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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 responsibility - responsibility

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.

Is Your Cell Phone Policy Up To Date?

Author TonyScurich , 7/8/2016
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If not, you have a problem. For the past several years, more and more states and cities have limited or banned driver use of cell phones. Warns the Web site DrivingLaws.org, "Although employer responsibility isn't specifically defined in the cell phone legislation, there have been an increasing number of lawsuits relating to employer responsibility regarding mobile cell-phone use [by] employees."

With motor vehicle accidents the leading cause of work-related injuries, using cell phones behind the wheel ups the ante for litigation in case of death, injury, or other third-party claims. What's more, drivers injured while phoning on company time will generally be eligible for Workers Compensation.

The first step is to create and implement a cell-phone use policy for employees driving company vehicles. Although this won't protect you completely from legal responsibility, it demonstrates your forethought and responsibility.

This plan should include guidelines for:

  • Training. Provide instruction manuals so employees know the features of their phones.
  • Safety. Remind employees not to dial or talk when driving conditions are hazardous, keep conversations short, tell the other person that the employee is calling while driving, and turn off phones whenever they pump gas or use jumper cables.
  • Making calls. Discourage cell-phone use behind the wheel and require drivers to pull over and stop when dialing.
  • Voice mail/caller ID. Make sure drivers' phones have these features so they can screen calls behind the wheel.
  • Accident/injury reports. Require employees to report any accidents or injuries resulting from cell-phone use while driving.
  • Discipline. Punish workers who violate these rules or local or state laws about using cell phones behind the wheel.

We'd be happy to help you develop a comprehensive policy for drivers' use of cell phones. Just give us a call.


The ABC'S Of Construction Liability Insurance

Author TonyScurich , 6/22/2016
No matter how large or small the job in the building trade is, it's always the best policy to carry insurance again liability for losses from injuries, accidents, or property damage during construction. Residential building contractors need a Liability policy to protect them from lawsuits from homeowners for construction-related losses, or from workers injured on the job. Make sure that your contract requires every sub to carry their own Liability insurance and exempt you from responsibility from damage they might produce during construction. The amount of coverage you need will depend on the size of the contract. As a rule of thumb, it's wise to have two or three times the size of the project budget. Commercial contractors usually carry millions in Liability insurance. Contractors with higher risk of damages (for example, roofers or contractors in highly specialized trades) often take out higher coverage. Your Liability policy will set coverage amounts (limits) for both each occurrence and overall (aggregate) values. Limits are also set for: 1) fire damage to property under construction; 2) medical expenses for injured workers on the jobsite who might not be covered under Workers Compensation; and 3) personal and advertising injury (claims that promotion or advertising caused a financial or personal loss to the owner of the home or building). While many contractors pay their Liability premiums up front, those with cash flow problems others prefer to finance them through an indemnity corporation with a down payment and monthly payments over six months to a year. As always, our insurance experts stand ready to help you find comprehensive Liability coverage at a rate you can afford. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

Work-Life Flexibility Plans Give Employees Key Role

Author TonyScurich , 6/17/2016

2Benefits experts have usually focused on the role of management in implementing programs that improve employees' flexibility in balancing their life and work. However, researchers are now calling on workers to take the primary responsibility for a creating more flexible daily life by making small, shifts in their everyday behavior.

For example, a survey by Cali Williams Yost, author of Tweak It: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day," found that nearly 75% of employees believe that work-life flexibility is only possible if their employer and/or boss provide it. Adds Brad Harrington, Ph.D., executive director of the Boston College Center for Work and Family, "ultimately it's the individual who must solve this problem, determine their fit, and manage the process of achieving it.

Although more companies are offering flexibility programs and policies that help employees manage such life transitions such as parenthood and illness, Yost and Harrington point out that many workers find it unrealistic to work regularly from home, revise their daily schedule, or use other flexibility options. Even so, they argue, this doesn't make work-life balance a lost cause.

"Major life events matter," says Yost, "but it's the everyday routine we crave and where employees struggle the most with managing work-life fit. Employees themselves need to manage work-life as a daily practice. While this sounds counterintuitive, it starts by thinking small." She encourages employees to "make small, consistent changes in how, when and where they manage their work and their lives... taking actions that over time build the foundation for a successful work-life fit that transforms their performance on and off the job."

That's sound advice to share with your workers


Alternative Risk Financing: Not Just For The Big Guys

Author TonyScurich , 6/3/2016
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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.


Keeping Your 'Lone Workers' Safe

Author TonyScurich , 4/11/2016
1 Some companies employ workers who work alone or in remote areas where injuries and illnesses can occur, resulting in delays in emergency response or medical assistance. They include people who work outside normal business hours, such as janitors, security guards, special production, plant maintenance or repair staff, delivery truck drivers, and others. Protecting the safety of these lone or remote workers isn't always easy - but it's your responsibility. In some cases, you must monitor the exposure of these workers to identify potential hazards, assess the risks of injury or illness, and take steps to eliminate or control them. Bear in mind that some high-risk activities have safety regulations which require at least one other person to do the job, such as confined space work (defined by OSHA regulations) or electrical work at or near exposed live conductors. If you have any employees out in the field or working alone, consider what safety measures to take to protect their well-being and security. A well-thought-out safety program for these employees is an essential first step. Hazard control measures might include:
  • Safety Awareness information.
  • Training.
  • Supervision.
  • Protective Equipment.
  • Communication and Monitoring devices.
Take steps to make sure that these safety control measures remain in effect - and review your plan at regular intervals by doing a risk assessment in areas where employees work alone. As your professional insurance agents, it's our responsibility to help you keep all of your workers safe at all times. Give us a call at any time to discuss how we can help.

Keeping Your Maintenance Workers Safe

Author TonyScurich , 3/16/2016
3A lack of maintenance or poor quality maintenance causes thousands of on-the-job accidents every year. What's more, maintenance workers face significant risks associated with their jobs.

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics job fatality report, deaths due to poor maintenance rose 14%, year to year, in 2011, the highest level since 2006. Accidents from maintenance have a variety of causes: everything from falls caused by working heights, confined spaces or harsh environments associated with accessing equipment, and shocks and burns if power is not properly isolated, to injuries from moving machine parts, musculoskeletal problems caused by working in awkward spaces and exposure to asbestos and dangerous chemicals.

There are three types of maintenance:

  1. Routine or preventive maintenance keeps equipment working - such as a scheduled overhaul or replacement.
  2. Corrective maintenance gets broken equipment up and running again.
  3. Predictive maintenance uses tests for maintenance that is or will soon be needed.

To make your maintenance activities safer and more productive, follow these guidelines:

  • Emphasize planning and scheduling on every maintenance task.
  • Invest in affordable technology such as a thermographic camera (around $1,000) to detect variations of temperature that can reveal when a machine motor is not running properly.
  • Make sure that supervisors convey the right message consistently. Employees need to be told that accidents happen as a result of short cuts, such as failing to lock out a piece of equipment before performing maintenance.
  • Teach workers to intervene. If an employee walks by a piece of equipment that's making an unusual noise and doesn't tell their supervisor, it's the same as ignoring a co-worker who is working unsafely.
  • Get employees engaged and accountable. This can lead to culture change which makes safety the responsibility of everyone - not just of the safety and maintenance department.

For more information on maintaining your safety maintenance program, just get in touch with us.

 

Risk Management: A Department Of One

Author TonyScurich , 3/11/2016
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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.


The Ten Commandments Of Workplace Safety

Author TonyScurich , 12/30/2015

Following these principles of leadership will help you and your employees focus on job safety:

  1. Don’t walk by. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent any potentially unsafe acts and conditions they witness from turning into accidents.
  2. STOP! Encourage employees to stop working whenever they feel unsafe, no matter what reason they give.
  3. Focus on a safe working environment. If you expect your workers to work safely, make their workplace as safe as possible.
  4. Don’t blame the worker first. Unsafe ways of working, accidents, incidents, and ill health aren’t necessarily the worker’s fault. The problem often comes from less obvious causes, such as decisions by management.
  5. Use your workforce for ideas. Employees often have a more accurate idea than you or your managers about which safety and health practices will work, because they deal with these issues every day.
  6. Be patient. Don’t expect quick wins. Improvements will emerge over time, but only if you stick with them.
  7. Explain your decisions. Just telling workers that something is wrong or a safety risk isn’t enough. If they’re to act on the information you provide, they need to know why and how to avoid harm.
  8. Lead by example. Your behavior sends powerful signals. If you carry out your job in a safe way, your workers are more likely to do the same. If you don’t, they won’t imitate you.
  9. Focus on co-operation. Treat your subcontractors in the same way as employees by encouraging them to communicate with each other.
  10. Don’t neglect occupational health. If you look after the health, as well as the safety, of your workers today, you’re less likely to create problems for them or your business tomorrow.

Sound advice!


Scurich 5/6 - What’s the difference between Bodily Injury coverage and Med Pay?

Author TonyScurich , 5/15/2015

It can seem like bodily injury coverage and medical payments coverage are one and the same. After all, most people who are injured in an accident are going to have some type of bodily injury that requires them to seek medical care. The injured person would then seek out payment for that medical care from the appropriate insurance company. In actuality, though, these are two vastly different -- and necessary -- types of insurance. 

Bodily Injury Coverage Explained

Bodily injury coverage is solely for those injuries incurred by other people that have been caused by you or other people on your insurance policy. If you or someone who is on your insurance policy is found to be at fault as the result of an accident, bodily injury coverage will pay out. Like nearly all states in the country, California requires that you maintain a certain amount of bodily injury coverage. 

Medical Payment Coverage

While medical payment coverage is similar in that it pays out to a person who is injured during an accident, there the similarities end. This type of insurance pays for reasonable medical expenses to you as well as any passengers who were in the vehicle with you. Medical payments coverage pays out regardless of who was at fault for the accident. 

In California, the minimum amount of bodily injury coverage you must maintain is $15,000 for one injured person and $30,000 for all injuries combined. Any expenses above those amounts would be your responsibility. While those amounts might seem high, considering how expensive healthcare is these days, you might want to make an appointment with your insurance company to go over your policy to make sure you have the right coverage. 


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