Jones & Boyd Insurance Agency opened under new ownership on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. Ed Boyd, owner of the long-time Metter business, has sold the agency to Jay McCranie who came to Jones & Boyd as an agent over 23 years ago.
This is a transaction that brings change to the business but also allows the agency to continue operating as usual. The new business will be named Jones, Boyd & McCranie Insurance Agency.
Under the ownership of James and Martha Jones, the business opened in 1957 and was named James M. Jones Insurance Agency, Inc. The Joneses also operated James M. Jones Photography from a studio located in the rear of the business. Boyd, son-in-law of the Joneses, was brought into the insurance agency in 1977.
As a business graduate of Georgia Southern College (University), Boyd had studied and developed an interest in the insurance field and had worked in banking and manufacturing prior to becoming a licensed insurance agent.
“Over the years, I learned a great deal about insurance and felt the desire to help our clients purchase the appropriate insurance coverage for their specific business and/or personal needs,” explains Boyd.
He says he always had a desire to relieve the customer of worry when it came to insurance coverage.
“I tried to make sure that the people who came to my office understood that adequate coverage is more important than low premiums,” he adds.
In order to provide adequate coverage, Boyd says he sold many “umbrella policies,” giving additional coverage to protect the individual’s assets.
After working at James M. Jones Insurance Agency for about seven years, Boyd was approached by his father-in-law with a deal. Jones and his wife Martha had been running two businesses for many years and had the desire to spend more time with photography, mostly wedding and portrait work.
In 1983, the business was purchased by Ed and Elaine Jones Boyd and the name on the building changed to Jones & Boyd Insurance Agency.
Through the years, Jones & Boyd Insurance Agency specialized in property and casualty insurance, life insurance and crop insurance. As older agents in Metter retired, Jones & Boyd purchased what is known as their “book of business.”
Says Boyd, “I bought Clyde Coston’s Insurance Agency’s book of business and a few years later bought Candler Insurance Agency which was Ray Glisson’s book of business. When Metter’s oldest agency, B & H Insurance, was up for sale, Boyd and B & H owner I. A. Brannen came to an agreement for the purchase of his book of business.
“I.A. Brannen was an old-timey salesman,” recalls Boyd. He adds that he learned a great deal from Mr. Brannen, especially concerning church insurance. “Mr. Brannen knew every preacher at almost all of the churches in South Georgia!” states Boyd.
Brannen carried Boyd along on calls to these churches and introduced him to the pastors, deacons and board members who were charged with finding insurance that covered their houses of worship adequately. For several years, B & H Insurance continued to operate from its South Broad Street location with long-time employees Nell Harrington and Melanie Brannen, daughter of I.A. Brannen.
Several years later, the B & H office was closed, bringing all of the customers to the South Rountree Street location of Jones & Boyd. Most importantly, Melanie Brannen moved into Jones & Boyd and continues her insurance career there today.
With the addition of several books of business, Jones & Boyd had needed to add to the agency’s staff, which included Angie Roberts who first came to work as a teenager and has been a mainstay of the agency’s customer service ever since.
It was then that Boyd decided he needed another agent to be able to best serve the agency’s customers with sales, service and claims.
McCranie recalls how he was brought into the business.
“Ed contacted me and asked if I was interested in selling crop insurance,” says McCranie. “I responded that I needed to think about it.”
Shortly after that initial conversation, McCranie moved into the office he has occupied and has been writing policies ever since.
McCranie’s office in the Jones & Boyd building is the one previously occupied by James Jones, the man who opened the agency in the same site in 1957. McCranie has been in that office for 23-½ years, becoming a part of the Jones & Boyd Family.
Boyd, who is also the Mayor of Metter, was ready to retire and looked no further than his co-worker when considering what to do with his “book of business.”
“Jay has earned the opportunity to purchase the business by his loyalty and hard work for over two decades,” says Boyd. “I know that he will continue to provide the best of service to our agency’s customers and clients.”
McCranie reiterates what Boyd says about customer service.
“We will keep up the tradition of customer service going that has been here in this agency for all these years,” he states.
McCranie adds that he believes what will separate Jones, Boyd & McCranie from other insurance companies, and particularly from the online insurance that is available, is how the customer is treated.
“We ask the question, ‘how much risk are you willing to accept?’ instead of simply ‘how much do you want to pay for coverage?’” he explains.
About his many years serving the people of Metter and their insurance needs, Boyd says, “I learned a great deal from James Jones and my life has been intertwined with James Jones Insurance Agency for over 50 years.”
He points out that the insurance industry has changed over the time he has been an agent.
“We used to have paper manuals and forms that had to be filled out by hand,” he recalls, adding, “Now, the majority of the work of the insurance agent takes place on a computer.
“The biggest blessings I have had since purchasing the business,” Boyd states, “are Jay (McCranie), Angie (Roberts), and Melanie (Brannen).”
In reminiscing over his years in the insurance business, he says that he has been blessed beyond belief with the people he has worked with, including his in-laws, James and Martha Jones, and Ruth Trapnell, who was the agency’s receptionist for many years.
McCranie also recognizes the blessings he has had by being a part of the Jones & Boyd family. He points out that there will be almost 100 years of insurance experience in the newly named Jones, Boyd & McCranie Insurance Agency.
“Melanie Brannen has worked in the insurance industry since she graduated high school and has about 40 years of experience, Angie Roberts has extensive knowledge and expertise in handling claims after her 32 years at Jones & Boyd, and I have 23 years,” he enumerates.
Ironically, the ‘book of business’ at Jones, Boyd & McCranie goes back to the very beginnings of Metter. When B & H Insurance Agency was purchased by Jones & Boyd Insurance Agency, the original book of business belonged to Metter pioneer businessmen Ladd Trapnell and Sid Kingery, so even though Jones, Boyd & McCranie Insurance Agency is new, it is also a local legacy business.
James M. Jones, the founder of the agency purchased by McCranie, passed away in 2021. The Jones family is pleased that McCranie chose to incorporate the Jones name in the new title.
In his free time following retirement, Boyd says that he is looking forward to the new year and plans to spend time caring for his elderly mother and mother-in-law, visiting with family and friends, and perhaps doing some traveling. He will also continue to serve as the Mayor of Metter.
Jones, Boyd & McCranie Insurance Agency is located at 8 South Rountree Street in downtown Metter.