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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 condition - condition

Check Out This Social Media Use Checklist

Author TonyScurich , 10/21/2016
  Social media rules! In recent studies, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr users sent tens of millions of messages every day– and new players keep entering the marketplace. Although these platforms provide significant benefits for businesses of all sizes, they also pose a variety of risks. Everything from employment, privacy and security, through intellectual property to media-related liability. Chances are your employees are using social media, either at home or work, in ways that could put your business at risk. To limit this exposure, experts recommend creating social media guidelines based on a five-point checklist:
  1. Assess both your company’s general social media activities and individual social media campaigns, weighing potential risks against benefits as accurately as possible.
  2. Designate specific individuals and departments to develop, execute, and monitor a comprehensive and proactive social media strategy – and make a senior executive responsible for implementing it in a timely fashion.
  3. Have the policy reviewed by the relevant departments (human resources, IT, communications, and legal) and by an outside law firm.
  4. Because employees pose the biggest risk to a company, although often unwittingly,,provide educational programs about the danger of damage to the company by using social media on the job or at home.
  5. Create a social media agreement for employees to review and sign as a condition of employment and part of their employment contract. Update the agreement annually, or as often as needed, to address changes in social media that might impact your risk in new ways.
Following this checklist will help position your business to reap the enormous benefits that participationin social media offers. As always, we’re here to help you– just give us a call!  

Reclassifying Obesity Could Raise Comp Premiums

Author TonyScurich , 10/12/2016
Injured workers who gain weight due to inactivity or as a side effect of medication will probably receive higher workers comp benefits, thanks to the American Medical Association’s recent reclassification of obesity as a disease. That’s the conclusion of a recent six-year study of claims by the California Workers' Compensation Institute. According to the report, although this reclassification doesn’t have legal standing, the AMA’s positions often have a strong influence on lawmakers, regulators, and health care providers. Immediately after the decision, senators and congressmen introduced bipartisan bills requiring Medicare to cover more obesity treatment costs, including prescription drugs and intensive behavioral weight-loss counseling, which will give health care providers a financial incentive to use these remedies. Judging from the results of the California study, this means that businesses can expect to pay more for workers comp. The report found that the costs of comp claims that listed obesity as a “comorbidity,” or additional cause, were far greater than for claims without them. Medical benefits for comorbidity cases cost 81% more than for other cases, while indemnity payments averaged nearly 65% higher. More two in three claimants with obesity comorbidity received permanent disability, nearly five times the rate for the non-obese. Finally, the use of narcotic painkillers was significantly higher among overweight claimants. Obesity might even become a primary comp diagnosis for jobs such as long-haul trucking or office work that require employees to remain seated for extended periods. The bottom line: look for the management and financial changes stemming from the reclassification of obesity as a medical condition to create new challenges and incentives for health care professionals, businesses, and workers compensation insurance companies. We’ll stay on top of these changes to help make sure that your company has the coverage you need at a competitive rate.  

Construction Safety: The 'Correction Conversation'

Author TonyScurich , 9/16/2016
Safety inspectors know what to look for - but they might need a refresher on holding the "correction conversation": explaining job hazards in such a way that your workers can see the potential danger, understand how it can hurt them, and suggest how to eliminate it. To have an effective Correction Conversation, we'd recommend that safety inspectors follow these guidelines:
  • Try to make it personal. "Kneeling on the floor for the day is going to turn your knees into jelly in a few years."
  • Tie the hazardous activity or condition to pain. "This night watchman dropped his flashlight, and when he bent down to pick it up, the rebar went right through his eye."
  • Make comparisons. These cable clamps might work, but the fist-grips kind are the ones that should be used. See - they look like two fists gripping."
  • Shift the blame. "I'm not sure who set this up, but because those cable clamps are upside down they won't hold much. Just flip them over and torque them again."
  • Connect the correction to something the workers can share. Pass along additional information. Keep it simple, and use graphics whenever possible, If the concern is not having an eyewash station near a concrete pour, send a photo of a what a worker's eye looks like after a concrete burn.
  • Share a story. "I can beat that!" This phrase continues conversation in bars across the world. Tell a workplace hazard anecdote that you've heard or witnessed - and then stop talking! Chances are another worker will share a similar story. One-upmanship is a skill we all enjoy, and helps keeps a good Correction Conversation alive.

Proactive Employee Health Progams Make Sense - And Dollars

Author TonyScurich , 4/27/2016
3 Basic health interventions can help your business lower short-term disability rates, while reducing your employees' time away from work. That's the bottom line of a nationwide study of 118,000 employees by CIGNA, a major health services company. CIGNA found that these measures, combined with predictive analytics, cut disability rates by 15% among employees at high risk of suffering disability within in the next 12 months. (The study defined "high risk" as a 10% or greater probability of becoming disabled during this period). "By identifying workers at high risk of future short-term disability and providing individualized intervention that includes coaching, incentives, and other outreach, our study shows that the onset of disability absence can be reduced measurably, benefiting employers and employees alike," says Dr. Robert N. Anfield, chief medical officer for CIGNA's Disability business. Future studies will deal with the impact of intervention on the length of short-term disability, return-to-work rates, and total medical costs. The company's Absence Prediction and Prevention program establishes an intervention, led by a nurse/health advocate, that provides:
  • Early identification of workers at high risk for future short-term disability.
  • Proactive outreach to these employees.
  • Clinical Assessment.
  • A range of disability absence prevention strategies.
By proactively identifying employees who might be having health problems before their condition worsens and they need to leave work, you can help workers stay healthy and potentially prevent or lessen the impact of injuries or illness - which translates into lower absenteeism, higher productivity, and a healthier bottom line. It makes sense to develop an absence prevention program that emphasizes preventive health safety training. As always, we stand ready to offer our advice.

Keep Your Bond Surety In The Know

Author TonyScurich , 1/22/2016
1Although business management and performance are the major factors that will determine which contractors survive the downturn in construction, the size of the contractor also comes into play. As a rule, project owners are more likely to continue with larger developments because of their greater value, higher investment, and longer lead time. Smaller projects are easier to cancel, which makes smaller and midsize contractors (with work backlogs between $5 million and $100 million) more vulnerable to cancellation.

If you're experiencing losses on a project, your first step should be to deal with overhead, liquidity, problems, and ongoing business concern. It's also essential to communicate any problems to your insurance agent and surety company immediately! Because the surety has a strong financial interest in preventing you from default on your bond, it will leverage its relationship with the bond underwriter to help you work through these difficulties and reach a mutually acceptable solution that will keep you on the job.

However, a contractor withholding critical information about a problem situation from a surety would lead to a far different result. Concern about the contractor's deteriorating financial condition - which makes it a riskier bonding candidate - might make the surety restrict its future capacity, leading it to make the contractor either bid on only smaller projects that pose less risk to the underwriter or postpone bidding on all projects until the business can clean up its balance sheet.

If you have any questions about working with your surety, please feel free to get in touch with the Bond professionals at our agency


Fundamentals of ADA Accommodation

Author TonyScurich , 3/9/2015

OfficeGiven the ever expanded concept of what constitutes a disability, employers will continue to face an ever growing compliance challenge. Here are some basics to be remembered:

  1. Knowledge of the need to accommodate an employee can come from numerous sources including a work comp claims manager, a company supervisor or manager, HR, the employee themselves, a union rep, a doctor, poor performance, simple observation, or some kind of hotline call.
  2. To have a good process, it must be laid out step-by-step with supporting documentation.
  3. Be interactive. Remember the rule that the first to give up on the dialogue process generally loses.
  4. Have appropriate education and training. For example, HR could create a simple video to help employees with the accommodation process.
  5. Allow managers to engage in simple, easy and quick accommodations.
  6. Proper documentation of all steps in the process.
  7. Ongoing communication, monitoring, feedback, and improvement.

The accommodation process begins with a needs assessment. This means a thorough review of the job description and duties and a clear understanding of the employee's limitations including potential absences etc. Remember you can accommodate an employee by the following means:

  • Changing facilities or equipment
  • Job restrictions
  • Modifying schedules
  • Modifying a test, training, or policies
  • Offering vacant positions within their skill range
  • Offering temporary positions (the ADA does not require you to create a new position for an employee)
  • Support including readers, interpreters, or even dogs
  • A leave of absence
  • Any other idea that would generate a reasonable accommodation

Proper documentation of any undue burden

One of the biggest mistakes an employer makes is to assume in advance that an accommodation would create an undue burden. If the request is reasonable, the best approach is to let them try it and to be clear about performance standards. Document any shortcomings their accommodations may be causing and continue to communicate about ways to elevate them.

There is extensive material on the ADA on HR That Works including flow charts, checklists, forms, and policies to use. There is also training you can provide your managers (a good idea). Also remember if you have over 50 employees the FMLA may allow an employee who has serious medical condition up to 12 weeks of leave which they may use instead of accepting an accommodation.


It's Stroke Awareness Month

Author TonyScurich , 5/14/2014
Scurich Insurance Services, CA, National Stroke AwarenessApproximately 15 million people worldwide have a stroke every year. Of these, almost 6 million die, while a further 5 million are left permanently disabled. But although stroke is the one of the leading causes of death globally, many people remain unaware of the signs and symptoms to look out for, therefore putting their health at risk. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association(AHA/ASA) state that around 1 in 3 Americans are unable to recall the warning signs of stroke. Furthermore, a recent AHA/ASA study revealed that many women in the US are unaware of stroke warning signs, even though they are at much greater risk of stroke than men. "This lack of recognition of stroke signs and symptoms could be a significant barrier to reducing death and disability related to stroke in the US," says Dr. Lori Mosca, who led the study. "This is critically important because delays in getting care costs lives and hinders functional recovery." May is National Stroke Awareness Month - an annual campaign introduced in 1989 that aims to increase public awareness of stroke in an attempt to tackle the condition once and for all. In line with this campaign, this week's spotlight feature looks at the signs and symptoms of stroke, the risks associated with the condition and what can be done to increase stroke awareness.

What is stroke?

A stroke occurs when an artery or blood vessel becomes blocked, restricting blood flow to the brain. This leads to brain cell death, and, subsequently, brain damage. How a person is affected by stroke depends on where in the brain the stroke occurs and how much of the brain is disturbed. Many stroke patients experience impaired speech, movement and memory. In severe cases, patients may suffer paralysis or even death. There are two main types of stroke - ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke is the most common, accounting for around 87% of all strokes. This occurs when the arteries are blocked by blood clots or a gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain splits, leaking blood into the brain. Although only 13% of all strokes are caused by this, it is responsible for more than 30% of all stroke deaths.

The risk factors

There are many risk factors for stroke, many of which are out of our control. For example, individuals over the age of 55 are at greater risk of stroke, as are African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Individuals who have a family history of stroke or TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) are also more likely to have stroke themselves. And women are more likely to have stroke than men. In the US, around 55,000 more women than men have a stroke every year.
Individuals with high blood pressure are one and a half times more likely to have a stroke than those with normal blood pressure.
But there are also risk factors for stroke that are within our control - one of the most important being high blood pressure, or hypertension. According to the National Stroke Association, people who have high blood pressure are one and a half times more likely to have stroke than those who have normal blood pressure. "The No. 1 stroke risk factor is high blood pressure. It's important to check your blood pressure regularly and talk to your doctor about healthy levels for you," says Dr. Jeffrey L. Saver, professor of Neurology at the University of California Los Angeles and a spokesperson for the ASA. High cholesterol also increases the risk of stroke, as cholesterol can block blood flow in the arteries. Furthermore, high cholesterol can raise the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis - risk factors for stroke in themselves. Smoking is another risk factor. Compared with non-smokers, those who smoke are at double the risk of stroke. It reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, meaning the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body. This means blood clots find it easier to form in the arteries, which can cause a blockage. Those who are overweight or obese are also at increased risk of stroke. Excessive weight can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Read the entire article here. Content provided by http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276240.php

Keep asthma and life insurance costs under control

Author TonyScurich , 3/5/2014
Scurich Insurance Services, CA, Life InsuranceThe most recent figures from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 18.6 million American adults (that's one in 12) suffers from asthma.  If you're one of them, buying Life insurance can be costly -- depending on the severity of your condition and your reaction to treatment.However, asthmatics with a good track record of controlling their symptoms can have a near normal life expectancy. So, if it's been more than two or three years since your asthma led to an ER visit and your condition hasn't caused you to miss work, you shouldn't have much trouble getting Life coverage at or near a "standard" premium. Before you apply for coverage, it makes sense to:
  • Have your physician monitor your condition at least twice a year.
  • Follow the medications the physician prescribes.
  • List these medications on your insurance application.
  • Provide a comprehensive medical history for the application.
  • If you're a smoker, kick the habit!
We'd be happy to review your situation and recommend the coverage that's best for you. Call us today for more information. Content provided by Transformer Marketing.