On February 11, 1992, at 8:30 a.m., Jeff Cavignac walked out the door of Robson, Cavignac & Associates, and the Jeffrey W. Cavignac Insurance Brokerage (JWCIB) was founded. It was truly a one-man shop. There was no staff, and no clients, but there was a mission statement and a business plan.
The first year had its share of challenges. The economy in San Diego was weak and getting weaker, and the insurance market was spiraling downward. These factors, combined with the normal learning curve associated with a start-up business, made for an interesting first year.
Nevertheless, the fledgling agency was able to get moving in the right direction thanks to some quality insurance company appointments, including Chubb, Continental, Safeco, Aetna, Industrial Indemnity and Zenith. In addition, DPIC Companies (now known as XL Design Professional) switched its exclusive agency appointment in San Diego and Imperial Counties to Cavignac & Associates. Most importantly, a number of previous clients as well as new clients elected to place their coverage with the firm.
In 1996, both Jim Schabarum and Scott Bedingfield joined the firm. Jim’s background in surety and Scott’s background in real estate were natural additions to the firm’s existing commercial insurance expertise. In January of 2000, both Jim and Scott became principals and shareholders of the agency.
In the fourth quarter of 2002, the firm opened its Employee Benefits Department. Patrick Casinelli was brought on board to spearhead this effort. Patrick subsequently became a partner as well.
Cavignac & Associates has always been guided by its mission:
Our mission is to be a service-intensive, risk management-oriented insurance brokerage which puts our clients’ interests before our own.
Cavignac & Associates is committed to using its expertise to effectively manage its clients’ risks and protect their assets at the lowest realistic cost. The foundation of our success is based on the following corporate philosophies:
- We will provide specific risk management services that are not customarily offered by our competitors.
- We will establish relationships with insurance companies whose philosophies and business appetites mirror our own.
- We will hire above-average people who are service-oriented, education-minded, and who will make a commitment to company objectives.
- We will be an effective corporate citizen, contributing our time and money to local non-profit and civic organizations we believe in.
Since its beginning as a one-man show in 1992, the firm has specialized in reducing the Total Cost of Risk for its commercial clientele. It has grown to over 40 insurance professionals who specialize in professional liability, construction, real estate, manufacturing and commercial insurance in general. The success of Cavignac & Associates has been dependent upon the quality individuals that have chosen to work with the firm, as well as a strong belief in the corporate mission statement and the corporate philosophies that support it.