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Standing Beside You To Support And Celebrate All That You Do

CSFA’s Joe Stewart, Bob Hamilton and Executive Director Gene Gantt with California Casualty’s Tami Phillips and Roxanne Dean

At California Casualty, we pride ourselves on being there when you need help, or to celebrate your achievements. Recently, we have done both.

Helpful Giving

The terrible fire in Paradise, California, destroyed the entire community, including homes of many law enforcement officers and firefighters who faced the flames to protect others. The California Casualty CARES Committee, which assists the many groups we serve, donated to the North Valley Community Foundation Camp Fire Relief Fund, at the behest of the California State Firefighters’ Association. The fund aids public safety employees whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the flames.

CTA Controller Wei Pan
and Beau Brown

The California Casualty CARES Committee also gave $20,000 to the CTA Disaster Relief Fund. The funds will help provide financial assistance to CTA members who have experienced significant losses due to the fires in California.

We also learned that Paradise Intermediate School (PINT) was one of eight schools in the Paradise area that were either destroyed or too damaged to hold classes. The staff (35 of whom lost homes in the fire) was forced to find a temporary facility, 20 miles away in a vacant hardware store in Chico.

Christy Forward (left) celebrating with Reiner Light, Camp Fire Education Administrator; Kat Kennedy, PINT teacher; PINT Principal Cris Dunlap; Larry Johnson, PINT Co-Principal

Knowing the emotional roller coaster that the administrators, teachers and employees have endured, our Field Marketing Manager Christy Forward, who spent hours helping people while the fire raged, arranged to give PINT a $7,500 School Lounge Makeover to make their days at school a little more soothing and relaxed.

The gift was announced January 17, and Principal Cris Dunlap (who lost her home) was moved to tears as she said, “We’ve focused so much on giving students a learning space and place to be with their teachers and friends. As educators, we put others ahead of ourselves. It’s so nice that California Casualty recognizes the valor of our teachers and everything they are doing to be there for our kids and to keep the district going.”

The finished makeover should be revealed later this month and will be relocated to the school in Paradise once repairs are finished.

Roxanne Dean and Beau Brown presenting CARES Check to Kevin Michelson, CPOMF President

Meanwhile, California Casualty continued our decades-long support of the men and women who wear a badge and uniform in California. In January, the California Casualty CARES Committee presented a $15,000 check to benefit the California Peace Officer’s Memorial Foundation (CPOMF) scholarship fund, which is available to family members of California peace officers who have died in the line of duty.

“As a child who lost her father in the line of duty, I am very thankful for the foundation to help me in continuing my education,” wrote one recipient. “I deeply appreciate your support towards the fallen officers and supporting their families, and I promise you I will work very hard and give back to others when I have completed my student teaching.”

“I take pride in being part of your foundation and am grateful to your contribution to my schooling,” wrote another.

CPOMF also funds and organizes the California Peace Officers’ Memorial and the annual commemorative memorial service in May. California Casualty is honored to support such a worthwhile organization that provides so much to the families of fallen officers.

Celebrations

Beau and Award for Teaching Excellence Recipients

One of the most prestigious honors in public education is the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence. California Casualty has partnered with the NEA Foundation for many years to present awards. This year, 46 instructors, the most ever, were recognized. Each awardee’s school received $500, and California Casualty CEO, Beau Brown, helped hand out the awards at the NEA Foundation’s annual Excellence in Education Gala in February.

For over two decades, California Casualty has provided $200 Help Your Classroom grants to educators across the country to help purchase supplies or educational materials. Each month, eight recipients are chosen, and we get dozens of thank

you cards every year. Recently, our Washington Sr. Field Marketing Manager, Michelle Hawkins, was able to present the grant to Robin H., in Port Angeles. Robin, who used the funds to purchase a label maker for her school district, said,

California Casualty Sr. Field Marketing Manager Michelle Hawkins with Help Your Classroom recipient Robin H.

“Every year the district orders supplies to stock up for the entire school year. I was able to contribute to our supply closet. It was very fun to win.”

We are proud of the support we give to the groups to which you belong.

TAKEAWAY:

See some of the ways California Casualty gives back to the groups we partner with at www.calcas.com/newsroom.

 

Why You May Not Have Enough Insurance to Rebuild

Seeing a wall of flames or a madly spinning tornado bearing down on your community or neighborhood is the worst time to wonder, “Do I have enough insurance to build my home again?”

While some areas of the country have already experienced tornadoes and record flooding, fire and storm season is just beginning.

We’ve seen enough disasters to know the stress and financial impact they leave behind. More out-of-control fires and powerful storms have resulted in higher cleanup costs, elevated rebuilding prices and shortages of manpower and materials, due to the damage in a concentrated area.

It’s very important to make sure that you have enough insurance for your home and property.

Here’s why:

  • Half of American homeowners have told experts that they don’t really know what their homeowners insurance policy covers
  • Other studies estimate that six out of ten homeowners are underinsured by an average of 20 percent – meaning if their house costs $200,000 to replace, they would fall short by about $40,000 if they had a total loss
  • Less than 20 percent of those in flood or earthquake-prone areas have flood or earthquake insurance

Here are some of the factors that could lead to a home being underinsured:

  1. Improvements and upgrades. When you buy new appliances, remodel kitchens and bathrooms or add on to your home, those improvements may not be covered by your original insurance policy.
  2. Hazardous materials removal costs. After a disaster, your property may be full of dangerous chemicals, asbestos and other hazardous materials. It may take months to get proper permits, and the costs to remove the toxic residue can be quite high.
  3. Rising construction costs. After large-scale disasters, building materials, construction crews and equipment may be in short supply. Costs in many areas have skyrocketed after massive property destruction.
  4. Updated building codes. Rebuilding an older home to meet today’s safety codes may be expensive, especially if you bought your home decades ago.
  5. Limited loss of use coverage. Make sure you have enough coverage to pay for extra living expenses (rent, food and other essentials) while your home is rebuilt or repaired. It’s important to factor in extended time after large disasters, sometimes more than a year.
  6. Not enough personal property protection. Make sure that you have enough contents coverage to replace the many items you own – bedding, clothing, kitchen items and electronics. Don’t forget scheduled personal property for high value items, such as jewelry, special musical instruments, fine art and collectibles.

Being Prepared

A yearly policy review is a must. As your insurance partner, it’s imperative that you tell us about any home improvements/upgrades that you’ve made. A California Casualty advisor will take the time to explain your policy and help make sure that you have the coverage you need with the discounts you deserve.

Its’s also important that you make an inventory of your possessions. Not only will it help determine the amount of coverage you need, but it speeds up the process of replacing those items. Only half of American homeowners and renters have done an inventory, which could leave them in the lurch after a disaster.

TAKEAWAY:

Take a moment and contact one of our customer service representatives for your policy review by calling 1.800.800.9410, option 3.

 

Flood Insurance Is A Necessity Everyone Should Consider

Insurance to protect your property from the ravages of a flood is more important than ever. The National Weather Service is warning that there is a higher potential for flooding into this summer, because record winter snows and rain have saturated soils, putting two-thirds of the lower 48 states at risk.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that just one inch of water in a 2,000 square foot house will result in $23,000 in damage.

Floods are the number one disaster in the United States, but all too often, many of those affected do not have flood insurance.

Flood season has arrived and here are five reasons you should consider flood insurance now:

  1. Flood insurance is not just for homeowners and businesses.
    Flood insurance is available for renters. Condo owners can also purchase it. It will cover damage to your possessions from a flood.
  1. Flooding is not covered under your homeowners insurance.
    Homeowners and renters need to purchase separate flood insurance protection. Umbrella insurance does not usually cover flooding, either.
  1. Floods aren’t limited to flood plains.
    Every state has experienced flooding, and it can happen anywhere. The NFIP estimates that 25 percent of flood claims come from areas outside of high-risk flood zones.
  1. Flood insurance doesn’t take effect immediately.
    There is a 30-day waiting period from the date you purchase the insurance until you are covered, in most cases.
  1. It’s often not as expensive as you think.
    The average policy costs about $700 per year – the higher your risk, the higher your premium. Costs do vary depending on your flood risk and the year and type of construction. Keep in mind, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000.

For more information about what is and is not covered with flood insurance, visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/faqs.

TAKEAWAY:

Don’t delay, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect. Call a California Casualty advisor today at 1.877.652.2638 to make sure you’re covered, or contact our Agency Services department at agencyservices@calcas.com.

 

Breaking The Insurance Mold To Better Serve You

Beau Brown
Chief Executive Officer

Spring is when we at California Casualty take a moment to reflect on the previous year and look forward to new ways of serving you.

We’ve just held 2019 kickoff gatherings in our Claims, Customer Service, Partner Relations, Sales and Underwriting departments. Teams came together to share experiences, discuss areas of improvement, and detail new initiatives, with the common goal of providing the protection and service that you deserve.

Exceptional customer experience is our priority. From implementing updated software, streamlined processes, and lessons learned, we are well-equipped for this year and the future.

Staying true to our 105-year history of personalized care, California Casualty is finding innovative ways to continue to follow our founding principles of putting the customer first, and delivering on our obligations with high ethics and business integrity.

In his 2019 message to the company, fourth-generation CEO, Beau Brown, highlighted how proud he felt watching employees come together for policyholders following the various disasters of 2018: Hurricanes Florence and Michael, damaging Rocky Mountain hailstorms, and deadly fires in California.

Beau recognized the concerted effort by everyone at California Casualty, saying, “While many of our employees did not directly talk to customers in the aftermath of these disasters, you all did your part to support what was a company-wide team effort to fulfill our promises. I am very proud of everyone who gave so much to serve the people we insure. Thank you.”

While other companies are focusing more on profits, we remain steadfast in our focus on you. As the year progresses, we’ll share more details surrounding the initiatives that will directly impact you as we improve our way of doing business. These will include easier-to-read policy documents, less paperwork, and quicker conversations as our systems improve. It’s how we plan to maintain some of the best Customer Service and Claims satisfaction ratings in the industry – which were 98 percent and 96 percent, respectively, for 2018.

TAKEAWAY:

Read more about California Casualty, our people and our mission to help others in our Annual Report, found at https://www.calcas.com/Our-Company.

Educating Teens about Dangerous Distracted Driving

Like you, we worry that our young drivers are not 100 percent focused when behind the wheel. Even with all the information about how dangerous it can be, younger, inexperienced drivers are still the most likely group to be involved in a distracted driving crash.

In 2007, California Casualty joined educators and law enforcement to form a powerful nonprofit called Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) to address and stop the preventable losses from distracted driving.

California Casualty not only gives funding, but our employees actively work to bring ITD courses into their communities and share the life-saving message with young drivers and their passengers: Focus on the road ahead and get to where they are going safely.

In December, Impact Teen Drivers honored the champions who work with them to help spread this important message. Our Oregon Senior Field Marketing Manager, Sherry Hanacek, and Washington Field Marketing Manager, Michelle Hawkins, were recognized for their hands-on efforts.

Sherry has been tireless in bringing the important Impact Teen Drivers message to schools around Oregon and delivering presentations to the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon, the Oregon Nurses Association and the Portland Police Association. She also stepped in to facilitate the “What Do You Consider Lethal?” two-day program at a Portland-area school when nobody else could do the task. Sherry’s hard work promoting the Create Real Impact Contest has also led to several student and school winners from Oregon.

Sherry said, “I was humbled meeting the parents of affected families, who are so brave to publicly share one of the worst losses a parent can suffer – the death of their child from a preventable crash. They share their stories because they believe they can make a difference so other lives may be saved.”

She added, “I was also honored because we, as California Casualty Partner Relations team members, have the means to share these stories with nurses, educators, police, and firefighter customers every day.”

Michelle was cited for her efforts promoting the Impact Teen Drivers program to law enforcement, EMS/Trauma Care and two different fire departments in Washington. Her promotion of the Create Real Impact Contest resulted in Washington students receiving awards.

Michelle was also moved by the award. “It has inspired me to do more for Impact Teen Drivers,” she said. “After meeting several affected family members at this event, I vowed to them that I will continue to tell their child’s story to as many others as I can. I also want to thank our CEO, Beau Brown, for his continued support of this program – we are saving lives.”

California Casualty CEO, Beau Brown, presented the awards to Sherry and Michelle at the emotional Impact Teen Drivers Affected Family Member Appreciation Luncheon.

“It was a pleasure to be able to honor Michelle and Sherry with an Impact Teen Drivers Distinguished Service Award. They, along with a number of other Partner Relations representatives, are dedicated to trying to assist Impact Teen Drivers with its mission to prevent injuries and death due to reckless and distracted teen driving,” Beau said.

Kelly Browning, CEO of Impact Teen Drivers, is convinced Michelle, Sherry, and the partnership with California Casualty is saving young lives.

TAKEAWAY:

See the many ways that Impact Teen Drivers works to end distracted teen driving, and learn how you can bring the program to your school or community, at www.calcas.com/impact-teen-drivers1.

 

Special Benefits You May Have Forgotten About

When you signed up with California Casualty, you joined a well-respected, 105-year-old, family-owned insurance company. It’s easy, after the excitement of making a change, to forget some of the reasons you chose California Casualty. Not only did you qualify for special group pricing, you also received valuable benefits that came with your auto and home insurance. They include:

  • Rates good for a full year, not six months like many insurers offer
  • Auto insurance that covers $500 for non-electronic items taken from your vehicle
  • $0 deductible for accidents in a rental car
  • Broad policy protection for anyone you allow to drive your vehicle
  • Free ID defense
  • Free pet injury coverage up to $1,000
  • Holiday or summer skip payment options
  • Exceptional towing and roadside assistance availability

However, we can help you in many other ways. Our advisors can also line you up with flood insurance and, in certain states, earthquake insurance. If you have a boat, classic car, RV, motorcycle or snowmobile, California Casualty can get you the insurance you need. We even offer pet health insurance that can save you thousands of dollars if something happens to your furry friend.

TAKEAWAY:

If you need flood and earthquake insurance, or coverage for your pet, boat, collectable car, motorcycle or summer and winter recreation vehicles, contact our Agency Services team at 1.877.652.2638 or email agencyservices@calcas.com. Also, please share your California Casualty experience with your colleagues and family members; we’d love to offer them the same quality insurance with the benefits that you are enjoying, visit www.calcas.com.

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