Benchmark Commercial Insurance Services, Inc.


benchmark Commercial Insurance Services, Inc. is an experienced and reliable source of business insurance catering to small to mid-size companies. We have the capabilities to provide the appropriate insurance products and guidance to choose the correct combination to meet your risk management goals.

Since 1998, our owner-operated agency has been helping clients through both the best and worst of times. We offer a boutique approach to service in an industry generally characterized by agents that golf more than they are in the office. We are here when you need us, and that is what matters most.

Beyond the simple act of providing and maintaining policies for our clients, our genuine value comes in our ability to reduce the risk facing the companies for which we work.

We establish comprehensive risk management and accident avoidance programs to assist you in preventing claims from ever arising. Good planning is the first line of defense to protect your assets and your income.

In the event of a claim, we make sure the policies and carriers react in the best interest of our clients, the policyholder. Staying on top of open claims and expediting payment directly affects the cost of claims, and ultimately, the cost of your policies.

Often just as valuable as preventing a claim is learning from an accident or near-miss and improving procedures to prevent a similar occurrence. We can help analyze the smallest or largest claims and trends in order to identify the gaps in your armor.

Most importantly, we provide our clients with invaluable peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a professional team working to protect your livelihood. We demystify the insurance industry and get you what you need, for the price that achieves your goals.

Would you like to have a chat with us about how insurance affects the security of your company? Come by our brand new corporate headquarters by Palomar Airport and we'll make you a beautiful latte on our commercial espresso machine, talk shop, and help you in every way we are able.

Rob Cohen moved to San Diego in 1982 after 6 years in Phoenix and growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. Rob has been a Commercial Insurance broker since 1991 and he founded benchmark in the spring of 1998. Rob's expertise is providing our clients with open, honest communication providing all the information our clients need in order to make informed and intelligent choices as to how they would like to structure their Risk Management programs. No need to worry about Rob hanging out on the golf course, however, you may see Rob riding his bike along the coast, skiing or playing the drums in a garage band.

email rob   or call (760) 274-2783

DeAnne Lamarche-Session has been a member of the benchmark team since 2002. She has over 35 years experience in the insurance industry and is currently our Personal Lines and Small Commercial Business Solution Specialist. DeAnne's knowledge and diverse business experience has proven to be a great asset to the benchmark team. Her customer retention is also tops in our organization. DeAnne is a great source of information for all of your Personal Insurance needs. Deanne is also well versed in many of the regional wineries and enjoys barbeques with her family around her pool.

email deanne   or call (760) 274-2781

Peter Katkov is a San Diego native who began his career as an insurance broker in 2008. After getting undergraduate degrees in marketing and psychology from the University of Southern California, Peter moved to the small ski town of Rossland in Southeastern British Columbia where he ran his own live music venue and lounge counter intuitively named "Nowhere Special". After tiring of closing the bar at 4:00 am, he sold the lounge and accepted an offer to learn about all things insurance from his long-time friend, and owner of benchmark, Rob Cohen. In the time since, he has committed to becoming the best resource and providing the highest level of service and expertise to his loyal clients. If he isn't working tirelessly at the office or on the road, he is probably with his wife and two dogs, in the ocean, snowboarding in the mountains, or cruising the countryside on his Italian motorcycle.

email peter   or call (760) 274-2792

Lisa Costner has been with benchmark since 2003 and has over 30 years in the insurance industry specializing in commercial lines. Lisa handles the day to day service requests working with our clients and the insurance carriers providing service such as policy review, policy changes, certificates, claims and billing questions as well as any service issues that may arise. Lisa stays active walking and traveling to interesting locations.

email lisa   or call (760) 274-2782

Steve Quinones is a Solutions Specialist in the Marketing Department for our Commercial Division. Steve's role is to communicate underwriting information from producers, and clients to company underwriters in order to obtain competitive quotes. Prior to joining the benchmark team in 2008, he studied at Cal State San Marcos to obtain his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Marketing. Steve is a thrill seeker and loves action sports. If he's not camping near the beach or in the mountains in his 1950's traveler trailer, you can find Steve in the woodshop creating rustic, household furnishings with his wife & dog.

email steve   or call (760) 274-2784

Connor Barrett joined the benchmark team in March of 2017 after two years in Dallas, TX working for a wholesale insurance broker. Although connected to his roots in Charlotte, North Carolina, Connor decided it was time to return to his native State of California where he was born. He transitioned into a broker role in late 2018 and currently is growing his book of business. Prior to jumping into the insurance industry, Connor earned his Bachelor of Arts in Peace, War, and Defense with a focus on International Security and Insurgency Studies as well as a minor in Portuguese from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When not in the office, Connor enjoys spending time with his dogs at the beach in addition to fishing, hunting, hiking and watching college basketball.

email connor   or call (760) 274-2793

Jonathan Hayes joined the benchmark team in August of 2018 after a stint as a broker in Denver Colorado, his home state. Prior to that he spent a brief period in Ohio, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Finance at Ohio State. Ultimately though, the allure of Southern California was too strong so he picked up and moved to San Diego to pursue his love of outdoor activities such as mountain climbing, ocean sports, and of course, snow skiing. He is currently managing the small commercial business in the office and would be happy to help with any commercial needs you might have. When not assisting our commercial clients or outside in the sunshine, Jonathan can be found rooting for his Buckeyes.

email Jonathan   or call (760) 274-2791

Our newest team member, Ethan Sutton was born and raised in South Paris, ME. Ethan’s path to insurance has been a winding one, starting with a football recruitment to St. Lawrence University in upstate NY. He captained the team his senior year and simultaneously earned a BA in Economics/minor in Sports Studies and Exercise Science. Though his first job out of school was car sales in Portland, ME, he quickly realized that the culture he was looking for might be better found in Boston, where he joined Enterprise Rent-a-car. Eventually, he realized he needed to make the move to San Diego, CA with Enterprise to be closer to his Fiancé. As luck would have it, he stumbled upon benchmark and hasn’t looked back since! Ethan works with Steve in the marketing department, and is not shy about his absolute loyalty to all sports New England, and most importantly, his commitment to spending time with friends and family.

email ethan   or call (760) 274-2793

Dominique Babcock joined the benchmark Team in 2015 with a wide range of work experience that spans a 10 year stint as a Big 5 Utility Consultant to her more recent role as an Art Teacher/Art Event Planner. She graduated from UCLA with an English degree/business minor and traveled extensively for the first 10 years of her career before her three children came along. Dominique is currently lobbying for the most valuable 6th man role at benchmark – she pretty much will do whatever needs to be done so reach out to her for all those last minute emergency insurance needs!

email dominique   or call (760) 274-2780

Lucy Busby joined the benchmark Team in the Fall of 2017. Born and raised in San Diego, she took a quick hiatus from the beach to get a BA in International Studies/minors in Western European and African Studies from Indiana University. After a year of immersion in the CSR side of the insurance world, Lucy has found her way to personal lines, where she and Deanne have got you covered! Her free time is spent coaching Varsity Field Hockey and Lacrosse at Torrey Pines High School, traveling with friends and/or family and most importantly, celebrating Taco Tuesday several days a week.

email lucy   or call (760) 274-2788

"We had been with our former insurance broker for some time before moving to Benchmark. We work in the construction industry and we had been meaning to fill in some gaps in our written health and safety programs. Rob and his team jumped in immediately and provided us with the professional assistance required to craft a solid written program. We also have specific certificate requirements and the Benchmark team is there to make sure we are always in compliance and able to get to work."

— Bob H.

"A few years back we were hit with a unique claim circumstance and Rob went to the mat for us and helped us obtain a complete recovery. Being in the real estate industry, we receive many leases that reflect modifications to insurance and indemnity language. We can count on Benchmark for a fast and accurate turnaround of the information we need to make our best choices relating to these issues. Rob and the team at Benchmark have been providing Risk Management and Insurance Services to our company for close to 20 years and we love our relationship."

— Alton W."

"I am pleased to write that we have had a relationship with Benchmark that spans close to 20 years. As a wholesale distributor, our company has special risk control needs relating to operating a large vehicle fleet and Benchmark has always been there to assist us in creating vehicle safety protocols as well as working on our behalf to resolve claim issues. We have great confidence in the Benchmark team's ability to provide timely and accurate risk management and insurance services."

— Sholeh H.

"Benchmark is like a fortress to us, a reliable company that has been a huge help in our times of need. I would bet my good name on this company! A thousand thanks to you Peter and to the whole Benchmark team."

— Zaldy B.

"As a service provider to Southern California municipalities, the State of California and the Federal Government, our clients require timely and accurate certificate documents. Day in and day out, Rob and the Benchmark team delivers for my company. Benchmark has taken the time to understand my business, deliver the quality services that allows me to focus on growing my business, not on the details of my risk management program."

— Lee M.

"I have been a client of Benchmark for several years now. They have proven to be efficient and fast to respond to any requests that I have. In addition, I have found that they are able to provide better pricing on policies than any other source I have found in the past. I plan to stay with Benchmark for many years to come."

— Carol C.

"Benchmark Insurance has made it a priority to secure the best rates possible for our needs all while educating our staff on the types of coverage that are important to our everyday business. Benchmark staff has always been prompt on responding to our needs under short time lines. They are a tremendous asset to our team!"

— Denise T.

"We have been able to grow our business significantly over the past few years and Benchmark has been able to help us best manage our company's risk. It's very reassuring to know that when a need arises Peter and Rob are there to help us through it, each step of the way."

— Brad L.

"Benchmark has managed both our business and personal insurance for over 10 years. Rob and his team have made a point of learning about our business and our family in order to provide the best recommendations for us. We have a frequently changing portfolio of needs and our advisors at Benchmark never tire of addressing those changes and advising us in the best possible way to maintain the optimal coverages for our company and family."

— Paula M.

"Four years ago we switched from a major carrier that made promises they never delivered. Benchmark has not made false promises, but has delivered excellent service and a comprehensive policy for our automobiles and home that give us the peace of mind you expect when you pay for insurance. We have luckily not had to file any claims but firmly believe that should something occur we will be well taken care of by the professional team at Benchmark. When we have added new autos to our policy, our agent Deanne has been wonderful to work with and all paperwork is completed timely and accurately. We have been very happy with the service and appreciate the time and personal care we receive."

— Debbie S.