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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.

Beat the Urge to Use Your Smartphone Behind the Wheel

While we worry about our teens texting while behind the wheel, what kind of example are we setting?  Nearly one-third of drivers of all ages admit to texting, talking or checking a map app while on the road.  With Americans spending an average of an hour a day on the road, that’s too many opportunities for a serious crash.

Technology can give us the boost we need to stay on task, avoiding texting while driving. There are a variety of apps to reduce your temptation to use a smartphone while behind the wheel. Most of us already use apps for workouts, calorie counting, music and banking – why not add one for safer driving?

Five Apps to Stop Phone Use While Driving:

  1. AT&T DriveMode, a free app for iOS and Android that silences incoming calls, restricts texting, and sends alerts when the app is turned off
  2. DriveSafe Mode, an app available for iOS and Android that prevents texting and emailing while driving and sends notifications when the phone is in use or when the driver shuts off the app
  3. Cell Control, a subscription service that allows businesses or families to block sending or receiving texts while driving and sends an alert if it is deactivated
  4. On My Way Realtime GPS (available at iOS app store), a free app that allows others to track where you are in real time without the need to send a text or make a call while driving, and lets them know when you arrive at your destination
  5. LifeSaver, a subscription service for both Android and iOS that blocks phone use, monitors driving behaviors, sends alerts when the driver arrives safely and allows them to earn points while using the app

Your phone may already have a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. Search within your phone settings to activate it.

Some other tips to help drivers concentrate on the road and not on technology include:

  • Mapping out the route before getting into the car
  • Creating music lists at home to play on the ride
  • Making calls to friends, work or relatives before the drive and after you arrive at your destination

TAKEAWAY:

Learn more about distracted driving and efforts to prevent it here.

 

Giving Back – Funding Causes We All Care About

California Casualty has a long-held tradition of recognizing and celebrating the charitable act of giving. In fact, our company’s two highest achievements – the Carl G. Brown, Jr. Award of Excellence and the PRIDE in the Code Award – are based on how individuals give to others.

As we celebrate our 105th year, we are proud of the support we’ve provided to the affinity groups you belong to, giving back in ways that made a difference for you and the people you work with.

In 2018, we gave almost $700,000 in grants, donations, awards and sponsorships that directly benefited fire victims, aided first responder and law enforcement families, recognized school and educator achievement, thanked nurses for their caring, and helped prevent teen distracted driving.

Some of the highlights included:

  • $83,000 in Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grants, benefiting high school and middle school sports programs

    Plains High, MT Athletics Grant

  • $76,000 in California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence grants, in conjunction with the NEA Foundation
  • $39,500 to relief funds that assisted educators, law enforcement officers and firefighters whose homes or apartments suffered damage or were destroyed in California fires
  • $40,000 as part of a commitment to Impact Teen Drivers and the Create Real Impact program to end distracted teen driving
  • $21,600 in Help Your Classroom grants to assist educators in funding classroom materials and projects
  • $25,000 in the “Wherever Your Journey Takes You…We’ll Be There” sweepstakes, with the NEA and NEA affiliates, to promote having enough insurance coverage
  • $15,300 in Music and Arts Grants
  • $8,850 in Work Hard/Play Hard first responder awards
  • $4,000 in Nurse’s Night Out thank you grants

 

Vicki Rodgers, CTA Member Benefits, receiving California Casualty’s CTA Disaster Relief Fund donation from Field Marketing Manager Norma Alfaro

Many of you may have also experienced the dedication of our Partner Relations Field Team, who presented at benefit fairs, volunteered at fundraisers and in classrooms, attended conventions and worked hand-in-hand with your group leaders explaining the power and value of membership.

One example is our Nebraska and Iowa Field Marketing Manager, Stephanie Whitmore. The executive directors of the state education associations she works with couldn’t say enough about the energy Stephanie possesses and the impressive work she does promoting group membership. They added that Stephanie is one of their best recruiters, and proves to them what a great partner they have in California Casualty.

What you may not be aware of are the countless hours and monetary donations made by our employees each year for youth sports programs, cancer research, the American Heart Association, local food banks, school supplies, holiday giving programs, comfort for homeless pets, and raising and training service animals.

Helping others is part of our DNA. Our CEO, Beau Brown, said, “The American heroes we work with give so much to help others, even in times of adversity, and we feel an obligation to say thanks by giving back in meaningful ways that let them know how grateful we are for all they do.”

TAKEAWAY:

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

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