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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 water - water

Floods, Cars, And Auto Insurance

Author TonyScurich , 9/30/2016
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Floods happen - and nearly half of all deaths related to them involve vehicles, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The best advice for drivers during periods of heavy rain or flooding is to stay off the road. If that's not possible and you see signs of high water or stranded vehicles, pull over or take a different route ("Turn around, don't drown").

However, an unexpected flash flood can easily catch you unawares. If this happens, safety experts recommend taking these precautions to prevent an accident or a water-damaged car:

  • Never drive beneath an underpass during a heavy rainstorm because they're prone to flooding.
  • Be wary of water levels. According to FEMA it takes only one foot of water to float a car, or even an SUV, sweeping it off a bridge or down a road.
  • If your vehicle gets caught in a flood and stalls, or you lose control, get out before the car is carried downstream.
  • If you can't escape and your vehicle is going under, don't panic. Once the car is submerged, open the doors, hold your breath, and climb out.

The good news: If your car is involved in a flood-related accident, Auto insurance can make sure that you don't get swept away financially. Comprehensive coverage will pay for any type of damage to your car up to its actual cash value caused by natural events, such as flooding. If you hydroplane during a storm and flip your car or hit another vehicle or tree, Collision insurance will pay to repair it or cover the actual cash value of the car.

To learn more, please feel free to get in touch with our agency.

 

Pollution Liability: The CPL Solution

Author TonyScurich , 8/15/2016
Air, water, and soil pollution pose a serious financial threat for contractors. One small misstep can require thousands - or even millions - to clean up. Consider these scenarios:
  • Remodeling a school kicks up dust.
  • Using construction materials generates fumes that pollute the air.
  • Hitting an underground storage tank leads to the release of liquid pollutants.
  • Spraying to remove a bees' nest from a work area releases insecticides.
  • Tying into a sewer line improperly causes sewage to back up.
Your Comprehensive General Liability (CGL) policy provides severely limited protection against these types of pollution claims. Not to worry! Contractors Pollution Liability (CPL) insurance can protect you. (These policies are sometimes written together with Contractors Professional Liability coverage - see the previous article). CPL covers Bodily Injury and Property Damage - whether by settlement or verdict - as well as the expenses of investigating, defending, or settling claims. Most policies also cover the costs of removing or neutralizing pollutants and restoring the damaged property. CPL policies usually include a "hammer clause" that works like this: if the contractor chooses to fight a claim, rather than settle it, the insurance company's liability for damages and claims expenses is limited to what it would have had to pay if the contractor had approved the settlement. As you can imagine, most contractors choose to settle when their insurer recommends this approach. As with Contractors Professional Liability coverage, CPL policies are usually written on a case-by-case basis, with the size of the policy depending on your situation (for example coverage might be worldwide or limited to the U.S). Our agency would be happy to work with you, and the quality insurance companies we represent, to tailor a program suited for your needs. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

Prearranged Contracts Speed Disaster Recovery

Author TonyScurich , 7/13/2016
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If a catastrophe struck your business, who would provide such critical services as site clean-up, emergency power supplies, off-site redundant data storage, and alternative communication systems until you can get up and running again?

In this situation, having agreements in advance with restoration companies and other service providers can save you time, money, and headaches.

Although most companies recognize that such prearrangements can play a critical role in emergency crisis management planning, few take steps to develop specific relationships with their disaster service providers.

That can be an expensive mistake, says Michelle Cross, Boston-based National Practice Leader for Business Continuity at Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA. She points out that, "for any service provider to really provide quality, top-level, appropriate service, they have to know about your company, what you need, and what hazards you have on site."

Pre-planning can also reduce Business Interruption deduction and claims significantly by shortening downtime to services and operations after a disaster, notes Dave Boyle, head of Property Claims for Zurich North America (Schaumburg, IL).

A case in point: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide uses pre-arranged recovery agreements because many of its properties are in locations at risk for natural disaster. When Hurricane Katrina struck, the Starwood Sheraton was the only hotel in New Orleans that remained open during and after the megastorm. Says Stephen Truono, the company's Vice President of Global Risk Management and Insurance: "It's about having a plan, practicing that plan, and engaging the necessary critical vendors, such as providers of power, plywood, diesel oil and potable water."

Prearranged provider agreements are inexpensive and usually do not involve a fee until the time of service.

What's not to like?


4th of july Tips

Author TonyScurich , 7/1/2016

fourth-of-july-1

4th of July fireworks, parades and cookouts are an excuse for you to relax with family and friends. As you plan your celebration this year, take several steps to ensure safety for everyone involved in celebrating the United States' birthday.

Use Fireworks Safely Public fireworks displays are the safest way to enjoy the beautiful colors and terrific booms of this July 4th tradition, especially when you maintain a distance of at least 500 feet between you and the show. Firework displays at home can be fun though too. If you go that route, take these precautions.

  • Follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Never allow children to play with the fireworks.
  • Stock a fire extinguisher or water supply nearby.
  • Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Remove flammable materials from the area.
  • Never point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles or structures.
  • Properly dispose of duds rather than trying to relight them.

Take Precautions While Grilling

Burgers, hot dogs, fruit and pizza taste delicious when they're grilled. Grab your favorite side dishes and follow a few precautions that ensure you and your guests grill safely.

  • Always supervise the grill when it's in use.
  • Never grill indoors or in a fully enclosed area such as a garage or tent.
  • Use lighter fluid sparingly and never after the coals are ignited.
  • Keep children and pets away from the hot grill.
  • Remove flammable objects, including trees, from near the grill.
  • Use long-handled tools to handle food.

Stay Safe on the Beach

Swimming is a fun summer activity, and it's good exercise. At the beach, lake, public pool or backyard pool, stay safe with these tips.

  • Swim only in designated areas.
  • Obey the lifeguard and all posted signs.
  • Swim sober.
  • Get out of the water during a storm or if you hear thunder or see lightening.
  • Require children to wear life jackets.
  • Don't dive into shallow water.

Wear Sun Bathing Protection

Picnics are part of many July 4th celebrations. You should also take these protective measures.

  • Wear sunscreen that's at least 15 SPF.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen to your ears, hair part and the tops of your feet.
  • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two to three hours or more frequently if you're sweating.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you're not thirsty.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves if you have to be in direct sunlight.
  • Watch for signs of heat stroke, including hot, red skin, shallow breathing and rapid, weak pulse.

Your July 4th celebration will be safe when you take these steps. For more advice, talk to your health insurance agent. He or she stands ready to help you have the best birthday party ever.


Drip, Drip, Drip: Dealing With Water Damage

Author TonyScurich , 4/25/2016
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Of all Homeowners insurance losses, those from water damage are among the most common. Many people often don't consider the potential risks in their own homes until it's too late.

To minimize hazards that can cause water damage claims, we'd like to recommend these steps:

  • Check for leaks. Periodically inspect the area around the refrigerator, washer, dishwasher, water heater, sinks, and toilets for drips, puddles, and discolored, warped, or soft flooring.
  • Pay attention to your water bill. Monthly fluctuations could indicate a leak.
  • Periodically check your water pressure. Water losses often occur due to excessive water pressure. Buy a pressure gauge at your local hardware store, and hook it up to a hose bib. If it's above 65 psi, install a water pressure regulator.
  • Before you go on vacation, take precautions. If temperatures in your area could dip below freezing, make sure that any exposed pipes are insulated, turn off the water supply to individual fixtures, and turn your furnace to low so that the pipes will stay warm enough to avoid bursting.

If you need to file a claim, follow these guidelines:

  • Stop the source of the water by turning off the water main.
  • Call your insurance company immediately. Most companies have staff 24/7 to help you set appointments with contractors who can dry out your house. Your insurer will also send an adjuster to assess the damage.
  • Don't start any major repair efforts until the adjuster has been to your home!
  • Determine what was lost and document it. Even if things were ruined, don't throw them away. Keep pieces of the damaged floor or ceiling, along with any valuable personal property, such as electronics or furniture. At a minimum, take photos or video of the damage.

For more information, give us a call at any time.


Winter Driving Tips

Author TonyScurich , 12/14/2015
aquaplaning-83008_1280Any travel during winter months is risky. Storms come out of nowhere, roads become icy quickly and inexperienced drivers take unwise risks. Be prepared to stay safe on the road thanks to eight winter driving tips. 1. Check the forecast. In less than a minute, you can find out if you'll be driving in fog, snow or ice. You can also discover which roads are blocked and if you need to find an alternative route to your destination. 2. Slow down. In snowy conditions, cut your speed in half to ensure you have adequate stopping distance. Don't go so slow, though, that you lose momentum on grades. 3. Know skid recovery. Braking on slippery roads can cause your vehicle to slide instead of stop. If this happens, you need to know how to recover. Stay off the brake and steer your vehicle the way you want it to go. 4. Stay smooth at the controls. Pounding on the brake, shifting hard and even clenching the steering wheel make winter driving harder than it has to be. Instead, use smooth motions and relax as you drive. 5. Check your tires. Proper tire inflation and tread improve your vehicle's traction and ability to stay on the wet or icy roads. Check the inflation of your snow tires frequently since cold weather decreases tire pressure, and make sure the tread is at least 1/8-inch. Carry snow chains, too, if necessary. 6. Know your vehicle. Every car and truck handles differently. Before heading out in winter weather, make sure you know how your vehicle handles. Know where the windshield wipers, defrost button and four-ways are, too. 7. Pack survival supplies. If you're stranded or in an accident, you need a few supplies. Definitely store a snow shovel, sand or litter and lock de-icer in your vehicle. Consider packing a portable power source, flashlight, waterproof matches, tow rope, first aid kit, energy bars and blanket also. If you do get stranded, wait for help to arrive. 8. Stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you drowsy and reduce alertness. Drink water before you head out and carry a bottle or two with you so that you can stay alert. Winter driving can be dangerous, but follow these eight tips to stay safe. Remember to check in with your auto insurance agent, too. Update your policy as you prepare for whatever winter throws at you on the road.

When Is it Dangerously Hot to Work?

Author TonyScurich , 8/3/2015
High heat and construction work are simply not compatible. Yet, the work must get completed. Workers must wear protective clothing and gear which diminishes the body's capacity to shed heat. This fact combined with high heat creates specific exposures which require vigilant monitoring. Short-term exposures to heat and humidity:
  • Prevention: Drink plenty of water - a good test is the employee must urinate every three hours at a minimum, two hours is better. If they do not need to urinate, they are not getting adequate fluids. Wear breathable clothing such as cotton. Work in the shade or indoors as much as possible, take frequent water breaks in the shade.
  • Heat exhaustion: the stage prior to heat stroke when many symptoms from dehydration can be noticed. Any dizziness, nausea or vomiting, cramping, or sudden weakness requires immediate attention. Headaches, blurred vision or unusual fatigue can be signs of heat exhaustion. Rest the worker in the shade, loosen tight clothing and provide water. Observe the employee for several minutes. If they quit sweating or any symptom becomes worse, or they breathe rapidly or have a quick pulse, seek emergency medical help immediately.
  • Heat stroke: LIFE THREATENING. Add these to the heat exhaustion symptoms:
    • Hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, illogical behavior
    • High body temperature, red or pale skin, difficulty breathing
    • Unconsciousness or coma
Seek immediate professional help for these symptoms. Bacteria carrying insects love this weather. Lyme disease and West Nile Virus are not uncommon. Prevention includes spraying mosquito deterrent and checking for ticks. Long-term exposures include skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Common sense goes a long way to prevent over-taxing workers. If a concrete pour is scheduled for an extremely hot day, postpone. You'll spare your employees heat related discomfort, and the odds of getting the concrete in before it sets is remote at best. Remember your machine operators too. Check on them throughout the day and carefully observe their performance. Any signs of erratic behavior needs to be addressed immediately. Even air conditioned cabins can create dehydrating condition in the hot sun. If you want your crew working Friday, you need to supply plenty of water and shaded rest breaks Monday through Thursday. The body can only take so much heat.

Stay Safe While Exercising This Summer

Author TonyScurich , 7/24/2015

You might love the warm summer temperatures, but they can be dangerous when you are working out. If you are not careful, you could end up with dehydration or heatstroke. The following tips can help you keep up stay safe while you stay in good shape over the summer.

Exercise During the Cool Parts of the Day Avoid the intense heat of the noon-time sun when possible. Instead of going for a walk during your lunch break, exercise early in the morning when temperatures are lowest. Another option is to wait until the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop in the evening. If you work out before dawn or after sunset, wear reflective clothing so that car drivers can see you more easily. If you exercise during the day, use sunscreen. Stay Hydrated You can quickly become dehydrated when you exercise. To prevent dehydration, men should drink 12 8-ounce cups and women should get 8 cups of water per day. You need extra water when the weather is windy or dry. Consume an additional 2 cups of water about an hour before your workout, and drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes while you are exercising. Weigh yourself before and after your workout, and drink an additional 16 ounces, or half-liter, of water for every pound that you lost during your workout. Symptoms of mild dehydration can include thirst, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramping and muscle weakness. Stop exercising and drink some water immediately if you notice these symptoms. Adjust Your Exercise Program Be flexible with your exercise program during the summer. Water activities, such as swimming laps or taking water aerobics classes, can give you an excellent aerobic workout while you stay cool compared to participating in activities such as running or cycling. You can also adjust your workout program while maintaining a high level of fitness by lowering the intensity of your exercise sessions on hot days. Finally, you can opt for indoors workouts instead of heading outdoors. You can follow an exercise DVD in your own air-conditioned home, or go to a health club with air conditioning. There, you can run on the treadmill, use the stationary bikes or elliptical machines, lift weights, and take group fitness classes without exposing yourself to the sun. With a bit of caution, you can have fun, stay fit, and stay safe this summer.  

Protecting Your Child from Secondary Drowning

Author TonyScurich , 7/1/2015

Only one to two percent of drownings are classified as secondary or dry drownings. However, you definitely want to understand this risk and take steps to protect your kids.

What is Secondary Drowning? When someone struggles underwater and breathes in even a small amount of water, it can trigger spasms in the airway muscles. That water can also cause pulmonary embolism, or fluid build-up in the lungs. A victim of secondary drowning may walk away after struggling underwater and look or act fine. He or she could drown in his or her own fluids and suffer from brain injury or die within one to 24 hours later, though. What are the Symptoms of Secondary Drowning? A victim might show several signs of secondary drowning, including bubbling fluid around the lips, chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath, cough or extreme fatigue. Young children may not be able to verbally express to you if they experience these symptoms, however, and you may not notice them if your child is fussy or tired after a long day. That's why you need to be vigilant in looking out for signs of secondary drowning after your child experiences a struggle in the water. What is the Treatment for Secondary Drowning? Hospital staff will provide oxygen treatment or ventilation for a victim of secondary drowning. Prevention is the best treatment, though, as you:
  • Teach your kids how to swim with confidence and how to be safe in the water.
  • Supervise kids in the pool or bathtub every second.
  • Ensure all adults who supervise kids know CPR techniques for all age groups.
  • Make sure the pool is fenced in with childproof locks.
  • Seek medical treatment immediately for someone who experiences a struggle in the water, even if he or she shows no signs of secondary drowning.
Additionally, verify that your homeowners insurance is up to date. It can cover medical treatments required to save a child from secondary drowning.  

Cooking is the cause of two out of every five home fires

Author TonyScurich , 6/19/2015

cooking-fireCooking has long been and continues to be the most common cause of home structure fires and home fire-related injuries. Whether preparing for a family dinner or a quick snack, practicing safe cooking behaviors can help keep you and your family safe.

  • Never leave your range or cooktop unattended while cooking. If you have to leave the room, turn your range or cooktop off.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves. Loose clothing can hang down onto hot surfaces and can catch fire if it comes in contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and free of combustible materials. Food wrappers, oven mitts or other materials left on or near the stove may catch fire.
  • Be sure to clean up any spilled or splattered grease. Built-up grease can catch fire in the oven or on the cooktop.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher readily available. Having an extinguisher nearby is important, but you also need to have the correct type of extinguisher and know how to properly use it.
  • Never throw hot grease in the garbage as it can ignite combustible materials.Be sure to let grease cool and dispose of it in an old can, such as a metal coffee can.
  • Do not store food or other items in your oven. It can be easy to forget there is an item in your oven, and this could catch fire while preheating.

What to Do If a Cooking Fire Flares Up

By exercising caution at all times in your kitchen, you can help reduce the risk of a kitchen fire. But if a fire does flare up, you need to be prepared.

  • Your safety should always come first. If you are unsure about whether it is safe to fight the fire, leave the scene, call 911 for help, and let the fire department control the fire.
  • If a small fire flares up and you are going to attempt to extinguish it, call 911 for help first. A fire may grow out of control more quickly than you anticipate. It is safer to have help already on the way.
  • Smother a grease fire – never throw water on a grease fire. The super-heated water can change to steam, and can cause severe burns. Oil also can splash and spread the fire. If a grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid – while wearing an oven mitt – over the pan. If safe to do so, turn off the heat source. Do not move the pan, and keep the lid on until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.
  • If a fire starts in your oven, keep the door closed and turn off the heat source.Keeping the door closed will help smother the flames. Do not open the door until the flames are completely out.
  • If a fire starts in your microwave, turn off the microwave and do not open it until the fire is completely out. Unplug the microwave only if you can safely do so.

*Source: NFPA. “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment”. Marty Ahrens. 11-2013.http://www.nfpa.org/research/statistical-reports/major-causes/cooking-equipment