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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Avoid Eyestrain From Daily Computer Use

With more people working remotely and spending the entire day looking at computers and phones, they are at risk for eyestrain.

We recommend that they follow these basic precautions.

  • Look away from the monitor for 30 seconds, every 15 or 20 minutes. Look at or scan things at least 20 feet away to allow your eyes to focus in a rest position.
  • Reposition the monitor 20” to 26” from your eyes (roughly the distance from your eyes to the end of your index finger with arm outstretched). Otherwise, you’ll be forced to sit or lean too close to the screen, or sit too far away. If your eyeglass prescription doesn’t allow clear vision at the 20” to 26” range, get it adjusted.
  • Reset monitor height so that the top edge is even with your view when looking straight ahead. Then tilt the screen upward so that you’re not looking at the image at an angle. The optimal screen position is 10 to 20 degrees below eye level.
  • Reset the monitor screen resolution, the Internet browser text size, and the zoom and font default in the operating system and in software applications so that text is easy to read. Start with a screen resolution of 800×600 for older CRT monitors and 1024×768 or higher for LCD (flat screen) monitors. Set the monitor refresh rate at or above 75 hertz (Hz) on older CRT models. Refresh rate is irrelevant for LCD monitors and is factory set, usually 60 Hz.
  • Blink often (put a sticky note on your monitor!). The average blink rate is 22 times per minute. The rate goes down to seven per minute when looking at a monitor – which causes the eye lens to dry out. If you can’t get into the habit of blinking more often, use an eye moistener (saline solution).
  • Relax your eye muscles. Put the palm of your hands over your eyes for a minute or so, once every half hour. This warms the muscles around the eyes, relaxing them.
  • Minimize glare. Make sure the background light level around the monitor is about the same as the screen light level. Minimize direct sunlight or bright lights in front of the monitor or directly behind it.
  • Adjust the contrast and brightness to levels you use when reading a book comfortably. A bright screen causes eyestrain.
  • Use a paper holder to hold documents. Put the document at the same level as the monitor, or attach it to the monitor. This prevents repetitive neck and eye movement from paper to screen.

 

 

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Insurance Terms – What Is An Act Of God?

In legal terms, an act of God isn’t, in fact, a religious experience. Well, that’s not to say that an act of God couldn’t be a religious experience, it’s just that that’s not inherent in the legal definition of the term. An act of God essentially comes down to the unforeseen and the unpreventable. You can reduce the likelihood of accidents on the job site by making sure that you don’t allow any drinking, fighting or general carelessness on site, you can reduce the likelihood of accidents on the road through proper auto maintenance, but you can’t prevent a flood or an earthquake no matter how many safety courses you attend.

Acts of God will exempt a party from strict liability and from negligence in common law. Many building contracts have a provision allowing for acts of God to excuse unexpected delays in a project’s completion. However, damages and delays owing to a natural disaster may be disputed as acts of God in some circumstance.

The key word is “unforeseeable.” If someone falls off of a scaffolding and spends the next four weeks in a cast because of an earthquake, then that will usually be chalked up to an act of God. If they saw a storm coming in, decided to keep working, and then got struck by lightning, then the “act of God” claim may be contested.

“Act of God” is sort of a liability free-pass card, exempting you from responsibility for things that you couldn’t possibly have predicted. There are a few steps that you can take to ensure that there is no gray area, no room for doubt when you need to lean on this legal term:

  1. Keep tabs on the weather. Don’t assume, for instance, that a storm “isn’t going to be as bad as they say.” It might not be so bad, but do you want to bet your career on it?
  2. Keep all of your safety equipment in tip top shape. You don’t want to give people any wiggle room to say that that safety harness would have snapped eventually with or without the earthquake.
  3. This goes for your vehicles, as well. It’s hard to claim a small flood as an “act of God” when your truck was the only one slipping and sliding across the road.

An act of God can be a godsend when it comes to liability, but things have to line up correctly.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Safety tips as we take to the roadways in record numbers (post pandemic).

As Americans take to the roadways in record numbers (post pandemic), here are some safety pointers that may be useful to you and your loved ones.

In your vehicle, it’s easy to feel like you’re secluded from everyone else on the road. Your vehicle is one of many on the road, though. Above all else, you must always prioritize safety and use these etiquette tips.

Obey the Rules of the Road

Every rule of the road applies to you, so obey the speed limit and stop, yield and merge signs. Your agenda is never more important than safety.

Be Considerate

You share the road with other drivers, bikers and walkers, so be considerate. Give other drivers the right of way, let other drivers pass if they’re in a hurry and yield to pedestrians. Don’t demand your own way or give into road rage. Show consideration and make the commute safer for everyone.

Take Turns

When the road narrows from two lanes to one or traffic slows for an accident, take turns merging. It’s better to let someone go in front of you than to cause a pileup.

Turn on Your Headlights

Your vehicle’s headlights allow you to see clearly as you drive at night or in certain types of weather. Remember to turn off your high beams when another car approaches. Also, don’t use your headlights as aggression toward another driver.

Use Your Horn Sparingly

The horn in your vehicle is designed to alert other drivers of dangers. In certain occasions, it’s appropriate to honk your horn, but use it sparingly and remember that laying on the horn is poor manners and a sign of aggression.

It’s appropriate to lightly beep your horn when:

  • The light turns green and the driver in front of you is distracted
  • It’s the other driver’s turn at the intersection
  • Another driver is ready to cut you off because you’re in their blind spot

Do not use your horn to:

  • Scold drivers who are speeding or being unsafe in other ways
  • Vent your frustrations

Respect Emergency Vehicles

Ambulances, fire trucks and police cars also use the roadways. When you see flashing lights, slow down and pull off to the right side of the road. Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and then merge back into traffic.

Pull Off the Road if You’re in a Fender Bender

Minor fender benders do occasionally happen. Instead of stopping your vehicle in the middle of the road, pull off the road safely to assess damage and discuss the next step, which may include exchanging insurance information, with the other driver.

Report Emergencies

When you pass a vehicle with its emergency lights on, stop and offer assistance. You can also call 911.

Etiquette goes a long way toward maintaining roadway safety for everyone. Share the road, remain calm and use your manners as you drive safely.

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6 months ago · by · 0 comments

Is Your Vehicle Ready for Spring Break Travel?

Now that winters’ over (and Pandemic restrictions are easing), you’re probably ready to take a break and hit the open road.

Is your vehicle ready for spring break travel? It will be when you follow this checklist of six helpful tips.

1. Fill the Fluids

Windshield wiper fluid, coolant, oil and transmission fluid deplete quickly over winter. Fill them to the recommended level for your vehicle as you prepare the engine to operate properly in warmer weather.

2. Check the Tires

After carrying your vehicle over rough winter roads, your tires need some tender loving care. Check the tread and make sure it’s sufficient to handle the wet roads you’ll encounter this spring. Then inflate the tires to the proper pressure as recommended for your specific vehicle. Consider a wheel alignment,
too, as you ensure your tires are ready to work hard all season.

3. Replace the Wiper Blades

The wiper blades work extra hard all winter as they remove ice and snow from your windshield. Protect your view and safety when you replace the wiper
blades.

4. Wash the Exterior

Salt and grime build up on your vehicle’s exterior and can cause corrosion, rust and damage. Wash off winter dirt with a high-powered hose at home or at
the car wash. Reach the underbody, lower doors, roof and all exterior surfaces.

5. Clean Out the Interior

Food wrappers, mud and a dirty windshield create an untidy interior. Plus, salt residue can destroy the fabric on your vehicle’s floors and seats. Grab a trash
can, steam cleaner and wash cloth as you clean out the inside of your vehicle
this season.

6. Update Your Auto Insurance

Insurance requirements don’t change with the seasons, but double check your coverage as part of your prep for spring break travel. Make sure your coverage
meets your needs and renew your policy if necessary. With the right insurance coverage, you have peace of mind wherever the road takes you.

Where are you traveling this spring? Make sure your vehicle is ready when you follow these six tips.

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6 months ago · by · 0 comments

2020 Unemployment Benefits Tax Exclusion

If you received Unemployment in 2020, then this will be good news. President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 on Thursday March 11th 2021.

The COVID relief bill provides a tax break on unemployment benefits received in 2020, up to $10,200.

If you have filed 2020 taxes already,  you are instructed to wait for further instructions before filing an amended return.

Read more at the IRS website.

 

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6 months ago · by · 0 comments

Property Owners Definitely Do, But Do Renters Really Need An Umbrella Policy?

Umbrella insurance protects insureds from financial devastation. It’s a common policy homeowners purchase because it protects their home and other assets when an insurance claim exceeds existing homeowners or auto insurance policy limits. However, it could be a smart investment for renters, too. 

It Supplements Existing Liability Protection

Typically, basic liability protection only includes $100,000 in coverage. An umbrella policy can offer $1 million or more in additional coverage. Both types of coverage offer financial protection and peace of mind.

It’s Inexpensive

For $1 million in liability protection, renters could pay as little as $300 a year. Claude Lilly, Clemson University College of Business and Behavioral Science dean, also reminds renters that an addition million may only cost $100 more. This inexpensive investment protects a renter’s possessions, auto and other assets as it gives the insured peace of mind.

It Complements Exposures

The hobbies a renter enjoys can make an umbrella policy a necessity. For instance, the renter’s dog bites a contractor or guest, resulting in thousands of dollars in medical expenses and an expensive lawsuit. The umbrella coverage kicks in after the basic renter’s insurance policy funds are exhausted, and it provides the financial protection the renter needs.

Likewise, owning a swimming pool, hunting as a hobby or playing golf can each be fun activities, but they also have the potential to turn into expensive lawsuits. Renters should invest in an umbrella policy that covers expenses associated with a claim or liability related to the exposures they enjoy.

Consider Net Worth

Each renter can decide how much umbrella insurance to purchase. Overall, the renter’s current assets and net worth determine the basic coverage amount.

Buy Based on Future Earnings

A renter who’s found liable for an auto accident could face wage garnishment. Purchasing an umbrella policy that takes future earnings into account ensures the renter is adequately covered and can pay the judgment without losing his or her home and other assets.

Remember Slander, Libel and Invasion of Privacy Protection

Umbrella coverage does more than protect financial assets after an accident or lawsuit. It also protects renters who are victims of slander, libel or privacy invasion. The protection an umbrella policy offers against these challenges makes it a wise investment.

Overall, umbrella insurance provides beneficial coverage for every consumer, including renters. An insurance agent can offer additional counsel and advice regarding how much umbrella insurance to purchase.

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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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(831) 661-5697

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