We’re number one!

April 24, 2008

Car thieves in Modesto, Calif. can proudly wave their big foam fingers once again, as the Modesto area has reclaimed the number one ranking in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual list of areas with the highest per capita rate of vehicle thefts in the U.S.

Modesto’s 5,358 auto thefts in 2007 propelled it to the top of the list, according to the NICB, a spot the region last held in 2005 before slipping to fifth in the 2006 ranking.

Following Modesto on the list was Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., slipping to second in 2007 after holding the top spot in 2006. Rounding out the top 10 were San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, Calif.; Stockton, Calif.; San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif.; Laredo, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, Ariz.; Yakima, Wash.; and Tucson, Ariz.

Among the big movers in this year’s ranking were the San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos region, leaping to the third spot in 2007’s ranking from number 11 in 2006; San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, moving up to number five in 2007 from 12 in 2006; and Laredo, making a big jump to six in 2007 from 22 the year before.

Some positive news, according to the NICB, according to preliminary FBI data, 2007 stands to be the fourth straight year of a decline in vehicle thefts nationwide, down 7.4% from 2006, according to those preliminary statistics.

On a completely different note, I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. next week in San Diego (I’ll be leaving my car at home), and I do plan to post to the blog from the conference.



Sick call

April 10, 2008

We care so much about our co-workers, we even want to share our illnesses with them. At least that seems to be one way of reading the results of a recent poll conducted by Shelton, Conn.-based work/life benefits company LifeCare Inc.

The online poll of employees at LifeCare’s 1,500 client organizations asked “When you go to work sick, what is the main reason?” It found 29% of those responding saying they went to work sick because they didn’t want to let down colleagues who depend on them.

Another 26% said they went to work sick because the politics or culture of their office made it too risky to take time off, while 15% said they were too busy to stay home. Many respondents indicated they’re trying to save their time off, 12% saying they were saving the days for childcare/eldercare emergencies and 8% saying they were saving the days for vacation time. That latter group makes the most sense to me–who wants to waste time off being sick?

Of those polled, 7% said they don’t work when they’re sick. Ah, the sensible 7%, willing to take a chance on letting down co-workers for a day or two rather than exposing them to their illness.

This year’s top reason for going to work sick was a change from the results when LifeCare asked the same question in 2006 and 2007, when “too risky to take time off” was the top response. Interestingly, LifeCare notes that the percentage saying they don’t work when they’re sick has stayed fairly consistent each year in that 6% to 7% range.