The "Commercial Insurance Agency of the Year Award" program was launched by National Underwriter in 2002 to spotlight outstanding agencies that serve as role models for their peers. Independent agencies entered the award program by completing an extensive application and providing an essay describing their unique approaches and success stories.
Cavignac & Associates was one of three firms honored as part of the national awards competition, which rated agencies in a total of five categories. Winners were chosen by the editorial staff of National Underwriter and American Agent & Broker, along with a panel of outside judges. Agencies were judged based on a variety of factors, including growth and development, management of client relationships, technology aptitude and efficiency, innovative solutions to sales challenges, and projection and maintenance of brand identity.
“The numbers say it all, with Cavignac & Associates showing steady growth in premium volume even in today’s challenging economy,” said Laura Mazzuca Toops, editor of American Agent & Broker. “The firm’s success is also reflected in having recently achieved recognition from IIABA as a ‘Best Practices’ agency for the sixth consecutive year.”
The winning agencies are being profiled in National Underwriter and American Agent & Broker. Principals from the winning agencies will also participate in a roundtable discussion, “The Future of the Independent Agent”, hosted by the two publications, and with discussion highlights appearing afterward in the two publications.
“The only way our company has achieved what it has is because I have been fortunate to surround myself with great people – from my three partners to our 38-member staff,” said Jeffrey Cavignac, president and principal of Cavignac & Associates.
Recognizing that insurance is a “graying” industry, Cavignac believes the best way for the industry to attract young talent is through awareness and education. The agency’s strategy focuses on recognizing talent and following through with rigorous training and mentoring.
Brokers at the firm are given a detailed six-month training schedule outlining all of the activities they will be trained to handle; included in the training are education events to enhance their insurance knowledge. New employees also attend multiple-day company seminars and conferences focused on producer development, a weeklong producer training camp, and classes focusing on specific insurance issues. Further, they shadow the agency's principals and more senior producers to observe and learn about their day-to-day tasks, and spend time with account managers to learn about servicing clients.
“Recruiting is the most important non-insurance activity the agency engages in,” said Cavignac. “Identifying and hiring the right people provide the best outcome for our agency’s financial growth, staff professional development and cultural integrity.”
About Cavignac & Associates:
Founded in 1992, Cavignac & Associates is a leading risk management and commercial insurance brokerage firm providing a broad range of insurance and expertise to design and construction firms, as well as to law firms, real estate-related entities, manufacturing companies and the general business community. Company principals are Jeffrey W. Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS; James P. Schabarum II, CPCU, AFSB; Scott A. Bedingfield, CIC, AAI, CWCA; and Patrick Casinelli, RHU. The firm employs a staff of 40 at offices located at 450 B Street, Suite 1800, San Diego, Calif. 92101. More information about the company can be found on the Web at www.cavignac.com.