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.
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.
Meet the team and contact California Casualty’s Agency Services for your specialty insurance needs at 1.877.652.2638 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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:
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Their little paws and happy faces have graced California Casualty for close to 15 years. They are the service dogs who temporarily call California Casualty home before heading off to become service animals for those with various disabilities.
Three of our employees are puppy trainers for Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit that provides service dogs for adults with physical disabilities, hearing issues, physical, cognitive and development disabilities, or for therapy in a visitation, education or healthcare setting.
If you have a pet-friend at home or work, you know how much joy and fun they bring. That’s how it is at California Casualty.
Each dog spends the first year-and-a-half of their life with a trainer getting socialized, learning commands and dealing with distractions. California Casualty, with a large number of employees with varying schedules and personalities, is the perfect place for their education, and the company encourages it.
While there have been as many as four pups roaming our hallways, there is currently only one – Darien, being raised and trained by Mary, one of our claims representatives. Darien is a year-old golden lab. He’s the 18th puppy that Mary has taken in.
She and her husband share a love of animals and a desire to give back to the community. Canine Companions was the perfect way to fit volunteering into their busy schedules.
The training has left a permanent bond between Mary and the pups. Mary keeps in touch with every dog, and each one remembers her when she visits, even a decade later.
Many people at work can’t wait to play with and puppy-sit Darien. One of those is Jasmine, who is convinced that spending time with Darien helps her as much as it helps him. “Darien makes me happy and makes my day go better,” she said.
Mary said that Darien is so popular that she often has to search to find where he has gone at various times of the day. “I know that many of my co-workers think Darien is a therapy dog for them, reducing stress and bringing joy to their day. They often come to my desk to give him pets when they are having a challenging day, saying how much it helps.”
Karen, the manager of our Learning and Development department, is another volunteer for Canine Companions. While raising puppies to go to others takes an emotional toll, she said it’s worth it knowing the joy and independence they give to those with physical disabilities.
We love the dogs that are fostered within our company walls, and we look forward to the pitter-patter of little paws and the boundless love when new ones arrive.
Learn more about Canine Companions and their dedication to helping others at www.CCI.org.
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Working hard to provide you great service is a core value at California Casualty.
One of the ways we ensure that we live up to your expectations is by following the California Casualty Code. Written in 1965, it formalized the beliefs of high ethical standards and quality of service to customers; ideas that were passed down from our founder, Carl G. Brown.
Reinforcing this tradition of ethics and accountability is California Casualty’s PRIDE (Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence) in the Code program. It recognizes employees who exemplify the key values contained in the California Casualty Code: Acting with Integrity, Fulfilling Our Promises, Providing Exceptional Service, Pursuing Excellence through Learning and Working as a Team. The award highlights the actions of employees who have gone above and beyond everyday expectations to benefit customers and fellow employees.
At California Casualty, every job is important and individual employee contributions make a difference to our success. The PRIDE in the Code program acknowledges and celebrates those who inspire us to greater levels of individual and collective achievement that, ultimately, result in a better experience for you.
Colleagues nominate others they see making a difference for customers and coworkers. Every three months, quarterly winners of the PRIDE in the Code are announced. This year’s recipients included Monique in our Underwriting department, who was nominated for Providing Exceptional Service when she made custom, personalized coasters for everyone in the unit; Jenny, from our Actuarial department, who was also cited for Providing Exceptional Service after mastering new coding techniques to create a more efficient rating program for the various states we insure in; Christopher, also an Actuarial department staff member, who was nominated for Providing Exceptional Service for optimizing efficiency for his team through his dedicated work to seamlessly transfer to a new and improved quoting platform (this took learning a new programing language and consolidating numerous Excel files into a single table) while he was on family leave helping take care of his newborn; and Karen and Susan from Learning and Development, who took time from their demanding workload to man the lobby area when a guard didn’t show up, ensuring the safety of employees and guests. Karen and Susan were nominated for Working as a Team.
Each year, one of the quarterly winners receives the annual Thomas R. Brown PRIDE in the Code Award, the second-highest honor in the company. It acknowledges a staff member whose actions have benefitted customers, the company, and colleagues.
In 2016, Dena, from our IT department, was chosen for the Thomas R. Brown PRIDE in the Code Award. She was nominated for stepping up to take on a project for our Claims department that impacted 4,000 policies. Without a fix, The Claims team would have had to manually update the policies – a task that would have taken months to complete. Dena tackled and completed the solution in just a couple of weeks.
Dena receiving her award from Executive VP Mike Bower
Dena’s nominator said that her actions were a clear example of the special teamwork that many share at California Casualty, promoting the feeling that we are all working for something greater than ourselves, and that our role is important in that bigger picture.
Dena said the great culture at California Casualty, and so many people working to live up to the California Casualty Code, has made her 39 years with the company so enjoyable.
The 2017 Thomas R. Brown PRIDE in the Code Award recipient will be named soon at our company’s Town Hall Meetings. We will share their story in an upcoming issue of the Connection.
Learn more about the California Casualty Code and how it guides us to serve you better at http://www.calcas.com/our-code.
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