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 right - right

Are You Ready For A Car Crash?

Author TonyScurich , 11/2/2016
  safe-1142432_1920You know the drill after an auto crash, heart stopping panic, and then, especially if there’s major damage or a serious injury, exchanging names, addresses and insurance information with the other driver. Easy, right? However, if the other driver refuses to provide these particulars (or you’re so shaken that you forget to ask for them), you could end up in serious financial, or even legal, trouble. Dan Young, Senior Vice President of Insurance Relations for CARSTAR warns, “[After an accident] sometimes drivers just don't do what they’re supposed to do." To make sure you’re prepared for such a mishap, follow these guidelines:
  • Remain at the scene. Although state laws differ, failure to exchange information or notify police can lead to a hit-and-run charge or loss of your license.
  • Keep a “cheat sheet” in your glove compartment about what to ask after an accident.
  • Use your cellphone to take a photo of the other vehicle, (preferably showing its license plate) as visual proof of the incident.
  • Write down details. As soon as you and your vehicle are out of traffic and harm's way, record the date and time, location, make and model of the cars and actions or statements by the other driver.
  • Ask any bystanders or eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
In the meantime, review your auto policy to make sure that you carry: 1) collision coverage, which will pay for repairing your car and providing a replacement vehicle, if needed and 2) uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance (UM/UIM), which will cover damages for injuries caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. For more information, feel free to get in touch with our agency  

Construction Safety: The 'Correction Conversation'

Author TonyScurich , 9/16/2016
Safety inspectors know what to look for - but they might need a refresher on holding the "correction conversation": explaining job hazards in such a way that your workers can see the potential danger, understand how it can hurt them, and suggest how to eliminate it. To have an effective Correction Conversation, we'd recommend that safety inspectors follow these guidelines:
  • Try to make it personal. "Kneeling on the floor for the day is going to turn your knees into jelly in a few years."
  • Tie the hazardous activity or condition to pain. "This night watchman dropped his flashlight, and when he bent down to pick it up, the rebar went right through his eye."
  • Make comparisons. These cable clamps might work, but the fist-grips kind are the ones that should be used. See - they look like two fists gripping."
  • Shift the blame. "I'm not sure who set this up, but because those cable clamps are upside down they won't hold much. Just flip them over and torque them again."
  • Connect the correction to something the workers can share. Pass along additional information. Keep it simple, and use graphics whenever possible, If the concern is not having an eyewash station near a concrete pour, send a photo of a what a worker's eye looks like after a concrete burn.
  • Share a story. "I can beat that!" This phrase continues conversation in bars across the world. Tell a workplace hazard anecdote that you've heard or witnessed - and then stop talking! Chances are another worker will share a similar story. One-upmanship is a skill we all enjoy, and helps keeps a good Correction Conversation alive.

Workers Comp Prescription Narcotics Abuse: Fight Back!

Author TonyScurich , 9/2/2016
4 The use of narcotics in treating injured workers faces heavy scrutiny today - and for good reason. The latest National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. (NCCI) Annual Issues Symposium found that:
  • The average cost of narcotics per Workers Comp claim rose from $39 in 2003 to $59 in 2011. This is a rate of 0.79 narcotic prescriptions per claim, up from 0.56 in 2003 - a 14% increase in eight years.
  • More than 5% percent of Comp claims that resulted in at least one prescription for if anymedication included five or more narcotics prescriptions.
To curb the prescribing of narcotics for your injured employees, start by choosing the right Workers Comp physician. In most states, businesses have the legal right to designate the physician that injured employees must use. To find a physician in your area who is board certified in Occupational Medicine, go to http://www.acoem.org/. If none is available, look for a doctor who takes patients on Workers Compensation. In many cases, urgent care clinics make great partners. Once you find a physician, talk to him or her about your business, discuss your return-to-work program and the types of transitional jobs you offer - and ask about their attitude toward prescribing narcotics. Even if state law prohibits you from requiring injured workers to see a specific physician, you can still suggest that they do so. For example, you might say, "Doctor Joan at Acme Urgent Care has treated many of your co-workers and they've gotten better quickly." Selecting a doctor who doesn't dispense drugs and only prescribes narcotics when they're are absolutely necessary can go far to help injured employees get back to work and be healthy and productive as swiftly as possible - while keeping your Workers Comp costs under control.

EMPLOYEES AND E-MAIL: SECURITY VS. PRIVACY

Author TonyScurich , 8/1/2016
4

How can you oversee your employees' use of company e-mails without violating their privacy?

According to a recent nationwide survey, more than 40% of businesses monitor their workers' e-mails. If you're one of these companies, a disgruntled employee might well sue you for invasion of privacy (the number of privacy lawsuits has skyrocketed by 3,000% during the past decade). The best way to protect yourself against this risk is to create a written policy warning employees that you might be monitoring their use of e-mail. Bear in mind that because your business owns the e-mail system - software, network access, and computers - you have the legal right to oversee workers for misusing it to violate company policy or break the law. The first step in implementing this policy is to have all employees sign a disclaimer that acknowledges the company's right to monitor their e-mail. You can do this when an employee is hired, at contract renewal, or at a company meeting - and don't forget to circulate any updates to the policy throughout the company. Apply e-mail monitoring as uniformly as possible, because singling out an individual without a clear reason to do so could leave you vulnerable to a discrimination lawsuit. Finally, be sure to have your attorney review the policy. A comprehensive e-mail policy can: 1) provide an effective defense against invasion of privacy litigation 2) educate your employees on the proper use of e-mail - which should go far to reduce potential problems from misusing the system. If you'd like to learn more about how to balance protecting the integrity of your company's e-mail system with your employees' right to privacy, please get in touch with us. As always, we're here to help.

How Well Can Your Workers See?

Author TonyScurich , 12/18/2015

Employers and employees aren't seeing the health and productivity boosts of using their vision plans, especially with an aging workforce. According to Transitions Optical, Inc., nearly half of workers fail to take advantage of their vision benefit, either by not enrolling (24%) or not using their benefit to get an eye exam (32%).

That’s unfortunate, because helping employees see well offers a number of benefits:

  • Good eyesight boosts productivity. Nearly 35% of people age 40+ have trouble seeing print or numbers on reading materials, or signs, even with glasses, One in four employees age 45 or older take breaks to rest their eyes at work, because of fatigue or eyestrain. Uncorrected vision (so slight that an employee might not notice) can reduce productivity up to 20%.
  • Mental health and eye health are connected. Vision problems can worsen mental decline. Older employees with poor vision are five times more likely to develop cognitive decline than their peers with good or excellent vision. Untreated poor vision in the elderly is also linked to dementia; older adults who have poor vision without intervention (such as eye care visits and cataract surgery) are almost 10 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
  • Glare bothers most workers. Almost all people say glare affects their vision outdoors, and seven in ten agree that their eyes are sensitive to light. Glare due to reflections from a lens surface can also be present indoors, leading to eye fatigue. The right eyewear can help employees overcome their discomfort.
  • Employees think vision plans are important. More than 90% of employees that agree this benefit will be more important to them as they age.

To learn more, just give us a call. We’re here to serve you.


How to Protect Your Intellectual Property (IP)

Author TonyScurich , 8/17/2015

How to Protect Your Intellectual Property

Many companies do not know exactly what intellectual property (IP) they may own, while others are uncertain how to protect and maximize these valuable assets. When someone infringes on your IP, it may dilute the ability of consumers to associate your company as the source of your goods and services.

To protect your company, it is important to first understand what is typically included as intellectual property. Generally, it involves a creation of the human mind, such as an invention, literary work or musical composition. The different areas of IP law include trademark (such as service mark, trade dress and trade name), as well as copyright, patent and trade secret.

Why it is Important to Register Your IP

While some intellectual property, such as a trademark or copyright, can be valid and protectable even if it is unregistered, registration offers important and key benefits. Registering a trademark or service mark with the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) serves as constructive notice to the public of your claim of ownership of the mark.

An owner who has successfully registered his mark with the USPTO also receives the following:

  • An incontestable right to use the mark under certain conditions.
  • A rebuttable presumption of the validity of the mark, the registrant’s ownership of the mark, and exclusive right to use the mark in commerce.
  • The ability to seek costs, attorney’s fees, and treble damages (or three times the actual amount of financial losses) in infringement lawsuits.
  • The destruction of the infringing articles.
  • The ability to litigate in federal court.

How to Register Your Trademark and Service Mark

You can file an electronic application to register your company’s intellectual property. The Lanham Act governs federal trademark registration and allows trademark and service mark owners to pay a fee (typically $325) and file an application and verified statement to the USPTO.

Applicants must state when they first used the mark in commerce and include a description of the goods that the mark is connected to, along with a drawing of the mark. In the verified statement, applicants must also state that they believe they are the owner of the mark, that the mark is used in commerce and that no other person has the right to use the mark.

How to Register Your Copyright

Copyright owners who register their work with the United States Copyright Office also receive significant benefit in any subsequent judicial proceeding. A certificate of copyright registration constitutes prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate. Copyright owners who register their works can also potentially receive statutory damages from an infringer.

Copyright owners can apply online to the United States Copyright Office to register a copyright. The application requires a $35 filing fee and the applicant to provide: name and address, title of the work, the year in which it was created and other preparation and identification information. [According to the USCO website, processing time for an e-filing is generally eight months.¹]

How to Register Your Patent

Patent applications are more complicated than trademark or copyright applications and are often filed by registered patent attorneys experienced in the patent drafting and filing process. A patent applicant must pay a fee (these fees range in amount) and produce an oath, a drawing of the invention and a “specification.” Applicants must state in the oath their country of citizenship and that they believe they are the first inventor of the process, machine, manufacture or improvement.

The specification must contain a written description of the invention and the manner and process of making and using it in a full and clear manner. The specification also must contain one or more “claims” that point out the specific subject matter that the applicants regard as their invention.

Using Written Agreements to Your Advantage

Using, adhering to and enforcing various written agreements can help your company protect and profit from its Intellectual Property (IP). No agreement can accomplish everything but here are some to consider for advancing your IP portfolio.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA): An NDA, or confidentiality agreement, can help keep proprietary or trade secret information private. Among other details, it should plainly state who owns the IP rights associated with the product or service, and who has the right to enforce those IP rights.

Non-Competition Agreements: A non-competition agreement can help lessen the risk that a vital employee will take critical information, such as processes, customer lists or formulas, to a competitor or a start-up company.

Employment Contracts: When an author, artist or designer is an independent contractor or creates work outside the scope of his or her employment, a carefully drafted contract can eliminate potential conflicts by clearly, and broadly, defining the person’s scope of employment and assigning all IP rights generated from his or her work to the employer or hirer.

Licensing Agreements: In a license, one entity grants another permission to use IP rights(s) within a defined time, market or territory. Typically complex, these agreements may contain provisions related to exclusivity, transferability, revocability and warranties.

Download the White Paper on How to Protect and Maximize Your Company's Intellectual Property > Get Technology Resources that Can Help You Turn Risk into a Business Advantage >

Give Your Mom Life Insurance for Mother's Day

Author TonyScurich , 5/6/2015
 

Does your mom nurture, care and love you through thick and thin? Show her how much you care by giving her a life insurance policy for Mother's Day.
Life insurance is not the first gift that comes to mind when you want to honor your mm, but it's a practical gift that won't die like a floral bouquet, and it gives her something she can really use, unlike yet another nightgown. Life insurance also gives your precious mom peace of mind since the policy funds can be used to pay for her funeral expenses and any outstanding bills. Consider this affordable investment as you decide how to honor your mom and repay her a little bit for all the investments she made in you over the years. 

How Much Will it Cost?

The cost of life insurance policies varies from person to person. You can't put a price on your mom's peace of mind, but do consider several factors that typically affect the cost of life insurance. These factors include: 

Health: A healthy adult will pay lower life insurance premiums. The same principle applies to non-smokers. Some companies require a medical exam to determine the insured health conditions, but others do not. 

Gender: Policies for women typically cost less than policies for men. That's because women tend to outlive men by five or more years, which makes them less of a risk and thus cheaper to insure.

Coverage Needs: Higher coverage amounts mean higher premiums. So if your mom is the primary income earner in her household, you'll want to purchase a life insurance policy with higher coverage. 

Age: Older premium holders will often pay more for their life insurance policy. 

Risk: People who work or engage in a high-risk or dangerous occupation or hobby will pay more for life insurance. 

Check with your insurance agent to discuss the life insurance policy options for your mom. Then choose a policy that's right for her needs. While it's an unconventional Mother's Day gift, it's one way you can honor your mother today and for years to come.

Does Smoking Increase My Life Insurance Premiums?

Author TonyScurich , 5/1/2015

Are you confident that your loved ones would have financial security if you were to die today? If not, consider purchasing life insurance. It pays a death benefit to your loved ones when you die, and it provides peace of mind and financial security to your survivors. Smoking, however, can limit your ability to afford life insurance.

Life Insurance is Based on Risk

Insurance companies offer a variety of policies, but they reserve the right to adjust rates based on risk factors. If you smoke or engage in other behavior that's considered high-risk or unhealthy, expect to pay more for coverage.

Why is Smoking a Risk?

Whether you've smoked for years or recently picked up the habit, life insurance companies see you as high-risk. They base their perspective on two factors.

  1. Smoking increases potentially fatal health issues like cancer, heart disease, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
  2. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in the U.S. How Much More do Smokers Pay?

Every policy is different, but on average, smokers can expect to pay around 15 percent more for life insurance. So, if a non-smoker with a similar demographic and health pays $50 per month, a smoker could pay as much as $57.50.

Is There an Affordable Solution?

Before you give up on finding affordable life insurance, shop around. Your insurance agent can assist you in finding the most affordable life insurance premium.

Additionally, remember that insurance companies factor in how long you've smoked and how much you smoke. While their preferred rates may not go into effect until you've been nicotine-free for 12 or more months, you can start maintaining a smoke-free lifestyle now by enrolling in a smoking cessation program.

You may also find affordable premium rates if you bundle your life insurance with other policies like health, home and auto.

Talk to your insurance agent today. Find the most affordable life insurance policy for you, and give your loved ones financial peace of mind.


Homeowners: Building Ordinance

Author TonyScurich , 2/9/2015
Spring is a popular time for adding to your home in the form of remodeling or putting up an addition. If you are like many people, you hire someone to complete the job for you. For most people, it is easier and faster to interview and hire a contractor to do the work instead of trying to muddle through it yourself. Peace of Mind With the Professionals  One of the reasons for hiring a contractor to build that much-needed addition to your home or to remodel your outdated kitchen is to ensure that the job is done right the first time. Unless your career requires you to know the latest building codes, it is unrealistic to expect that you do so. Instead you rely on your contractor to know -- as well as follow -- the safety regulations put forth by your particular locality. The Responsibility is Yours Even though the contractor you hired is doing all the work, it is ultimately your responsibility for what occurs with your home. This is not to say that you are in this alone. Rather it is to caution you to be aware of the risks you face if your contractor does not follow the applicable codes when doing the work you authorized. This is one reason to use only those contractors who are licensed, bonded and insured. Protect Yourself  One way to protect yourself is to check for the necessity of permits before allowing the contractor to start working. Request to see the permits if the contractor obtains them for you. Speak with your insurance agent to determine if additional coverage for the work is needed as well.

Monterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day 2014

Author TonyScurich , 6/20/2014
Scurich Insurance Services, CA, Kids Playing OutsideMonterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day is a totally free event open to the public. Our focus is to get kids interested in the many outdoor activities that are right here in our back yard. With over forty different organizations represented, there is something for everyone! Monterey Bay Youth Outdoor Day is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating youth about the countless outdoor activities available in our area. All of us involved with MBYOD have the same goal for the children of today... Our goal is simple, lets get our youth back outside and active! We believe that we live in a unique and amazing region and because of that it is important to teach our children to cherish it. We are looking to encourage youth to be healthy through outdoor activities  and build a better place for the future. In hopes of achieving our goal we hold an annual event at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds where various companies and organizations can showcase their specialties. The event is totally free and we also raffle off dozens of prizes to the youth in attendance to inspire them to participate in the outdoor activity that they find most appealing. MBYOD 2014 will be held on June 21 from 10am to 4pm, so bring your children to the fairgrounds so they can enjoy the dozens of activities we have to offer! When:     Saturday June 21, 2014 from 10:00 am-4:00 pm Where:   Santa Cruz Fairgrounds Cost:       FREE! Who:       The entire family! Content provided by http://watsonville.patch.com/groups/events/p/monterey-bay-youth-outdoor-day-2014  

    • 1
    • 2