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Home > Blog > 2019 > Tips from the CEA Information Desk

Tips from the CEA Information Desk

December 13, 2019

Tips from the CEA Information Desk
Info Desk Representatives; Dylan, Brad, Christine and Shane

Chances are good that at least one of the times you’ve called CEA’s InfoDesk, you have spoken to Brad Warfield. Brad, our Information Desk Supervisor, estimates he’s handled in excess of 20,000 calls during his 11-year tenure with CEA. Brad and his amazing team field all sorts of questions from consumers, policyholders, agents and adjusters regarding all things CEA.

We thought we’d ask Brad what sorts of inquiries his team handles most often and what responses his team provides, in order for you to know the answers to some frequently-asked questions, so that you can better service and sell the CEA policy for your customers.

Policy Servicing Questions

 Brad shared, “The most common call topics are related to policy servicing. Things like application status, billing, claims and other policy-servicing-related questions.” 

The key thing is that these servicing questions are ultimately referred to you, the agent, or the carrier who services the policy. This can lead to some policyholder confusion as well as an extra phone call for them, which is not an ideal experience. 

Brad would like agents to know, “CEA does not underwrite, sell or service CEA policies. All applications, billing and claims questions and inquiries need to go back through the participating insurance company.”

In other words, California consumers would need to to contact a participating residential insurer or agent to:
  • Get a CEA insurance quote
  • Buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy
  • Ask questions about policy renewals
  • Make changes to their existing CEA policy
  • Pay their bill
  • Submit any earthquake damage claims

When in doubt about how to advise a policyholder, we encourage you to visit or share the section we have for CEA policyholders called Manage Your Earthquake Policy for more information. You can also view the How to Issue a Policy page on the Agent Portal for additional tips.

Premium Change Questions

 “Another common topic is premium increase, from both insureds and agents,” Brad offered. “Our website contains some great information to help agents explain the increases to the insureds and we try to spread the word that it’s a great resource for them.”

To help you navigate your policyholders questions and concerns, you can find some helpful information on the Agent Portal’s Premium Changes page.

Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) and CEA Brace + Bolt (CEA BB) Retrofit Programs

“Of course, EBB and CEA BB are also important topics these days.” Brad said.

If your policyholder owns an older house (built before 1980), we encourage them to strengthen it to make it more resistant to earthquakes. This process is called a seismic retrofit. For properly retrofitted qualifying homes, CEA offers a premium discount of up to 25%.

“These programs are especially helpful for people who have had premium increases, because once they retrofit, they can be eligible for a premium discount. So, agents always need more info on these topics.”

CEA offers two brace + bolt programs (EBB and CEA BB) to help fund a seismic retrofit.

The Agent Portal website has a Discounts & Grantssection to help you understand and assist your policyholders in taking advantage of these great programs. And remember, once a policyholder has completed a retrofit on their older house, they could be eligible for a CEA premium discount.

Emergency Preparedness Safety Starter Set Availability

Lastly, Brad and his team enjoy letting agents know about the Emergency Preparedness Safety Starter Kits, which are available for trained, Marketing Value Program-eligible, agents.

Get trained in order to learn about CEA policy coverages, benefits and deductibles, get tips on overcoming sales objections, and obtain earthquake retrofit information and much more. And, find out how to join our Marketing Value Program.

We’re Here to Help

 Hopefully this quick update shares some insights that save you time and help you provide even better service to your policyholders.

In closing, Brad offers, “We are always here to help, and remember that the CEA website has many helpful tools and resources—from FAQs to policy contracts, examples of how coverage works, and sales tools with video tutorials, how to issue a policy, and more.

CEA’s Agent Portal website is designed for you, to help provide you quick, easy access to information. And of course, our Info Desk Team is available to assist with all your earthquake-insurance needs.

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