The handshake that led to a legacy

Photo+courtesy+of+Weingarten+and+Hough+Insurance+Company+via+Yelp.com+

Photo courtesy of Weingarten and Hough Insurance Company via Yelp.com

Layla Freiberg, Managing Editor

Around the years 1910 to 1935, when actress Mary Pickford filmed scenes where the Mary Pickford Theater in Cathedral City now resides, two bright-eyed friends shared a handshake—a handshake that would unknowingly lead to the creation of their legacy.

87 years ago, when Palm Springs, Calif. was just starting to obtain its place on the map of celebrity hotspots, Weingarten and Hough Insurance was born. 

The insurance company now holds the title of the oldest continuously-run-family-operated business in the Coachella Valley.

Weingarten and Hough Insurance was founded by Al Weingarten and Earl Hough in 1934. One of the first tenants of the Palm Springs Plaza, the third generation insurance company has proven successful throughout the evolution of the Coachella Valley.

The family-operated business also excels in the department of customer service. 

“The customer service is what makes this company great. Five-star company in my book.” 

“I would give 10 stars if I could!” 

That is just a glimpse of what satisfied clients have said on Yelp. 

Customer service is just one piece of the great business puzzle that has kept Weingarten and Hough in operation for so long. Determination is also a key component. 

“Never give up,” said office manager, Danielle Mulder, when asked about the best piece of business advice she could give. 

Mulder, who has been in the insurance industry for over 16 years, is no stranger to the ever-changing business of insurance. 

One factor that has remained consistent in her time with Weingarten and Hough, however, is the fact that they’re family-owned. Not only has this enhanced the longevity of the insurance company, but it is also now one of their proudest accomplishments. 

“We’ve been in business for so long with the same owners. And it’s all kept within the family,” Mulder said.

Earl Hough’s sons, Brent and Greg, joined the company in 1968 and 1972 and carried on their father’s legacy for 47 years until their retirement. Today, the current managing partner of the company is Hunter Hough, son of Greg, and grandson of Earl Hough. 

Weingarten and Hough have not been a stranger to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have had to rework staff, ask some employees to work from home and some in the physical office, clients going out of business, and more. 

But being an older company has helped guide them in their struggles. 

“Clients call us for a little bit of direction on how they can possibly bring costs down, and we can help from that standpoint; or just helping small businesses stay afloat by doing different things, whereas maybe a new agency wouldn’t know what to do in a situation like that,” said Mulder.

The insurance business and Palm Springs might seem completely different, but there is one consistent and timeless factor they will always share: Weingarten and Hough Insurance Company.