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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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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.

 

Your Job Can Save You Money On Auto Insurance!

Author TonyScurich , 3/4/2016
4Engineers, firefighters, lawyers, teachers, and police officers all have one thing in common: they qualify for Auto insurance discounts with some insurers who have found that people in certain fields tend to be less risky drivers than those in other occupations.

A number of insurance companies offer discounts to those in a variety of professions - everything from architects, CPAs, and college professors through librarians, military personnel, and pilots, to physicians, registered nurses, and scientists.

Here's why: although practicing architecture or flying a plane doesn't necessarily make a driver more responsible, insurance underwriters don't have to prove cause and effect when setting rates. They need only show a relationship between these rating factors and risk.

A variety of factors can come into play in determining discounts. One Auto insurance company offers up to a 5 % discount to first responders, such as firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Because these people tend to work in the communities where they live, they probably don't commute long distances. First responders might speed down the road in emergencies, but not in their own vehicles, and they tend not to work from 9 to 5 - which means that they're at lower risk for accidents.

Discounts vary by occupation, insurance company, and state. Some companies offer discounts for a long list of occupations and professions, while others provide them to only a few, or none at all. Some jobs receive larger discounts than others.

Rules for discounts also vary by field. To qualify for one company's discount, health care providers must have a license to practice, as well as a degree. However, policyholders who have earned at least a bachelor in engineering, math, or science qualify for an 18% discount, even if they work in other fields.

Your occupation or profession might well entitle you to a substantial discount on your Auto insurance - even if you're retired. For more information, please get in touch with us.


Beware Of Bullies On The Job

Author TonyScurich , 2/8/2016
3Unfortunately, there are all too many bullies in the workplace -- and, all too often, their abusive behavior has led to violent, even fatal, employee rampages that have made the headlines. It makes sense for business owners and managers to deal with on-the-job bullying before it escalates into a potentially deadly situation. Recognizing a bully in the workplace can be difficult. These people often have "Jekyll and Hyde" personalities: They can be extremely charming, polite, and respectful in public. However, as a rule, bullies: 1) don't believe in following the rules of society; 2) crave negative attention; 3) try to put others down by manipulating and degrading them in front of their peers; 4) seek power; and 5) spread untrue rumors in the workplace, disrespect their victims, and refuse to listen to them. Because there are no federal or state laws against workplace bullying, it might be hard to fire a bully right away. However, there are ways to deal with this problem. Institute a zero-tolerance policy toward bullying. Your employee handbook and codes of conduct should set a clear definition of the consequences and punishment for bullying, with a specific list of actions for dealing with it. Enforce the policy. When it's time to discipline a bully, sit down with the accused person, their supervisor, and someone from your human resources department. If the bully offers to apologize and promises never to repeat the behavior, you might settle the matter by writing a letter of reprimand to be kept in their personnel file. You might also put the employee on probation, with close supervision by their supervisor, and let them know that any further bullying will result in termination. If you'd like advice on creating and implementing an anti-bullying policy for your workplace, just give us a call.

That’s Not Me!

Author TonyScurich , 12/16/2015

"But he that filches from me my good name/Robs me of that which not enriches him/And makes me poor indeed." - Shakespeare, Othello, act iii. Sc. 3.

Identity theft is a huge problem in the United States. Did you know that identity thieves stole approximately $21 Billion from victims in 2012? This equates to one incident of fraud every three seconds. That’s scary. In every minute, 20 acts of fraud occur. When you keep adding up the numbers it looks horrific. Most victims don’t know until it’s too late that they have become a victim of identity theft. If you are one of the victims of identity theft, we have listed a few things for you to do:

  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) whether online or by phone, 877-438-4338.
  • If necessary, send mail certified and request a return receipt.
  • Contact your bank and let them know of the fraud.
  • Contact all of your credit card companies and credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) and inform them of the situation.
  • Contact your insurance companies and make them aware of the theft.
  • Keep a detailed filing system. Keep all your originals, only send copies of originals to requestors.
  • Follow all deadlines. Keep a timeline of when you spoke to a person and set up a follow up date.

Following the above guidelines will help minimize any future thefts. We hope that you never have to use this list.


2015 Business Risk Index Summary

Author TonyScurich , 8/26/2015

Cyber and workforce risks rising concern for U.S. businesses.

American business leaders worry about the same major risks as they did in 2014, however rising levels of concern over cyber risks and the ability to attract and retain talent have shifted the ranks in some subtle and no-so-subtle ways.

Top Risk Concerns chart

1. Medical Cost Inflation - Medical cost inflation still leads the list of top perceived risks despite a nearly 10 percentage point drop in general concern from 67% in 2014 to 60% in 2015.

2. Cyber Risks - Making the greatest leap from fifth in 2014 to second this year, concern over cyber risk has grown considerably, particularly among large businesses. In fact, 9 out of all 10 industries surveyed report cyber risks and data breaches among their top 5 concerns.

3. Increasing Employee Benefit Costs - Closely related to concerns over medical cost inflation, worry over increasing employee benefit costs, has also fallen, from 62% to 56% since last year.

4. Legal Liability - Although general concern over legal liability has decreased only 2% since last year, its ranking has dropped to fourth from third in 2014.

5. Attracting & Retaining Talent - U.S. businesses are increasingly worried about the challenge of finding and retaining skilled labor, with a 3% increase since last year resulting in a jump from last to fifth on the list of top risk concerns.

6. Regulatory Compliance - Nearly unchanged since last year, among the 51% of all businesses concerned about complying with laws and regulations, 29% worry a great deal.

7. Broad Economic Uncertainty - U.S. business owners showed a slight reprieve from worry over the economy, with concern about broad economic uncertainty down in level (by 6%) and ranking (by 4 places) since 2014.

Many U.S. Businesses Still Feel Unprepared for Top Risks

While the ranking of top concerns may have slightly shifted, the gaps between how much U.S. businesses worry verses how prepared they feel to manage these risks remains large. In fact, the top risk concerns are often among the 3 to 5 risks businesses feel the least prepared to handle. Furthermore, only 50% of companies report having a written business continuity plan.

Global and Political Conflict, Extreme Weather Emerging Concerns

While not quite making the cut of top risks, concern over geopolitical conflict has risen significantly among U.S. business leaders. One-third surveyed (32%) worry about global and political conflicts, while one-quarter believe political unrest is of greater concern today than it was five to 10 years ago.

More than half of all business surveyed (52%) believe the frequency of severe weather events has increased over the past few years. More importantly, one-third believe these increases in extreme weather also increase the threat of damage to company property and equipment.


What to do when your vehicle breaks down

Author TonyScurich , 7/15/2015
 

Follow some of these steps if your vehicle breaks down, and take extra precaution if you are in a busy intersection or on a highway.

Getting out of the car at a busy intersection or on a highway to change a tire or check damage from a fender bender is probably one of the worst things you can do. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) recommends the following precautions when your car breaks down:

  1. Never get out of the vehicle to make a repair or examine the damage on a busy highway. Get the vehicle to a safe place before getting out. If you have been involved in an accident, motion the other driver to pull up to a safe spot ahead.
  2. If you cannot drive the vehicle, it may be safer to stay in the vehicle and wait for help or use a cell phone to summon help. Standing outside the vehicle in the flow of traffic, under most circumstances, is a bad idea.
  3. Carry flares or triangles to use to mark your location once you get to the side of the road. Marking your vehicle's location to give other drivers advance warning of your location can be critical. Remember to put on your hazard lights!
  4. In the case of a blowout or a flat tire, move the vehicle to a safer place before attempting a repair - even if it means destroying the wheel getting there. The cost of a tire, rim or wheel is minor compared to endangering your safety.

Source: Insurance Information Institute; http://www.iii.org/ The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any of our policies. You should read the policy for a complete description of coverage. Coverage options, limits, discounts and deductibles are subject to availability and to individuals meeting our underwriting criteria. Not all features available in all areas.

Insurance is underwritten by The Travelers Indemnity Company and its property casualty affiliates, One Tower Square, Hartford, CT. For a complete list of personal insurance underwriting companies, click here.


How to Help Prevent Offline Identity Fraud

Author TonyScurich , 7/6/2015

file0001578443946Contrary to popular belief, identity fraud does not always begin online. According to Travelers claim data, 44 percent of ID fraud cases happen when a person's purse or wallet has been lost or stolen. Thieves can use the information they find inside for ID fraud, so here are some critical steps to help protect yourself and your identity.

Watch Your Wallet and Purse

Many people store personal information in their purses and wallets, making it easier for thieves to commit identity fraud. Help secure your identity by keeping your purse and wallet in a safe place and carrying only essentials when you go out. Leave credit cards you will not be using in a secure place at home. Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid carrying Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports as they contain key pieces of personal information thieves could use to steal your identity.

Monitor Your Mail

Whether you are sending or receiving mail, take steps to help keep it safe from prying eyes. Never put outgoing checks, bill payments or financial information in your unlocked home mailbox. When you need to send out sensitive documents, consider using a secure postal mailbox or send them from the post office. If you have not signed up for electronic statements, be aware of when your credit card statements are scheduled to arrive. If they are late, call the credit card company to confirm if the statement was sent. Be sure to shred old bills and unnecessary financial records containing personal information.

Keep a Careful Eye on Your Credit

According to our data, nearly half of ID fraud cases are committed using the victim's current accounts. On a regular basis, review your credit report and bank statements to monitor your accounts, and take these extra precautions:

  • Make a list of all your credit card and bank account information, and store the list in a secure place, such as on a password-protected flash drive or in a fire-proof safe. Include account numbers, expiration dates, credit limits and phone numbers or emails of the customer service and fraud departments. If your card is missing or stolen, you will then be able to quickly notify your credit card provider to prevent fraudulent charges.
  • Review your credit report and notify the credit bureaus of any mistakes. The U.S. Government Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the right to receive one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Order one report from a different bureau every four months to see credit activity throughout the year. To order your credit report, visitwww.annualcreditreport.com.

Keep Your Social Security Number Safe

Social Security numbers are often used to open fraudulent accounts or to access financial information or assets. Do not have your Social Security number printed on your checks or allow merchants to write it on them. If a business requests your Social Security number, ask them why. If it is not a valid reason, do not provide the information they request. Also, never give confidential information to an unsolicited phone caller who claims they represent a financial institution or creditor. Instead, get the caller's name, location, phone number and reason for the call. Then call the phone number on your billing statements to verify the caller's identification.

Get additional tips for helping protect your identity while you are online.

Consider buying identity fraud insurance, a relatively inexpensive add-on to your renters or homeowners insurance policy. This coverage typically reimburses the cost of reclaiming your identity and rebuilding your credit, such as attorney's and notary fees and replacement of IDs. It is a low-cost investment against a high-expense crime.


Compile an inventory of your important possessions

Author TonyScurich , 6/15/2015
In the event of severe damage to your home or business, having a current inventory of your possessions — including their make and model numbers — can help you get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance. While most people think of their home when discussing an inventory, it is important to document the contents of your business as well. Watch "Emergency Preparedness: How Taking a Home Inventory Can Help You Recover Sooner"

Here are some suggestions for getting started.

  • Take a picture. Take pictures of rooms and important individual items. Label pictures with a description, including where you bought it and the make, model and serial number. Remember items that are in storage closets or drawers.
  • Video record it. Walk through your home or office with a video recorder or tape recorder and describe the contents.
  • Create an electronic file – Use your computer or mobile device to create and store your inventory list. Take advantage of mobile applications or free online software like www.knowyourstuff.org to organize pictures or descriptions of your belongings by room or category.
  • Store the list, photos and tapes. Regardless of how you create it (written or electronic list, flash drive, photos, video or audio), keep your inventory along with receipts in your safe deposit box, on a disk or at a friend or colleague’s home. Doing so will help ensure you will have something to give your insurance representative if your home is damaged. When you make a significant purchase, add the information to the inventory while the details are fresh in your mind.
  • Consider expensive items. Valuable items like jewelry, art and collectibles may have increased in value since you received them. Check with your agent to make sure that you have adequate insurance for these items. They may need to be insured separately.

This information was taken from an article from the Insurance Information Institute (www.iii.org)


Possible discounts for your California teen driver

Author TonyScurich , 4/8/2015
Kid drivingAs parents, sometimes we never want our kids to grow up. It is no secret that adding a teen driver to your California auto insurance is a costly choice. In some cases, you might see your insurance premium double almost overnight when you add your teen. There is good reason for this jump in price as the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) notes that car crashes are the top cause of death for people ages 15 to 19. There are ways you can save money though.

Take a Safe Driving Course

With accident rates disproportionately higher for teen drivers than for other segment of the population, more education can help tip the balance. Taking a safe driving course can give your teen valuable skills while teaching them to be a more defensive driver. Many insurance companies provide discounts for the successful completion of such a course.

Purchase an Older Car

While every teen wants a brand new sports car as their first set of wheels, the insurance on such a vehicle will be quite high -- especially when combined with the hit your premium will take for having your teen on your insurance plan in the first place. Consider getting your freshly-minted teen driver an older set of wheels. While new cars tend to have safety features that many older cars lack, buying a used car that is a few years old can provide you with a good compromise.

Be a Good Student

Many insurance companies want to reward teens that are also good students. While the criteria can vary depending on the insurance company, if your student is on the honor roll or dean's list, is in the top 20 percent of standardized tests or maintains a B average or above, they could be eligible for a significant discount on their insurance.

Top 3 Insurance New Year Resolutions

Author TonyScurich , 1/9/2015
Comfort ZoneWith the new year comes the tendency to make resolutions that are designed to help a person address what they perceive to be as their own shortcomings. While resolutions such as "exercise more" and "lose weight" are often at the top of the list, these types of resolutions often fall by the wayside all too soon after the first of the year. The following insurance resolutions for the new year are simple to implement and can have long lasting effects. 1. Purchase Life Insurance This is a resolution that should be on everyone's list but it does not always seem to make it to fruition. Make 2015 the year you talk to your insurance agent and find the ideal life insurance plan for your circumstances and your budget. You'll rest easier at night knowing that your loved ones are taken care of and your assets are protected. 2. Take a Fresh Look at Your Homeowners Insurance Did you or a member of your family receive an expensive gift this holiday season? If so, you might want to take a look at the deductibles that you previously chose for your homeowners insurance. While a high deductible often looks attractive because it can make your payments lower, if it is too high it can be difficult to replace items that are covered unless you dip into savings or other monetary reserves. 3. Does it Make Sense to Bundle? If you have insurance with more than one company, you could be missing out on significant savings. Most insurance companies have a bundle plan that allows you to save money if you have more than one policy with them. Much like car insurance policies that give you a multi-car discount, bundling your insurances with one company can often allow you to enjoy savings on your policies.    

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