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10 years ago · by · 0 comments

Health and Safety Tips for Your New Year’s Eve Celebration

new-yearIn Times Square with thousands of strangers or in your living room with close friends, ring in the new year with a party. Just make sure to follow several tips that keep your New Year’s Eve celebration healthy and safe.

Drink Responsibly 

If you’re planning to drink, do not drive. Don’t let your drinking friends drive, either. Instead, choose a designated driver, hire a taxi, take public transportation or invite everyone to crash in your living room.

Go easy on the alcohol, too. Pacing yourself prevents alcohol poisoning and ensures you can pay attention to your surroundings as you act smart and stay safe.

Handle Food Safely

Appetizers, hors d’oeuvre and snacks keep the party going. Heat food adequately and refrigerate leftovers promptly, though, to prevent food poisoning. Check in with guests about possible food allergies, too, as you safely indulge in party foods.

Navigate Crowds

Whether you’re a guy or gal, grab a friend and travel in a group for safety. Keep an eye on your surroundings, never go anywhere with strangers and never leave your beverage unattended. Leave your valuables at home and hold your phone and wallet in a front pocket, too, especially if you’re headed to a crowded celebration downtown.

Drive Carefully

Winter weather can make roads slippery, particularly when you travel after dark. Drive carefully as you leave early, go slow and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. Of course, if the roads are too bad, stay home and watch the party on TV instead of going out this year.

Ban Guns and Fireworks

Stick with noise makers and sparklers if you need special effects on New Year’s Eve. Otherwise, an inexperienced user could kill or injure someone. Plus, shooting guns and fireworks could break local noise ordinances and other laws.

Ringing in the new year is a fun tradition. Use these tips to keep the party, your guests and you safe and healthy.

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10 years ago · by · 0 comments

Are Your Jewels Insured?

RingValued at $46.2 million, the Graff Pink diamond is one of the most expensive pieces of jewelry in the world. Your jewelry box might not hold anything that priceless, but you certainly want to insure your valuable or sentimental pieces, including the diamond cufflinks you wore at your wedding or your grandmother’s ruby brooch. 

1. Hire an Independent Appraiser

An independent appraiser will carefully and thoroughly inspect each piece of jewelry you own, and he or she will then determine the exact value of your works of art. Be sure to obtain a signed document that includes a detailed description and appraiser’s value for each piece. 

2. Check Your Current Insurance Policy

Most homeowner or renter insurance policies include cash value or replacement coverage for personal belongings. As long as that figure is high enough to cover everything you own, including your real jewelry, you’re set. 

3. Purchase a Rider

If your current policy does not cover your valuable gems, purchase a rider. It offers additional coverage for your precious collection. 

4. Take Pictures of all Your Pieces

The police need detailed descriptions of your jewelry if a piece is lost or stolen. Take detailed pictures of each piece to increase the likelihood of recovery.

5. Update Your Inventory Regularly

Once you’re sure your jewelry is adequately insured, mark your calendar for an annual inventory review. Add new pieces you recently purchased and remove pieces you sold or gave away to ensure your collection is completely covered. 

6. Inspect Your Jewelry

As part of your annual review; take your jewelry for an inspection. The jeweler will look for loose settings, chips or scratches. Take new pictures after any needed repairs are made. 

7. Store Your Jewelry in a Safe Place

Insurance will replace your real jewelry if it’s lost, stolen or damaged, but don’t take chances. A fireproof safe hidden in your home or a safety deposit box at the bank protects your gems, especially if you own expensive pieces that you wear only on rare occasions.

You do not want to file a claim for stolen jewelry and find out it wasn’t insured. Follow these tips and talk to your insurance agent today as you protect your valuable collection.

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10 years ago · by · 0 comments

Insurance Tips That Protect All the Priceless Holiday Presents You Receive

Christmas gift and baubles on defocused lights backgroundWhether you received valuable collectibles or heirloom jewelry, you’ll want to insure these holiday presents. Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may provide coverage for some of your new items, but anything above the existing coverage limit requires a personal articles floater. Consider specific gifts that you’ll want to insure this year.

Jewelry: Your homeowners insurance policy should cover jewelry valued at less than $2,000. However, appraised jewelry that’s more valuable will require a floater.

Furs: From a real fur jacket to a fake fur-trimmed hat, add any furs you receive to your homeowners insurance policy.

Fine Art: Paintings, sculptures, rare books, manuscripts, ornamental collectibles, glasses and antique furniture fall under the fine art category. Record these items and their value on an itemized schedule attached to your insurance policy.

Electronics: Laptops, cameras, TVs and other electronic devices, plus telescopes, video recording equipment and films, are typically included in your existing homeowners or renters insurance policy. If these items are high-end, consider a floater.

Coins or Stamps: Depending on their value, you’ll want to add a floater for new coins or stamps in your collection.

Musical Instruments: List any musical instruments, including sound equipment, on a floater.

China, Crystal or Silverware: List these items on a schedule and include the insurance coverage amount.

Sporting Goods: Bicycles, golf equipment, guns and other sporting goods fall under your existing insurance policy unless they’re collectible, rare or expensive.

Tools: Insured under your homeowners or renters policy, your new tools won’t need a floater unless they exceed the value of your existing coverage.

As with everything in your home inventory, record a detailed description, serial number, purchase date, value and picture of your new holiday presents. Store copies of this information with your insurance policy in a fireproof safe and in a secure location other than your home.

Go ahead and enjoy your new holiday presents. Just remember to check with your insurance agent to be sure they’re covered.

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10 years ago · by · 0 comments

Prevent Childhood Choking This Holiday With Six Precautions

While food is the primary cause of childhood choking, holiday decorations and other seasonal hazards can also be dangerous. If an item fits in a tube that’s one and three-quarters inches wide, a child can choke on it. As you decorate, unwrap presents and eat during holiday celebrations, take six precautions that keep your young guests safe.

  1. Hang ornaments, lights and tinsel out of reach. Shiny and inviting, these tree decorations should be kept on the upper half of the tree or placed on wreaths that are out of a toddler or young child’s reach.
  2. Remove fake berries from the table centerpieces. Kids are usually hungry, and fake berries look just like the real thing. So for safety, remove fake berries and any other artificial table centerpiece component that resembles something edible.
  3. Pick up small items like spare change, buttons and jewelry. Especially if you’re not used to having youngsters around, you may store these choking hazards in jars throughout the house or lying loose on counters. For safety, move them to a high shelf where little hands can’t reach.
  4. Give toy batteries to parents after the celebration instead of wrapping them with the gift. You don’t want kids to suck on or accidentally swallow batteries that are supposed to power their new toys.
  5. Toss wrapping paper, tape and ribbon as soon as the presents are opened. Have a trashcan handy, and use it to dispose of these choking hazards after each gift is opened.
  6. Store food out of reach. While you prep the meal, keep an eye on the serving area and table. Little ones may grab food, whether it’s bite-sized or full sized, and stuff it into their mouths. To be safe, prep a few kid-safe snacks in advance for hungry kids to enjoy between meals.

Create a choke-free holiday when you implement these six precautions. With them, everyone can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.


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10 years ago · by · 0 comments

Workers Compensation

Agriculture is big business in California and it takes a great deal of manpower to ensure that it run smoothly. Those who work in it are required to be covered by workers compensation. This includes those workers who are seasonal or migrant. Additionally, undocumented workers are also entitled to the same benefits as other workers in the agricultural industry.

The name of the employer’s claims administrator or insurer must be posted for all to see at the work site. The procedures that employees need to follow in the event that they are injured must also be posted prominently at the work site. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from retaliating against those employees who much such claims.

Uninsured Employers Trust Fund Helps Employees

Employers who choose not to follow the law and provide their employees with the required workers compensation could see their businesses hit with fines, penalties and more. Workers who are injured while on the job – and who qualify – can seek retribution from the Uninsured Employers Trust Fund. Like uninsured motorist insurance, though, this entity should not be looked on as a way to cut the costs of insuring workers.

Employers Face Penalties, Fines and More

In nearly all cases, if an employee petitions the Uninsured Employers Trust Fund for payment for damages incurred while employed with a business that does not have workers compensation or that does not have adequate coverage, this governmental agency will turn to that employer to collect the damages for the employee. Fines and penalties are almost always levied against the business. In addition, there could be jail sentences imposed against the owners of the business. Finally, the business could be stripped of any licenses and/or permits that it possess in the state of California. This move effectively shuts down the business as it will not be able to operate without the required licenses and permits.

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10 years ago · by · 0 comments

Home Insurance for the Holidays

While central California does not need to be concerned with a great deal of the adverse weather that is experienced by other areas of the country, there are still plenty of hazards that can pop up unexpectedly during the holidays. By taking a proactive approach, you can make sure that no matter what happens, you – as well as your friends and family who visit your home during the holidays – is protected.

Decorating Debacles

No matter how carefully you plan, there is always the possibility that something could go awry while you are decorating. Slips on steep basement steps to retrieve decorations, ladders that move unexpectedly and falls from roof top perches are just a few of the common issues that can put a damper on these otherwise festive weeks. Ensuring that you have the right kind of home insurance – and adequate amounts of it with a manageable deductible – can help ease the inconvenience and pain of any holiday injuries.

Protect Your Guests

As a host to your friends and family, you want to provide a safe and happy experience. Sometimes, though, things are beyond your control and accidents happen. Whether it is something like a guest who loses their grip and takes a tumble down your stairs or one that slips on a rain-slicked sidewalk, you can rest easier knowing that you have the insurance that is required to cover their expenses. Having that safety net also helps ensure that your friendship survives this unfortunate event.

Helps You Deal with Devastating Loss

The holiday season sees an alarming uptick in the number of home fires. Whether this is the result of cooking accidents in the kitchen, overloaded electrical circuits or unattended candles, you will be able to weather these incidences more easily because you have homeowner’s insurance. While starting over after a devastating fire is difficult, ensuring that you have the money to do so can provide you with a measure of comfort.

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

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

PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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