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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 in category Employment Resources - Employment Resources

Follow The Signs To A Safer Workplace

Author TonyScurich , 10/24/2016
Workplace safety signs and tags play a key role in helping prevent accidents to workers and visitors alike. To make the most effective use of signs and tags in your facility that comply with OSHA regulation (29 CFR 1910.145), we’d recommend that you follow these guidelines:
  • Identify all hazards throughout the workplace. In addition to obvious dangers, include those that are out of the ordinary, unexpected, or not readily apparent.
  • Select or design signs and tags. Make sure they conform to OSHA requirements and are consistent in format.
  • Use proper wording. According to OSHA, "the wording of any sign should be easily read, concise, and contain sufficient information to be easily understood."
  • Position signs carefully. Signs should be placed so that they’re easy to see and read from a distance and draw maximum attention to hazards.
  • Identify safety and fire protection equipment clearly. This includes such items as eyewash stations and safety showers, as well as fire extinguishers and hoses.
  • Employ tags properly. OSHA requires that "tags shall be used as a means to prevent accidental injury or illness to employees who are exposed to hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions, equipment, or operations.”
  • Review your program whenever new hazards are introduced. If you just put up signs and tags and forget about them, your facility probably won’t be in compliance with the OSHA regulations. Check the program frequently to make sure that it’s still doing the job.
The workplace safety professionals at our agency would be happy to help you review your signage and tag policy. Give us a call at any time.

Stress And Work Performance: The EAP Solution

Author TonyScurich , 10/14/2016
Stress, called the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization, costs American businesses up to $300 billion a year, According to “Stressed at Work,” a recent research report by Benzinger, Dupont &Associates, stress impacts work performance in nearly half (49%) of employees surveyed. Difficulties in concentration, absenteeism, and poor work quality are leading the way. Differences by gender or age can be significant.. Personal problems cause females to be absent from work more often, but males tend to miss more days of work. The frequency of disciplinary action for stress-related acts by males was almost twice as high as for women; with the 56-65 year-old age group having the highest disciplinary rates The good news: More than nine in ten employees (94%) report improved work performance following participation in an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The study recommends that companies work with their EAP in identifying and addressing the needs of workers, who are more vulnerable to stress, so they can prevent potential problems becoming serious. These programs and promotion campaigns should consider differences in gender and age. For example:
  • Managers need to pay attention to female absenteeism because it might reflect stress at home and/or at work.
  • To decrease male disciplinary actions, EAP support and wellness programs should focus on the specific needs of men in the workforce, and use promotional outreach methods that reflect male preferences for brevity (e-mail and text messages).
The more familiar you become with signs and symptoms of stress on the job, the more effective you’ll be in encouraging stressed employees to engage with EAP and workplace health programs: which means the healthier your workers are, the better your bottom line! To learn more, feel free to give us a call at any time.

Triangulating Fraud

Author TonyScurich , 9/21/2016
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Most people who commit fraud at work are not career criminals - and are often trusted staff with no criminal history. According to criminologist Donald Cressey, there are three factors (the "Fraud Triangle") that lead an ordinary person to fraud: opportunity, pressure, and rationalization.

Take this example: a bartender who splashes a little more scotch into his friends' drinks when they come into the bar is succumbing to opportunity; his peers' expectations that he'll do this create pressure; while telling himself that "everybody does this - and we're too stingy on our pours, anyway" provides a rationalization.

How can you use this three-legged tool to detect and deter fraud?

You can't do much with about rationalizing fraudulent misbehavior because everyone does it without announcing their decision in advance.

You can't learn whether employees might be under financial pressure to commit fraud without investigating their personal finances - which is impractical and illegal. However, you might be able to minimize work-based pressures they face (for example, forbidding managers from ordering them to hit their goals at all costs).

Opportunity provides the most effective leg in the triangle to curb fraud by making it more difficult. Here's how:

  1. Segregate duties so that no one has sole control over accounting, reconciling, custody of assets, and approval of transactions.
  2. Make sure that transactions which are unusual or involve large amounts have strong managerial oversight and follow-up.

In other words, develop effective control systems so that any larcenous employee will need to be clever enough to avoid several pair of eyes while running a gauntlet of people who reconcile accounts and monitor budget.

If fraud does strike despite these precautions, make sure that you have the right insurance to protect you from loss. For more information, just give us a call.


DOMA Ruling Complicates Benefits Administration

Author TonyScurich , 8/17/2016
1The Supreme Court decision (Windsor v. U.S.) legalizing more than 1,000 federal spousal benefits for same-sex couples will have a major impact on the administration of pensions and health plans for employers throughout the nation. For example, the high court's ruling overturning the benefits provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) means that surviving same-sex spouses under a defined-benefits retirement plan will now be entitled to receive survivor annuity payments. The decision's expanded definition of "marriage" will require companies that offer self-funded health benefits for married spouses to extend this coverage to same-sex couples. The sheer number of benefits under DOMA, together with variations among laws and regulations on the state level - especially in the 38 states that don't recognize same-sex marriage - will make implementing the Windsor decision a challenge for businesses that offer spousal benefits to their workers. To deal with this changing situation, we'd recommend that you:
    1. Have your attorney(s) review the benefits that you're providing to employees' spouses for compliance with the new requirements; ask for guidance from federal and state regulators.
    2. Implement the administration of new same-sex benefits (for example, amending your payroll procedures to update the federal income tax treatment of qualified benefits programs for spouses) as soon as possible - certainly by the end of this calendar year or the plan year.
    3. Provide complete documentation of the revisions to your plans.
    4. Before you communicate these changes to your employees, do your homework and be prepared to answer their questions.
As Employee Benefits specialists, we can help guide you through this process - just give us a call. 

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


11 Ways To Help Your WorkersS Manage Stress

Author TonyScurich , 5/30/2016
4 You can't eliminate the stress that your employees bring to work - but you can offer them these guidelines to help manage workplace stressors on their own:
  1. Prioritize, streamline, delegate, and discard. When facing a task, ask if it's really necessary to do immediately.
  2. Break things up. Take two - to three - minute breaks every hour and commit to doing at least one fun thing every day.
  3. Make time. Build time into your schedule for creative expression, healthy eating, moderate daily exercise, hanging out with friends, and enjoying nature.
  4. Be on time. Build in cushion time between appointments to allow for traffic and the unexpected.
  5. Send negativity flying. If a co-worker is on the warpath, visualize an airplane with an ad banner over the person's head, with each negative word floating up into the banner and out of view.
  6. Relax and watch what happens. Do mini-meditations or mindful breathing while you're between tasks or in line at the cafeteria.
  7. Get essential nutrients. Go beyond vitamins and begin to think about daylight and laughter as integral parts of your daily life.
  8. Consider what you're consuming. Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can increase stress levels.
  9. Watch your words. Don't let negative internal chatter and self-recrimination distract and demoralize you.
  10. Be kindDo something nice for a different co-worker every day until it becomes second nature to reduce stress for others.
  11. Sleep on it. Sleep deprivation a major culprit in stress is Try to get restful, restorative slumber every night, and watch your stress level decline.

More Midsized Companies Offering Wellness Incentives

Author TonyScurich , 5/20/2016
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The number of mid-market employers giving Group Health plan members incentives to participate in wellness programs has more than doubled since 2010, says a recent report by Fidelity Management and Research L.L.C.

The study found that more than three in four midsize businesses (77%) - those with fewer than 5,000 employees - offered employees monetary rewards tied to wellness activities and health management outcomes in 2011, compared with fewer than two in five (38%) that provided cash incentives in 2010. Overall, nearly nine in ten employers surveyed (86%) gave some type of incentive for wellness activities and/or outcomes in 2011, up from with 63% a year earlier.

The average value of incentives offered to employees and their dependents has also increased substantially. For the 2013 plan year, the average employee incentive value will reach $521, up from $460 in 2011; while the average incentive value for dependents will grow to $465 this year, from $390 in 2011.

Despite the rapid increase in mid-market businesses offering incentives for wellness program participation, they're still less likely than larger employers to provide these rewards. The value of incentives also remains lower among midmarket employers than those given by larger businesses. Less than half of midsize firms (45%) offered inducements for healthy behavior worth $500 or more, compared with 50% of large employers and 68% of very large employers.

"As the cost of providing health care continues to increase, employers recognize one of the key ways to manage their company's costs is to give incentives to their workforce for leading a healthier lifestyle," says Adam Stavisky, Fidelity Senior Vice President/ Benefits Consulting.

If you'd like to implement, or a revise, an incentive program to help keep your workers stay more healthy - and, thus, more productive - just let us know. We're here to help!


Online Employee Education, Anyone?

Author TonyScurich , 5/9/2016

Non-traditional voluntary employee benefits are becoming increasingly popular with workers because they address their real-world lifestyles and financial needs. If you'd like to offer your workers a benefit that can help them invest in their future, advance their careers - and make them more productive - all without costing you a dime, consider online learning programs.

According to a recent nationwide study by Harris Interactive, more than half (53%) of workers and their spouses surveyed would be at least "somewhat likely" to use educational services for themselves or their families through an employee purchase program.

While higher education has become essential to get ahead in today's high-tech world, skyrocketing costs have made it increasingly difficult for workers to afford. More than nine in ten college students have taken out loans to earn their bachelors degree - and the value of student loan debt has topped $1 trillion ($300 billion more than credit card and auto loan debts combined)!

Many employers currently offer some form of tuition assistance for the continuing education of their workers. However, online learning can provide a more affordable and convenient alternative for your employees to fund their education and that of their family members (through tutoring programs and SAT/ACT preparation programs) while learning at their own speed. Workers would pay through convenient pain-free payroll deductions, providing a responsible way to budget, together with the opportunity to graduate free of debt. What's more, the program won't burden your employee benefits budget.

To learn more about how you can offer this creative benefit to your workers, just give us a call.


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