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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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Posts tagged with requirements - requirements

Car Insurance Deal-Breakers: Non-Renewal And Cancellation

Author TonyScurich , 7/25/2016

aquaplaning-83008_1280If your Auto insurance company sees you as a deadbeat or high-risk or driver, it might cancel or non-renew your policy.

Because insurers take cancellation seriously they won't eliminate coverage for a traffic ticket or two. What's more, state regulators ban cancellations under most circumstances. However, a company can non-renew your insurance at the end of each policy period (six to 12 months) or cancel the policy during the first 30 to 60 days that it's in force. The main reason for midterm cancellation is nonpayment. State regulators set the requirements, such as a written notice of non-payment, together with a 10 to 30-day grace period to pay. Some states allow insurers to cancel coverage, usually for an activity - such as a DUI conviction that involves bodily injury or substantial damage - which indicates you're at high risk for an accident; or for misrepresenting your driving history (for example, not disclosing that your teenager was behind the wheel instead of you when an accident occurred). Some companies will backdate coverage to the cancellation date, while others will not cover you during the period when you haven't paid your premiums. If you can't bring your account up to date or the company cancels you for a reason other than non-payment, your policy probably won't be renewed - which means you'll have to look for insurance elsewhere, probably at a higher rate. Depending on the reason for cancellation, some companies might refuse to write your business. In this case, you can to turn to the state's assigned-risk pool, which offers bare bones coverage at higher rates. Your best move is to do everything possible to avoid cancellation or non-renewal. For example, if you can't afford to premium payments, consider reducing your coverage rather than take the risk or cancellation. For more information, just give us a call. We're here to help!  

Six Steps To Protect Contingent Workers - And Your Business

Author TonyScurich , 7/15/2016
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"Contingent workers" {part-time, temporary, or contract employees) face a high risk of occupational injuries and illness. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health, reasons include the tendency to outsource more hazardous jobs, worker lack of experience and familiarity with operations in a new workplace, inadequate protective equipment, and limited access to such preventive measures as medical screening programs.

Even though the safety of contract workers is the legal responsibility of the contractor, the OSHA General Duty Clause makes you responsible for protecting everyone in your workplace. To meet this obligation, and bolster workplace safety compliance, we'd recommend these guidelines:

  1. Make sure that the contractor agrees to comply with OSHA requirements. If the contractor doesn't follow safety rules, force compliance or stop work for breach of contract.
  2. Set safety compliance ground rules up front.
  3. Share accountability for safety compliance with the contractor. Although you might not be legally responsible for an accident caused by a contract employee, it's still your problem.
  4. Offer assistance. Explain hazardous conditions or processes during project orientation and stress any rules and restrictions, such as hot-work permit requirements, lockout/tagout, and confined spaces situations and needs.
  5. Document communications with contractors. Have them sign an agreement for resolving specific safety problems or for conducting inspections.
  6. Read the OSHA Multi-Employer Citation Policy compliance directive (CPL 02-00-124), which applies to contractors on your work site.

Finally, the fact that most contingent workers will only be in your workplace for a short time adds to the urgency of getting them up to speed on company safety policies ASAP.

For more information on keeping contingent workers safe in your workplace, please feel free to get in touch with us.


10 Costly Return-To-Work Mistakes

Author TonyScurich , 4/15/2016
4 By decreasing work time lost from to job-related injuries and illnesses, Return-to-Work (RTW) programs can reduce your insurance costs (Workers Compensation, Disability, and Medical insurance), strengthen workplace morale, boost productivity - and help protect you against ADAAA litigation. Here are ten common mistakes by businesses when using RTW:
  1. Failure to manage the higher number of employees covered by the ADAAA. An expanded definition of disability has increased the number of employees under the ADA to the point that some attorneys advise against fighting disability claims.
  2. Insisting on employee release to "full duty" before returning to work. This raises Workers Comp costs and the possibility of the employee not returning to work when medically possible.
  3. Ignoring co-morbidities. Health issues that complicate or delay an employee's recovery (such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension) can increase Comp claims.
  4. Failure to commit the necessary budget or resources. The costs of absences and non-compliance with government rules is usually far higher than that of implementing an RTW.
  5. Reluctance to set transitional assignments because employees "might get reinjured." It's even riskier to have them stay at home and develop a "disability attitude" that extends the absence and boosts costs.
  6. Failure to distinguish "light duty" from "transitional work." The ADAAA permits employers to reserve less physically demanding or "light-duty" jobs for those with work-related disabilities - and these jobs should be distinct from transitional tasks.
  7. Relying on physicians to guide the RTW process. Although physicians are medical experts, they're not familiar with workplace policies, job demands, and the availability of transitional work.
  8. Failure to understand overlapping and conflicting laws. The clashing requirements of insurance companies and state and local governments can be a nightmare.
  9. Inability to focus on the goal. An Integrated Benefits Institute study ranked a focus on the employee's job as the major success factor in successful RTW programs.
  10. Believing that Workers Comp settlements resolve other liabilities. One size does not fit all.
 

Side Job Doesn't Prevent FMLA Claim

Author TonyScurich , 3/9/2016
In the California case, Richie v. AutoNation, an employee out on CFRA (FMLA) was fired by his employer when he was found to have been working at a restaurant he owned during his leave period. The company's leave policy prohibited outside employment during leave. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, stating that FMLA/CFRA (the California equivalent) has a process to follow in shortening FMLA leave if you believe that an employee no longer qualifies for it. You cannot create your own rule or process and, in a sense, do an end run around FMLA protections. The court ruled that because job reinstatement is mandatory, the only way to stop leave properly is by following the CFRA process and questioning the medical opinion of the employee's doctor.

This decision reminds us that ignorance of legal requirements is no excuse. In this case, the company argued that it had a good faith defense because it was not aware of this limitation on managing leave. The court essentially said "So what? It's a mandatory statutory obligation, which you can't avoid." As a different court stated, "A showing that an employee is unable to work in the employee's current job due to a serious health condition is enough to demonstrate incapacity. The fact that an employee is working for a second employer does not mean that he or she is not incapacitated from working in his or her current job."

Some additional notes:

  1. The decision reminds us that an employer's policy on secondary employment during FMLA leave must be the same as that for employees who are not on FMLA leave. Otherwise, the policy itself violates the law.
  2. Second, the court overturned an arbitration decision in this case which allowed the court's good faith defense. Although review of arbitration is very limited, the court will step in if the arbitrator misapplied the law.
  3. Finally, whether it's FMLA leave, ADA accommodation leave, use of PTO or sick pay, etc., if you doubt the veracity of any employee's story (i.e. they were playing soccer or lifting pianos this weekend), you must follow the proper procedures so that you don't find yourself trapped like AutoNation did in this case.

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.


Do Additional Insureds Belong On Your Umbrella?

Author TonyScurich , 3/2/2016
3 It's a regular occurrence for contractors: You receive a request from another party (an owner, general contractor, lien holder, other contractor, or a government entity) to add them as an additional insured on your insurance policies. Whether that's a good idea is up to you -- but the party often makes it clear that if you want to do business you'll need to add them as an additional insured. However, it's not necessarily a good idea to add this entity to all of your policies. For example, your Excess Liability coverages -- such as those under Umbrella insurance -- were probably bought specifically for your own protection in case of catastrophic loss. If an additional insured, who might be well within their rights, is added to your policies with protection up to your basic coverage limits, will they also be allowed to "piggyback" up to the full amount of your coverage? We'd advise you not to set up any procedure that makes all of your coverage limits available automatically to any additional insured. Add them to the specific coverages and amounts that they request, but go no further. If in doubt, consult with your attorney about contractual requirements and possible gaps between what the entity is requesting in being added to your coverage and what your coverage will actually provide. Once you're certain what you're being asked to do, and have decided that it's in your best interest to meet this request, there's one more action to take before adding the additional party to your coverages. Contact us to determine if your current coverage already meets the needed conditions, or what modifications (if any) might be required to do so. Remember: Although we want to help you meet your needs, our focus always remains on protecting you, even if against unreasonable demands from other entities. We're here to help.

Protect 'contingent workers' and your business

Author TonyScurich , 3/31/2014
Scurich Insurance Services, CA, Safety in the WorkplaceIf you're using "contingent workers" -- on a part-time, temporary, or contract basis -- be aware that these employees face a greater risk of occupational injuries and illness. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) reasons for this higher vulnerability include the tendency to outsource more hazardous jobs, lack of experience and familiarity with operations in a dangerous workplace, inadequate protective equipment, and limited access to such preventive measures as medical screening programs. The chances are that temporary workers have a wide variety of experience levels (due to high turnover) or have had the benefit of formal safety programs. Also, bear in mind that even though the safety of contract workers is the legal responsibility of the contractor, the OSHA General Duty Clause could be interpreted to make you responsible for protecting everyone in your workplace. To help meet this obligation, and bolster workplace safety compliance we'd recommend that you take these steps:
  1. Include safety requirements in the contract, even if only to state that the contractor must comply with OSHA requirements. If the contractor doesn't follow safety rules, you can force compliance or stop work for breach of contract.
  2. Set the safety compliance ground rules up front, during orientation or before they start work.
  3. Share accountability. Although an accident caused by a contract worker might not be your legal responsibility, it's still your problem. Don't leave safety compliance problems for the contractor to solve alone.
  4. Offer assistance. Explain all hazardous conditions or processes during the initial project orientation and stress any rules and restrictions, such as hot-work permit requirements, lockout/tagout, and confined spaces situations and needs.
  5. Document communications with contractors. Give the contractor(s) a document or form to sign when resolving specific safety problems or for conducting inspections.
  6. Read the OSHA Multi-Employer Citation Policy. OSHA published an enforcement and compliance directive (CPL 02-00-124, December 10, 1999) laying out its citation policy for multi-employer worksites, which includes contractors.
Finally, don't forget that most contingent workers will only be in your workplace for a relatively short time. This only adds to the urgency of getting them up to speed on your company's safety policies and practices as quickly as possible. Contact our office today for more information. Content provided by Transformer Marketing.