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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 survey - survey

EMPLOYEES AND E-MAIL: SECURITY VS. PRIVACY

Author TonyScurich , 8/1/2016
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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.

Vision And Dental Care Benefit You - And Your Employees

Author TonyScurich , 6/29/2016
Voluntary Vision and Dental insurance is becoming increasingly popular among mid-sized companies as a way to bolster their employee benefits programs. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, benefit providers have been adding Vision and Dental care, giving mid-market companies a variety of choices among competitively priced plans that can help attract and retain quality workers. "We continue to see that benefits like these are good for driving employee loyalty and job satisfaction," says Alan Hirschberg, vice president of dental and vision products for MetLife Inc. Sales of Voluntary benefits keep growing: a survey last by industry association LIMRA International, Inc. showed that Vision coverage increased 75% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2012, while Dental care rose 1%. To help curb costs, mid-sized businesses often ask employees to pick up at least 30% of premiums for these plans. Most workers are fine with this because the premiums are relatively inexpensive. In addition to supplementing Group Health insurance, Vision and Dental plans cover tests and procedures that can reduce employers' health care costs down the road. For example, eye and dental exams can be crucial in early detection and management of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. When it comes to Voluntary benefits, one size does not fit all. For instance, highly compensated employees might want a Dental plan that covers adult orthodontics, while lower-wage workers might prefer coverage for cleaning, fillings and other basic care. Companies can also offer multiple plans, allowing workers to select the premiums and coverage they prefer. We'd be happy to work with you in tailoring cost-effective, comprehensive voluntary Vision and Dental plans that can benefit your business - and your employees.

More Employees Using Benefits To Care For Children And Parents

Author TonyScurich , 6/20/2016
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An increasing number of employees in the "Sandwich Generation" are looking for benefits to help them manage the demands of caring for parents and children alike. A recent nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center found that nearly half of respondents in their 40s and 50s have a living parent and are either raising a young child or supporting a grown one.

"There's an emerging recognition of the impact of caregiver stress on working parents' ability to be productive at home and at work," says David Lissy, CEO of Bright Horizons, a provider of dependent back-up care services. "Particularly as families wait longer to have children, there's more at stake in their careers and they're pulled in many directions, dealing with the realities of their aging parents."

On average, access to Bright Horizons allowed employees to work six days during the past six months - productive time that otherwise would have been lost - and nearly 70% of these workers used the service for adult care.

Care.com, another provider of backup care services for employees, saw a three-fold increase last year in the number of clients that added senior care planning. IRobot, Inc. chose Care.com as an employee benefit because "we value our employees and want to support them in managing the demands on their personal lives," says benefits analyst Cathy Blanchard. Since adding the service, iRobot has seen a 15% month-to -month increase in using the program, which has boosted productivity by reducing costs from care-related absences and distractions.

If you'd like to learn more about offering day care for adults and children as an employee benefit, just give us a call.

 

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


New Compensation Rating Formula Lowers Premiums For Most Businesses

Author TonyScurich , 5/25/2016
1 A revision to the formula for calculating Workers Compensation rates is saving premium dollars for companies in a large number of states since the first of this year. The change involves the experience modification ("mod"), the premium credit or debit that businesses receive for their claims experience. The mod compares your claim experience to that of other firms in your industry; if your experience is good, you'll get a premium credit if not, you'll receive a debit. What has changed is the "split point" between the primary and excess portions of a claim. This value is important because the primary portion of each claim has a far larger impact on predicting an employer's mod than does the excess portion. For the past two decades, the split point has been $5,000. However, inflation has both eroded the primary/excess split point and hurt its predictive power; the mod doesn't give enough credit to good experience and doesn't penalize poor experience enough. The change raises the split point to $10,000 in 2013, $13,500 in 2014, and an estimated $17,000 in 2015. In 26 of the 38 states that have approved the new formula, a survey of more than 75,000 businesses by the National Council on Compensation Insurance found that 62% of them will see their rates fall by 5% or less this year. Another 11% will enjoy decreases of 5% to 10%, while rates will stay unchanged for 4.5%. Fewer than one in four (22.5%) - mostly larger businesses - would see a rate increase. Our Workers Comp specialists would be happy to discuss the revised experience mod formula with you - and make sure that you enjoy the cost savings that it can provide. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

Group Legal Plans: What's Not To Like?

Author TonyScurich , 4/18/2016
1More and more businesses are offering workers quality legal services as a voluntary employee benefit, according to a nationwide survey of more than 300 human resource and benefits professionals. The study, sponsored by MetLife, found that the top reasons for the popularity of these services were improved employee satisfaction (69%) higher retention and loyalty (44%), and the ability to compete with other companies' benefit programs (32%). A majority of survey respondents cited these benefits of Group Legal plans:
  • Helping employees achieve peace of mind when dealing with legal issues.
  • Reducing employees' levels of stress.
  • Lowering the cost of legal services.
  • Minimizing workplace time in dealing with personal issues.
  • Providing quality legal services (57%).
More than 90% of survey respondents found that legal plans are easier, or as easy, to administer than other voluntary benefits plans. These programs also have high persistency rates for both employers and employees. Says Bill Brooks, CEO of Hyatt Legal Plans, "This is a benefit that spans the generations and suits a diverse workforce because there's a broad range of situations where an attorney can help. Legal assistance at a cost of less than some attorneys may bill per hour can be an effective way to generate employee loyalty." There's a clear need for this coverage: According to the American Bar Association, 71% of people encounter a legal problem every year. Will preparation and estate planning are the most frequently offered services under Group Legal plans, followed by family matters, home purchases and sales, and credit problems, among others. If you'd like to add a comprehensive, cost-effective Group Legal plan to your voluntary Employee Benefits portfolio, please free to get in touch with the professionals at our agency. As always, we're here to help!

Obese Workers Help Drive Up Comp Rates

Author TonyScurich , 2/3/2016
1 Industry experts expect a 13% average hike in Workers Compensation premiums in 2013, driven by a variety of reasons, from widespread fraud to the growth of lawsuits for work-related injuries. One factor in these increases: Higher medical expenses for treatment of obese workers for the "co-morbid" ailments (such as diabetes and heart attacks) that stem from their expanding waistlines. A 2007 Duke University Medical School study found that overweight workers file more Comp claims, have higher medical costs, and miss more workdays due to job-related injuries than do their non-obese counterparts. A recent nationwide study of insurers doing business in 40 states confirms this conclusion. The survey by NCCI Holdings, Inc. found that the length of Workers Comp indemnity benefits paid to the most severely obese workers is more than five times greaterthan that of non-obese workers who file comparable claims. When the study included the duration of permanent partial disability, the multiple climbed to more than six to one. This relationship between worker obesity and Workers Comp costs reinforces the need for employers to offer their workers weight management programs. In addition to keeping these costs under control, these plans will help to reduce absenteeism and increase workplace productivity -- not to mention help employees get, and remain, healthy. What's not to like? Our agency's Workers Comp professionals stand ready to help you develop and implement a weight reduction program for your employees. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

A Snapshot Of HR Executives In Small To Mid-Sized Companies

Author TonyScurich , 1/11/2016

In a recent HR webinar, I asked three highly revealing polling questions. Here they are:

    1. What have you done to show your value?

Nobody knows that you're doing a great job unless you tell them. It's not that they don't care about you; it's just that they're running 75mph and barely have time to pay attention to anything but their own work. What effort have you made to get noticed by delivering a report or giving a workshop? Unfortunately, only 21% of respondents said that they created a strategic plan. As Mary Kay once stated, "most people spend more time planning their vacations better than their career." Or, as I might add, their HR department.

    1. How excited are you about the HR opportunity on a scale from 1-5 (5 being very excited)?

Half of the respondents described themselves as fairly "excited." Unfortunately, some 43% were just "ok or worse" with HR. Most organizations find the whole idea of HR boring. My guess is that is not the case at the 7% of companies where people said they were very excited about HR! I believe that if 7% can be excited, so can the 93%. It's simply a choice. What have you done in HR lately that goes beyond administrative or compliance requirements? What have you done to help improve the quality of the workplace (getting rid of poor employees and replacing them with great ones is a start), increasing performance management (having a performance management system that actually works), boosting retention, and giving greater love to that 20% of your workforce that produces 80% of results? What are you helping your company do to become more creative, innovative, and interesting?

    1. What's stopping you?

I often ask this question in workshops and in webinars. Time is always the most common response (one of those buts again), followed by the company or management. A survey of HR That Works members found that 84% of respondents said they would make better use of the service if they had more time.

Time management is a major issue!

Go to the time management training on HR That Works. Watch the two videos and then start putting them into practice. I would recommend that you start by tracking where your time is going and then eliminate five hours of the uncool, un-valuable work you do every week.


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.


You Need to "Call Before You Dig"

Author TonyScurich , 7/20/2015

Person digging in backyard

What is 811?

Are you a homeowner or contractor? Did you know that you are required to call the number ‘811’ before digging on any property so that you can be made aware of any underground lines (e.g. pipes, cables and associated utilities) buried in the area? Improper digging can lead to damage to underground lines that can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers or excavators, and even incur potential fines and repair costs.

In case you did not know, 811 is the national "Call Before You Dig" phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission. This number was developed to eliminate the confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers because it is easy to use, is the same for every state, and can help protect anyone who does dig from injury, expense and potential penalties.

What Happens After Calling 811?

All 811 calls are routed to a local One Call Center and the affected utilities. The utility will then send crews to the location to mark any underground lines for the homeowner or excavator for free.

Do Most People Call Before They Dig?

Believe it or not, in spite of all the potential danger and damage that can be caused, the answer is "no." According to a recent national survey, 45 percent of American homeowners who plan to dig this year said that they would not call 811 beforehand.*

More Information

For more information about the 811 call system, visit http://www.call811.com. To download the most current industry Best Practices in connection with preventing damage to underground facilities, go to http://commongroundalliance.com/.


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