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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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THE ABC’S OF HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENTS

Author TonyScurich , 10/31/2016
Bookmark and Share Because construction projects are complex operations involving a number of subcontractors under your supervision, onsite accidents or injuries resulting from their work can easily lead to litigation against you. To protect yourself against claims, losses, and expenses if disputes arise during the project, make sure that all subcontractors sign a “Hold Harmless Agreement” clause. The terms of these clauses will vary from state to state. In some cases, this clause will protect the contractor from claims by corporations or companies that did not sign the agreement. There are three types of hold harmlessagreements: Under the Broad Form, the subcontractor assumes all liability for accidents due to negligence of the general contractor, and combined negligence between the two parties. Because of its sweeping terms, this form is relatively rare – and some states prohibit it. With the Intermediate Form the subcontractor takes on all liability for accidents and negligence, but will not be held accountable for the general contractor's actions. It doesn’t matter whether the incident was the subcontractor’s fault. If both parties were negligent, the subcontractor assumes liability all for its acts or omissions. Intermediate form agreements are relatively common. A Limited Form agreement makes the subcontractor liable only for the proportional part of its responsibility for a mishap. Other parties – such as subcontractors – will be held liable under their hold harmlessagreement(s) for their corresponding part of the accident or negligence. The type of agreement that’s best suited for your needs will vary depending on the nature of the project and state laws. As always, we stand ready to offer you our professional advice.

Check Out This Social Media Use Checklist

Author TonyScurich , 10/21/2016
  Social media rules! In recent studies, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr users sent tens of millions of messages every day– and new players keep entering the marketplace. Although these platforms provide significant benefits for businesses of all sizes, they also pose a variety of risks. Everything from employment, privacy and security, through intellectual property to media-related liability. Chances are your employees are using social media, either at home or work, in ways that could put your business at risk. To limit this exposure, experts recommend creating social media guidelines based on a five-point checklist:
  1. Assess both your company’s general social media activities and individual social media campaigns, weighing potential risks against benefits as accurately as possible.
  2. Designate specific individuals and departments to develop, execute, and monitor a comprehensive and proactive social media strategy – and make a senior executive responsible for implementing it in a timely fashion.
  3. Have the policy reviewed by the relevant departments (human resources, IT, communications, and legal) and by an outside law firm.
  4. Because employees pose the biggest risk to a company, although often unwittingly,,provide educational programs about the danger of damage to the company by using social media on the job or at home.
  5. Create a social media agreement for employees to review and sign as a condition of employment and part of their employment contract. Update the agreement annually, or as often as needed, to address changes in social media that might impact your risk in new ways.
Following this checklist will help position your business to reap the enormous benefits that participationin social media offers. As always, we’re here to help you– just give us a call!  

EDITOR'S COLUMN: Dealing with Speed

Author TonyScurich , 9/28/2016

Don Phin

I listened to an outstanding NYC Radiolab podcast on the subject of speed. To begin with, Radiolab is one of my favorite podcasts. The subjects are always interesting, but this was one of those episodes that causes you to really do some deep thinking. Many years ago. the great thinker Buckminister Fuller coined the phrase "accelerated acceleration." In a sense, things happen faster at an ever faster rate: Speed feeding on itself.

The podcast discussed relative aspects of speed; for example, how it affects stock trading. No longer are stocks traded on the floor, but through ten thousand servers, all connected to a motherboard on Wall Street. Trades are made in microseconds. This technology-driven speed has ended the career of many old school traders. While we might bemoan the good old days, this change has lowered the cost of trading for you and me.

The whole concept of speed is reengineering the workforce dramatically. Pretty soon, there will be an algorithm or program that solves just about every puzzle -- the Watson computer being an excellent example. Our best and brightest will continue to create those tools and figure out how to put them to good use. Technology has driven the middleman out of stock trading, just as in many aspects of business and much of the retail sector

How is this affecting your company? Where will the speed of transactions have an impact on your career? Who will get squeezed out next? What new jobs will be created?

Speed is directly related to time. All of us feel the stress of this speed on how we manage our time. I describe it as running 75 mph. Many think they can outdo the other guy if they run 80 mph. Years ago this was termed the rat race – and as Lilly Tomlin reminded us, "even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat." Nothing less than a fundamental reexamination of how we do our work will be required to survive the speed of change.

I highly encourage you to listen to this podcast: http://www.radiolab.org/2013/feb/05/. The last part of it is amazing and will blow your mind. It certainly made me want to learn more about the latest discovery that is shared. I won't spoil it by telling you what it's about. I had to listen to it three times for it to fully sink in. I'd be curious to know what you think after listening to this podcast.

PS...If you haven't yet done so, get thee to the Time Management Training Module on HR That Works. In order to manage the rate of speed better we have to better manage our time.

 

Will Insurance Cover Your High-Tech Car Key?

Author TonyScurich , 7/18/2016
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Metal car keys are going the way of the land line, as most drivers have graduated to a key fob or remote with a transponder that needs programming before use. If you own a high-tech luxury vehicle you might have a "smart key" - a remote control to plug into your dashboard or leave in your pocket.

Although these devices add convenience, they're pricey. You'll pay $200 to $400 to replace a smart key on a luxury car, plus $100 an hour for labor. If you lose all your keys, you might need to replace the locks, which could cost $1,000. Auto insurance will cover the cost of replacing smart keys (or metal keys) only if the loss comes from a peril covered under the policy. For example, if your keys are damaged when you collide with another car, Collision coverage would pay to replace them. Comprehensive coverage –which reimburses you for loss or damage to your vehicle from theft, vandalism, fire, hail, or flood - would include replacement of the keys, as part of the vehicle. If your car keys are stolen, Homeowners insurance should pay to replace them because theft is a "named peril" under the policy. Bear in mind that your Auto or Homeowners deductible will apply against the cost of replacement. Technology is well on the way to eliminating car keys. According to the AAA, smart phone apps that allow you to unlock and start your car are standard on many vehicles as of 2015. In the meantime, you can avoid paying the high cost of replacing smart keys by keeping spares in a safe place. To learn more, please feel free to get in touch with us.

4th of july Tips

Author TonyScurich , 7/1/2016

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4th of July fireworks, parades and cookouts are an excuse for you to relax with family and friends. As you plan your celebration this year, take several steps to ensure safety for everyone involved in celebrating the United States' birthday.

Use Fireworks Safely Public fireworks displays are the safest way to enjoy the beautiful colors and terrific booms of this July 4th tradition, especially when you maintain a distance of at least 500 feet between you and the show. Firework displays at home can be fun though too. If you go that route, take these precautions.

  • Follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Never allow children to play with the fireworks.
  • Stock a fire extinguisher or water supply nearby.
  • Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Remove flammable materials from the area.
  • Never point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles or structures.
  • Properly dispose of duds rather than trying to relight them.

Take Precautions While Grilling

Burgers, hot dogs, fruit and pizza taste delicious when they're grilled. Grab your favorite side dishes and follow a few precautions that ensure you and your guests grill safely.

  • Always supervise the grill when it's in use.
  • Never grill indoors or in a fully enclosed area such as a garage or tent.
  • Use lighter fluid sparingly and never after the coals are ignited.
  • Keep children and pets away from the hot grill.
  • Remove flammable objects, including trees, from near the grill.
  • Use long-handled tools to handle food.

Stay Safe on the Beach

Swimming is a fun summer activity, and it's good exercise. At the beach, lake, public pool or backyard pool, stay safe with these tips.

  • Swim only in designated areas.
  • Obey the lifeguard and all posted signs.
  • Swim sober.
  • Get out of the water during a storm or if you hear thunder or see lightening.
  • Require children to wear life jackets.
  • Don't dive into shallow water.

Wear Sun Bathing Protection

Picnics are part of many July 4th celebrations. You should also take these protective measures.

  • Wear sunscreen that's at least 15 SPF.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen to your ears, hair part and the tops of your feet.
  • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two to three hours or more frequently if you're sweating.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you're not thirsty.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves if you have to be in direct sunlight.
  • Watch for signs of heat stroke, including hot, red skin, shallow breathing and rapid, weak pulse.

Your July 4th celebration will be safe when you take these steps. For more advice, talk to your health insurance agent. He or she stands ready to help you have the best birthday party ever.


Risk Management: Keep Safety In The Forefront

Author TonyScurich , 5/13/2016
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Once employees have gone through safety training, make sure that they use what they've learned. When every worker knows and chooses the safe way on a daily basis, you'll have a workplace with less chance of accidents and injuries.

This four-step approach to job safety will pay dividends:

  1. Team up to solve problems and improve safety. Create employee teams in every department to gather information on potential hazards, analyze problems, develop and test solutions, and implement and monitor results. Being part of a team makes workers feel that they share responsibility, which keeps your safety message top of mind.
  2. Talk up safety every day. Update employees on information that affects their safety. Provide ongoing feedback, praising safe performance, correcting unsafe behavior, and pointing out areas for improvement. Make sure that communication flows both ways. Urge workers to offer suggestions, identify problems, and pose questions - for example, through a safety suggestion system.
  3. Encourage employees to become hazard detectives — and reporters. Make every worker responsible for finding hazards. Create an effective system for reporting problems, and respond promptly to correct hazards that employees identify. This is harder than it sounds because it means that management has to listen when workers discuss safety concerns.
  4. Create a "want-to" safety culture. Encourage your workers to do the safe thing, not because they have to, but because they want to avoid injuries. Remind them of how many safety-related decisions they make every day - and how one bad decision is all it takes to get hurt.

For professional advice on creating or updating your workplace safety program, just give us a call.


Auto Liability Insurance: How Much Is Enough?

Author TonyScurich , 3/7/2016
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Have you ever wondered about the three numbers that are part of your Auto Liability insurance, usually written in this form: XX/YY/ZZ?

The first number refers to the maximum amount of Bodily Injury Liability (BI) for an individual injured in an auto accident; the second is BI per coverage per accident; while the third covers Property Damage Liability (PD) per vehicle. For example a policy with 30/60/15 Liability coverage would pay up to $30,000 in BI per individual, $60,000 worth of BI per vehicle, and $15,000 in PD per vehicle.

Every state requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of Liability coverage under their Auto policy. Limits by state vary from 10/20/10 in Florida to 80/100/25 in Maine. These numbers have remained fairly stable for a number of years.

However, because a car accident can cost far more than the Liability minimums that most states require, people usually carry more coverage. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that you have at least $100,000 of BI protection per person and $300,000 per accident (known as 100/300).

If you hold the minimum coverage required by your state and you're involved in an accident in another state that requires higher minimum coverage, the chances are that your policy limits will increase automatically to meet the other state's minimum requirements.

We'd be happy to make sure that this feature applies under your Auto insurance - and to discuss the most cost-effective ways of protect yourself and your family from liability for accidents behind the wheel (such as increasing your Liability coverage or choosing higher deductibles).

For a complimentary review of your policy, just give us a call.


Employer Sponsored Disability Insurance: Meeting A Need

Author TonyScurich , 12/21/2015

A recent study by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) spotlights the value of employer sponsored disability coverage in helping meet the health and financial well-being of workers.

According the Social Security Administration, one in every four employees will use their disability coverage at some point.

Despite this need, the nationwide survey found that fewer than two in five workers (39%) in the private sector have short-term disability (STD) coverage through their employers and only one in three (33%) have employer sponsored long term disability coverage (LTD).

Studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Mathew Greenwald & Associates have found similar rates of participation in these programs.

CFA Executive Director Stephen Broback says, “Surveys have shown that disability insurance is a critically important part of the social safety net”. . . “that plays an essential role in protecting the emotional and financial lives of workers.” Based on the study’s findings, he urged “all employers to offer the option of obtaining disability coverage.”

The survey also found that when businesses don’t offer LTD, many workers would buy it for themselves if they could receive the lower group rates available through employer sponsored coverage. Most disability plans cost workers between $10 and $30 per month, and the average monthly premium for STD coverage comes to $18.

More and more employees are benefiting from these plans, an estimated 650,000 disabled workers received employer sponsored LTD payments last year.

If you’d like to offer your employees this valuable “peace of mind” benefit, or for a complimentary review of your disability plan,– feel free to get in touch with us at any time. It’s our pleasure to serve you.


Preparing for a summer road trip

Author TonyScurich , 6/22/2015
Summer Travel Safety Tips
During the summer months, many families embark on vacation getaways. Summer travel and readying the car for trips can be the most stressful part of the vacation. Travelers offers some packing and driving tips for families hitting the road for vacation this summer.
Car - Vacation

74%

of Americans taking a summer vacation

plan to drive

Vacation Image Bar
Don't overload When packing, the car can get filled quickly. Spread out the load so the weight is evenly distributed Be a prepared parent Pack snacks, extra clothes and entertaining items that will keep your little ones in the back seat happy. Keep a clear view When packing your vehicle, make sure you maintain a proper line of sight with your mirrors and windows. Ready the roof rack Know your rack's weight limit by checking the user's manual. Recognize the height of your vehicle after packing to prevent damage or accidents.
In 2011alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.‡
Vacation Image Bar2
Know the route Familiarize yourself with the route before leaving for your trip. Relying solely upon GPS can lead to dangerous last minute turns and lane changes. Secure your pets Unsecured pets can become a distraction. Secure your pets appropriately and never let them run about the vehicle. Cruise carefully Cruise control can be a helpful tool, but be careful when using it on long trips, as it can make it easier for drivers to lose focus on the road. Take a break When travelling long distances, it's important to take frequent breaks to help maintain focus and avoid fatigue.
†TripAdvisor, nc:http://ir.tripadvisor.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=764664 ‡ NHTSA: http://www.distraction.gov

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.

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