Payments for Good

CSAA Insurance Group helps policyholders rebuild faster

From forest fires to hurricanes, climate-related disasters pose growing risks to people and communities. CSAA Insurance Group, which insures thousands of AAA members nationwide, has risen to the challenge by offering policyholders faster claims payments. It’s part of their longstanding mission to put customers first, providing help as soon as possible.


Here's a deeper look at how they’re helping people get back on their feet.

A history of service

Since the onset of electronic payments, CSAA Insurance Group’s customer service philosophy has focused on paying policyholders as soon as possible. Their willingness to innovate has often put them at the forefront of the insurance industry. They were early ACH adopters, and among the first insurers to pay claims via prepaid card.


With wildfires devastating customers on the west coast annually, they began exploring additional ways to send funds even faster than before. “Speed is essential for people who have suffered extreme loss,” notes Joey Daryanani, CSAA Insurance Group’s claims executive. “How can we expect someone to wait for a check when their home has been destroyed?”

The benefits of mobile

This need for speed has spurred CSAA Insurance Group to begin sending payments with Zelle® for both catastrophe and non-catastrophe claims, enabling their policyholders to get funds quickly using their U.S. mobile phone number or email. “Zelle® has enabled us to provide our customers with funds before our competitors can even issue a check,” says Barbara Landolt, CSAA Insurance Group’s assistant treasurer.


When catastrophes strike, CSAA Insurance Group dispatches trailers near disaster scenes that serve as mobile operations hubs. Affected policyholders who are enrolled with Zelle® can come to the trailers and receive a payment to help them pay for temporary lodgings and basic supplies.

Zelle® payments to policyholders

  • Fast Payments1
  • Simple to use
  • Broad reach
  • No need to collect bank account info2

What the future holds

Buoyed by the ease and customer satisfaction, Daryanani and Landolt have expanded the use of Zelle® for all insured payments. “Given the ubiquity of digital payments, we could potentially use it to pay hundreds of thousands of claims each year,” says Daryanani.


Landolt concurs. “Getting rid of checks isn’t just a win for our customers. It’s a win for us, as well,” she notes. From a faster delivery to lower costs, Zelle® has simplified how CSAA Insurance Group issues payments. “We’ve even developed special training that helps our service team proactively offer it to even more customers. This is just the beginning.”

Zelle and the Zelle-related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.


1Once payment is sent and recipient is enrolled, funds can arrive as quickly as minutes or may take up to three business days.

2U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®.