pocketbook - and provide peace of mind. To learn more, just give us a call.

Car Insurance Deal-Breakers: Non-Renewal And Cancellation

Author TonyScurich , 7/25/2016

aquaplaning-83008_1280If your Auto insurance company sees you as a deadbeat or high-risk or driver, it might cancel or non-renew your policy.

Because insurers take cancellation seriously they won't eliminate coverage for a traffic ticket or two. What's more, state regulators ban cancellations under most circumstances. However, a company can non-renew your insurance at the end of each policy period (six to 12 months) or cancel the policy during the first 30 to 60 days that it's in force. The main reason for midterm cancellation is nonpayment. State regulators set the requirements, such as a written notice of non-payment, together with a 10 to 30-day grace period to pay. Some states allow insurers to cancel coverage, usually for an activity - such as a DUI conviction that involves bodily injury or substantial damage - which indicates you're at high risk for an accident; or for misrepresenting your driving history (for example, not disclosing that your teenager was behind the wheel instead of you when an accident occurred). Some companies will backdate coverage to the cancellation date, while others will not cover you during the period when you haven't paid your premiums. If you can't bring your account up to date or the company cancels you for a reason other than non-payment, your policy probably won't be renewed - which means you'll have to look for insurance elsewhere, probably at a higher rate. Depending on the reason for cancellation, some companies might refuse to write your business. In this case, you can to turn to the state's assigned-risk pool, which offers bare bones coverage at higher rates. Your best move is to do everything possible to avoid cancellation or non-renewal. For example, if you can't afford to premium payments, consider reducing your coverage rather than take the risk or cancellation. For more information, just give us a call. We're here to help!  

Saying 'I DO' To Wedding Insurance

Author TonyScurich , 7/22/2016
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As the average cost of getting hitched keeps rising (to $27,000 in 2012), more and more couples are using Wedding Insurance to protect their investment against mishap - and help ensure peace of mind on this special day.

Wedding policies will reimburse you for losses due to:
  • Weather: The cost of rescheduling if the event has to be postponed because of rain or other bad weather.
  • Illness or injury to the bridal party. The expenses of postponing the wedding if essential people (such as the maid of honor or best man) can't be there.
  • A missing celebrant. Some of the costs if your minister, justice of the peace, rabbi, or other celebrant doesn't show up.
  • Missing vendors. Some, or all, of the expense (including rescheduling) if the caterer, florist, photographer, or other key vendor is missing in action.
  • Damage to the venue. Your losses if fire, electrical or mechanical outage, or going out of business makes the wedding or reception site unusable, forcing you to reschedule. (This coverage might not apply if the sites already carry insurance).
You can also buy coverage "riders" for a variety of other risks, ranging from a military service call-up to the bride or groom and damage to a wedding gown or tuxedo, to stolen or damaged gifts, and cancellation of your honeymoon due to illness, bad weather, or other mishap. If you're holding the ceremony in your home, you might also want Liability insurance in case a guest gets hurt or injures someone. Premiums can range from $100 to $1,000 (if you buy Liability coverage and host an open bar). We'd be happy to tailor a Wedding policy to meet your needs, and budget. Just give us a call.

Prearranged Contracts Speed Disaster Recovery

Author TonyScurich , 7/13/2016
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If a catastrophe struck your business, who would provide such critical services as site clean-up, emergency power supplies, off-site redundant data storage, and alternative communication systems until you can get up and running again?

In this situation, having agreements in advance with restoration companies and other service providers can save you time, money, and headaches.

Although most companies recognize that such prearrangements can play a critical role in emergency crisis management planning, few take steps to develop specific relationships with their disaster service providers.

That can be an expensive mistake, says Michelle Cross, Boston-based National Practice Leader for Business Continuity at Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA. She points out that, "for any service provider to really provide quality, top-level, appropriate service, they have to know about your company, what you need, and what hazards you have on site."

Pre-planning can also reduce Business Interruption deduction and claims significantly by shortening downtime to services and operations after a disaster, notes Dave Boyle, head of Property Claims for Zurich North America (Schaumburg, IL).

A case in point: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide uses pre-arranged recovery agreements because many of its properties are in locations at risk for natural disaster. When Hurricane Katrina struck, the Starwood Sheraton was the only hotel in New Orleans that remained open during and after the megastorm. Says Stephen Truono, the company's Vice President of Global Risk Management and Insurance: "It's about having a plan, practicing that plan, and engaging the necessary critical vendors, such as providers of power, plywood, diesel oil and potable water."

Prearranged provider agreements are inexpensive and usually do not involve a fee until the time of service.

What's not to like?


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.


Alternative Risk Financing: Not Just For The Big Guys

Author TonyScurich , 5/16/2016
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Large corporations often use "alternative risk financing" - assuming some of their own risks, in addition to buying insurance - as a way to improve cash flow and lower their total costs. However, this technique can offer substantial benefits for medium-sized companies that face significant potential risks from one line of insurance, such as Workers Comp, General Liability, or Auto Liability.

Basic alternative risk financing methods include:

  • Guaranteed cost insurance - the company pays a premium based either on a rate, such as payroll or property values, or a flat amount.
  • Incurred loss retrospective rating plans ("retro) - use a standard premium adjusted after policy expiration based on loss experience.
  • Large-deductible plans - the organization assumes a substantial (often $50,000 to $250,000) per-accident or per-occurrence deductible.
  • Self-insurance - the firm retains its loss obligations and pays them as they become due.
  • Captive insurance - this variation on self-insurance pre-funds risks through an insurance subsidiary ("captive") usually owned by the parent company.

Because each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages, your choice should depend on the situation and needs of your business. For example, a guaranteed cost plan minimizes the upside risk, but won't help your cash flow; while a captive usually costs the least to finance, but can be expensive to administer.

Whichever alternative risk financing option you choose, make sure your accounting and human resources departments educate managers on their responsibilities in daily hands-on administration of the program. The more widespread their "buy-in," the stronger your bottom line.

We'd be happy to help you select and develop an alternative risk financing program that's tailored to your needs. Just give us a call.


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. 


Have You Reviewed Your Business Interruption Policy?

Author TonyScurich , 4/6/2016

Business Interruption (BI) insurance makes sense. Consider Allison Dorst, a New Jersey resident who operates three e-commerce web sites selling sportswear. Last fall, Superstorm Sandy brought a prolonged power failure that shut down Dorst's customer-service lines, causing sales to evaporate. She'll also see lower sales because of a month-long delay in the delivery of next season's styles. Fortunately, her Business Interruption coverage will reimburse the profits lost because of this lost revenue.

Although most middle-market business owners and managers understand the need for BI, they don't always have the information they need to choose the right coverage. Some companies don't have enough insurance to remain in business after they suffer a major loss, while other businesses might be buying more coverage than they need. When it comes time to renew your BI insurance, be sure to take a close look at the insured or reported values for the policy, as well as on the various coverage extensions that apply to your business, based on its operations. It also makes sense to consider additional coverages such as:

  • Contingent Business Interruption
  • Claim preparation fees
  • Extended period of indemnity
  • Expediting expense
  • Service interruption/power outage, including overhead transmission and off-premises lines
  • Extra expenses
  • Ordinary payroll coverage
  • Selling price of finished goods inventory
  • Ingress/egress
  • Loss of attraction
  • Civil authority
  • Sue and labor

We'd be happy to offer our advice, free of charge, in selecting the amount and types of coverage that can minimize your financial risk and keep you in business after disaster strikes. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.