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 resources - resources

OSHA Launches Campaign To Curb Construction Falls

Author TonyScurich , 10/28/2016
Falls are the leading cause of construction deaths. In 2014, fatalities from falls accounted for 359 out of 899 deaths in the construction industry. To curb such deaths and injuries, OSHA has joined forces with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).The Construction Nationwide Safety Awareness Campaign is comprehensive and based on three key steps for employers: Plan for safety, provide proper equipment, and train workers. To ensure safety on job sites that involve working from heights, plan how the project will be done and the tools needed. When estimating job costs, include these resources and have them available on site. For example, on a roofing job, think about such potential fall hazards – holes, sky-light, leading edges, etc. – and then select appropriate fall protection equipment, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). Provide workers who are six feet or more above lower levels with fall protection and the necessary equipment including ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear. If roof work is involved, have a PFAS with a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the device fits and inspect all equipment regularly. Finally, give workers “toolbox talk” training on potential fall hazards and the set-up and use of the safety equipment they’ll be using. The OSHA campaign has a number of training tools, job site posters, and other educational resources – (many of which target workers with limited English proficiency). To learn more about how to keep your workers from falling down (literally)on the job, feel free to get in touch with our construction insurance specialists.

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!  

OSHA Offers Teen Workers Online Safety Tools

Author TonyScurich , 8/24/2016
2

If you have teenagers, you're well aware that they're all too prone to take risks. Four in five U.S. teen (80%) have part-time jobs. Of these, more than half (52%) are in the retail sector, which includes restaurants and fast food establishments.

To help keep themselves safe on the job - and thus reduce their employers' risk-management exposure - teenagers who work in restaurants and agriculture can use interactive web-based training tools provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

According to OSHA, educating and training young people about safety in the workplace can help prevent injuries today and lead to a healthy workforce in the future. These resources provide practical information to protect young workers from hazards in industries where many of them are likely to work during high school and college.

The Teen Worker Safety in Restaurants eTool highlights the most common hazards in these workplaces and offers safety and health suggestions, safety posters, and electronic links to educate young workers about job safety. Areas of focus include serving, clean-up, drive-thru, cooking, food preparation, delivery, and worker rights and child labor laws.

The Youth in Agriculture eTool presents case studies that describe common hazards and offers safety solutions for teenage workers in such areas as farm equipment operations, confined spaces, and prevention of c injuries g from falls, electrocutions, and chemical exposures.

The OSHA Teen Workers page offers educational resources such as fact sheets on workplace rights and responsibilities, hazards on the job, ways to prevent injuries, work hours, job restrictions, etc.

Letting teenage workers know about these resources can benefit them - and their employers. What's not to like?


Voluntary Benefits: What's Not To Like?

Author TonyScurich , 5/6/2016
1

A recent nationwide study found that more and more businesses and workers are benefiting from voluntary employee benefits programs. According to the Prudential Insurance Company State of Group Voluntary Benefits survey:

  • More than six in ten employees surveyed (63%) believe that voluntary benefits increase the value of their company's benefits program.
  • The percentage of employees who would like to receive more benefits grew to 34% from 24% a year ago.
  • One in three employees feels that losing their voluntary benefits would be disruptive and expensive.

"Employers and employees agree on the value of voluntary benefits," says Bob Patience Prudential Group Vice President, Voluntary Benefits Insurance. "Employers see an increase in employees' satisfaction with these programs, while employees appreciate their employers' endorsement of the products offered, and believe they get good value because of their employers' involvement and diligence."

Voluntary benefits offers workers a number of advantages, including the education and resources they need to make informed decisions based on their needs. Taking full advantage of these programs is a great way for employees to improve their "wellness" - both physical and financial. What's more, voluntary benefits offer workers the convenience of employer-based enrollment systems and "pain free" payroll deduction.

What employees saw as the primary advantage of voluntary benefits varied based on age, education, and gender. More than three in five workers (62%) over the age of 60 focused on the guaranteed coverage feature. More than half (56%) of college graduates preferred the wide range of available products. A slightly higher percentage (53%) of women than of men (45%) chose the convenience of payroll deductions.

Our agency's professionals would be happy to advise you on creating or updating, your Voluntary Benefits program - just give us a call.


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.  

Curbing Corporate Identity Theft: A Three-Step Approach

Author TonyScurich , 3/21/2016
2In the controversial Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have rights similar to those of an individual. It follows that they have identities and are vulnerable to identity theft.

Although insurance offers one way to manage this risk, it might well be a long time before a company discovers the theft -- at which point, it would be too late. To avoid or minimize the danger of having your corporate identity stolen, we'd recommend a three-step approach:

  1. Storing sensitive information. Sensitive files and information (credit card numbers, medical data, Social Security numbers, etc.) might be stored on computers, external drives, filing cabinets, or mobile devices. It's wise to consolidate and secure this data either physically behind lock and key or by using electronic network security measures. Be sure to train employees on handling, storing, and disposing of this type of information properly.
  2. Your business documentation. Identity thieves might use highly sophisticated or surprisingly elementary and low-tech techniques for delving into a company's records and misappropriating them. These might include intercepting paper mail, stealing trash, or physically taking documents. To safeguard this information, determine what records you need to run the business, inventory them, and use electronic statements to limit the amount of mail containing company information. Never share financial details or documents through e-mail!
  3. Credit reports. Check your company's credit reports regularly for unusual charges or bills.

The Federal Trade Commission (http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/bus69-protecting-personal-information-guide-business) provides a variety of resources you can use to help protect your corporate identity and confidential customer information against identity thieves.

Our agency's professionals would be happy to offer their help -- just give us a call.

 

Are You Ready For A Crisis Today?

Author TonyScurich , 2/26/2016
2 Hurricane Sandy, tornadoes, flood -- all of these disasters affected construction firms during the past year. Some companies took direct hits, while others suffered from massive service demands, and shortages of help and supplies. Although your business might never face such massive "destruction and distress," other events --everything from IT failure to vandalism -- could trigger a crisis. Whether it's a catastrophe or a stressful disruption, the best way to prepare for any potential disaster is to develop a catastrophe plan in advance. This plan should allow your staff to mobilize the right resources quickly in the right order so you can get up and running with as many contingencies as possible accounted for in advance. How do you go about developing a plan? What's the process? Who should you include? How often should you review and update it? An effective plan should involve a "business resumption team" with managers from these areas:
  • Information technology
  • Communications, both internal and external
  • Moves and relocations
  • Services and logistics
  • Salvage and security
  • Customer service
Before a crisis erupts, the team will determine what activities to follow, assign responsibilities for these tasks, and provide the resources and information needed. When compiled and organized, these activities, responsibilities, resources, and information make up the disaster plan. Don't wait for a crisis to uncover the gaps in your preparations. Get started now on creating and/or updating your plan. Feel free to give us a call so we can offer our advice and recommendations. Insurance might not solve all your crisis planning problems, but it can provide a solid foundation.

Crisis Planning - Don't Wait

Author TonyScurich , 1/15/2016

3Natural disasters can do significant damage to construction firms. Some suffer direct hits, while others endure massive service demands and shortages of help and supplies.

Although you might escape massive destruction and distress, what other events might cause your company to suffer a crisis? IT failure? Burglary or vandalism? Professional liability? Fire? Loss of market?

Whether disaster strikes as a catastrophic or stressful disruption, the best way to prepare for them is crisis management. Now is the time to develop a plan that will allow you and your staff to mobilize the right resources in the right order quickly to get you up and running as smoothly as possible.

How do you develop such a plan? What's the process? Who should you include? How often should you review and update it?

We can help by providing risk management advice and recommendations, together with materials and resources tailored to your needs and exposures. Although insurance might not solve all your post-crisis problems, it can certainly provide a solid foundation for your planning should the worst happen.

Don't wait for a crisis to uncover the gaps in your current preparations. Start now.


Create a Business Continuity Plan in Four Steps

Author TonyScurich , 8/28/2015

There are many reasons why your company needs a business continuity plan. Having a strategy – before an event happens – helps to maximize the chance your business can recover while minimizing the loss of property, life and assets.

Developing your business continuity plan should be a thoughtful process resulting in a plan that can be beneficial to you if an event occurs.

Start by assembling a team of key decision-makers who will lead your continuity planning efforts. Senior management, team leaders and anyone with in-depth knowledge about business operations should be included.

4 steps to an effective business continuity plan

Four Steps to Developing an Effective Business Continuity Plan

  1. Identify threats or risks Understanding the risks that could leave employees, customers, vendors, property and operations vulnerable is fundamental. Threats can include, but are not limited to natural disasters, malicious attacks, power outages and system failures. Identify the risks most likely to occur based on historical, geographical, organizational and other factors. Then weigh the probability of each event against its potential impact to your business, as well as your readiness to respond.
  2. Conduct a business impact analysis Identify the people, places, providers, processes and programs critical to the survival of your business. What functions and resources, if interrupted or lost, could impact your ability to provide goods and services or meet regulatory requirements? Consider who and what is absolutely necessary to restore critical operations. Then prioritize the need to restore each item after the event. Plan to use limited resources wisely. Complementary functions can always be restored later.
  3. Adopt controls for prevention and mitigation Prevention and mitigation planning and activities are intended to help prevent an event (such as a fire or explosion from unsafe conditions) as well as to reduce the impact or severity of an event (such as relocating critical equipment to a higher elevation in flood-susceptible areas). Your prevention and mitigation plans should address, among other things, emergency response, public relations, resource management, and employee communications.
  4. Test, exercise and improve your plan routinely A business continuity plan is an evolving strategy that should adapt to your company’s ever-changing needs. Test and update it regularly – yearly at a minimum  or any time critical functions, facilities, suppliers or personnel change. Train employees to understand their role in executing the plan, too. Exercises can include discussions or hypothetical walk-throughs of scenarios to live drills or simulations. The key is to ensure the plan works as intended.

What is desalination?

Author TonyScurich , 9/8/2014
Glass of waterThe California drought has gotten out of control.  That is why a private company stepped up and paid $1 billion for a new desalination plant located in Carlsbad. The drought has really impacted Southern California within this last year, however, the drought has been drying up some parts of California for years. What is desalination? Basically, it’s a sifting process which removes salt and other minerals from salt water that is retrieved from the sea.  This process will make the water safe for drinking and irrigation.  Desalination is a more expensive process to provide potable water. Alternatives There are alternative methods to providing drinking water which are less expensive than desalination.  The methods include ground water, which is obtaining drinking water from natural resources including rivers, lakes, and even digging underground for water. Another method is water recycling.  In Orange County, California, water recycling is underway.  Since 2008, Orange County has provided residents with billions of gallons of potable water from the recycling facility.  By 2015, Orange County will be providing an additional 30 million gallons per day, all thanks to their expansion efforts. The drought in California has gotten so bad that even wells in Bakersfield, have run dry. Content provided by Transformer Marketing. Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination and http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/06/desalination_vs_purification_why_californians_will_soon_drink_their_own.html