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 lot - lot

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.

Inland Marine Insurance: Don't Go Near The Water

Author TonyScurich , 6/10/2016
2

Although you have insured the business property on your premises, this protection does not extend off site - unless you carry Inland Marine insurance.

This type of policy goes back as far as the 17th century when Lloyd's of London extended coverage on ship cargos beyond ocean voyages to their final destination "inland." Today, Inland Marine covers the property of a business when it's in transit - or stored at a location away from the premises - as well as the property of third parties that's held on the premises. Because this property is essentially "floating," these policies are also known as Floaters. Inland Marine coverage would apply in such scenarios as:
  • A truck carrying designer handbags for an upscale department store is hijacked at a rest stop.
  • A hailstorm damages bulldozers on a machinery dealer's lot.
  • A fire at a dry cleaners scorches customers' clothing.
  • A defective sprinkler system in a "big box" store warehouse soaks dozens of TVs.
You can buy Inland Marine insurance on either a "named peril" basis (which lists the specific risks covered) or as an "all risk" policy (which covers losses from all causes not specifically listed). This coverage can provide valuable protection for the mobile or moveable property of almost any business, large or small: everything from camera shops and computer manufacturers through building contractors and jewelry stores to museums/art galleries and trucking companies. As Business Insurance professionals, we can tailor a comprehensive Inland Marine policy to the needs of your company. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

Working With Third-Party Administrators Helps Control Claims

Author TonyScurich , 4/13/2016
1 Third-Party Administrator (TPA) adjusters form the front line of defense against unnecessary claims expenses, including such traditional cost drivers as fraud or opioid pain medication addiction. They're the ones who determine how soon employees will mend and return to the job, the length of claims, and whether closing a claim will require additional resources, such as attorney involvement. It makes sense that the more closely you monitor the adjusters of your company's TPA, the lower your Workers Comp claims costs - and premiums. However, adjusters today are running on overload more than ever. In addition to managing larger caseloads, they face growing real-time information demands, increasing communication speed, and expanding regulations - which distract them from such cost-control practices as staying in contact with injured workers. Says one claims adjustment expert, "The fastest way of getting an injured employee to hire an attorney is making them feel like you don't really care about their injury. So you end up with a lot more claims than necessary going to attorneys, which leads to higher claim costs." It makes sense to work closely with your TPA adjuster by following these guidelines:
  1. Interview adjusters before they're assigned to your company.
  2. Review the adjuster's claims notes on a regular basis.
  3. Audit the TPA's services periodically to make sure that the adjuster is meeting your expectations.
  4. Develop close relationships with claims examiners and their supervisors.
We'd be happy to work with you and your TPA adjuster on keeping tabs on your Workers Comp claims costs. Please feel free to get in touch with us.  

Risk Management: A Department Of One

Author TonyScurich , 3/11/2016
2

If you're "it" when it comes to risk management for your business, there's a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. How do you determine the best place to start, given limited time and money, to keep your workers safe and keep your company in compliance? Where should you focus? How do you make sure that you stay on top of everything?

There are several important steps you can take to have a world-class safety program, even without many people on your team:

  1. Determine the managerial perspective on risk management. This is the single most important thing to do because it will set the tone for your ability to drive the risk management initiatives of your company. Do everything you can to make this attitude proactive, rather than reactive.
  2. Analyze the current state of safety in the business. An initial SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) will prove invaluable for planning risk management.
  3. Review the mission statement and overall goals of the organization to help align the safety process. The results will determine the direction to go; whether it's compliance, the creation of a safety management system, or some combination of the two. To take the program to another level, take a careful look at how you need to integrate safety into the process.
  4. Understand the OSHA standards that apply to your business - and make sure that everyone in the organization is familiar with the basics of these regulations.
  5. Evaluate your safety plan from a business perspective. Develop a budget that measures your financial return on investment.

We're always ready to help - just give us a call.


A Safe Workplace: Attitude Makes The Difference

Author TonyScurich , 2/5/2016
4A lot of companies say "Safety is our Number One priority." However, when the chips are down and production needs to increase, safety might suddenly become Number Two. In an effective workplace health and safety program, the employer places a high priority on a safe workplace, employees participate willingly in keeping themselves safe on the job -- and the company's Workers Comp premiums stay low! To develop and maintain safety as a "core value" among your employees, we'd recommend following these guidelines:
  • Encourage employees to think about safety 24/7.
  • Talk about safety all the time.
  • Make sure employees work safely. This job falls largely to your supervisors, who need to have good safety attitudes. You and your staff should keep checking up, monitoring performance, and being visible.
  • Encourage employee participation, suggestions, questions, and even complaints about unsafe conditions.
  • Set an example. If workers see you and your safety staff wearing PPE, following rules, eliminating hazards, and investigating incidents, they'll follow your lead in taking safety seriously.
  • Provide positive feedback for safe performance and attitudes. People love recognition and praise for doing the right thing.
  • Correct reported safety hazards immediately. Nothing shows that you have a good safety attitude more than demonstrating that you care and are looking out for your workers.

Eleven Steps To Safe Parking On The Job

Author TonyScurich , 2/1/2016
1When it comes to workplace safety, have you considered the company parking lot or garage? Your workers use it at least twice a day to stow and shelter their vehicles, but beyond that it's fairly invisible. A closer look reveals that predators might easily be lurking there. To minimize this threat, experts recommend ensuring that workers (as well as visitors) take these precautions:
  1. Stay alert for cruising vehicles, whose drivers can stop suddenly and jump out to rob or assault you.
  2. If you're using a parking lot, park near the building in a visible, lighted area.
  3. In a parking garage, park near the parking attendant (if there is one) or near a well-lit exit. Women should avoid using stairs and elevators, if possible.
  4. Use the main exit/entrance rather than a side or secluded one.
  5. Lock any valuables (including GPS, shopping, other bags, etc.) out of sight. If you're walking to your vehicle after hours, ask a co-worker or security officer to accompany you.
  6. If you have to walk alone, ask someone to watch from inside, if possible. Turn around frequently to make sure you're not being followed and pretend that you're waving to someone ahead to give the impression you're not alone.
  7. Don't talk on your cellphone or listen to music with ear pods -- predators are looking for victims who seem distracted or unaware.
  8. Have your car keys and personal alarm or whistle ready as you approach your vehicle.
  9. If someone nearby looks suspicious, keep walking and get to a safe place where you can call for help.
  10. Before you unlock the door, take a good look around, inside, and behind the vehicle.
  11. Once you enter the vehicle, lock all doors promptly and keep your windows up until you've exited the lot or garage.
Words to the wise.  

Cybersecurity Tips from a Professional Hacker

Author TonyScurich , 1/27/2016
Bookmark and Share "Cybersecurity is definitely no longer a server room issue," says David Finn, Executive Director at the Microsoft Cybercrime Center. "It's a boardroom issue." He notes that on average, it takes 243 days before an organization even knows that it was penetrated by a cybercriminal. Today, when one in five businesses are the target of a security breach, bad things are inevitably going to happen. That's why looking at your organization from "the bad guy's perspective," says Tiffany Rad, is crucial. Rad is rated one of Bloomberg's top "white hat" hackers (computer specialists who break into protected networks to test security and advise organizations on improvements). One of the most difficult things in Rad's industry is protecting against insider threats. But she notes there are products entering the market that have "an algorithm to check for abnormal patterns, when it looks like someone's going to sites perhaps that they shouldn't be during working hours or they're on different hours than normal." In terms of external threats, there's a lot of attention on protecting businesses as they move to the cloud. Ken Biery Jr., Verizon's Managing Principal of Governance, Risk and Compliance, explains that it's important to provide physical and logical security. Rad agrees, noting that in addition to firewalls and antivirus software, protection against malware is critical as more and more hackers look to steal intellectual property to give themselves or your organization's competitors a heads-up on what your organization is planning. You're "only as safe and secure as your weakest link," says Finn, admitting that when you rely on the cloud, "you trust that an organization is going to invest enormously in your security." But, as Biery sees it, "the good thing about a lot of the cloud providers that are out there is their default security, and the security they built into their environments are often better—especially for small and medium businesses—better than what they could do themselves." Biery also points out that companies need to stay in control with the advent of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). With mobile device management, "you can take and keep your sensitive information in an encrypted container on that employee's phone. So it kind of exists as its own virtual machine in that environment," he says, explaining that you can delete access and the encrypted container without affecting personal data such as photos. The bottom line, agree the experts, is that companies of all sizes need to amp up protection. Even if you think your business information isn't of interest to others, Rad assures us that there will always be hackers that find your digital footprint interesting and will do something with it—if only because they can. Let us know how you keep your own business safe on Facebook and Twitter.

Rental Equipment Insurance, Anyone?

Author TonyScurich , 1/6/2016

2The growth rate of the rental equipment industry in the U.S. is skyrocketing by 24% a year, as more and more companies use the tax and other financial advantages of renting over purchasing. Renting also allows businesses to get the exact machine they need when they need it at a low cost, rather than spending a lot more to buy a device that would spend most of the time gathering dust.

On the downside, if using a piece of equipment that you have rented causes damage or results in legal liability, you could be out thousands of dollars - unless you carry Rental Equipment insurance.

This policy often costs less than similar coverage offered under your Business Owners Policy or standard Commercial Property insurance. Rental Equipment insurance gives you what you need, when you need it: you can match the length of coverage to the term of the rental, rather than that of your Property policy, allowing you to save money. In most cases, it also offers lower (or zero deductibles) than standard policies.

The policy includes both Property coverage that protects the equipment from damage and Liability insurance to protect the renter from legal claims based on the use of the equipment. It also streamlines the process of providing the Certificate of Insurance that rental companies usually require before releasing their machines.

To learn more about how Rental Equipment coverage can help you protect your business - and save money - just get in touch with the insurance professionals at our agency.


Ways to help prevent home theft

Author TonyScurich , 6/2/2015
Burglars will not find your home an "easy mark" if they are forced to work in the light, if they have to take a lot of time breaking in, or if they cannot break in without making a lot of noise. Research shows that if it takes more than four or five minutes to break into a home, the burglar will go elsewhere. Most insurance companies provide 2 percent to 15 percent discounts for devices that make a home safer—dead-bolt locks, window grates, bars and smoke/fire/burglar alarms. However, when improving the security of your home, do not exchange security for personal safety. Do not make your home such a fortress that you are unable to escape in case of a fire or other emergency. Check your Home for Weaknesses and Correct Them
  • Take the time to "case" your house or apartment, just as a burglar would. Where is the easiest entry? How can you make it more burglar-resistant?
  • Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. High fences and shrubbery can add to your privacy, but can also be an asset to a burglar. Consider trading a little extra privacy for a bit of added security.
  • Force any would-be burglar to confront a real enemy—light. Exterior lights and motion detectors, mounted out of easy reach, can reduce the darkness a burglar finds comforting.
  • Simple security devices—nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars and bolts—can increase the amount of time it takes to break into your home.
  • Invest in a burglar alarm. The most effective ones also ring at an outside service.
Are any of your valuables—paintings, a silver collection or a computer—easy to see from outside the house? Rearranging your furnishings might be advisable if it makes your home less inviting to criminals. Simple Security Steps Doors Make sure you have strong doors. Outside doors should be metal or solid hardwood, and at least 1 3/4 inches thick. Frames must be made of equally strong material, and each door must fit its frame securely. Even the most efficient lock, if it is placed in a weak door, will not keep out a determined burglar.A peephole or a wide-angle viewer in the door is safer for identifying visitors than a door chain.Sliding glass doors present a special problem because they are easy to open, but if you have these doors, you can find special locks for them. A broomstick in the door channel can also help, but cannot be depended on.LocksDeadbolt locks are best. They usually are locked with a key from the outside and a thumb turn on the inside. The cylinder (where the key is inserted) should be pick-resistant. Ask your hardware dealer for a reputable brand or buy your locks from a locksmith.WindowsKey locks are available for all types of windows. Double-hung windows can be secured simply by "pinning" the upper and lower frames together with a nail, which can be removed from the inside.For windows at street level or on fire escapes, consider installing metal accordion gates.Home Security HabitsEstablish a routine to make certain that doors and windows are locked and alarm systems are turned on. Avoid giving information to unidentified telephone callers and announcing your personal plans in want ads or public notices (such as giving your address when advertising items for sale). Notify the police if you see suspicious strangers in your area. Do not carry house keys on a key ring bearing your home address or leave house keys with your car in a commercial parking lot or with an attendant. Do not hide your keys in "secret" places outside your home—burglars usually know where to look. Vacation TipsLeave blinds open in their usual position. Have mail and packages picked up, forwarded or held by the post office. Lower the sound of your telephone ringer and answering machine so they cannot be heard outside. Arrange to have your lawn mowed in summer and your walk and driveway shoveled in winter. Stop newspaper deliveries. Ask a friend to pick-up "throw-away" newspapers and circulars. Use automatic timers to turn lights on and off in various parts of the house at appropriate times. Consider connecting a radio to a timer. Tell police and dependable neighbors when you plan to be away and join with your neighbors to keep a close watch on what's happening in your area. Working closely with them is a good way to prevent crime.

THE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT REVIEW: HOW DO YOUR WORKERS FEEL ABOUT WORK?

Author TonyScurich , 2/2/2015

people-workingCompanies usually use some type of employee performance evaluation to assess successes and gaps in performance and convey these assessments to employees. Although this might be helpful, it's not enough. If you want your employees to be more engaged and productive, you need to understand their intrinsic motivations.

To do this, consider adding these questions to the employee performance review conversation. (Notice that we use the word "feel" a lot because it's the employee's emotions that should concern you.):

  • How do you feel about your job?
  • How do you feel about the direction of the company?
  • Do you feel that you have improved your skills over the last year?
  • To what extent do you feel that you have grown as a person while working for us during the past year?
  • What do you feel is the most valuable thing you do at work?
  • Where do feel you can add more value to the company?
  • Out of curiosity, have you looked at other job opportunities or are you completely satisfied here? If not, what would it take to satisfy you?
  • Do you feel you're being paid fairly? If not, what do you feel you should get paid and what do you base that on?
  • Do you feel we have exhibited a management style that's caring and supportive? If not, how can we do a better job of this?
  • Is there anything that we haven't spoken about that feels unfair to you and might get in the way of our working relationship or your success at this company?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share that we haven't talked about?

These are brave questions to ask because most managers really don't want to dive into the emotional landscape – which is a big mistake. As Daniel Goldman reminds us in Emotional Intelligence, it's your E.Q., not your I.Q., that's most important to becoming a great leader or manager.

Consider having this conversation outside of your office where it might feel safer for the employee. For example, "Now that we've discussed your performance I like to have a little deeper conversation about your work here and I don't want to do it in the office. Where would you like to go talk about this? "

You don't have to buy this idea wholesale. Test it out. Play social scientist and begin with just one employee. Let him or her know that you're opening up to a more meaningful conversation; and that because you've never tried this before it will be a learning experience for both of you!


    • 1
    • 2