Kitchen on Fire!

We’re ready for our second annual Blazing Hot Firefighter Chef Competition this Saturday at Momo’s in San Francisco. Camera crews will be ready to capture the excitement in the Momo’s kitchen…please refrain from licking your tv screens when you see the segment!

Who’s going to be swapping their turnouts for aprons on Saturday??




James Brunson, (pictured on the left) has been taming flames for nearly three decades. James is a proud Vallejo firefighter and avid chef. He spends his time with his beautiful children, Donovan and Kaylin and his wife Amy, and enjoys biking, hiking, swimming, and cheering on the San Francisco 49ers. Watch out competitors – this guy knows his way around the kitchen and he’s bringing all of his culinary skills to this competition!

Frank Roldan, (pictured in the middle) San Francisco native, Frank aspired to be a firefighter when he was a kid, and now enjoys his dream job. He has 20 years of experience working with the San Francisco Fire Department, learning to be an amazing firefighter, but also a great cook. He draws culinary inspiration from his colleagues and often “borrows” recipes. And why recreate the wheel, when, as he says “…you already know the meal tastes good!”

Robert Hudson, (pictured on the right) does it all! He builds hot rods and Harleys and spends time with his children, grandchildren and wife. Graduate of California State University and equipped with nearly a decade of firefighting experience and education, Robert takes multi-tasking to another level. He proudly represents Kern County Fire Department in our Blazing Hot kitchen. He loves to cook with his own “gourmet simple style”and believes that cooking events are “…a time for gathering and bringing some of the most memorable times a family or crew can experience.”

Who will you root for??


Posted by CSE Insurance Group

Accident Photography

No one wants to be in an automobile accident (or any kind, for that matter), but with an estimated 5.5 million crashes, the numbers are not in our favor. To alleviate post-accident claims pain, we’ve provided a small list of essential photos you should not leave the scene without. But wait! First, make sure you and anyone else involved in the accident are safe.

  • Take pictures of all of the cars involved from as many angles as you safely can;
  • Now, back up and take pictures of the street layout, any landmarks, signs, etc. You want to get shots that show the cars’ position relative to landmarks, signs and other points;
  • Photograph the vehicles four corners, each side of the vehicle straight on, close ups of the damage, and broader views (to show the context of the damage);
  • Take pictures of the involved cars’ license plates and VIN numbers;
  • Take shots of any interior damage in any of the cars, including deployed airbags, damaged seatbealts, etc.

…and finally:

  • Photograph any debris, such as vehicle parts, marks, potholes on the road pertinent to the accident.

It may seems like alot of pictures to organize and send to your insurance carrier, but if you have our free CSE Accident Toolkit, you can take take photos of the damage, note the location on a map, and send the insurance claim information with a tap on your screen.


Posted by CSE Insurance Group, February 28, 2013

Special Announcement

It may seem like an ordinary Tuesday afternoon to you, but for CSE Employees, Agents and partners, it’s a very significant day. CEO and President of CSE, Pierre Bize made the following announcement:

“Because of our special relationship, I wanted you to be the first to know that after twenty years, I decided the time has come for me to transition out of my current role as President and CEO of CSE Insurance Group. After these many years in the US and with aging parents I feel it is my duty to reconnect with our family in France.  This decision was not made lightly because I will certainly miss all of you.

It is my pleasure to inform you that Richard Rey will be the next President and CEO of CSE Insurance.  Richard is a highly experienced insurance executive, and currently President & CEO of COVEA Reinsurance Company in Paris. I have gotten to know Richard well, and I am very confident that he will pursue with talent the work we all started.  Richard?s vast experience in claims, product management and reinsurance have certainly qualified him for his new role at CSE. Richard and his wife, Céline, will move to the U.S. this summer.  From that point, Richard will work alongside me for a few months. When we are both comfortable, Richard will assume the title of President and CEO.

When we arrived in 1993 in the U.S. leaving behind family and friends, we couldn?t have begun to imagine that this would be the start of a beautiful and long journey.  My wife Brigitte and I will be forever grateful for your wonderful welcome and the friendships we have developed.

I would like to offer you my heartfelt thanks for all of your dedication and hard work for our company. I look back and feel extremely proud of how we have grown, changed and improved in the past two decades.

CSE is now stronger than it has ever been, with assets over $250 million dollars and we have earned the prestigious designation  as a Ward Group top 50 insurance company  in the US for the last three years.

Our success would not have been possible without our dedicated employees, agents and partners who have served our customers so well over the years.

With my departure and the arrival of Richard Rey, I anticipate a very smooth transition with no change in our organization, and with the strong and long lasting support of our parent company, the best years are still to come.

In short, I am confident that as I transition to a new role, I am leaving the best possible team and network of agents in place to continue our tradition of stability and long-term commitment to our customers.

Of course I will be attending our CSEAA Convention next month and will be very happy to answer any question you may have.

Thank you for your support.”

If you would like to watch the announcement, please visit CSE’s YouTube channel.


Posted by CSE Insurance Group

3 Day Weekend Ahead

It’s more than just a day off from the office….Presidents’ Day was established in 1885 as “Washington’s Birthday”. Historically, it was celebrated on February 22nd, Washington’s actual birthday. In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved the holiday to the third Monday in February to help create more three day weekends for workers. (Thanks!!)

Presidents? Day is now viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present, and of course, a holiday to spend time with family and friends.

If you are heading out of town for the long weekend, remember to drive safely!


Posted by CSE Insurance Group


Are You Among the 62%?

62% of adults say they celebrate Valentine’s Day- are you one of them?

Chances are, you contribute to the:

…448 million dollars spent on candy during Valentine’s Day week
…58 million pounds of chocolate bought during Valentine’s Day week
…150 million Valentine’s Day cards and gifts sent each year

…And if you’re a guy, you probably spend about $150…while ladies spend an average $74, on gifts for their valentine.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, we want to take the opportunity to say…We love our customers!!

Posted by CSE Insurance Group

Red Cross Relief

The Red Cross gives thanks to the CSE Insurance Group employees that donated over $6,200 for Hurricane Sandy Relief. Their continued compassion and generosity are greatly appreciated by the Red Cross and the families they help.

For a glimpse of Sandy relief efforts,  take a look at the Red Cross’s Sandy Three Month Report that includes relief stories, a timeline of response, and more.

A special thank you also goes out to Red Cross’s representative, Ms. Stanford, who came to our Walnut Creek office to present a certificate of appreciation to us. Thank you!


Posted by CSE Insurance Group

CSE Scholar

We are ecstatic to hear from our 1st place 2012 Youth Scholarship Award recipient in Southern California, Alexis Jenkins. Alexis is attending UCLA and already earning top grades! In her words:

“Thank you again for awarding me a scholarship, it has greatly helped me in my first quarter of college. From my first quarter I currently have a 3.57 GPA….…I am also excited to continue activities as a member of the Campus Crusade and the Student Leader Advocates of Music (SLAM) clubs. Thank you again for your support of my college experience!” 

Thank you Alexis, we are proud of your accomplishments and are glad to have helped you!

Posted by CSE Insurance Group, February 7, 2013

Glow-in-the-dark Highways

No, not in the U.S. unfortunately. Although it’s still in concept phase, the idea that the Netherlands is looking into a “smart highway” that literally glows in the dark is quite intriguing.

The idea is that standard road markings will be replaced with photoluminescent powder that charges with daylight and glows through the night. And that’s not all, when the temperature dips below freezing, the road would automatically light up with snowflakes to warn drivers of icy conditions.

Still not impressed? The roads would also have interactive lights that would light up when cars approach, then dim as they drive by.  Plans for the “smart highway” include an induction lane that would be able to recharge electric cars.

Do you think these roads will make driving safer and reduce accidents?


Posted by CSE Insurance Group, February 5, 2013

The Demise Of…

You’ve likely heard kids asking, “What’s a video cassette?”, “What’s film?”, “What’s an encyclopedia?”

All of these things are extinct, endangered species, or “vintage” items. A recent study showed that these things will soon be gone:

  • Postcards – in a world of social media where you can instantly post your vacation pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., less and less people are mailing handwritten postcards
  • Handwriting – have you SEEN good penmanship lately?
  • Doing math in your head – most people whip out their phones without a second thought
  • Printed encyclopedias and dictionaries – looking for info? wondering what a word means? do you whip out your good ol’ Webster Miriam dictionary? Probably not…
  • Printed maps- with GPS in our cars and smartphones, printed maps are becoming obsolete
  • VCRs & video cassettes- most ten year olds wouldn’t know what to with either
  • Home phones (a.k.a land lines)…and with that….answering machines- the vast majority of Americans use their cell phones for primary contact  Can you think of more?

Which one(s) will you miss the most?


Posted by CSE Insurance Group, February 1, 2013

Congratulations Kelli!

Congratulations are in order for Kelli Schulhofer, who has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Field Operations and Market Development, effective today.

Kelli has been a part of the CSE family for fifteen years, and has worked in the insurance industry since 1985. As Senior Vice President, she will continue to oversee CSE Insurance Group?s Field Operations and Market Development team and the company?s distribution network in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Please join us in congratulating Kelli on her promotion and in wishing her continued success with us.


Posted by CSE Insurance Group, February 1, 2013