By Diane Morte, CEBS
"I've been using California Casualty A+ Auto and home insurance for over 10 years. The service has been great; I've shopped around, and couldn't find a better deal." Philip Oiler, Lakeport Classified Employees Association
Savings on auto and life insurance, travel, fitness programs and appliance purchases are just a few of the many benefits CTA members have at their disposal with association membership. With a wide selection of quality products and discounts available on everyday purchases, members can accumulate savings greater than the cost of their association dues. While many members enjoy the savings and value provided by products endorsed by CTA and administered through the Member Benefits Department, some members are not aware of the programs that are available and the many savings they could enjoy.
CTA programs include voluntary life and disability plans, the automatic death and dismemberment plan, automobile and home insurance, credit card services, credit union membership, and travel and entertainment discounts. CTA members also have access to a wide array of attractive benefits and discounts through NEA Member Benefits which leverages the purchasing power of over 3 million members.
Money in your pocket
A recent key upgrade available to CTA members is the enhancement of CTA’s automobile insurance program — the result of CTA leaders and Member Benefits working with the CTA-endorsed vendor California Casualty. The improvement resulted in both a decrease in rates of almost 12 percent for CTA members and the upgrading of unique benefit provisions especially designed for educators who use the program, including a provision for no deductible for vandalism or collision damage to vehicles parked on school property or while attending a school-sponsored event.
“After learning that many of my fellow educators had good things to say about California Casualty, including the fact that they had just lowered their auto insurance rates, I switched coverage for my three vehicles from my carrier of over 20 years to California Casualty,” said Robin Williams, a member of the Hart District Teachers Association. “I saved about $1,800 a year, and I’m thrilled!”
Thorough endorsement practice
CTA’s rigorous endorsement process ensures that the highest-quality products and services are available for members. CTA vendor requirements are stringent and include thorough due diligence in the selection process, careful oversight and management, and special provisions benefiting members. The endorsement process is overseen by the Vendor Evaluation and Screening Committee, made up of CTA members, and the Member Benefits and Risk Management/Business Initiatives and Development departments.
CTA endorsement also provides channels of recourse for members. The endorsed vendors are expected to provide quality products and exceptional service at reasonable rates. They work with CTA members to resolve issues — a process monitored by Member Benefits. Additionally, the CTA Member Benefits staff will advocate on the member’s behalf and attempt to resolve any concerns with a CTA-endorsed provider. The Advisory Panel on Endorsed Services provides recourse for members with complaints that cannot be otherwise resolved. The panel, which has CTA Board-appointed members and a CTA Board liaison, has the power to adjudicate most disputes, and to ensure that endorsed vendors and service providers are accurately and consistently administering the provision of their services under the terms of the endorsement agreement.
Managing your money
CTA continues to develop quality programs, including investment education resources for members. Risk Management/Business Initiatives and Development has launched a new website, www.CTAinvest.org, which includes articles on 403(b) and 457 plans, financial calculators, and retirement planning tools. Members are encouraged to visit the website for valuable information on retirement planning and 403(b)/457 plans. Additionally, a new consumer guide on 403(b) and 457 plans has been distributed through CTA chapters and to new CTA members. The consumer guide is available at both www.cta.org/Member-Services/Member-Benefits/Financial-Services and www.CTAinvest.org.
There are many opportunities to learn more about programs offered by attending a Member Benefits training at statewide conferences. Sessions will be held this summer at both the Presidents Conference and Summer Institute.
“The information was more than I expected,” said one leader attending the Member Benefits mini-track at Summer Institute last year. “I have shared what I learned with many members already and everyone is surprised at all the benefits offered.”
In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever for members to be aware of all the deals and bargains available to them. CTA leaders and staff are working every day to ensure that these programs remain valuable and relevant to enhance members’ lives and well-being.
Members and leaders are encouraged to visit the CTA Member Benefits websites at www.cta.org and www.CTAinvest.org to learn more. Also visit the NEA Member Benefits website at www.neamb.com to learn more about NEA’s programs and services.
Top 5 Summer Member Benefits Savings
- New lower auto insurance rates from California Casualty
- Travel and entertainment discounts, including Disneyland tickets
- Rental car discounts
- New investment and financial education resources, including CTAinvest.org
- Savings at www.barnesandnoble.com for books, music, videos and more
For more opportunities to find value and savings with member benefits, visit www.cta.org/Member-Services/Member-Benefits and www.neamb.com today!