keyboard_backspaceBack to main blog page

Scurich Insurance Services - Blog

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

Search Results

Posts tagged with insurer - insurer

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.

Pollution Liability: The CPL Solution

Author TonyScurich , 8/15/2016
Air, water, and soil pollution pose a serious financial threat for contractors. One small misstep can require thousands - or even millions - to clean up. Consider these scenarios:
  • Remodeling a school kicks up dust.
  • Using construction materials generates fumes that pollute the air.
  • Hitting an underground storage tank leads to the release of liquid pollutants.
  • Spraying to remove a bees' nest from a work area releases insecticides.
  • Tying into a sewer line improperly causes sewage to back up.
Your Comprehensive General Liability (CGL) policy provides severely limited protection against these types of pollution claims. Not to worry! Contractors Pollution Liability (CPL) insurance can protect you. (These policies are sometimes written together with Contractors Professional Liability coverage - see the previous article). CPL covers Bodily Injury and Property Damage - whether by settlement or verdict - as well as the expenses of investigating, defending, or settling claims. Most policies also cover the costs of removing or neutralizing pollutants and restoring the damaged property. CPL policies usually include a "hammer clause" that works like this: if the contractor chooses to fight a claim, rather than settle it, the insurance company's liability for damages and claims expenses is limited to what it would have had to pay if the contractor had approved the settlement. As you can imagine, most contractors choose to settle when their insurer recommends this approach. As with Contractors Professional Liability coverage, CPL policies are usually written on a case-by-case basis, with the size of the policy depending on your situation (for example coverage might be worldwide or limited to the U.S). Our agency would be happy to work with you, and the quality insurance companies we represent, to tailor a program suited for your needs. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

That's Hot! Home Insurance Technology Trends

Author TonyScurich , 7/20/2016
3

If you want to insure a mansion or a priceless art collection, don't be surprised if a certified thermographer shows up at your door, infrared camera in hand.

Thermal imaging cameras are among the latest high-tech tools Homeowners insurers are using to help stem losses before they become catastrophes, saving policyholders from heartbreak and companies millions in damage claims. One major insurance company is using thermal imaging cameras for its high-value homes, letting inspectors "see" hidden hot or cool spots. A hot reading might indicate a fire hazard from an electrical malfunction, while a cool reading could come from a leak. In one case, the camera detected a cool spot in a ceiling due to a leak caused by a faulty 37-cent clip in an upstairs ice maker. If the ceiling had collapsed, it would have caused $125,000 in damage. High-tech devices aren't limited to the high-end market. One insurer offers an online risk-assessment tool that its Homeowners clients can use to find the risks for flooding, wildfire and storm surge, based on their address. This company also provides its clients inexpensive alarms that can detect potential water leaks before they can cause extensive, and expensive, damage. Insurance companies are exploring new technologies. One insurer has patented a data recorder that can be installed in building to analyze potential causes of damage or destruction. Another company has filed a patent for a system that would use spectroscopy to identify chemical changes caused by wildfires and other natural disasters. If such a change were detected and confirmed, the company could speed up the claims process.

Home Repairs: 'Like It Never Even Happened'

Author TonyScurich , 6/1/2016
3

A pipe bursts and water ruins a corner of your Brazilian cherry wood floor. A windstorm tears off half of the vinyl shingles on one side of the house. A fire burns a couple of kitchen cupboards. Although your Homeowners policy will cover such partial losses, the extent to which the insurance company must go to make everything look just the way you'd like can be tricky.

Let's say that the new siding contrasts with the older, weathered shingles or that you can't find replacement kitchen cupboards that precisely match the originally. Your claim should put you back to pre-loss condition so the new part shouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. For example, this might mean replacing the entire floor of a room even if only a portion needs repair, or repainting all four walls after damage to only one. In some states, if replaced items don't match in quality, color or size, the insurance company must make "reasonable repairs or replacement of items in adjoining areas." Although other states don't have laws on matching, some Homeowners insurers have added similar "non-matching language" to their policies. Besides varying by state, insurer, and policy, the issue of patching versus full replacement can depends on insurance company adjusters. If you can't get make any headway with the adjuster on the repairs you want, consider going over his or her head to a supervisor, or file a complaint with the state insurance department. Another option is to hire a public insurance adjuster to work on your behalf through the claims process. These professionals usually charge about 10% of the final settlement.

Drip, Drip, Drip: Dealing With Water Damage

Author TonyScurich , 4/25/2016
3

Of all Homeowners insurance losses, those from water damage are among the most common. Many people often don't consider the potential risks in their own homes until it's too late.

To minimize hazards that can cause water damage claims, we'd like to recommend these steps:

  • Check for leaks. Periodically inspect the area around the refrigerator, washer, dishwasher, water heater, sinks, and toilets for drips, puddles, and discolored, warped, or soft flooring.
  • Pay attention to your water bill. Monthly fluctuations could indicate a leak.
  • Periodically check your water pressure. Water losses often occur due to excessive water pressure. Buy a pressure gauge at your local hardware store, and hook it up to a hose bib. If it's above 65 psi, install a water pressure regulator.
  • Before you go on vacation, take precautions. If temperatures in your area could dip below freezing, make sure that any exposed pipes are insulated, turn off the water supply to individual fixtures, and turn your furnace to low so that the pipes will stay warm enough to avoid bursting.

If you need to file a claim, follow these guidelines:

  • Stop the source of the water by turning off the water main.
  • Call your insurance company immediately. Most companies have staff 24/7 to help you set appointments with contractors who can dry out your house. Your insurer will also send an adjuster to assess the damage.
  • Don't start any major repair efforts until the adjuster has been to your home!
  • Determine what was lost and document it. Even if things were ruined, don't throw them away. Keep pieces of the damaged floor or ceiling, along with any valuable personal property, such as electronics or furniture. At a minimum, take photos or video of the damage.

For more information, give us a call at any time.


Wrap Up Your Construction Insurance

Author TonyScurich , 4/20/2016
Wrap-up or "Wrap" Construction insurance can provide a highly effective tool to reduce costs and avoid headaches in insuring large, complex projects and the workers building them. Wrap policies usually offer superior coverage, higher policy limits and greater contract certainty than traditional Commercial General Liability, Workers Compensation, and (often) Builders Risk insurance written for individual subcontractors and types of risk. What's more, Wrap coverage can minimize potential cross-litigation on construction projects. Although they've been available for decades, these policies have become widespread in recent years, due to the skyrocketing costs of raw materials, financing, and litigation. There are two types of Wrap coverage; owner-controlled insurance policies (OCIP), and contractor-controlled insurance policies (CCIP). Either variety allows the owner to spread the risk among different parties, while providing a seamless insurance safety net for every company and individual involved - which can translate into profit, based on loss experienced over the life of the policy. Because of their extensive coverage, Wrap policies are usually more expensive than other types of Construction insurance for the owner or primary contractor, who will pass on the extra cost among the general contractors and sub-contractors on the project. This is a small price to pay considering the peace of mind that comes from having all coverages and insured parties protected under a single policy. Because of their complexity, insurance companies often tailor Wrap policies for each project, writing them on a customized ("manuscript") basis. Our agency's professionals would be happy to work with you and your insurer in creating coverage that's comprehensive and cost-effective. That's what we're here for.

Why Coinsurance Makes Sense

Author TonyScurich , 3/25/2016
4

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.


Audit? What Audit?

Author TonyScurich , 2/24/2016
1Whenever you're asked to bid on a job, you're usually required to certify that the price is firm and that there won't be any unexpected expenses and cost overruns once the project is underway. Because this is standard practice in the industry, it's understandable that some contractors are surprised that their insurance costs don't operate the same way -- especially when the contractor has asked agents for "bids" on the insurance package. Neither Workers Compensation nor General Liability, two of the key coverages in Construction insurance, usually set fixed premiums. Because payrolls and/or revenues the contractor pays or earns during the policy period determine the premiums, and there's no way to know these costs in advance, the premiums will also be estimates. Once actual payrolls and revenues are known (usually after an insurance company audit after the end of the policy period), the company will set the final premium based on these figures. The contractor -- you -- will then receive either a refund (if your insured losses were lower than expected) or a bill for the additional premium due (when these losses are higher than expected). Although it's never pleasant to owe more money after a policy has expired, keep two things in mind: First, if the insurer were able to predict the final results accurately, it would have charged this amount in advance. Second, an additional premium due after an audit shows that you had a better year than expected -- and that's always good news! If you have any questions about how your insurance works or how premiums are calculated, just give us a call. We're here to help.

Home Repairs: 'Like It Never Even Happened'

Author TonyScurich , 1/1/2016
3

A pipe bursts and water ruins a corner of your Brazilian cherry wood floor. A windstorm tears off half of the vinyl shingles on one side of the house. A fire burns a couple of kitchen cupboards. Although your Homeowners policy will cover such partial losses, the extent to which the insurance company must go to make everything look just the way you'd like can be tricky.

Let's say that the new siding contrasts with the older, weathered shingles or that you can't find replacement kitchen cupboards that precisely match the originally. Your claim should put you back to pre-loss condition so the new part shouldn't stick out like a sore thumb. For example, this might mean replacing the entire floor of a room even if only a portion needs repair, or repainting all four walls after damage to only one. In some states, if replaced items don't match in quality, color or size, the insurance company must make "reasonable repairs or replacement of items in adjoining areas." Although other states don't have laws on matching, some Homeowners insurers have added similar "non-matching language" to their policies. Besides varying by state, insurer, and policy, the issue of patching versus full replacement can depends on insurance company adjusters. If you can't get make any headway with the adjuster on the repairs you want, consider going over his or her head to a supervisor, or file a complaint with the state insurance department. Another option is to hire a public insurance adjuster to work on your behalf through the claims process. These professionals usually charge about 10% of the final settlement.

Tips to lower your homeowner's insurance premiums

Author TonyScurich , 5/21/2014
Scurich Insurance Services, CA, Homeowners InsuranceThere are several steps you can take to ensure you are getting the best Homeowners insurance rates possible for the coverage you need:
  • Before purchasing a home, it is wise to learn about its insurance loss history. If there have been past losses, be sure to inspect the home closely to determine if proper repairs were made. The CLUE and A-PLUS databases enable insurers to check the claim history of the property as well as that of the homeowner.
  • Raising your deductible is a great way to reduce your premiums. Higher deductibles on your Homeowners insurance could produce savings of 25% or more.
  • Consider upgrades to your home. Do you need to modernize your heating, plumbing, and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage? Are there upgrades you could make that would reduce the risk of damage in windstorms and other natural disasters? You might be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof, or buying stronger roofing materials. Older homes can be retrofitted to make them more capable of withstanding earthquakes. If you do make home improvements, be sure to make your insurer aware of the changes.
  • Improve your home security. You typically can get premium discounts of at least 5% for installing a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Some companies will cut your premium by as much as 15% or 20% if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that signals the police, fire department, and other monitoring stations. These systems are not inexpensive and not every system qualifies for a discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost, and how much you would save on premiums.
  • Buy your Home and Auto policies from the same insurer. Some companies that sell Homeowners, Auto and Liability coverage will take 5% to 15% off your premium if combine policies with them.
  • Maintain a good credit rating. Most insurers use credit-based insurance scores to determine Homeowners and Auto coverage premiums. All else being equal, a person with a good credit score will pay much less for insurance than someone with a lower score.
Contact our office today for more information. Content provided by Transformer Marketing.

    • 1
    • 2