CEA Takes Top Marketing Award for Consumer Outreach
This award is an extraordinary reminder of the CEA’s continuing success
with its 2003
The American Marketing Association is one of the oldest and largest professional associations for marketers, with 38,000 members worldwide in every area of marketing. Competition for the prestigious Marketing Excellence of the Year Award included campaigns submitted by a wide variety of private, public, and nonprofit organizations.
We at the CEA feel grateful and honored to have received this award. And amazingly enough, we are still reaping benefits from this campaign: even a year after the letters were mailed, consumers who held on to the letter are calling to inquire about the CEA and ask questions.
Marketing and Events Spark Interest in CEA Supplemental Coverage
Every day is earthquake season in California. The Kobe and Northridge anniversaries remind us that an unpredictable, devastating earthquake can strike anywhere in California, anytime, any day. As the world has learned from the recent earthquake-triggered tsunami tragedy in south Asia, earthquakes can happen anywhere, harming people, and destroying homes, crops, and property. The Kobe lesson is clear and absolutely underscores our consistent CEA messages: Always be prepared for disaster. And take the time to learn how to reduce injury and damage.
Seismically Active Areas Kept CEA Responding in 2004
December 22nd marked the one year anniversary of the San Simeon earthquake, California’s largest earthquake in five years. The CEA’s Earthquake Response Team was deployed to the Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo areas immediately after the quake struck and began working with participating insurers to monitor and assist with damage reports and begin claim processing for CEA policyholders. While that earthquake mostly damaged commercial buildings and infrastructure, the CEA received over 450 claims in the six-month period ending June 30th, and 63 CEA policyholders have received payments totaling more than $1.5 million. As part of its consumer-education outreach, the CEA purchased newspaper and radio ads throughout the Central Coast, encouraging policyholders to file claims if they thought their home had experienced quake damage.
In late September, the CEA responded to two more significant earthquakes – one was a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in the small town of Parkfield, situated on the San Andreas Fault between Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101. An estimated 17,000 CEA policyholders live within 50 miles of the Parkfield epicenter, but to date the CEA is aware of only three filed claims. The other temblor was a 5.0 that struck the rural Kern County community of Arvin. Both areas are seismically active, and the CEA continues to provide support for policyholders and help participating insurers adjust CEA claims.
CEA Governing Board Approves 2005 Business Plan
Strategies identified in the BIP include coordinating with earthquake-response entities and collaborating with various stakeholders. We’re excited that the CEA will be working with others on planning activities involving the 100-year anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
In 2005, CEA staff will explore options to enhance CEA insurance products and research best practices in evaluation and repair of earthquake damage. The CEA will also explore financial alternatives for the financial structure and periodically reevaluate policy premium rates based on scientific data and CEA financial metrics.
On the subject of mitigation, the CEA submitted a program budget to the Board, which approved the budget at its December 9th meeting. The mitigation budget and accompanying plan outline potential mitigation pilot programs, each targeted to begin in early spring 2005 and run for six months, followed by a two-month review and evaluation of outcomes and effectiveness. A second Request for Proposal will launch in the coming weeks as the CEA continues the process of identifying viable long-term mitigation programming. Throughout the pilot process and in imaginative ways, the test programs will help people learn about their earthquake risk and show them how to protect themselves and their property in an earthquake.
Educating Insurance Agents a Key to Customer Satisfaction
“This important training equips agents to handle the complex challenges of helping policyholders after an earthquake,” said CEA CEO Elaine Bush. “Better trained agents will help the CEA reach its goal of providing fair, prompt, and consistent service for policyholders.”
In September, the CEA presented materials on earthquake coverage to independent brokers and agents at a conference of the American Agents Alliance, highlighting key aspects of earthquake insurance and CEA online-training opportunities.
The CEA also trained over 1,000 claims representatives in 2004 from participating insurers like State Farm, Farmers, Allstate, and others. The adjuster training concentrates on CEA policy coverage and claim-handling procedures. In addition, January 1st brought new California Department of Insurance regulations that require claim representatives to receive specific training on the handling of earthquake claims. CEA participating insurers have been busy training their claim representatives through methods such as in-house training.
Legal Advisory - As a matter of its standard operating procedure and as part of its general compliance program, the CEA continually confirms that it complies with all applicable laws, regulations, and rulings, including those regarding insurance rating and pricing.
The CEA's use of information obtained from third parties is in compliance
with applicable privacy laws and regulations.