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2358 San Pablo Ave.
Pinole, CA

Mon. to Fri. 9 – 5
After hours by
Appointment Only

(510) 724-6456
(707) 645-1321

(510) 724-6015


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Arthur D. Dern, FounderThe Agency was founded by Arthur D. Dern on June 28, 1928 with our first insurance company appointment to the Capital Fire Insurance Company. Mr. Dern was promoted to be the Vice President of the Bank of Pinole, Rodeo Branch, by Edward Downer, Sr., Founder of the Mechanics Bank as we know it today. In fulfilling his banking duties, Mr. Dern needed to collateralize the banks loans. Fire Insurance policies were written for his good customers and their businesses. Hence, this was the start of a very successful, and soon to be, well respected Insurance Agency serving our Community.

Mr. Dern is also credited with foiling a bank robbery by single handedly apprehending the bank robber carrying a little gat on July 3, 1931. He gave chase on the running boards of a car driven by two girls in a roadster out front of the bank to the neighboring town of Tormey. Click on the highlighted area for a full review of the news article as printed in the "Tri City News" on April 14, 1945. [click here]

Vernon A. Fereria, A True EntreprenuerUpon Mr. Dern's passing in 1956, his son-in-law, Vernon A. Fereria, took the reins to merely continue financial support for Mrs. Dern. Insurance was no stranger to Vern, as his father was previously an appointed Agent for the Capital Fire Insurance Company of California in 1915. Although Vern's passion was playing and teaching piano, he took his new venture serious and excelled in securing excellent insurance coverage for his clients. Vern's warmth and good nature, trustworthiness, and many good deeds for people in the community, earned him the confidence of the people and their successor generations who make up many of the good clients of our Agency today.

In 1966, Vern purchased an established insurance agency from the long time Crockett delicatessen and tavern owner, and entrepreneur, Donato "Toots" Pezzuto. Then in 1970, retired Banker, George Dutra, of the First Western Bank of Pinole, sold his business to Vern. (Mr. Dutra is also referred to in the Bank's news article of bank robberies on May 9, 1933 above.) This was the transitioning mark that culminated with the official opening of our Store front office in the Park View Plaza and evidence of our commitment to the “Tri-City” community.

Terry Tigh, BrokerIn 1976, Vern asked his grandson, Terry Tigh, to join the Agency. “Just give it a year and you’ll find great enjoyment working with the good people that make up our Agency,” said Vern. Terry often references Vern's great words of Wisdom!

1978 brought the association of Elliot Steinberg to the Agency with the purchase of his insurance business. And then in 1982, the culmination of the Richard Andersen Real Estate Insurance Agency was completed.

In 1986, the Agency passed to the families fourth generation, Terry L. Tigh. Terry is the grandson and great grandson of his predecessors, and was groomed by Vern for the purpose of continuing a long family tradition of "taking care of the community’s insurance needs." Terry, currently embarking on his 37th year with the Agency, worked hand in hand with Vern on a daily basis, learning a great work ethic. Terry often quotes from his grandfather: "We must always remember what it took to attract our good clients... Dedication to excellent service, and offering a superior product."

Morris Benezra, CSE Charter AgentMost recently, and after thirty-nine years in the insurance business, Morris Benezra has joined forces with the A.D. Dern Insurance Agency, Inc. and Terry Tigh. For most of you this is old news as our two agencies have worked closely together to create a familiarity of Morris' accounts over the past twelve years. Adding the many years of experience of Morris Benezra solidifies our Agency's continued effort to provide both a knowledgeable and caring staff to handle your insurance needs. In addition to insurance, today Morris continues to carry out his most enjoyable work of “Art on the Canvas”. A great many of his works can be found on display at the Pinole Senior Center, as well as our revered portrait of A.D. Dern in our office shown above.

Our ties to the many good people of our community are great and many since 1928. The greatest compliment that our Agency receives today, are the many referrals received from our existing good clients, as well as Real Estate Professionals, Mortgage Brokers, and Title Insurance Officers within the greater Bay Area.

The Agency has been through some interesting times. We’ve seen transitions in insurance marketing, as well as soft and hard markets over the years. The "Year of the Insurance Drought - 1986", major Disasters of the 20th Century such as the Loma Preita & Northridge Quakes, the Oakland Hills and Southern California Fires, as well as numerous hurricanes, the Homeowners Insurance Dilemma in 1994, and then the rising rates and shrinking markets due to the terrorist attacks in 2001, have all been endured by our Agency with great success. When most agencies had no markets, we’ve been there providing insurance protection with excellent insurance companies the entire time.

Today we are an Independent Insurance Agency, marketing all types of insurance – Property and Casualty, Life, and Accident and Health. Our current staff consists of Elizabeth Cardoza, Office Manager and Licensed Agent, and Terry L. Tigh, Insurance Broker / Owner.

Liz Cardoza    Terry Tigh    &   Rocky the Squirrel
We represent many major insurance companies in which we place business that are stable, progressive, and reliable insurance companies. At present, we service both commercial lines and personal lines customers. We continue to monitor our many companies, and continue to add to our base of good solid companies.  These companies agree to provide our clients with sound protection, backed by service.  As representatives of our clients, we must make certain that they do just that.  In turn, we enjoy the good will of the many good people of our community.

From the beginning, our business has been conducted in a professional manner. This is necessary to remain in business; therefore, our employees are expected to conduct themselves likewise.  In order to achieve and maintain a professional status, our employees further their knowledge with educational courses, as well as fulfilling the State of California's Continuing Education License requirements. 

Today, our business is fully automated with the most up to date computer equipment and technology available.  We provide our clients with computer generated quotes and information to support their insurance needs at home and at their businesses.  We look forward to meeting your insurance needs.  We've been here helping You, Since 1928!


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Last Updated: Jun 6, 2012
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