California Casualty Insurance Review

California Casualty Insurance
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This hundred-year-old insurer is a homegrown California company and pioneer of the affinity insurance concept. From humble roots, California Casualty has grown to serve nearly the entire nation with a variety of products, focusing on their particular customer base drawn from their affinity groups.

California Casualty Summary

In 1914, Carl G. Brown Sr. founded California Casualty Indemnity Exchange to offer Worker’s Compensation products. They added auto insurance to the product line in 1917, and then property insurance in 1954. A family business, California Casualty leadership has been passed down through generations of the Brown family.

In 1951, California Casualty received the endorsement of the California Teacher’s Association and began offering insurance to its members. This set the company on the path of affinity products, a new concept in insurance and one that continues to be its focus today. Then, endorsement of the National Education Association expanded the company nationwide, and over the years more than 100 different associations have endorsed the company as well.

Today the California Casualty Group offers insurance to a specific group of professionals:

  • Educators
  • Higher Education Employees
  • Nurses (RN and NP)
  • Firefighters
  • EMTs
  • Law Enforcement Officers

Auto and property insurance are available in most states, with auto not currently available in AK, HI, MA, MI, NY, WI, and home not available in those five as well as MS. They offer an expanded list of policies through affiliated companies including personal liability, RV, and even pet insurance.

California Casualty is headquartered in San Mateo, California, but has offices in Colorado, Arizona, and Kansas as well.

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Insurance Products

California Casualty offers a range of products to cover most personal insurance needs, from the basics of auto and home to specialty vehicles and expanded home protection. Policies are underwritten by the various companies in the California Casualty Group as well as by a variety of associated companies.

Auto Insurance

California Casualty’s biggest insurance product, auto coverage is available in nearly every state, and is underwritten by California Casualty companies and partners, depending on the state.

Coverage includes all of the basics as well as a list of options, including some that are specific to the niche markets California Casualty insures.

  • Foreign Exchange Program and Sabbatical Return Benefits for educators
  • Turnout Gear and Firearms Coverage, as well as Fallen Hero/Fallen Officer death benefits for firefighters and peace officers
  • Deductible Waivers
  • Identity Theft Coverage
  • Custom Equipment Coverage

A variety of common discounts are also available for auto insurance policies including multi-policy, multi-car, good driver, good student, and more.

Other Vehicles

Through a variety of partners, California Casualty also offers a variety of policies for other vehicles including:

  • Antique and Classic Cars
  • Snowmobiles
  • RVs and Travel Trailers
  • Motorcycles and Mopeds
  • Dune Buggies
  • Golf Carts

Policy availability varies by state, as does the underwriting company in some cases.

Home Insurance

California Casualty writes a variety of different types of home insurance, including:

  • Standard Homeowners
  • Condo Owners
  • Renters
  • Mobile Home

Homeowner’s Insurance includes all of the standard coverage as well as options and benefits specific to the needs of the company’s niche markets, these include:

For educators: Property Used in Teaching Coverage, Theft of Fund Raising Monies and Goods, Educators Excess Liability, School Violence Death Survivor Benefit
For firefighters and peace officers: Personally Owned Off-Duty Weapons Coverage, Turnout Gear Coverage, Personally Owned Uniforms Coverage, Fallen Hero/Fallen Officer Death Benefits

Other Products

Through a network of partners, California Casualty offers a range of other products as well, including:

  • Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Pet Insurance
  • Boat
  • Personal Umbrella

California Casualty Prices & Premiums

California Casualty does offer online quoting for auto and home insurance, but requires a great deal of information in order to obtain a quote. Because of the particular niche markets and specific coverage and discounts, rates can be difficult to compare.

Although the website lists mainly the common discounts, there is also a mention of discounts not available to the general public, which may bring premiums down. The added benefits specific to this company also make a policy with extra value, something that professionals in each of the covered fields are likely to find worth the premium.

Policies are sold directly, which eliminates the cost of agent commissions and is unusual for a smaller company. This is likely to help California Casualty rates stay competitive.

Claims

California Casualty has a clear and expansive Claims Center section on their website offering information on the process for both auto and home insurance claims. Claims can be reported 24/7 by calling the same line, which directs to an after-hours line after business hours.

Claims are quickly assigned to an adjuster. Depending on the type of claim, a field adjuster may need to come and inspect the damage in person. If necessary, claims forms will be mailed out the next business day for the insured to complete and return.

There is a Guaranteed Repair Network through which customers can get their repairs done with direct payment from the insurance company and guaranteed work. Customers can also choose the repair shop of their choice.

There is also an option to file a claim online for both auto and home insurance. This section is found near the bottom of the list of claims phone numbers, also located on this page. Different phone numbers are used based on the type and severity of the claim.

Consumer Feedback

California Casualty has been BBB accredited since 2011 and has an A+ rating. The BBB records only 13 complaints against the company in the past three years, with only 2 those closed in the past 12 months. For a nearly nationwide company, those numbers are very low.

There are very few reviews of the company out there, which is generally a good thing as most people only take the time to write a review when they are displeased. That said, research does find a few very positive reviews of the company, which is even more encouraging. The general feeling is that the company offers good rates and excellent customer service. The few complaints appear to be typical insurance issues and also appear to receive swift response from the company.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A- Negative
Fitch N/A N/A
S&P N/A N/A

Bottom Line

For anyone who fits into one of the affiliate markets California Casualty covers, the company is well worth considering. Offering coverage and benefits specific to the needs of their customer market, California Casualty adds value to what appear to be already competitive rates. With a strong reputation and a good product line-up, this company should be on the quote comparison list for anyone who qualifies.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed
California Casualty
Author Rating
4

Comments

  1. C and S says

    They are a TERRIBLE terrible company!! You do get “nice” customer service people sometimes but as far as actual customer service and fallow through go, the worst!! We switched to them because they offered special rates to RN’s and for teen drivers but then after they signed us up and took our money for auto and renters they found “issues” that they kept trying to get ME to get all this info on for them when it was actually there job to verify and do… Back and forth for 1st 3 weeks and then they finally said do it or we can’t promise your coverage we offered you blah blah blah…. I finally called them out on it and told them I would be changing companies because I was over it and I just wanted the policy I paid them for to cancel at end of the paid for month…. Finally they called back saying auto is good till 31st but under writing decided to cancel your renters effective TODAY even though I paid for it in advance!!! Now I’ll have a 4 day laps…. DO NOT GO TO THESE PEOPLE

  2. Charles James says

    Wow, I am glad I came here to see the reviews. In my case, I sent at least four emails asking for information and not even a hint of a response. Now that I have some additional information I am glad I didn’t get involved with this company. In my book, if you can’t even reply to an inquiry saying I need to talk to them on the phone that says a lot about responses to more critically important issues. I will stay with my current insurers, at least I have over ten years of experience working with them and although insurance companies, in general, are a pain in the [Redacted] at least mine are ok to work with, etc.

  3. Jess Monti says

    I’m seeking information about CalCas because one of their insureds side wiped my vehicle after running a stop.
    They will not repair the damage and they are offering to pay for being totaled.

    I had surgery that went wrong and after 2 years, I’m bearly starting to move around and this happens.

    I have no job, and that is my only means of transportation. They want me to use the money for a down payment on another car but since I haven’t work for 2 years, I do not qualify for a loan nor can I make any payments.

    They will not work with me on giving a little bit more so I can fix it. If I keep the vehicle they will pay $700.00 less than paying for the totaled vehicle.

    Anyway, I’m wanting to contact the person that hit me but I don’t know if it’s illegal to do so.

  4. mary says

    California casulty is the worst auto insurance company. They have poor customer service, they price gouge and lie to their customers. Geico charges me 100.00 less for insurance each month. DO NOT use these horrible people.

  5. Rhonda says

    On October 15 I was rear ended by a California casualty costumer, I was at a full stop and she hit me. ( I don’t know if she was running late for school since she is a teacher at my son’s school)
    I was a little skeptical after reading reviews about people’s claims. I gave her option to pay, it was only 555.00 and she wanted to turn it in into insurance. I received my check today, now all I got to do is take it to the shop.
    All I wanted was my car fixed I wasn’t trying to keep any extra money!!!
    So all and all I didn’t have a bad experience.

  6. Mike says

    Horrible customer service, and no way to report it up the chain. I was spoken to very disrespectfully by a claims manager, and when I asked to speak to his Supervisor, he got even more rude and refused to tell me who his supervisor was. That was after being treated very rudely by another claims person prior to that. This company needs to train its employees on how to provide customer service and handle difficult situations.

  7. steve from nj says

    I am thinking about using this company, does anyone have any current expeiences they can share with me.

    • Distraught says

      We have CALCAS and have maintained premiums for the past 16 years. Our daughter was rear ended and pushed into another vehicle. Claim was filed and a ton of documents were sent to us to complete as they determined the car was totaled. We’re were offered a payout which we initially agreed to, however after weeks of waiting for payout we still have not received payment nor timely responses. We are filing complaints tomorrow with the insurance commissioner and even planning to involve a local media outlet to publicize the matter

    • Jim says

      This is a excellent insurance company. The customer service is top notch.
      Claims process is flawless. perfect for American Heros.

    • CJ says

      We switched to California Casualty about a year ago. Returning home from an extended vacation we discovered that there had been a leak in a drain pipe in our mudroom downstairs for quite some time. The affected area was hidden by shelving and our dryer so the first indication that there was an issue was when mold broke through the wall while we were gone. We contacted CalCas and spoke with [Redacted] , got the leak repaired, they sent out a guy to document and take pictures. We were a little concerned about going ahead with repairs before we had confirmation of coverage. When we received verbal confirmation, we proceeded with the repairs. Now that we are down to the studs, cleaned up and ready to put it all back together, yesterday we received a letter denying the claim. The contractor in charge of our restoration contacted CalCas and guess what? She no longer works there! The letter was dated 8/10. We received it on the 21st! How does it take 11 days to travel from Northern California to Southeast Idaho. We Never received a call or anything in that time to let us know there was a problem. STAY AWAY!

    • Millie says

      Car insurance is great but house insurance It’s awful.. you get to know this until you need to take use of it..sad

  8. Alexis jameson says

    I was hit by someone insured with calcas. Company tried to shortchange me by offering Chinese quality parts instead of factory parts. In the end I had to take them to court and sue to get my car fixed. Worst bunch of sleazy crooks I’ve ever come across. Stay far far away. All of this was for a measely 1 k

  9. Agkistrodon says

    I was thinking of changing to California Casualty. Why so many negative comments after a positive review?

    • unhappy customer says

      Because their communication is flat out terrible give them your bank account information and could be charged someone elses premium. If you dispute that through your bank they will try to get that money back after some joke of a deal they try to offer. Rather than just suckin it up admitting their mistakes and fixing them. No one has a clue about anything around their. So save yourself the hassle headache and possibly an out of control overdrafted bank account. Plus their roadside assistance is a joke. Dont break down less then 5 miles from a shop or you pay the entire tow bill. So id go with someone way more reputable.

      • but geico sucks too says

        We actually had similar billing problems with GEICO over the course of a miserable couple of years, and are now CALCAS customers instead. So I’m not sure whom to recommend as a “reputable” insurer. It isn’t GEICO. GEICO repeatedly denied having received our premium payments OVER TWO YEARS despite our BOTH having sent them checks every time AND them having our bank account info. They regularly informed us over that year that we didn’t have any insurance coverage (by both mail and phone) because of non-payment. Our family just got used to budgeting a “GEICO Day” every now and then when either my wife or myself would yell at various levels of GEICO supervisors on the phone for hours, and callbacks, and more hours up the ladder until some supervisor agreed to “give us more time to pay = Look around for the check we sent them.” We ended up just begging them to let us SOMEHOW hand them money–how can we possibly give you this money? Drive it to your [Redacted] house????–but they just couldn’t seem to hang onto our payments. And then the robo-threats about driving illegally start up again after a month or two at the end of the “grace period” (i.e. period they allowed themselves to search on their floor for our checks and bank info, before canceling our coverage again). How it is possible in this day and age that one person would just be unable to pay another person, I cannot fathom – it requires a level of complete bureaucratic incompetence that would be hard to even construct on purpose. Moral of my story = beware of insurance giants, too. They have no idea who you are, or which of their 500 subsidiary companies has your check or payment info, and at the worst your coverage may evaporate – as ours did every so many months.

  10. J D Williams says

    California Casualty sales person call us and offered to cover out property for half of what we are paying another company. The sales person told us to keep our current insurance until an inspection could be done to ensure the correct amount they would charge. One week after our house was inspected, we received a letter from California Casualty advising us our home insurance was canceled because our home did not meet their requirements. We called and asked how they could cancel an insurance policy that had never been finalized, or agreed upon. They only said it was their policy to provide coverage before the contract was finalized and they did not have to inform us that they were insuring out home.
    A week later I received a bill from them charging us $33.00 to close out our account, an account I never started in the first place. This company used to be good, but it is now a ripoff.

  11. michael alexander says

    Please tell me how this company can have such a high bbb rating. I have heard nothing but bad things about them. They drag their feet with regard to paying claims they are obviously on the hook for. I’m amazed and sad for all the people above. I don’t need to go into detail about them except to say they forced my wife to go to small claims court to get a judgment before paying a claim they were obligated to pay from the start. It appears they want to wear people down and make them go away. What a bunch of unprofessional [Redacted].

  12. Justin Sherwood says

    I was hit by a guy insured with California Casualty on 1/7/2014. I called my insurance company at the scene and they called and talked to the other driver. He admitted fault and was recorded doing it. I was told to pursue his insurance since I do not have comp and collision on my vehicle.

    These people have been nothing but rude and demeaning in every conversation and every contact. They finally rented a car for me two days later. They sent an adjuster that was pregnant, only talked to my mechanic about how she leaves her kids in the car when she is working and didn’t have a pen or paper with her. She didn’t lift the hood on my car. They insisted that my mechanic purchase used parts to make the repairs. I was mailed a check with no estimate of the repair, so my mechanic didn’t know what he was fixing. Then he found more damage upon tearing the thing down. He contacted the insurance company and was told that he should not longer talk to me regarding the repairs. I called and spoke to a supervisor on Monday and he told me that they had no documentation of contact with any anyone. But both my mechanic and myself have recorded conversations with [Redacted] their rep that was assigned. He just didn’t document the contacts. Today they sent another adjuster to look at my car and want to total the car. They are sending me the check by Tuesday but will stop paying for the rental car on Monday. I called [Redacted] the supervisor that I spoke to on Monday. He had told me he would call me in two days. He did not call me. I ask about extending the car and he told me no and that he was paying for my lost wages, tuition or inconvenience. He then hung up on me.

    This company is beyond horrible. I can’t believe this web site has given them a positive endorsement. If you hear about this company or get hit by someone insured with them. Just go retain an attorney and don’t waste your time with them.

    • Justin Sherwood says

      Correction: [Redacted] said he was not going to pay for my inconvenience, lost wages, etc. I pointed out that his insured hit me and admitted fault and that they dropped the ball. That was when he said he would do nothing for me and hung up.

  13. tanya boyett says

    An insured of California Casualty hit me five months ago. Their insured was responsible for the accident, issued a citation and the accident was witness by a firefighter of the city in which the accident occurred and CALCAS still attempted to deny the claim and all liability for weeks. Upon finally accepting liability and after I was forced to go through my insurance company, they are still refusing to pay any out of pocket expenses I incurred as a result fo the accident. The out of pocket expenses are reasonable at just under $400 for the difference of an economy car my insurance company covers and the comparable vehilce I rented which happened to be the exact make and model of the vehicle that was involved in the accident.

    The insurance adjuster I have had to deal with is very uneducated and has little to no knowledge of insurance regulations and liabilities. I have since hired an attorney and we are filing a suit against them for lost wages, attorneys fees and of course my out of pocket expenses.

    I just want to forewarn those considering this insurance company that they are real Mickey Mouse and you very much get what you pay for in this case. I am actually suing the responsible party, can you imagine getting sued because your insurance company did not protect your bottom line?

  14. Michael McCauley says

    I own a small body shop in Richmond, Va. I had a customer of California Casualty insurance come to my shop to have their car repaired after an accident. Long story short, they couldn’t care less about their insured and the repairs done to her 2013 Hyundai Accent. They wanted used parts, aftermarket parts, etc and then refused to pay my shop for work claiming “You did work that wasn’t authorized by anyone”. The adjuster told my shop to hold off on work until they could get someone out to look at it. This was 1 week and 2 days AFTER the work had begun. Authorized by the customer. A supplement was sent to them and took them almost a week to respond. Mean time, other’s from CA Casualty called complaining that she had the rental car too long and we needed to get the job done in a hurry. Long story short, as the owner of the body shop, I had 2 choices, hold the customer’s car until full payment was received by SOMEONE, or eat $396.00 and give the lady her car. To keep MY companies reputation as stellar as possible, I explained to the customer that I cared more about her than her insurance company and that I would eat that additional money so that she could leave with her car in PRE ACCIDENT condition. Customer was happy with me, is currently seeking a new insurance company. I hope other’s don’t have to find out the hard was as well. So, in the future, if I get a customer of Ca Casualty come into my shop, I will notify them IMMEDIATELY that NO work will be done until Ca Casualty pays for repairs IN FULL. My advice, stay away from them altogether and show them that YOU keep them in business, not the other way around.

  15. J E Luna says

    I am upset with sloppy performance of CALCAS & EVERHOME MORTGAGE. Do not send Inspectors if You do not send Remanent of my claim in check with out EVERHOME ENDORSEMENT REQUIRED. I am going to Tennessee Civil Court to file a civil lawsuit against CALCAS & EVERHOME if I do not have the entire payment of my claim by Sunday May 12, 2013 MOTHER DAY. I HAVE A lawyer already who can get in my behalf copy of your STANDARD HOME OWNER INSURANCE POLICY. HIS FAX IS [Redacted].

  16. Otaycec says

    You’ll want to stay away from this company. One of their clients side-swiped my pick-up trying to enter my lane from the shoulder. California Casualty wasted my time by sending me to get an estimate for damages, then refused to fix my vehicle advising me to sue them. “It’s your word against ours.” They had no intention of honoring the claim without wasting my time and money in court, which they knew I would not do for $1500 worth of damages. Instead I’ve reported them to the California Department of Insurance which will probably do nothing either, but any pressure I can put on this fraudulent company will be well worth the effort.

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