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1 week ago · by · 0 comments

New Year Work Resolutions?

From all of us here at Scurich, we thank you for your support and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2022!

With the launch of a new year, you may resolve to improve your career and expand your skills, mentor someone or climb the corporate ladder. Have you considered workplace resolutions that improve your health? Stay strong, fit and active and succeed on the job with several resolutions.

Learn Something New

Stimulate your brain function, improve memory and stay young when you learn something new. Study a new language, take a college or professional development class or engage in a new hobby during your work breaks as you expand your mind and improve your health.

Change Your Eating Habits

Skipping breakfast, chowing on donuts in the break room and eating fast food for lunch cause you to gain weight, feel sluggish and struggle to focus at work. Resolve to make dietary changes as you improve your health. Prepare portable burritos or egg muffins for breakfast, bring nuts and fruit for snack time and pack a balanced lunch. These simple eating habit changes assist you in staying healthy at work this year.

Move More

Your body and your brain need movement to function properly. Adequate movement improves your physical health, focus and sleep, so plan to walk at least 10,000 steps per day with these tips.

  • Hold walking meetings.
  • Pace your office as you talk on the phone.
  • Stretch every 30 minutes.
  • Walk during breaks.
  • Join an intramural sports league with your coworkers.

Reduce Stress

Stress affects your motivation, productivity and morale, and it can cause health problems like headaches, obesity and depression. While you can’t remove all stress from your work day, resolve to identify unhealthy stressors and reduce those challenges. That may mean transferring to a different department, addressing problems with your boss or rethinking expectations and saying no to extra projects as you lower stress and improve your health.

Achieve Better Work-Life Balance

Productivity, creativity and problem-solving skills actually decrease as your work hours increase because your brain and body need downtime to relax and recharge. Instead of working over your lunch hour, take a walk, read a book or call a friend, and turn off your phone at home. With work-life balance, you actually relax, improve your health and perform better at work.

Get Social

Strong relationships reduce health problems, improve sleep and increase longevity, so resolve to cultivate beneficial relationships with your coworkers. As you get social and chat more, improve collaboration and spend time together during breaks, you build relationships that help you live longer.

With these work resolutions, you can get healthy this year. You may also talk to your doctor or health insurance agent to discover additional resolutions that improve your health.

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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Safety Tips for Your Indoor and Outdoor Holiday Lights

Christmas isn’t the same without lights. Strands of sparkling lights can be hazardous, though, if you forget to follow safety tips as you hang, plug in, store and enjoy these holiday essentials.

Buy lights that are safety tested. Lights without an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) tag may be unsafe to plug in and use.

Inspect lights and plug them in before hanging them. This visual assessment exposes fire hazards like cracked, loose or broken bulbs and frayed, chewed or broken cords. It also lets you replace burnt out bulbs and ensure all the bulbs are the same wattage. After repairing any problems, plug in the lights to ensure the bulbs work and the strands work properly.

Separate indoor and outdoor lights. Strands designed for indoor use should not be hung outdoors because their thin insulation is easily damaged when exposed to cold, wet outdoor conditions.

Hang lights with insulated hooks. Staples, tacks or nails can pierce the strands and cause dangerous electrical shorts and increase the fire risk.

Use extension cords properly. Plug no more than three strands of lights into each extension cord, lay rather than coil extension cords and use only outdoor certified extension cords for your outdoor lights. If the cords feel hot, unplug the lights for a while to reduce fire risk.

Turn off lights before you go to bed or leave the house. Otherwise, the hot lights could start a fire, and you will be asleep or away from home and unable to intervene.

Water the tree regularly. A dry tree and hot lights are an unsafe combination.

Store lights properly to prevent damage and simplify decorating next year. Instead of stuffing them in a box, carefully wind the light strands, secure them with twist ties and store them in plastic bags. Alternatively, wrap the strands around a paper towel tube and thread the ends through the tube’s hollow center.

Hanging lights is a fun and festive holiday tradition. With these safety tips, you have peace of mind as you enjoy your sparkling home all season.

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4 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Pros And Cons Of A Holiday Office Party

December holiday celebrations often include an obligatory office party. Before you automatically throw a holiday party for your employees, though, consider the pros and cons.

Pros of a Holiday Office Party

  • Reinforce the company culture – A fun party reminds employees that your organization prioritizes teamwork and is a fun place to work.
  • Improve employee engagement – Help employees feel included and engaged with co-workers, two factors that contribute to higher job performance and company loyalty.
  • Demonstrate the company’s health – A holiday party is one way to show employees that your company is stable, prosperous and committed to ongoing job security.
  • Thank employees – Use a holiday party to thank employees for their hard work over the last year.

Cons of a Holiday Office Party

  • Diversity could suffer – Most employees hang out with the colleagues they know during social events. That means your holiday office party probably won’t help employees mingle or build stronger relationships with colleagues they don’t know well.
  • Employees could engage in unprofessional behavior – A holiday office party is considered a workplace event, but employees may act in an unprofessional manner. They could let down their guard and drink too much, make unwanted sexual comments or advances, and otherwise act in inappropriate ways.
  • You could face liability challenges – Forcing employees to attend the holiday office party, excluding employees of a certain religion, gender or other protected status, or allowing employees to drink too much could result in a lawsuit. Even though you have commercial liability insurance, this or a similar legal challenge could affect your company into the future.
  • Productive work time decreases – The holiday party may only last a few hours, but carefully consider if your company can afford the downtime.

How to Decide if you Should Host a Party

While you can use this list of pros and cons to help you decide if you should host a holiday office party, you can also consider several additional factors.

Do employees really want a party? Despite the benefits, your employees may prefer not to attend an obligatory holiday office party.

Should you serve alcohol? To reduce liability and promote a safer party, consider giving each employee a drink ticket and hire a bartender who can monitor alcohol consumption. Or nix the alcohol and serve an interesting non-alcoholic beverage instead.

What’s the best way to show appreciation to your employees? An afternoon off, sporting event tickets or cash bonus might be a more appreciated way of demonstrating your gratitude to employees.

A holiday office party has several advantages and disadvantages. Weigh the pros and cons as you decide whether or not to host one this year.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Make the most of your Thanksgiving time off

If you’re lucky enough to have time off this Thanksgiving, make a conscious effort to get away and leave work behind. Turn off your email, let calls go to voicemail and leave projects for Monday. You deserve time away, and your family, body and work will thank you.

1. Enjoy Your Family and Friends

Whether you spend time with friends down the street or fly across the country to see your family, appreciate the time away with your loved ones. Bake cookies with your kids, go shopping with your mom or play football with your friends. Be completely present as you make memories and strengthen your relationships this holiday.

2. Relax Your Body

As your doctor will tell you, constant pressure, tension and stress from work can create long-term health consequences. Relax your body and improve your health when you take a complete break from work. Nap, exercise or just sit around and pet your dog as you reduce stress and relax your body.

3. Focus on Your Hobbies

If you can’t remember the last time you picked up your paintbrushes, tennis racket or gardening tools, now’s the time to reengage with your hobbies. You feel mentally relaxed, rested and energized after focusing your brain on fun and fulfilling hobbies and interests that aren’t related to work.

4. Set Healthy Boundaries

Feeling guilty about taking time off work is a sign that you need better work-life balance. Establish healthier boundaries and start this holiday season.

5. Refresh Your Brain

Creativity and problem solving, two essential job skills, require tons of mental energy. On vacation, give your brain a rest, recharge your energy and prep yourself for greater success once you return to work.

6. Find Your Smile

A cheerful mental attitude keeps you motivated at work, but when was the last time you smiled? Find your smile when you get away from work and enjoy a restful vacation.

7. Take Care of Business

Are you putting off a dental cleaning, car repair or garage clean up? That list clutters your mind and distracts you from doing your best at work. Spend a few hours this holiday taking care of business at home, and relieve the clutter in your mind.

This Thanksgiving, you owe it to yourself to take a break from work. Your break will help you enjoy your holiday and work smarter.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

How To Meet Your Deductible Before The End Of The Year

As the end of the year approaches, schedule time to review your medical needs. You may want to seek treatment that improves your health and allows you to meet your deductible.

Your health insurance deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance kicks in and covers your medical bills. Depending on your health insurance, you may have a low or high deductible that covers every type of medical treatment or applies to specific treatment. Call your insurance company or read your benefits paperwork to verify the deductible you owe. Your deductible will also be listed on your Explanation of Benefits (EOB).

Why Meet Your Annual Deductible

You’ll want to meet your deductible early in the year, if possible. However, it’s not too late to meet your deductible in November or December as you gain several benefits.

First, you’ll maximize your insurance coverage. After you meet your deductible, your insurance benefits will cover additional medical treatment. You pay for insurance and might as well use it.

Second, postponing important medical treatment and preventative care can increase your pain, suffering and treatment expenses. You could end up needing an even more expensive operation or extra therapy and other treatment in the future because you don’t prioritize your health now.

Finally, your deductible may rise if you switch insurance policies in January. In this case, your medical expenses will increase, so utilize your benefits and save money before your coverage switches.

How to Meet Your Deductible

Consider these ways to meet your deductible before the end of the year.

  • Order a 90-day supply of your prescription medicine.

    Spend a bit of extra money now to meet your deductible and ensure you have enough medication to start the new year off right.

  • See an out-of-network doctor.

    Now’s the time to get a second opinion or see a specialist that’s not covered in your insurance network. You’ll pay the total cost of the visit out-of-pocket, but it generally counts toward your deductible. Then, the next step in your treatment could be covered fully by your insurance.

  • Pursue alternative treatment.

    Visit a chiropractor, acupuncturist or other professional that provides alternative treatment for your health concerns. This specialist can help you discover your optimal health and reach your deductible.

  • Get your eyes examined.

    If your health insurance covers eye exams, visit the optometrist. Invest in your eye health, and purchase the new glasses or contact lenses you need.

You will save money and protect your health when you meet your annual deductible before December 31. For more information on your deductible or health benefits, reach out to your insurance agent.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Protect Your Home and Family with a Fire Emergency Plan

Roughly 374,000 fires occur in homes across the U.S. each year. Protect your home and family from being a statistic when you create a fire emergency plan.

1. Discuss Fire Safety Tips

Obviously, you want to extinguish candles, cigarettes and other open flames immediately. You also need to supervise meal prep in the kitchen to ensure nothing catches on fire. However, did you know that fabric can be flammable when it lies near the heater? Teach your family to prevent these and other fire hazards.

2. Install Smoke Detectors

To ensure everyone can safely escape a fire, place smoke detectors on every floor of your home where you can hear them day and night. Since smoke rises, place them on the ceiling or high on the walls.

3. Locate Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers need to be accessible. Place one in the kitchen under the sink or in the pantry. Other smart locations include near the entrance and exit doors and at least one on each floor. Once they’re securely attached to the wall, ensure your adult and teen family members know how to use them.

4. Choose the Exits

Your home’s layout determines where you can safely exit. In each room, choose two door or window exits that assist your family in safely escaping a house fire. If you have a second story, store an escape ladder near the window, and make sure you know how to use it properly.

5. Designate an Outdoor Meeting Spot

Whether your family meets at a neighbor’s house or a tree across the street, designate an outdoor base camp. Call 911 from this spot after everyone safely escapes the fire.

6. Practice the Plan

Even the best fire emergency plan will be ineffective if your family members don’t know what to do when a fire starts. Test the fire alarms and teach your kids what they sound like. Then, practice escaping out of the nearest exit and meeting at your designated spot.

Additionally, talk to your insurance agent and ensure you have adequate home insurance for your house and possessions. Insurance won’t prevent fires, but it will give you peace of mind.

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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

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