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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Hiring Teens this summer – when it eventually gets here?

Teenagers can be a valuable asset to your company. In addition to their youthful energy, teens bring their fresh perspectives and financial incentives to the table. Before you hire teens, consider these and other benefits that help you decide if teen employees are a good fit for your company.

Meet Seasonal Demand

When is your company’s busy season? Hire teens to help carry the load. They’re often eager to make extra money and can work flexible hours as they fill in where you need them and help you meet deadlines.

Gain a Tax Credit

Depending on where you live, you might qualify for a tax credit because you hire teens. You also may receive a tax break if you hire your teenage children to work for you.

Pay Fewer Benefits

Many eager teens willingly work for lower pay and fewer benefits than older employees, making them financially attractive for your company. You can even follow a Labor Department loophole that allows companies to pay workers under 20 years of age a subminimum wage of $4.25 an hour for the first 90 consecutive days of their employment.

Follow Teen Employment Law

Despite the financial savings, hiring teens does require you to follow protective federal and state laws. Check with your attorney for the details, but in general:

  • Teens must be older than 14 to work in non-agricultural jobs.
  • Teens who are 14 or 15 must work less than three hours a day, no more than 18 hours a week and no later than 7 PM while school is in session. In the summer months and on school holidays, they may work eight hours a day, 40 hours a week and no later than 9 PM.
  • Teens who are 16 or 17 may work unlimited hours at a non-hazardous job.

Your company can benefit from teen employees. Simply follow the laws and enjoy the benefits of your young hires.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

12 Steps to navigating a busy parking lot : Parking Safety

When it comes to workplace safety, especially in big cities, have you thought about the company parking lot or garage? Your co-workers use it at least twice a day to stow and shelter their vehicles, but beyond that it’s fairly invisible. A closer look reveals that predators might easily be lurking there.

To minimize this threat, experts recommend ensuring that workers (as well as visitors) take these precautions:

  1. Stay alert for cruising vehicles, whose drivers can stop suddenly and jump out to rob or assault you.
  2. If you’re using a parking lot, park near the building in a visible, lighted area.
  3. In a parking garage, park near the parking attendant (if there is one) or near a well-lit exit. Women should avoid using stairs and elevators, if possible.
  4. Use the main exit/entrance rather than a side or secluded one.
  5. Lock any valuables (including GPS, shopping, other bags, etc.) out of sight. If you’re walking to your vehicle after hours, ask a co-worker or security officer to accompany you.
  6. If you have to walk alone, ask someone to watch from inside, if possible. Turn around frequently to make sure you’re not being followed and pretend that you’re waving to someone ahead to give the impression you’re not alone.
  7. Don’t talk on your cellphone or listen to music with ear pods — predators are looking for victims who seem distracted or unaware.
  8. Have your car keys and personal alarm or whistle ready as you approach your vehicle.
  9. If someone nearby looks suspicious, keep walking and get to a safe place where you can call for help.
  10. Before you unlock the door, take a good look around, inside, and behind the vehicle.
  11. Once you enter the vehicle, lock all doors promptly and keep your windows up until you’ve exited the lot or garage.

Be safe.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Studies show that pets can help you live longer

Your life insurance policy provides financially for your family, but you obviously want to live as long as possible. Pet ownership can help you achieve that goal.

Improve Heart Health

Your blood pressure and cholesterol could drop when you own a pet. Care for a cat, and your heart attack risk could drop by one-third. With these benefits, you improve your heart health and may prolong your life.

Reduce Obesity

Obesity remains a top health concern because it can cause heart disease, diabetes and other health concerns. Your pet could help you maintain a healthy weight as you walk it, spend time cleaning its cage and perform other pet-related tasks each day.

Move More

Because your pet likes to exercise, you will move, too. Whether you walk your dog outdoors, play ball with your cat or chase your goat around the barn, the movement helps you reach your daily exercise goals and stay active. Plus, exercise boosts your immunity, decreases anxiety and improves your overall mood.

Decrease Stress

Erase the effects of a bad day when you spend time with your pet. A friendly greeting and social interaction can decrease your cortisol level and calm your nervous system.

Improve Immunity

Your body can fight off germs and illness thanks to your pet. As you laugh with your pet and groom it, your immunity gets a boost, and your body produces antibodies that fight germs.

Detect Illness

Trained dogs can detect epilepsy, certain cancers and other illnesses in their owners. You can rely on your pet to provide an alert that allows you to seek medical help right away and address ongoing health problems.

Receive Disability Support

If you suffer from a disability, a pet can offer life-saving support. Use your seeing eye dog or another pet to improve your mobility and mental health.

Gain a Purpose

Feeding, walking and caring for your pet gets you out of bed each day. With a purpose, you’re more likely to avoid depression and choose to stay active and engaged in your life.

Cope With Trauma

If you face a serious illness or other trauma, turn to your pet for support. Your furry friend will listen to you, love you unconditionally and remain loyal throughout the ordeal.

Alternatives to Pet Ownership

Pet ownership improves your health. However, you may not want the financial or time obligations that accompany pet ownership. In this case, volunteer at an animal shelter, pet sit for friends or walk dogs after work.

Pet ownership can help you live longer. Whether you adopt a dog, cat, fish or snake, consider adding a pet to your home as you improve your health and quality of life.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring cleaning does more than remove dirt and grime left over from winter. It also protects your house and reduces maintenance costs. So, try four spring cleaning tips this season as you cleanse your home.

1. Wash walls, windows and baseboards.

Often overlooked during weekly cleaning, the walls, windows and baseboards of your home harbor plenty of dirt and dust. Wash them at least once a year to ensure they look nice and to protect their finish.

*Move the furniture away from the walls, and wipe down the walls with a slightly damp cloth or magic eraser.
*The baseboards are also easy to wash off with a damp cloth. A toothbrush reaches into all the crevices.
*Use vinegar on the windows instead of glass cleaner to cut through accumulated dirt and prevent streaks.

2. Scrub the carpet.

Accumulated dirt, pet dander and odors can quickly ruin your carpets. Instead of merely running the vacuum each week, deep clean the carpets at least once a year. You can easily rent a carpet cleaner and do the job yourself or hire a professional cleaner as you prolong the life of your floors.

3. Care for furniture.

Modern or antique, your furniture will last longer when it’s free from dirt. Take time this spring to wipe off each piece from top to bottom. Use a soft cloth on wood to prevent scratches, and remember to spot treat dirty upholstery, flip the cushions and repair any tears or holes in the fabric.

4. Reduce clutter.

In addition to attracting pests and rodents, clutter reduces your ability to exit your home in an emergency. Commit to tossing or donating clutter like piles of books, excess furniture or anything you haven’t used in six months. Your home will thank you.

With these four spring cleaning tips, you’re able to reduce maintenance costs over time. So, look forward to protecting your home this season.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Cutting costs without cutting corners, now that the new tax year has begun!

The craftsman’s motto, “measure twice, cut once” is a sort of microcosm of everything you need to know in order to bring projects in on time and under budget. Cutting corners, taking shortcuts, neglecting necessary expenses, that might help you save time and money in the short run, but best case scenario, it’s going to wind up costing you more in labor and budget to redo it later on. Worst case scenario, you build a faulty home that collapses in the first year, if it manages to pass inspection in the first place, and then nobody ever hires you again.

The first thing to go when people take shortcuts tends to be safety. A rush job makes for an unsafe work environment, and results in an unsafe living environment. No matter how much time and money you save on the job, it’s no good if you wind up paying it back in legal fees and time spent in the court room.

So how do you save time and money without taking dangerous shortcuts?

Be Pragmatic When Buying Tools And Materials

Simply put: there’s not much that a $200 hammer can do that a $10 hammer cannot. Don’t cut costs on quality, but shop around, and don’t overspend on fancy tools and materials that you don’t need.

Overestimate All Costs

If you promise your client that you’ll have the addition done in a week, and then a nasty thunderstorm hits on day seven, you’re going to wind up trying to finish up the roof in the middle of a heavy downpour. Promise a two week turnaround on the same project, and the client will be delighted to see the project finished six days early. Don’t make “best case scenario” promises. As they say, plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Pay A Little More For Experience When You Need To

A $12-a-hour lackey might be able to install a kitchen sink if you give him the whole weekend to do it. A $30-an-hour professional plumber might be able to get the same sink installed in an afternoon. Saving money often means spending a little more now so you can spend considerably less in the long run.

Don’t Over-commit Yourself

You’re going to burn through a lot of gas and a lot of daylight if you’re running three jobs at a time and driving all over town to get to them. If client #2 can’t wait a few days for you to finish up a job for client #1, they’re probably a pain in the neck to do business with anyways.
It all comes down to common sense, really: Pace yourself, set realistic goals, spend wisely, and always put safety first.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

15 Risk Mitigation Tips for Airbnb Hosts

Property owners have a unique opportunity to efficiently rent out their entire home, a spare bedroom or other accommodation through the online service known as Airbnb. For travellers, Airbnb is convenient, web-based platform that provides affordable and flexible alternatives to hotels. For property owners, the tool easily connects various rental units with prospective occupants and makes collecting payments simple and secure.

Despite it’s convenience and the potential for profit, Airbnb is not without its risks for those who decide to list. Before renting out your home or spare room through Airbnb, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Acquire the proper insurance.
    Proper insurance is key to mitigating the risks associated with Airbnb. Take the time to review your renters or homeowners policy to make sure you have adequate coverage in place.
  • Complete a home safety inspection.
    Safety inspections can help Airbnb hosts address risks before they balloon into bigger issues. Before listing your property on Airbnb, complete a through home inspection and address all of the safety hazards you identify.
  • Screen all guests.
    Prior to allowing guests to stay in your home, it’s a good idea to check their background. To begin, ensure that prospective guests are verified through Airbnb. You can also review any connected social media accounts and read guest references through the site. Above all, trust your instincts.
  • Set clear rules.
    Through Airbnb, you can create guidelines for guests by completing the House Rules, Home Safety Card and House Manual sections of your profile. This allows you to set clear rules for guests around etiquette and safety.
  • Establish occupancy limits.
    Limiting the number of occupants that can use your property will help ensure that guests are comfortable and safe during their stay. Occupancy limits should take into account the size of the property and local regulations.
  • Add a security deposit.
    Adding a security deposit to your Airbnb listing can lessen the financial blow in the event of damaged property or another incident.
  • Secure your valuables.
    When you open your home to guests, there’s the potential that valuables could be damaged or stolen. To protect expensive items, consider moving them into a safety deposit box or to a secure off-site location.
  • Protect sensitive information.
    Your property isn’t the only thing you need to worry about when inviting guests into your home. To help prevent identity theft, make sure that guests cannot gain access to any files (physical or electronic) that contain sensitive personal information.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    Safety equipment like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed around the premises to protect guests and your property. Emergency exists should be property labeled as well.
  • Child-proof your premises.
    It’s likely that some of your guests will have children. To protect younger guests, take the time to properly child-proof your home.
  • Keep your accommodations maintained.
    Good housekeeping can help guests avoid common injuries such as slips and falls. Prior to each stay, examine your home for any new housekeeping issues that must be addressed.
  • Provide contact information.
    Always supply your guests with information sheets that indicate local emergency numbers and the nearest hospital. Provide a clear emergency contact number for yourself, as well as back up, for easy guest reference. Also make clear how you should be contacted if the guest has questions or issues arise.
  • Supply a first-aid kit.
    In addition to providing emergency contact information, having a first-aid kit readily available and fully stocked at all times is important to guest safety.
  • Verify compliance with regulations.
    Regulations around Airbnb hosting can differ depending on your location and the type of accommodation you are renting out. Double-check that you are compliant with local and state laws before using Airbnb.
  • Notify those who could be impacted by your guests.
    When you host guests through Airbnb, there is the potential that neighbors or roommates could be impacted. To avoid unnecessary conflict, let your neighbors or roommates know ahead of time that guests will be using your property.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

Contact details

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Info@ScurichInsurance.com

(831) 661-5697

Available 8:30am - 5:00pm