We’ve Got The Heart To Help, And Love Giving Back

Working with you at schools, higher ed campuses, law enforcement offices, fire stations and hospitals provides us many opportunities to give back. Staff members at our Service Centers, Home Office and our Partner Relations team live in your communities, and we all pitch in to help with various fundraisers and recognition events.

We recently celebrated the extraordinary care that nurses give to others with $1,000 Nurse’s Night Out awards that went to Ohio RN Marie C. and Oregon RN Dina D. Both are members of their respective nurses associations. With holiday shopping and travel, both nurses said the money comes at a great time.

Marie (second from left) receiving her Nurse’s Night Out award

 

Dina (center) receiving her Nurse’s Night Out award

 

Our Illinois Field Marketing Manager, Katie Dunn, was given a great honor this fall by the Illinois Firefighters Association. As a token of appreciation for all the dedication she has shown to IFA and their members’ safety, they presented Katie with a white helmet naming her an honorary fire chief of the IFA. “Katie is always there to support the IFA in its efforts to make the fire service better for the men and women who wear the uniform,” remarked Terry Ford, VP of the IFA. “Her tireless energy, dedication and willingness to help with IFA programs and events demonstrate her caring for our members.”

Alina with Louis Manzione, President of the Independent College Fund of New Jersey

Another prestigious honor was given to Accounts Relations Manager Alina Fayerman. Alina works incredibly hard for the New Jersey groups that California Casualty serves and was named this fall to the Board of Trustees of the Independent College Fund of New Jersey. Alina, who received a scholarship from the fund when she attended Drew University, will actively give back by helping with marketing expertise and support for the state’s independent colleges and universities.

California Casualty employees also participated in charity events, giving back to their communities. One was the very moving “Out of the Darkness” walk to prevent suicide. California Casualty Senior Field Marketing Manager, Sherry Hanacek, joined hundreds of people on a drizzly, cold September morning. She was supporting past president of the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association Dave Butler and his wife, Anita, who suffered the loss of their son. Dave organized the walk, which raised more than $20,000 for the cause.

At our Colorado Springs Service Center, the November fundraiser was for Silver Key Senior Services. Every day can be difficult for elderly shut-ins, but the holidays can be especially tough.  Hundreds of pounds of food, kitchen necessities, and personal care items (enough to fill a pickup truck) were collected and donated to help seniors in need. The donations will supplement Silver Key’s food pantry and home-delivered meals program.

And through our many visits to schools across the nation, we created a new Music and Arts Grant program to aid creativity in schools, such as choir, band, dance, film, theater, computer arts and graphics, or any K-12 curriculum that employs art for learning. After we reviewed nearly a thousand applications, 139 public schools in 31 states received a total of $34,000 to help provide music, instruments, and art and performance necessities. Some of those included:

  • Purchasing special adaptive instruments for the Special Education Center at Mark Twain School in Garden Grove, CA, that serves special needs and medically fragile students
  • Supplying watercolor sets for third-grade students at Homer Davis Elementary School in Tucson, AZ
  • Reestablishing the art program to third graders at Arcadia Elementary School in Deer Park, WA
  • Providing adaptive instruments and technology to expand the music therapy program for students at the ACES Village School in North Haven, CT
  • Buying an additional camera to allow more students to participate in the photography program at Filer High School in Filer, ID

The entire list of Music and Arts grantees can be found at www.calcas.com/-/2019-music-and-arts-grant-recipients.

Public K-12 schools needing funding for an arts or performance program can apply for the 2020 Music and Arts Grant from California Casualty at www.calcasmusicartsgrant.com.

TAKEAWAY: Follow the many ways California Casualty celebrates all that you do at our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCasualty.

 

Ways to Protect Your ID When Shopping Online

Ways to Protect Your ID When Shopping Online

Many of us will be using smartphones and laptops for our holiday shopping. While it may be more convenient than a drive to the mall, going online presents dangers to your credit and personal data. Cyber-crooks are lurking, just waiting for a slip-up to steal your identity and get into your bank and credit card accounts. As you tap in and surf for deals, be cautious about where you go and the information you give others. It’s estimated that one-in-five Americans have been a victim of identity theft, and 43% of those had their identity stolen while shopping online during the holidays.

Be Secure

It’s more important than ever that you protect your personal information. Here are some important internet shopping safety tips to remember:

    • Don’t open suspicious or unsolicited emails that can often take you to dangerous sites
    • Shop with familiar companies, looking for the secure “https” in the URL (“S” indicating it is a secure site), and beware of copycat sites with slight misspellings
    • Use strong, unique passwords for online accounts
    • Avoid using debit cards and pay with a credit card for online shopping (credit cards offer the most fraud protection)
    • Refrain from shopping or banking while using free or public Wi-Fi
    • Be aware of fake charity, pet adoption and lonely-hearts solicitations
    • Check your credit card, bank and other accounts often for suspicious or fraudulent charges
    • Never send a gift card for payment (a trick many crooks use)

If you are planning on giving to a charity, you also need to take your time and do research to make sure your donation goes to a good cause. Scammers know that people’s good hearts make them easy targets for rip-offs. Remember to:

    • Be skeptical of email solicitations from charities you have never heard of or supported before
    • Avoid giving to any organization requesting gift cards, wiring money, or transferring funds to an overseas bank
    • Realize that many social media donation sites may not be legitimate
    • Seek out each charity’s authorized website (crooks often use sound-a-like sites and misspellings)
    • Check the legitimacy of charities through sites such as the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator and GuideStar

Resolution

If you suspect that you have been an ID theft victim, the Federal Trade Commission recommends:

    • Placing a freeze on your credit report (locking down your credit to anyone)
    • Placing a fraud alert (protecting your credit from unverified sources) with one of the three nationwide credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion)
    • Filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

Find more ID theft protection information https://mycalcas.com/?s=cyber+crooks.

TAKEAWAY:

One of the many benefits that California Casualty offers with every auto and home/renters policy is free ID theft resolution services from CyberScout. Learn more at www.calcas.com/identity-theft or call 1.800.800.9410, option 3 to learn more.

 

Here’s Free Help If You’re a Victim of ID Theft

Here’s Free Help If You’re a Victim of ID Theft

When you purchased a California Casualty insurance policy, you received a valuable gift – free help if you are ever a victim of identity theft.

We realize that almost every stage of your life-journey can put you at risk for ID theft. From getting married, purchasing a new home, going to the hospital or registering children for school, your personal information can be grabbed by identity thieves and fraudsters.

When your personal identity has been taken, it takes an emotional toll and can cost thousands of dollars and many hours to resolve. The sooner you react, the sooner you can start regaining your good name and re-establishing your credit.

Having a trusted company walking with you can make all the difference. That’s why California Casualty offers free ID theft resolution services from CyberScout.

CyberScout is the nation’s premier provider of identity services, providing these services (and more):

  • Tax fraud support
  • Financial identity theft
  • Utility identity theft
  • Payday loan identity theft
  • Document replacement and break-in theft support
  • Travel identity theft
  • Child identity theft

California Casualty started offering the ID theft resolution services offered by CyberScout in 2006. At that time, few companies offered this type of help to customers, and many of those who did charge a fee. California Casualty wanted to make certain that all customers would receive identity theft resolution services at no charge and to make the process as simple as possible. Customers simply call the toll-free number for California Casualty, where a Customer Service representative verifies their policy and transfers them to CyberScout. CyberScout assigns a personal fraud specialist who works with our customers until the fraud problem is resolved. That means you have unlimited one-on-one access to a dedicated fraud specialist who will assist you in understanding credit reports, gathering evidence against the fraudsters, working to limit damages, and following up to make sure the problem has been cleared up.

With insurance from California Casualty, if you or a loved one’s personal information is compromised, you can rest assured that a CyberScout fraud specialist will get in the trenches to help speed the recovery process – placing fraud alerts, contacting creditors and sticking with you as long as it takes to restore your good credit.

CyberScout has actively helped 17 million households across the world with data theft resolution and education. Their testimonials say it all:

“We are very pleased with the help received after our credit cards and ATM card were compromised. We feel more secure after our CyberScout advisor’s help and advice.”

“My fraud investigator was an angel. She answered all my questions, assisted with calls and letters to retailers, assisted with a seven-year credit freeze and followed up with all closed accounts. She is truly knowledgeable, friendly and compassionate.”

If you fear you have been a victim of identity theft or an account takeover, you can take solace that you have the expertise of CyberScout, provided by California Casualty, to help you battle the criminals and restore your peace of mind.

TAKEAWAY:

Learn more about the FREE identity theft protection from CyberScout that comes with your insurance policies from California Casualty at www.calcas.com/Identity-Theft, or contact a customer care specialist at 1.800.800.9410 option 3.

How We’re Listening and Learning From You

How We’re Listening and Learning From You

Your satisfaction is very important to us. We want to work better for you, and we’re asking you to help us accomplish that goal.

For years, we have been measuring your customer service experience, and you have repeatedly given our Customer Service team a 99% satisfaction rating. The Service team celebrates when you tell us that we are meeting your expectations. When you say that we didn’t, they have reviewed their procedures, resulting in new programs, such as our call-back option to avoid long hold times during high call volumes, along with more online opportunities to manage your policies.

You’ve also aided our Claims department, which has implemented new technology to accentuate your customer experience. A major improvement has been the new electronic transfer of funds, providing customers much quicker financial assistance when there is a claim.

We feel it’s crucial that we maintain that level of service, and your insight is invaluable. That’s why California Casualty offers ongoing surveys to customers like you. What you think about what we are doing right, and where we fall short, makes a difference. All the feedback you provide is added to our Net Promoter Score.

The Net Promoter Score helps us stay focused on what you think is important. We review and share your open-ended comments with all levels of the company. You give us a benchmark of what we do right over time, and your constructive criticism helps effect change that benefits customers.

So far, we have completed 15 Net Promoter Score surveys.

“While the trend in the score over time gives some directional information, the real value of the survey is the specific written comments we receive. These highlight the things that we do well, but also show some of the interactions where we could have improved,” said California Casualty CEO and President, Joe Volponi.

Many of those sentiments from the Net Promoter Score are echoed in California Casualty’s Trustpilot reviews. Free and open to all, Trustpilot is considered the most powerful review platform with a mission of bringing people and companies together to create ever-improving experiences for everyone. Trustpilot has recorded more than 71 million reviews, connecting consumers to businesses and improving business engagement and collaboration with consumers.

Your 1,456 reviews of California Casualty on Trustpilot have provided us a real-time measure of what you are thinking. While a majority have been positive, others have assisted us in fixing areas where we fell short in giving you the ultimate customer experience. We invite you to read our Trustpilot reviews and give one of your own at www.trustpilot.com/reviews/calcas.com.

While more than 90% of you have told us that you would recommend California Casualty to family members or colleagues, we still are not satisfied.

We have recently added new ways to measure how we are living up to our promise to give you a great customer experience.

We are now asking you to take a short survey after talking with a Customer Service advisor, determining if we resolved your issue and if you would refer us to others. We are also asking anyone who contacts our Sales team if they were satisfied and if we met their expectations.

If you took part in one of these surveys, thank you.

Engaging with you – listening and learning – is all part of our effort to deliver the best insurance experience that our valued customers and group partners deserve. You work hard to make our communities better, and we appreciate all that you do.

We are an insurance company that cares. That means we are part of people’s lives when the worst happens, and how we handle the task is what makes us different.

TAKEAWAY: Please help us improve by completing the survey offered after contacting California Casualty. You can also find our Trustpilot reviews and connect with us via social media at our blog page, www.mycalcas.com.

Ways for Teachers to Relax During Winter Break

Ways for Teachers to Relax During Winter Break

It’s no secret that being a teacher makes it harder for you to relax. Your mind is always on the classroom.  Even when you have time to yourself after school or on the weekends you are stuck with grading, lesson planning, extracurriculars, supply shopping, etc. Teaching takes 110% of your energy, 100% of the time.

Even if you love teaching more than anything in the entire world, you will get burnt out fast if you don’t put school aside and take some time for yourself.

This winter break you need to put all thoughts of the classroom aside and make yourself a priority.

Here are some easy ways teachers can relax and reflect this winter break:

 

Find Quiet Time

Whether you have an extra 5 minutes when you get up in the morning or a free hour in the middle of the day, find the time to be alone and just breathe. Mediate, sip coffee, write your thoughts in a journal, read, or just close your eyes and relax.  

 

Stretch

It’s common knowledge that physical activity does wonders for the mind and body, but if weights and cardio aren’t your thing- we don’t blame you- find a simple activity that is, like stretching. Everyone can stretch no matter what age or fitness level. Use a few minutes when you get up in the morning to stretch out your muscles and release the tension, this will help your blood flow and your body will feel ready to take on the day.  

 

Laugh

Watch a movie, see a comedy show, call a friend, etc. Being without your kiddos and your teacher friends for a week or two may make you start to feel a little down in the dumps, but laughter is the best medicine for the winter blues. Find opportunities to laugh each day.  

 

Set Goals

If you are stressed about the rest of the school year and you just can’t seem to get it off your mind, take some time to write down a few goals for yourself and your classroom before the end of the school year. You don’t need to solve every problem this very second, but these goals should be stepping stones to help you solve them.  If you would rather not think about school, then write a few personal goals and where you would like to be in 2020. Once they are written, don’t dwell on them, there is nothing you can do until the beginning of the year. You have a game plan, so let it be until January.

 

Most Importantly: Do Something That Makes You Happy

If there is one thing that you do this winter break, be sure it’s something that makes you happy. Walk your dog, bake Christmas candy, watch Elf 20 times in a row, paint, do yoga, visit friends and family, anything that puts a smile on your face. Be selfish about taking time to do these things, as a teacher your time is never really your own, so use this break to do things that you want to do, even if that means cancelling other plans.

 

Taking care of your self will be beneficial for both you and your students when you all come back in January. If you get the proper rest and relaxation over break, you are guaranteed to come back happier and less stressed, and that will make you a more effective teacher in the classroom.

Now, we just have to get to winter break….. But don’t worry the countdown is on! How many days do you have left in the year?  

 

Related Articles:

5 Ways to Help Students Set Their Own Classroom Goals

Simple Ways Educators Can Ease Back Into School

Making Morning Meetings a Part of Your School Day

8 Easy Classroom Behavior Management Tools and Apps    

 

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

                       

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