by PAUL BICKLEY
For 70 years, ISU The May Agency has been a family-owned and -operated business serving customers in Monroe County. It opened in 1949 when Charles May launched the independent insurance agency in Ellettsville after returning home from service in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
In 1967, Charles asked his son Paul to help out. “From the beginning, I liked the personal relationships with customers,” says Paul May, 73, now agency president. “I still view that relationship as [another] in the group of valued consultants in a person’s life: their doctors, their attorneys, their accountants.”
In 1970, Charles and Paul decided to set up shop in Bloomington and moved to a location at 17th Street and College the next year. A decade later the business moved to its current location at 1327 N. Walnut. Later, Paul accepted the presidential mantle from Charles, who retired but remained involved in the business. “He was my mentor and best friend,” Paul says of his father, who died in 1993.
Paul’s daughter Sarah started working at the agency as a teenager doing typing and filing. Now 48, she manages marketing and accounts payable. She says she enjoys working with her father: “It adds an element to our relationship that many people don’t get to experience with a parent.”
The agency offers business, municipality, school, home and auto, group benefits, and life and health insurance. Paul and others at The May Agency developed some of the earliest policies for personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis, many of which are held across the country today.
Sarah says memberships in ISU Insurance Services, a national agency network, and Acrisure, an international network, help the agency shop for the best policy prices and create unusual, hard-to-write policies.
The agency and those who work there have received several recognitions. Lisa Slone (now vice president) and Allison England were named Outstanding Customer Service Insurance Agents of the Year by The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, and The Herald -Times has named The May Agency “Favorite Insurance Agency” 14 times.
“We help people protect their most valuable assets. My satisfaction is still in knowing our customers are well taken care of,” Paul says. “We’re proud to have been part of the Monroe County business community for so long.”
For more information, visit mayagency.com.