Consider This: Do You Have Adequate Coverage? – Know Your Limits.

It doesn’t take a natural disaster or tragedy to learn that you might be underinsured. An example comes from the holidays.  The warmth of the season can turn into an economic nightmare if someone slips and falls at your home or apartment, your dog bites a guest, or someone gets food poisoning. Without enough liability protection, you could be in real financial danger.

Just do a search of personal liability lawsuits and settlements. You might be shocked by the results and the number of law firms filing such cases. You may think that a guest wouldn’t sue you for damages, but it does happen, especially if the injury is serious.

You’ve worked hard for the things you own; you don’t want to put them at risk.

Financial experts advise that as long as you can earn a livelihood, you should have as much liability insurance as you can afford. Most home insurance policies come with $100,000 liability coverage, but boosting your limits to $300,000 or $500,000 offers greater protection at a reasonable cost.

If you have a lot of assets or other exposures for a possible civil suit, you should consider an umbrella policy, which provides $1 million to $5 million coverage.

While you’re at it, what liability limits do you have with your auto insurance? You may be severely underinsured if you opted for the minimum liability limits required by your state. Just like home insurance, you should purchase as much liability coverage as possible, especially if you have a younger, inexperienced driver.

Accidents happen every day, but California Casualty can help you be prepared.

TAKEAWAY: If you don’t know what your liability limits are, or you’d like increase your coverage, Contact California Casualty’ Customer Service at 1.800.800.9410 option 3, or at service@calcas.com.

 

Good To Know: If Disaster Strikes Your Community – Are You Ready?

Fires, tornados and other disasters are unpredictable and can turn dangerous for you and loved ones in just a matter of moments. Here are some things you can do now to be more prepared.

  1. Know and practice using as many evacuation routes as possible.
  2. Have a plan where you and family members will meet and how you will communicate if you become separated.
  3. Prepare a disaster kit that includes enough water, food, medications and other essentials for at least three days (don’t forget necessities for babies and pets), along with important insurance, banking and other papers.
  4. Complete a home inventory of all the items you own (clothing, shoes, mattresses, bedding, kitchen appliances, pots and pans, furniture, and electronics) to help replace your possessions.
  5. Review your insurance with an advisor to make sure you’re adequately covered.

If you need to evacuate:

  • Text SHELTER and your ZIP code to 43362 (example: SHELTER 12345) to find the nearest shelter, or visit the American Red Cross webpage to locate shelters
  • Contact California Casualty as soon as possible and save all receipts for living expenses, such as hotels, meals and other essentials
  • Monitor local media about conditions, further evacuations, or when it might be safe to return home

When you return home, be very careful. There are many potential dangers, such as:

  • Dangerous toxins, ash and debris following a fire
  • Gas leaks
  • Electrical shock
  • Poisonous snakes or other animals
  • Structural instability and collapse
  • Sewage and chemical tainted water

For additional recovery help afterwards:

Please remember, you are not alone if a disaster strikes. California Casualty will be there when you need us the most. National and local governments will provide resources for safety and recovery, and numerous entities and nonprofits will offer food, clothing and other essentials as communities come together.

TAKEAWAY: California Casualty is ready to help you when you have a claim. Contact our Claims department 24 hours a day at www.calcas.com/claims or call 1.800.800.9410 option 4.

In Your Community: Our Hearts Are In It – From Tears to Triumphs.

In these trying times, it’s an honor to work with so many who give so much for our communities. California Casualty appreciates all that you do, and our employees and executives are proud to be a part of your everyday lives. From disaster relief to prize giveaways, we are dedicated to making a positive impact for you, your peers and your families.

Knowing the toll the California fires took on the people that we insure, the California Casualty Cares Committee of the Advisory Board wanted to assist the many heroes who helped others at their own peril. California Casualty donated $20,000 to the CTA Disaster Relief Fund to help CTA members who have experienced significant losses due to the disasters in California.

California Casualty is also working with other groups, such as the Police Officers Research Association of California, California   Association of Highway Patrolmen, California State University System, and the California State Firefighters’ Association, to give an additional $12,000 in donations from the Cares Committee. These donations supplemented $7,500 given earlier in the year to help with the 2017 fires that struck Sonoma and Ventura Counties.

In an effort to remind insureds to check their policies and make sure they have enough coverage to protect against a disaster, California Casualty initiated Wherever Your Journey Takes You…We’ll be There” Sweepstakes. Bloomingdale, Illinois 8th grade teacher Kathleen Nikides was the grand prize winner. She was surprised with the $25,000 award November 16 during an assembly at Stratford Middle School.

“I’m still flying high, I can’t believe I won. My husband and I will take some time to figure out what we will do with the money,” she said.

Kathleen found out about the contest from the Illinois Education Association, but never thought she’d win.

Teaching for 35 years, 30 years at Stratford, Kathleen loves advocating for students and helping them reach their full potential. “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I still love every minute of it. It was great that my students were so excited when they learned that I had won.”

Kathleen is the co-president of the Carol Stream Education Association, which is an affiliate of the Illinois Education Association, and is thankful California Casualty supports education associations. “Thanks to member benefit partners like California Casualty, we feel valued, and that value is very appreciated right now,” she said.

More than 52,000 school administrators, instructors and education support professionals shared their journey and entered the contest.

Knowing how hard firefighters, law enforcement officers and EMTs work, and the danger they put themselves in to keep us safe, California Casualty invited first responders to sign up for the “Better Safe Than Sorry” Work Hard/Play Hard contest. Three winners – in California, Colorado and Oregon – will each be receiving a check for $2,250, to purchase the Liberty Safe of their choice, that they can fill with a collection of provided 5.11 tactical gear – a total prize value of $2,950. We’ll share who the winners are in the next California Casualty Connection.

In an effort to reduce tragic driving deaths and injuries, a total of $12,000 was recently awarded in the Fall Create Real Impact contest, sponsored by California Casualty and Impact Teen Drivers. The Create Real Impact contest encourages the creative efforts of youth ages 14-22 to prevent distracted driving – the number one killer of teens in the U.S.

Grand prizes were awarded for best video, writing, music and art submissions, and to schools that had the most entries. Create Real Impact is one of the many initiatives employed by Impact Teen Drivers to combat dangerous inattentive driving. Your kids, or students at your school, can learn more and enter the 2019 spring contest at www.createrealimpact.com.

 

TAKEAWAY:  Learn more about California Casualty’s commitment to the groups we serve at https://mycalcas.com/community/, and share your pictures and stories about the men and women who make a difference for our communities at our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCasualty.

Behind the Scenes: “Are You Okay?” It’s Just the Beginning – For You and Us.

As disastrous wildfires recently tore through California once again, our employees went into high gear to reach customers, plan next steps for relief, and get their own feet on the ground to offer the needed face-to-face support.

From the first responders going above and beyond to save lives and property, to the devastated customers who were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs, California Casualty was there to give a helping hand to the decimated communities of Paradise, Concow and Magalia in Northern California, and the Southern California towns of Thousand Oaks and Malibu.

Our Partner Relations and Service Support Teams immediately started calling more than 530 insureds to see if they were okay, how they might be impacted, and help them if they needed to start a claim or required other support. Our employees talked to or left messages for more than 300 people.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, with many thanking California Casualty for reaching out and expressing concern for their safety. “You are even better than I thought you were,” said one policyholder, who was extremely grateful for the call. “Your call means more than words can say,” said another.

“The magnitude of the destruction, and knowing so many people were suffering, made this calling effort a lot more emotional than previous ones that we have done,” said Customer Support team member Karen.

Ruth, another Customer Support employee, said the calls were heart-wrenching at times. One insured told Ruth that she and a neighbor had barely escaped the flames, and they feared they might not make it out alive. She was beyond grateful that we called to offer compassion and caring. Ruth was able to email the customer her policy numbers and claims contact number, as well as information about how to contact the Red Cross and FEMA for additional assistance.

And Lorelei, a member of our Partner Relations team, said the calling effort made her proud to work for a company that takes the time to reach out to customers. While the magnitude of the disaster was overwhelming at times, she says one call to a retired California teacher was “life changing.”

He was in the hospital when the Woolsey fire broke out. His wife was rescued by first responders as their house was consumed by flames, but he had not been able to contact her.

“This was more than just an insurance call, it was a real connection. He needed someone to listen to him and be there for him,” Lorelei said. “He was obviously distressed, but I felt really good knowing what our company stands for and that we cared for him and his wife’s well-being. Just talking and listening to him made a difference, and he thanked me so much for doing that.”

Northern California Field Marketing Manager Christy leapt into action on the ground, meeting with insureds and bringing water, snacks and other necessities for evacuees and first responders to various locations around fire-stricken Butte County.

California Casualty Field Claims adjusters are now meeting with the hundreds of customers affected by the fires. As in past disasters, they are working with insureds to make sure their immediate needs are met, while helping them begin the long process to recovery. California Casualty will do everything in our power to lift up our customers during this devastating period in their lives.

California Casualty is there for our insureds in their greatest time of need. The people who commit to make a difference for our communities deserve financial protection with the highest levels of care, service, compassion, and understanding…which is why we exist.

As one of our adjusters said, “I think we are going to make you proud.”

TAKEAWAY: We love hearing your stories. Share your experience with California Casualty and add a review at https://www.trustpilot.com/review/calcas.com.

 

A Salute to Our Amazing First Responders

California Casualty’s 9/11 Red Rocks Stair Climb Team

It’s hard to describe the emotions of being part of the thousands who turned out to honor first responders on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attack in New York. If you were lucky enough to be a participant, you know the mix of sadness, pride, and amazement that comes with each step at one of the many stair climbs held across the country. California Casualty helped sponsor a half-dozen memorial climbs, from California to Colorado and Ohio to Maryland.

We were honored to join firefighters, EMTs, law enforcement officers and medical professionals to remember the heroes who gave their lives to save others, and to support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and its mission of providing emotional and financial help to the families of fallen firefighters. Students and teachers from various schools also attended, learning about the terrible events that day.

California Casualty’s Debbie Harris and Lorelei Seip at the Yellow Springs, OH, Stair Climb

Miami Township Fire-Rescue Chief, Colin Altman, who organized the 150-person climb in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was grateful for California Casualty’s help and presence. “Your field team not only provided snacks and bottled water, but they were supportive and wonderful, making a difference cheering people on,” he said. Chief Altman feels it’s important to teach young people who were born after 2001 about the impact of that day, and not to forget the heroism exhibited by first responders.

California Casualty feels a responsibility to the brave men and women who risk their lives to make our communities safer every day. Following another disastrous California fire season, in early September we donated $2,500 to the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) Police Officers Relief and Education Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund. The fund assists law enforcement members whose homes were damaged or destroyed by wildfire, often while they were working to protect others during the firestorm.

California Casualty’s Jana Charles and Roxanne Dean presenting a donation to PORAC Insurance Benefits Trustees

And in May, California Casualty also had the privilege of participating in two important law enforcement memorial weekends. CEO Beau Brown and Vice President for Account Relations Roxanne Dean attended the California Police Officers’ Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento, commemorating six officers who died in the line of duty in 2017. California Casualty provided the blue light pens used at the evening candlelight ceremony, and is a donor to the California Police Officers’ Memorial Foundation scholarship fund, which aids the families of fallen officers. Roxanne is also an advisor to the Memorial Foundation Board and sits on the Fundraising Committee.

Roxanne and Account Relations Manager Alina Fayerman represented California Casualty at the 2018 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and the National Association of Police Organization’s TOP COP Awards, held in the Nation’s Capital. The TOP COP Awards highlight the heroic actions of law enforcers and honors those who lost their lives in the line of duty. While everyone who attended felt moved by the events, Alina summed it up best: “It struck me that our protectors need protecting and their families need our love and support.”

 

California Casualty has partnered with law enforcement associations for almost 50 years and firefighter organizations for 45 years, and we appreciate their service and sacrifices.

TAKEAWAY:

Learn more about California Casualty’s commitment to first responders at https://mycalcas.com, and share your pictures and stories about the men and women who wear a badge at our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCasualty.

Sump Pump/Water Backup Coverage – Why You Need It

It’s something we all hope never happens to us: a sewer backup or sump pump failure. When it comes to sewers, what goes down shouldn’t come back up. In fact, any home with a toilet and a sink is susceptible to this type of event.

Damage from a sewer backup or sump pump failure is not covered under your homeowners insurance. Without the endorsement, you’ll be paying for the damage yourself.

Here are five reasons to have water backup/sump pump overflow coverage:

  1. It can happen at any time to any home
  2. Just a couple inches of brackish water can cause thousands of dollars in damage – ruining carpets, destroying appliances and crumbling dry wall
  3. It helps speed up the necessary clean-up, preventing mold and further damage
  4. It’s not covered under flood insurance
  5. It’s relatively inexpensive

If you live in an older home, one that has a basement and/or a sump pump, and there have been problems of backed up sewers in your neighborhood, you should definitely consider adding water backup and sump discharge or overflow coverage to your homeowners insurance policy.

With a California Casualty water backup endorsement, you’ll have as much as $10,000 to clean up and repair damage (amount varies by state).

TAKEAWAY:

Review your policy and if you don’t have a water backup endorsement, or don’t know if you do, contact a California Casualty advisor today at 1.800.800.9410 option 3, or email service@calcas.com.

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