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.
Around the same time, the company underwent a major change. It evolved from an insurance brokerage to a Risk Management Company. Cavignac & Associates realized that the only way to drive down risk control costs was to reduce the frequency and severity of the claims that drive those costs. With that in mind, we invested in a safety professional, an HR consultant and a workers’ compensation specialist. These three individuals’ only role was to work with the agency’s clients to prevent claims from happening to begin with and effectively manage the claims that did occur.
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. Later, in 2013, Matt Slakoff joined the team as partner. Most recently in 2016, Employee Benefits Account Executive Matt Noonan became the sixth partner.
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.