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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.

 

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.

 

Agency Services – Who They Are and What They Do

Kim, Tanya, Kelly, Bianca, Linda, Lori and Nancy

With almost 100 years combined insurance industry experience, California Casualty’s Agency Services team can help you with your specialty insurance needs, such as earthquake, flood, pet insurance, personal umbrella, or antique and collectible car insurance. It’s a one-stop shop for your insurance needs.

Our Agency Services team members are a diverse group of personalities. From the world-traveling Tanya and the outdoorsy Kelly, to Nancy, who is the vegetarian military mom, this group of individuals finds ways to have fun while providing you exceptional service.

Lori S. is the team manager of the group. She has nine years of insurance experience, seven-and-a-half of those with California Casualty. She takes great pride in educating people about the insurance Agency Services offers.

Lori values time with family members. “Coming from a large family helps me manage our fun, exuberant group. It has also taught me how to relate to others. I will do whatever I can to help customers and keep them with California Casualty,” she said.

Lori also helps organize the many Agency Services potlucks and celebrations, because everyone in the group considers themselves a “foodie.” The lunches provide a time for everyone to catch up with each other, building teamwork and unity.

Tanya C. has worked in insurance for 20 years, and has the longest tenure with Agency Services, starting when it was created, 16 years ago.

A travel aficionado, Tanya says seeing and experiencing other parts of the world allows her to connect with people who have different perspectives. “It helps me relate and build rapport,” she said.

Tanya credits her travel experiences and her ability to relate to others for her long run with Agency Services.

Tanya is also the “green chili” champ of the group, having won numerous Agency Services and California Casualty chili cook-offs.

Kelly D. has been at California Casualty since she was a teenager. In her 15 years with the company, she has worked in underwriting, sales, customer service and Agency Services.

Kelly and her family are avid outdoors people, and she often goes camping, hiking or exploring with her husband and daughter. That time away helps her recharge, enabling her to be a better agent to others.

“I try and make sure people understand what they are getting, what it will do and won’t do. I don’t want to sell something they don’t need.” she said.

Kelly loves that California Casualty is a family-owned business that appreciates the people it serves, and is very proud of the company’s disaster call-out efforts. “I was talking to a police officer in South Carolina after the hurricane who was so surprised and thankful that we were checking on him. I told him that we care about protecting him just as he was protecting his community.”

Kelly likes to show off her culinary expertise at potluck time. While she’s perfected many dishes, one of her favorite creations are her home-made cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. “They are light, fluffy, and not-too-sweet heavenly deliciousness,” she added.

Nancy N. is the quiet one. She’s also considered the flood insurance expert of the team. She has 13 years experience in insurance, seven of those in Agency Services. She considers herself a “sports and military mom,” supporting and traveling with her military family that includes three children who are all very involved in a variety of athletics. “All this has taught me how to deal with a multitude of interesting situations. That helps me address the many needs of our clientele,” she said.

She added that she especially loves working with first responders, who often don’t take care of their own insurance needs because they are too busy helping others. “I believe in helping them quickly and efficiently and giving them the insurance they need to protect them and their families.”

Being the vegetarian of the group, Nancy brings healthy choices to their various food events.

Kim H. has been employed in insurance since 1985, with the last eight years at California Casualty. She’s licensed for property and casualty, health, life and commercial insurance.

She is a devoted grandma who likes to tackle home improvements. After a recent fall that resulted in a broken wrist, her four-year old grandson now calls her “Grandma Owie.”

Kim also spends many evenings playing softball.

Working in specialty products, Kim tries to put herself in other people’s situations. “I was a mother with teens and understand the difficulties of insuring them, and the high rates that come with that. I think it takes empathy, understanding and compassion to do this job well,” she said.

With a broad understanding of insurance, Kim is dedicated to counseling the people she works with, and believes in follow-through to the end. “I make sure that everything gets done by reassuring the client, and then confirming with them when the paperwork is completed.”

While she may have great follow-through with clients, Kim likes to take the easy way out by bringing Chipotle’s Barbacoa Beef to the luncheons.

Linda T. is the team’s administrative assistant. She’s been with California Casualty almost nine  of the 30 years she’s been in the insurance business.

Besides handling reports, paperwork and other duties, Linda takes great pride in doing important follow-up with clients on policies and  renewals.

Linda works with customers to make sure they have the appropriate insurance, reminding them to pay before renewal and helping them get refunds. “I try and do as much as I can in my administrative role to free up our licensed agents to do their important work.”

Linda is devoted to golf, both as a sport and working weekends at a golf course. She likes to say that she serves people at both jobs. She likes to bring sports-related food to the team’s potlucks, like chips with homemade salsa or BBQ wings.

Bianca O. oversees the operations of the Agency Services Department, in addition to managing an inbound customer service team.  In the 18+ years that she’s worked for California Casualty, she’s had the pleasure of working in sales, customer service and Agency Services.

When Bianca isn’t at work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Getting to know the ladies in Agency Services, and sharing various meals and gatherings, has been a delight for Bianca. “The team’s wealth of knowledge and ability to change focus with each incoming call is extraordinary,” she said.

With a husband who is a bakery chef, Bianca likes to put the “sweet” in the Agency Services potlucks with a variety of scrumptious deserts.

Agency Services – Ready to Serve You

With wide-ranging backgrounds and years of expertise, if you need specialty insurance, our Agency Services department can provide it. Lori, Tanya, Kelly, Nancy, Kim, Linda and Bianca are ready to help you, and they might even share their favorite recipes.

TAKEAWAY:

Meet the team and contact California Casualty’s Agency Services for your specialty insurance needs at 1.877.652.2638 or at agencyservices@calcas.com.

 

 

A New Voice for California Casualty

We understand that reaching out to your insurance company is not typically a top contender on your list of fun things to do. However, how we answer your call can lead to a surprisingly positive experience.

The small team responsible for the automated phone system that answers your call and routes you to the correct parties knew it was time to refresh the voice prompting callers to choose their appropriate call destination.

Through a very “scientific” approach of walking around and listening to employees conversing with policyholders, one employee stood out from the rest as the perfect candidate for the project. Her diction was clear and she was highly upbeat and personable.

Let us introduce you to Kelly, the new voice of California Casualty.

Kelly has been with California Casualty for 15 years, interacting with customers in a variety of jobs from Sales, Underwriting, Customer Service and our specialized Agency Services department.

It didn’t surprise Kelly’s manager that she was the top choice for the project. She sits next to Kelly and knows the pride Kelly takes in providing solutions for customers with her “soothing style.”

Kelly was more than happy to help. It felt natural, given her focus on connecting with customers through just her voice.  She shared some insight regarding her phone etiquette: “I watch my tone and pace so clients get a clear understanding of what I’m saying and the products we have to offer.”

Here are a few of the compliments Kelly has received from customers:

“Kelly is the most professional, courteous, energetic and kind person I have every spoken with.”

“Kelly was very concise, attentive and very pleasant to speak with.”

Luckily for Kelly (and her manager), it only took a few days in a local studio to get all of the messages recorded. The quick turnaround time just proved again that she was perfect for the project.

The next time you call us, listen carefully. The voice you’ll hear will now have a familiar face.

TAKEAWAY: Reach out to California Casualty and hear Kelly anytime at 1.800.800.9410.

 

 

Behind the Scenes: Join Our Online Community

If you are looking for information or want to share a cool picture, California Casualty is there for you. We are striving to be more than just your insurance company – we want to be a valuable resource, too. Our online community offers interesting articles, captivating photos, tweets and links that reflect what you are thinking and doing.

Head to the California Casualty blog (https://mycalcas.com/) for in-depth content and articles that pertain to your profession, information on how to get the most out of your insurance, and tips on how to protect your automobile and home. Some recent articles include “Five Ways to Get Excited About Being a Nurse Again,” “How to Make the Most of Your Summer Break Without Breaking the Bank,” and “Four Ways to Save with a Teen Driver.” Check back often to get a feel for what your peers and guest bloggers are writing and the ways that California Casualty supports you and your family.

Follow us on twitter (https://twitter.com/CalCasInsurance) to see and share tips for the classroom, find captivating information and heroic acts of first responders, and read what’s on the minds of nurses and other healthcare professionals. You’ll also catch glimpses of how California Casualty honors and supports the men and women we serve.

If you need a laugh, fabulous gift ideas or that perfect meme, take a peek at our Pinterest page (https://www.pinterest.com/CalCasInsurance). Re-pin something you’d like to share with others, or feel free to add a comment.

Instagram is another place to find fun pictures, a motivational quote or get updates on one of our giving programs for your occupation. It’s easy to do at https://www.instagram.com/CalCasInsurance.

Our Facebook page is a collection of the many ways California Casualty embraces the professions you represent. Take a look, like a post, and share with others at https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCasualty.

If you like videos, tune into our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/CalCasInsurance).  You’ll see what California Casualty is all about, what makes us different, and watch heartwarming stories of those we serve. You can even learn a little more about the various insurance products we provide.

To manage your policies, make changes or find insurance for your expensive toys (boats, snowmobiles or motorcycles), visit the California Casualty corporate website (https://www.CalCas.com/). Logging in and creating an account gives you access to your policies at your convenience – anywhere, anytime. It’s a great place to send family members and colleagues who are looking for auto and home/renters insurance designed for their specific needs. There is also a careers page if you or someone you know wants to work for a company that protects American heroes.

Just like you, we are part of an online community looking for best practices, great stories and captivating photos. Take advantage of what others have contributed, and offer your opinion, pictures and stories through whichever online platform you prefer. We are there to help you exchange ideas with others who share your interests.

TAKEAWAY: Visit https://mycalcas.com to begin your informational tour with California Casualty. You’ll find interesting articles and links to the many other online platforms where you can connect and engage with others.

Read all the articles from the this edition of the Calcas Connection Newsletter:

Get Your Ride Ready For Summer

Boat Insurance Keeps You Afloat

Celebrating What You Do

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