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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 event - event

Five Steps To Stay In Business After A Disaster

Author TonyScurich , 9/23/2016
Storage Fire In Watsonville, CA Three out of five firms that suffer a major disaster go out of business or are sold. Preparing your business to survive a disastrous event involves a multi-step process: assessment, planning, implementation, testing, and documentation.
  1. Assessment: Brainstorm and list all potential losses. Then rate them on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the most disastrous and 1 having the least impact on the business.
  2. Planning: Formulate a comprehensive, detailed action plan, using both in-house and outside sources. The plan should include both steps to prevent the loss and remedies to take if the loss occurs. Be as specific as possible.
  3. Implementation: Act on the plan. Determine what steps you must take to now insure a positive outcome if disaster strikes; Who will be accountable for taking these steps when and to whom will they report?
  4. Testing: For example, if you're planning to deal with a computer crash, data recovery is essential. Test back-up media regularly to ensure that they will be available when needed. All too many businesses lose data due to malware or mechanical breakdown only to find that their backup is either corrupted or unavailable when needed.
  5. Documentation: Put the details of the plan (who, what, when, and where) in writing. Keep one copy in the office, another on the computer, a third off premises - and make sure that every manager knows these locations. Finally, review and update the plan every six months.

Although nothing is foolproof, implementing these five steps can go far to prevent a disastrous loss, or at least, mitigate its impact.

To learn more about developing a disaster plan for your business, feel free to give us a call at any time.

 

Have Fun Without Letting An Office Celebration Become A Liability

Author TonyScurich , 2/17/2016
There’s nothing like a celebration to bring co-workers together and make them feel as though they’re one unified work family. Although a celebratory meal or party can bring cohesiveness, employers should be careful not to let celebratory events become a liability. Of course, the entire point is to allow attendees to relax, have fun, and interact on a more personal level. But, the double-edge comes from attendees mistaking a relaxed atmosphere as leeway to behave in an inappropriate manner or attendees becoming so relaxed that they behave in a way that they normally wouldn’t. Out-of-bounds behavior should be of particular concern if there’s alcohol involved in the workplace celebration.

In order to avoid lawsuits, there are several elements that employers should consider prior to any celebratory workplace event. Before the event, employers should make sure that they have informed the attendees of what will be considered improper behavior. It’s a good idea to remind and caution employees that even though the event is a party, it’s still a business event and that inappropriate touching, gifting, and off-color or offensive remarks are still considered inappropriate behaviors. Employers should be mindful that under Title VII, it only takes one inappropriate incident to bring about a timely and costly lawsuit. It might be helpful to have supervisors or managers go over the company policy with employees, especially the sexual harassment section. While going over the company policy, the supervisor or manager can also inform employees if there will be any exceptions to normal company policy made specifically for the party, such as attire varying from the normal dress code.

In the event that clients will be attending a workplace party, employers might have additional concerns that should be addressed beforehand. For example, what should an employee do if a client is making inappropriate advances or conversation? It’s usually pretty clear to employees how to handle such a situation during normal workplace hours, but sometimes employees are specifically told to make sure clients have fun at a party. This can create a recipe for legal disaster if not addressed properly. Make sure to set up a way for any employee that’s been given such an assignment to exit the situation if it becomes uncomfortable for them. This can be accomplished by setting up a room as a coffee bar or lounge and ushering clients that become unruly to the room to calm down or sober up. It’s also a good idea to have a buddy system in place for all employees handling clients. If a client becomes unruly or inappropriate he/she can be passed off to their designated buddy.

If alcohol is served, employers might consider having only a specific time frame for it. This can help to prevent party-goers from becoming intoxicated, belligerent, or driving home intoxicated. It’s also a good idea to have a transportation system, such as cabs or designated drivers, in place for party-goers that overdo it on alcohol.

Although inappropriate behavior directed toward an employee’s guest or family member might not be considered workplace harassment, it can cause a great deal of unnecessary workplace conflict. It should be made clear that inappropriate behavior toward any guest will have disciplinary actions.

One last concern is the first workday following the party. Everything that happened or didn’t happen will be discussed and scrutinized. Conversation and actions that might have been laughed at during the party or intended innocently might not always be so funny or acceptable by the next day. It’s important to encourage an open and honest dialogue about any gossip topics so that misconceptions and hard feelings can be prevented.


You've Been Hacked! Spread The Word

Author TonyScurich , 12/28/2015

No matter how prepared you are – or believe you are – you can still suffer a cyber-security breach. What you do next can have a profound impact on the reputation of the business, customer loyalty, employee morale, and, ultimately, your bottom line.

An effective communication strategy should follow these guidelines:

  1. Notify key regulatory and legal authorities as soon as possible, unless this might impede a criminal investigation. Even if notification isn’t required by law, it’s an important courtesy.
  2. Make sure that staff roles and responsibilities for communicating the breach are outlined and understood clearly.
  3. Tailor the notification process to the audience – high-value customers, senior employees, or individuals who might particularly vulnerable (such as the elderly, the disabled, and minors) and to the nature of the breach; handle the theft of confidential client information differently than stealing employees' Social Security numbers.
  4. Have legal counsel review the method and content of all communications.
  5. Prepare for media inquiries to deliver a clear message for parties affected directly or indirectly. Be sure that your spokesperson is qualified and trained to deal with the media.
  6. Provide ways for victims of the breach to ask additional questions and/or learn how to minimize potential harm.
  7. Test the plan: If you had to execute it, how well did it work, and how did you update it? Many businesses have discovered holes in their response plans after failing to consider the impact of a cyber security breach on daily operations, or underestimating the attention the event drew.

To learn more about spreading the word after a data breach, please get in touch with us.


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.

Sunset in the Park Runs

Author TonyScurich , 8/19/2015

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Friday at 5:00pm - 8:00pm

  Please come and enjoy a country run in Toro Park at the magical time of day known as sunset. With cool temps and beautiful shadows on the course, this time of day provides a great opportunity to run a fast cross country race. Once again we will offer the
  • Kids one mile, 2.2 mile
  • High School 3 Mile Challenge
  • A 4 mile run
  • A "Sunset Runner" is for those diehard runners willing to race a combine 10k of cross country running by doing both the 2.2 and 4 mile runs with just about a 30 minute break in between.
Come get in a great summer workout and support Hartnell College Cross Country. This event is open to all ages, abilities, and even dogs!

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


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

  


Insuring Your Watercraft in California: What You Need to Know

Author TonyScurich , 4/20/2015
boatsOne of the best things about living in California is the gorgeous climate. It makes getting out and enjoying the outdoors an everyday occurrence. Considering how much water is available to residents in the state, combining your outdoor adventures with a boat, jet ski or wave runner brings a whole new level of fun to your life. Before you make arrangements to put your watercraft to good use, though, you need to make sure that you are covered in the event of an accident.

California Watercraft Laws

Each person who is on board a watercraft must be wearing a life jacket that has been approved by the Coast Guard. The approved types are Types I, II, III and V. Operating a personal watercraft such as a jet ski is prohibited between sunset and sunrise even if the craft is outfitted with the correct navigational lights. Only individuals that are aged 16 and older can operate a boat that is more than 15 horsepower unsupervised. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 can do so under the direct supervision of a person who is over the age of 18. There are also specific stipulations against negligent and unsafe behavior while operating a watercraft.

Insuring Your Watercraft

It is safe to assume that you need specialized insurance for your watercraft before you take it out to play. Rather than simply purchasing a cookie cutter insurance plan, however, work closely with your insurance agent to craft a customized insurance package that meets your unique needs. In most cases, this insurance plan will include liability in case you accidentally damage someone else's property or cause injury to another person. Collusion and comprehensive insurance is also a standard addition and protects your own boat and other watercraft in the event that it is damaged.

Specialty Item Coverage Review: Reappraise & Cover

Author TonyScurich , 2/5/2015
Whether you are a collector of fine art or you have a garage full of vintage cars that are the envy of the neighborhood, you likely added them to your homeowners insurance when you purchased them and thought your job was done. After all, in the event of a catastrophic event -- fire, flood, burglary -- you thought your items were fully covered. It is worth delving more deeply into this subject, though, because you might be surprised to learn that your current insurance policy is not providing you with the coverage you thought it was. Riders for Special Items When you insure items that are extraordinary, your regular insurance simply might not provide enough coverage. Its limits could be far less than what the item is worth. Instead, ask your insurance agent about a specialty rider that is geared only toward that specific item or collection of items. Depending on the details, such a rider could cost you a few hundred dollars more for your insurance. The peace of mind you gain by adding such a rider is well worth the extra cost. Reappraise Extraordinary Items Before your fine art or jewelry was insured, you had it appraised to determine its value. Reappraising items such as this at least every two years helps keep your insurance on pace with their value. Most high level possessions continue to climb in value which means they could easily outstrip their levels of insurance coverage if you do not keep tabs on it. Regular appraisals will help ensure that inflation and valuation are kept to current levels in the event of a loss.

Specialty Item Coverage: What items are not covered under homeowners insurance

Author TonyScurich , 2/5/2015
When you purchase homeowners insurance, you probably think that all the items in your home and on your property are afforded the same type of coverage. While this is true of most things that can be classified as everyday items, some of your other possessions might not fall into that category. In some cases, they might be insured but not enough to allow you to fully recoup your loss. In other cases, though, your items might not be covered at all. Vehicles of All Types Antique vehicles and other vehicles that you drive only occasionally might be covered under certain conditions on your homeowners insurance. Without specialty insurance, though, you will not recover their replacement value. ATVs, motorcycles and other recreation vehicles also need their own specialty insurance so that you can recover all of the money that they are worth. Flood Insurance Another item that people assume is covered under their homeowners insurance is flooding. In nearly all cases, though, flooding is not typically covered unless you have this particular specialty item as part of your regular coverage. Collectibles If you collect stamps, fine art or another collection of value, you might think that these items are covered under your homeowners insurance. Without specialty item coverage, however, that specifically denotes which items are being covered, you could find out too late that they are not. For collections that have a significant value, you will likely need to have them appraised by someone trained in the field to be sure that you purchased enough insurance to replace their value. Talk to your insurance agent to determine if you own an item or collection that needs specialty insurance. Doing so could save you a great deal of heartbreak in the event of a loss.