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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 technology - technology

EDITOR'S COLUMN: Dealing with Speed

Author TonyScurich , 9/28/2016

Don Phin

I listened to an outstanding NYC Radiolab podcast on the subject of speed. To begin with, Radiolab is one of my favorite podcasts. The subjects are always interesting, but this was one of those episodes that causes you to really do some deep thinking. Many years ago. the great thinker Buckminister Fuller coined the phrase "accelerated acceleration." In a sense, things happen faster at an ever faster rate: Speed feeding on itself.

The podcast discussed relative aspects of speed; for example, how it affects stock trading. No longer are stocks traded on the floor, but through ten thousand servers, all connected to a motherboard on Wall Street. Trades are made in microseconds. This technology-driven speed has ended the career of many old school traders. While we might bemoan the good old days, this change has lowered the cost of trading for you and me.

The whole concept of speed is reengineering the workforce dramatically. Pretty soon, there will be an algorithm or program that solves just about every puzzle -- the Watson computer being an excellent example. Our best and brightest will continue to create those tools and figure out how to put them to good use. Technology has driven the middleman out of stock trading, just as in many aspects of business and much of the retail sector

How is this affecting your company? Where will the speed of transactions have an impact on your career? Who will get squeezed out next? What new jobs will be created?

Speed is directly related to time. All of us feel the stress of this speed on how we manage our time. I describe it as running 75 mph. Many think they can outdo the other guy if they run 80 mph. Years ago this was termed the rat race – and as Lilly Tomlin reminded us, "even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat." Nothing less than a fundamental reexamination of how we do our work will be required to survive the speed of change.

I highly encourage you to listen to this podcast: http://www.radiolab.org/2013/feb/05/. The last part of it is amazing and will blow your mind. It certainly made me want to learn more about the latest discovery that is shared. I won't spoil it by telling you what it's about. I had to listen to it three times for it to fully sink in. I'd be curious to know what you think after listening to this podcast.

PS...If you haven't yet done so, get thee to the Time Management Training Module on HR That Works. In order to manage the rate of speed better we have to better manage our time.

 

Will Insurance Cover Your High-Tech Car Key?

Author TonyScurich , 7/18/2016
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Metal car keys are going the way of the land line, as most drivers have graduated to a key fob or remote with a transponder that needs programming before use. If you own a high-tech luxury vehicle you might have a "smart key" - a remote control to plug into your dashboard or leave in your pocket.

Although these devices add convenience, they're pricey. You'll pay $200 to $400 to replace a smart key on a luxury car, plus $100 an hour for labor. If you lose all your keys, you might need to replace the locks, which could cost $1,000. Auto insurance will cover the cost of replacing smart keys (or metal keys) only if the loss comes from a peril covered under the policy. For example, if your keys are damaged when you collide with another car, Collision coverage would pay to replace them. Comprehensive coverage –which reimburses you for loss or damage to your vehicle from theft, vandalism, fire, hail, or flood - would include replacement of the keys, as part of the vehicle. If your car keys are stolen, Homeowners insurance should pay to replace them because theft is a "named peril" under the policy. Bear in mind that your Auto or Homeowners deductible will apply against the cost of replacement. Technology is well on the way to eliminating car keys. According to the AAA, smart phone apps that allow you to unlock and start your car are standard on many vehicles as of 2015. In the meantime, you can avoid paying the high cost of replacing smart keys by keeping spares in a safe place. To learn more, please feel free to get in touch with us.

Cybercrime: A Growing Threat

Author TonyScurich , 4/1/2016
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The more heavily your business relies on electronic technology, the greater your vulnerability to cybercriminals.

Criminal activity conducted through the Internet impacts businesses of all sizes. One study found that companies with 100 or fewer employees accounted for 72% of data breaches worldwide. Today's cybercrimes put your grandmothers' spam email list to shame. According to a nationwide study by Ponemon Institute, the median annual cost of cybercrime for a large company in 2011 came to $5.9 million. Cybercrime covers a variety of activities, from malicious codes and hacks in which private client or company information is made public or stolen, to disruption of normal operations. Perpetrators include rogue employees, "hacktivists" seeking to make a political statement, or third parties seeking financial gain. Businesses, such as coffee shops, that allow customers on their premises to use Wi-Fi face unique risks. In one case, a Hollywood producer sued the owner of a restaurant offering Wi-Fi access after a customer used the network to download a film for bootlegging. To help protect your business against potential losses from cybercrime, here are some recommendations:
  1. Review your specific exposures. For example, if you allow people outside the company to use your WiFi, this can increase your exposure.
  2. Focus on the human element in data security by offering employees effective training and specific guidelines.
  3. Re-evaluate your guidelines frequently.
  4. Evaluate the potential risks of adopting new technology.
Last, but not least, make sure that you carry adequate Cyber Liability Insurance. Our agency would be happy to tailor cost-effective coverage to your needs, and help you develop and implement a comprehensive program for managing your exposure to cybercrime.

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.

 

Review Class Codes and Descriptions: technology changes operations

Author TonyScurich , 7/31/2015

Technology associated with construction has dramatically changed operations. Carefully check the class codes and their descriptions to assure proper premiums. Years ago, 5606 - contractor supervisors - served to describe on site personnel who actively performed construction activities while managing the site. The rate was equivalent to site carpenters. That code has evolved into the computer carrying, service providing construction managers and executives who document the construction process. The rate is closer to outside sales representatives now. Even excavation and site work is being dramatically changed by GPS technology. Now computers design a cut and fill pattern with efficiency. Labor is more involved in checking the geotechnical and environmental properties of the soils rather than the actual movement of them. As production technology improves, new sub-codes develop to reflect the decrease in risk. Painting, carpentry, electrician and other trades now use a selection of eight or ten separate codes to describe exact activities. More components are built in shops and brought to the site. This process can change the class code of the installers and the builders. The trend is towards more computer driven operations. Less labor, more specialists. As this trend continues, class codes will be added, deleted and the descriptions changed. There are currently over seven hundred class codes. Some are antiquated with new meanings - like a ship chandler is now a hardware store. It pays to become familiar with the classifications. If your business has been active for many years, the "governing code" may be incorrect. The governing code is the catch-all for your business which best describes the overall operation, more obvious in manufacturing. Corrugated box manufacturing has been reorganized into several class codes. Technology has separated the manufacture of cardboard and corrugated cardboard into laminating processes, cutting and folding processes, and fully integrated operations. Read your relevant class codes and think about which one reflects your operations. Or ask your agent to do it for you.

People, Robots and Technology

Author TonyScurich , 3/6/2015
People are losing jobs to robots and technology at an accelerating rate. Have you used one of those self-serve checkout stands lately? One was installed at my local CVS only 3 months ago. Awkward at first but seems like old hat now. The manager there told me the new system allowed him to let two full time clerks go. Two jobs lost to robots and their technology that will never reappear. Here's just some of the other jobs that are suffering the same fate as retail clerks:
  • Pharmacists
  • Soldiers
  • Reporters
  • Drivers
  • Fast food workers
  • Assembly workers
  • Bank tellers
  • Secretaries
  • Stock traders
  • Warehouse workers
  • …and there is more
Technology alone changes the employment landscape. Objects like the iPhone have the consequence of laying off Kodak workers, as well as workers in the mapping, printing, alarm clock and record industry. I recently listened to an interesting podcast (all Radiolab podcasts are interesting!) about work in a shipping warehouse for online mega-providers, such as Amazon. If you thought stop watches were banned in the workplace at the beginning of the last century, guess what – they're back! Technology, along with its gamification, is reducing worker output to a competitive logarithm using the most minute of performance indicators. Years ago Buckminster Fuller (otherwise known as "Bucky") surmised that the rise of computers and technology would bring use to a place where it is inefficient to have full scale employment. It would actually be cheaper to pay people to stay at home.  And we are getting there. Even in a "good" economy we have 7% unemployment. And we are being asked to pay for those folks who have to stay at home…because there are no jobs. This has more to do with the macro-economics of production than it does anything a politician can influence. While Bucky believed that less is more, most folks don't think that way. In their idleness they will want to be serviced, entertained and otherwise cared for, by a growing service class economy. So the fantasy of growing the middle class back to where it was before all these technology changes is a pipe dream. A political football divorced from reality. There will be a continued division between highly paid knowledge workers and low paid service workers. Sooner or later we will end up paying service workers to stay home or do some form of public service. As we march forward you will either be a highly paid knowledge worker who cannot yet be replaced by a machine or a low paid service worker who cannot yet be replaced by a machine. That's true for your kids' future too! FYI – Looks like John Henry would be out of a job today. Now trains lay their own tracks http://www.wimp.com/traintrack/

People, Robots and Technology

Author TonyScurich , 3/6/2015
People are losing jobs to robots and technology at an accelerating rate. Have you used one of those self-serve checkout stands lately? One was installed at my local CVS only 3 months ago. Awkward at first but seems like old hat now. The manager there told me the new system allowed him to let two full time clerks go. Two jobs lost to robots and their technology that will never reappear. Here's just some of the other jobs that are suffering the same fate as retail clerks:
  • Pharmacists
  • Soldiers
  • Reporters
  • Drivers
  • Fast food workers
  • Assembly workers
  • Bank tellers
  • Secretaries
  • Stock traders
  • Warehouse workers
  • …and there is more
Technology alone changes the employment landscape. Objects like the iPhone have the consequence of laying off Kodak workers, as well as workers in the mapping, printing, alarm clock and record industry. I recently listened to an interesting podcast (all Radiolab podcasts are interesting!) about work in a shipping warehouse for online mega-providers, such as Amazon. If you thought stop watches were banned in the workplace at the beginning of the last century, guess what – they're back! Technology, along with its gamification, is reducing worker output to a competitive logarithm using the most minute of performance indicators. Years ago Buckminster Fuller (otherwise known as "Bucky") surmised that the rise of computers and technology would bring use to a place where it is inefficient to have full scale employment. It would actually be cheaper to pay people to stay at home.  And we are getting there. Even in a "good" economy we have 7% unemployment. And we are being asked to pay for those folks who have to stay at home…because there are no jobs. This has more to do with the macro-economics of production than it does anything a politician can influence. While Bucky believed that less is more, most folks don't think that way. In their idleness they will want to be serviced, entertained and otherwise cared for, by a growing service class economy. So the fantasy of growing the middle class back to where it was before all these technology changes is a pipe dream. A political football divorced from reality. There will be a continued division between highly paid knowledge workers and low paid service workers. Sooner or later we will end up paying service workers to stay home or do some form of public service. As we march forward you will either be a highly paid knowledge worker who cannot yet be replaced by a machine or a low paid service worker who cannot yet be replaced by a machine. That's true for your kids' future too! FYI – Looks like John Henry would be out of a job today. Now trains lay their own tracks http://www.wimp.com/traintrack/

You Need Cyber Security Insurance: Don't Let Hackers Ruin Your Business

Author TonyScurich , 10/3/2014
Scurich Insurance Services - CAHow important is cyber-security business insurance? With every passing moment technology is advancing. That’s great for your business because it allows you to be more dynamic and more productive in your day-to-day online operations. Technology also helps you keep track, store and access vital company information. Your company’s stats and assets, as well as your employee's and client's personal identification information, is most likely stored on a computer somewhere. That’s the good news. The bad news is this; with every technological advancement that the business world makes, hackers are also hard at work, and often successful, in breaking into computer networks and accessing personal and confidential information. It pays to be prepared and stay ahead of the hackers. One thing that you can do to secure your business is to ensure that you have the most up-to-date security software and protocols on your computers and internal business network. However, this is still no guarantee that you will not get hacked. The most common ways to get compromised, according to Verizon, are as follows: network “break-ins” or weak/stolen credentials, hacking (52%!), malware, and misuse of privileges by those who already have access to information. Cyber-Security Liability Insurance is a crucial part of your protection plan and is a vital part to protecting yourself, your business, your clients, and your employees. Remember, it is ultimately the business’ duty to protect all of this data and to keep it secure. There are many cyber-security insurance options and plans available today. With some plans, you can add it on to a current commercial property insurance term while other plans are available as a stand-alone. Regardless of the size of your company, you need some form of cyber-security insurance. Whether you collect personal contact and identification information or credit and debit card payments, the threat of cyber-attack is real. Don’t be left out in the dark. Ask about some of the better cyber-security insurance programs so that you can ha ve peace of mind that your business, customers and employees will be protected. Source: http://www.verizonenterprise.com/solutions/security/  

Second Saturday on the Farm

Author TonyScurich , 3/7/2014
Scurich Insurance Services, CA, Farm robotOur next Second Saturday On The Farm is on Saturday, March 8, 11 am – 3 pm at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Highway 152 outside Watsonville.  This event is FREE! Donations appreciated. Bring your whole neighborhood to participate! This Second Saturday on the Farm features a scheduled talk on how robots are used in the agriculture industry in Santa Cruz County and around the world, plus LEGO building, robotic car races, programming, drawing a robot, competing sumo robots, hayrides, movies, practice cow milking, and other activities for children. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm:  LEGO building, Robotic car races, Programming a BeeBot robot, drawing a robot, Sumo robotics, and other fun activities for children. 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm:  Learn to Discover, an educational nonprofit organization, will be discussing Robots in the Agriculture Industry. Ongoing:  Our popular tractor driving, practice cow milking, water pumping, and other fun activities for kids. Brian and Shelly Laschkewitsch from Learn to Discover will be facilitating many of the fun learning activities about robotics at this event. Learn to Discover is a 501 c(3) nonprofit that designs, develops and delivers high-quality, hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) courses and activities to kids from pre-school through high-school. Content provided by http://www.aghistoryproject.org/event/second-saturday-farm-robotics-agriculture/