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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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Are You Ready For A Car Crash?

Author TonyScurich , 11/2/2016
  safe-1142432_1920You know the drill after an auto crash, heart stopping panic, and then, especially if there’s major damage or a serious injury, exchanging names, addresses and insurance information with the other driver. Easy, right? However, if the other driver refuses to provide these particulars (or you’re so shaken that you forget to ask for them), you could end up in serious financial, or even legal, trouble. Dan Young, Senior Vice President of Insurance Relations for CARSTAR warns, “[After an accident] sometimes drivers just don't do what they’re supposed to do." To make sure you’re prepared for such a mishap, follow these guidelines:
  • Remain at the scene. Although state laws differ, failure to exchange information or notify police can lead to a hit-and-run charge or loss of your license.
  • Keep a “cheat sheet” in your glove compartment about what to ask after an accident.
  • Use your cellphone to take a photo of the other vehicle, (preferably showing its license plate) as visual proof of the incident.
  • Write down details. As soon as you and your vehicle are out of traffic and harm's way, record the date and time, location, make and model of the cars and actions or statements by the other driver.
  • Ask any bystanders or eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
In the meantime, review your auto policy to make sure that you carry: 1) collision coverage, which will pay for repairing your car and providing a replacement vehicle, if needed and 2) uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance (UM/UIM), which will cover damages for injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. For more information, feel free to get in touch with our agency  

What’s more secure; financial records locked in a filing cabinet or financial records stored in the cloud?

Author TonyScurich , 7/29/2016
Pop quiz time. What's more secure; financial records locked in a filing cabinet or financial records stored in the cloud? If you don't understand how cloud security works, you probably said the filing cabinet. It's time for a little mythbusting about how secure your paperless office could be. Last week, Cindy Bates posted on the Microsoft SMB Blog about the benefits of a completely paperless office. Like Delta Airlines, who recently switched to the paperless cockpit, it's possible for any office or organization to ditch the dead trees and move entirely into the digital space. One of the first questions decision makers ask when considering the paperless office is "how secure is this?" It's a fair question, so let's consider Delta's paperless cockpit example and overall data security. The problem with paper is that, well, it's paper. Paper gets lost, it burns, it can be misfiled and disappear. It's only as secure as its physical location. If that location is a locked filing cabinet (or a vault under Fort Knox), if someone really wanted to get to it, they could. A file in the cloud cannot burn, be stolen, accidentally left behind in a restroom, or any other number of things that could affect a hard copy of important information. For a recent example, take a look at the Internet Archive, whose scanning facility in San Francisco caught fire. Although no data was stored in their San Francisco office, if it had been, cloud redundancies would have prevented any loss. But what about a data center, such as what powers Windows Azure or Office 365? Let's start with physical security: data centers are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A team of ninjas could, in theory, break in, but they'd still have to know which of the thousand machines contained your exact data—so unless you've upset the cast of Ocean's 11, it's significantly less likely than an office fire that could destroy physical data. In addition, with Office 365, data transmitted across networks is encrypted—so if some agency (or other villain) happens to tap the wires, they still won't be able to read your files. While a move to a paperless office does not entirely guarantee data security—there are still those ninjas to think about—it is significantly more secure than leaving your information in paper form, where it could be destroyed or stolen with greater ease. It's just one more reason to go paperless.  

Alternative Risk Financing: Not Just For The Big Guys

Author TonyScurich , 6/3/2016
1

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.


Business Property Insurance: Replacement Cost Or Actual Cash Value?

Author TonyScurich , 4/8/2016
2

Business Property insurance protects your building and property against loss or damage from theft, accident, and a variety of other causes. The policy will pay for replacing or repairing covered property or providing compensation for irreplaceable items.

If you don't own your building you'll still need to cover its contents: fixtures, furniture, office equipment, inventory and the supplies stored at your location or off-site.

The premium will depend on whether you choose to insure the replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV) of the property. Most Business Property coverage is written on a replacement-cost basis, which will reimburse you for replacing lost or stolen goods with new items at current market prices. This feature can help your business recover from the loss or theft quickly. (If you're leasing equipment, the leaseholder might require you to cover it at replacement value.) You'll need to revise your coverage when you acquire or dispose of property. Be sure to update replacement values over time; a computer worth $1,000 two years ago might cost half that today - on the other hand, the price of a desk might well increase.

Actual cash value coverage, which generally costs less, provides reimbursement for the depreciated value of covered property. If your business owns its own equipment, which you could replace easily with comparable goods at depreciated market value, the lower premium of an ACV policy might make it a more cost-effective choice.

As always, our agency's Business Insurance specialists stand ready to offer their advice on choosing the coverage that's best for you. Just give us a call.


What’s more secure; financial records locked in a filing cabinet or financial records stored in the cloud?

Author TonyScurich , 1/29/2016
Pop quiz time. What's more secure; financial records locked in a filing cabinet or financial records stored in the cloud? If you don't understand how cloud security works, you probably said the filing cabinet. It's time for a little mythbusting about how secure your paperless office could be. Last week, Cindy Bates posted on the Microsoft SMB Blog about the benefits of a completely paperless office. Like Delta Airlines, who recently switched to the paperless cockpit, it's possible for any office or organization to ditch the dead trees and move entirely into the digital space. One of the first questions decision makers ask when considering the paperless office is "how secure is this?" It's a fair question, so let's consider Delta's paperless cockpit example and overall data security. The problem with paper is that, well, it's paper. Paper gets lost, it burns, it can be misfiled and disappear. It's only as secure as its physical location. If that location is a locked filing cabinet (or a vault under Fort Knox), if someone really wanted to get to it, they could. A file in the cloud cannot burn, be stolen, accidentally left behind in a restroom, or any other number of things that could affect a hard copy of important information. For a recent example, take a look at the Internet Archive, whose scanning facility in San Francisco recently caught fire. Although no data was stored in their San Francisco office, if it had been, cloud redundancies would have prevented any loss. But what about a data center, such as what powers Windows Azure or Office 365? Let's start with physical security: data centers are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A team of ninjas could, in theory, break in, but they'd still have to know which of the thousand machines contained your exact data—so unless you've upset the cast of Ocean's 11, it's significantly less likely than an office fire that could destroy physical data. In addition, with Office 365, data transmitted across networks is encrypted—so if some agency (or other villain) happens to tap the wires, they still won't be able to read your files. While a move to a paperless office does not entirely guarantee data security—there are still those ninjas to think about—it is significantly more secure than leaving your information in paper form, where it could be destroyed or stolen with greater ease. It's just one more reason to go paperless.

Schedule A Risk Reveiw Today

Author TonyScurich , 1/20/2016
2Can you believe that winter is here already? Time flies. Always has, always will. However, as risk managers, we think that you should slow down for a moment and ask yourself if your risk-protection program has kept pace with the changing times.

Just as your business needs might have changed significantly since your last review, so have the methods of protecting you from risk of loss. New policies have been created, new techniques in risk management developed, and new exposures arisen.

Consider these questions:

    • Is your current risk protection program as up-to-date as it needs to be to meet your business needs today?
    • What if your business were unable to operate due to extensive damage?
    • How much income would you lose during the time it takes to open the doors again?
    • Or would your choice be to reopen as quickly as possible at another location? Bear in mind that the "hurry up" expense of making the move, installing the necessary equipment, and notifying your clients would prove a painful unplanned burden.

Let's schedule a time for a review. Our professional staff stands ready to work with you. Regardless of your firm's situation, it's important to get a comprehensive risk review of your business as it is today, not as it was years ago.

Call us. We're here to help.


You Need to "Call Before You Dig"

Author TonyScurich , 7/20/2015

Person digging in backyard

What is 811?

Are you a homeowner or contractor? Did you know that you are required to call the number ‘811’ before digging on any property so that you can be made aware of any underground lines (e.g. pipes, cables and associated utilities) buried in the area? Improper digging can lead to damage to underground lines that can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers or excavators, and even incur potential fines and repair costs.

In case you did not know, 811 is the national "Call Before You Dig" phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission. This number was developed to eliminate the confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers because it is easy to use, is the same for every state, and can help protect anyone who does dig from injury, expense and potential penalties.

What Happens After Calling 811?

All 811 calls are routed to a local One Call Center and the affected utilities. The utility will then send crews to the location to mark any underground lines for the homeowner or excavator for free.

Do Most People Call Before They Dig?

Believe it or not, in spite of all the potential danger and damage that can be caused, the answer is "no." According to a recent national survey, 45 percent of American homeowners who plan to dig this year said that they would not call 811 beforehand.*

More Information

For more information about the 811 call system, visit http://www.call811.com. To download the most current industry Best Practices in connection with preventing damage to underground facilities, go to http://commongroundalliance.com/.


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.


Grilling safely

Author TonyScurich , 5/11/2015

shish-kebabMany Americans fire up the grill when the weather is warm, especially during summer holidays and family get-togethers. This adds up to more than three billion barbecues a year. But serious accidents can occur without proper precautions.

Here are some important tips to help you keep danger away when you are enjoying food and fun:

Choose a safe location for your grill. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than one-quarter (27%) of home structure fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio and 29% started on an exterior balcony or open porch.* Keep grills on a level surface more than 10 feet away from the house, garage, deck rails or other structures. Keep away from children, pets, landscaping and overhanging branches. Grills should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang.

Grill outside only! Never use a grill in a garage, vehicle, tent or other enclosed space, even if ventilated, due to risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup.

Keep gas grills and supplies safe. Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house. Turn off valves if the odor of gas is detected or when not in use. Check at least annually for leaks in the connections.

Use the right fuel the right way. While starting and maintaining the flame in a charcoal grill can be challenging, avoid shortcuts. Only use starter fluids intended for these grills. Never use gasoline or too much starter fluid. If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire. Do not leave grill unattended.

Do not forget post-grilling safety. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. If using a charcoal grill, dispose of coals by soaking them in water to let them cool completely and placing them in a closed metal container away from your home, garage or deck. Be aware that grills themselves remain hot long after extinguished.