OUR LEGACY SPANS ALL THE WAY BACK TO 1923

THE STORY

ONE OF THE AREA’S LONGEST ESTABLISHED BUSINESSES

The business was founded in Macclesfield in 1923. Today, J Stonier & Son uses the trading name “Stonier Insurance” and is proud to be one of the longest established businesses to remain trading in the Macclesfield area. The town of Macclesfield has changed almost beyond recognition over the last 94 years but so too has the way in which the insurance industry operates today.

We still hear from some of those customers who can remember the business back in the 1920s at Brunswick Terrace but also those who remember the business at Shaw Street too.

 

 


In 1923, the business was founded as J Stonier & Son by John Stonier and it traded from the end cottage of Brunswick Terrace, Macclesfield. Following John’s retirement Frank Lomas, John’s step-son, took over the running of the firm along with his wife, Vicky and the J Stonier & Son was relocated to 1 Shaw Street in the 1970’s.

Having relocated to Shaw Street from Brunswick terrace in the 1970’s, Geoff Walton (a senior inspector at Commercial Union Insurance Company in Manchester) purchased J Stonier & Son in the early 1980’s. Geoff had worked at Commercial Union for around 20 years and with Frank and Vicky for a couple of years before Frank announced his plans to retire. By the mid-1980’s Geoff began to computerise some of the quotation process following the acquisition of another local general insurance firm, Immediant Insurance brokers. Around this time the business extended the agency-base which helped the business compete strongly with other regional firms.

By the late 1980’s, Geoff purchased a neighbouring property to increase the office space at Shaw Street but soon decided to move the business location to it’s present site on Chester Road. This provided the space necessary to further develop the firm and he computerised the business records. Chester Road location also brought the added benefit of client parking in front of the office.

Geoff appointed Jonathan Hills, formerly Assistant Office Manager at Swinton Insurance (Macclesfield), as the Office Manager.

Nigel Walton joined the company around 1990 having worked for Norwich Union in Manchester during the late 1980’s.

The business further expanded through regional advertising and client recommendations throughout the nineties andthe acquisition of Rational Shelley Friendly Society’s general insurance agencies helped establish J Stonier & Son as one of the region’s best known and most respected insurance intermediaries for motor and home insurance.

This era was one of insurmountable change driven by advancements in technology, communication, industry regulation and the ever shifting distribution of insurance towards electronic trading.

Geoff’s retirement from the business came around 2004 at which point Nigel took control of the business as a sole trader.

Stonier Insurance had by now become an established trading name of J Stonier & Son whilst general insurance acquisitions of David Earles Insurance Services (Zurich agency) and Fleming Associates took place.

A backdrop of rapid change continues to shape our industry. Many underwriters use well-known ‘brands’ to market their insurance products direct to the public. Additionally, the emergence of price comparison sites and an ever-shifting consumer attitude, increasingly favouring online sales, has affected both industry jobs often at the expense of customer service.

As independent General Insurance brokers we know that the insurance industry is one of the most competitive business sectors in the UK and in recent years competition has heightened to new levels.

We subscribe to the largest insurance intermediary software provider and we continually develop the sophistication of our IT and web-based software so that we are always equipped to compete with the national brands and internet-based services that continue to dominate the nation’s media.

Unlike most insurance brands and websites, our customers can choose whether to visit us face to face, engage with us online, telephone, sms or email.

Throughout our long journey, Stonier Insurance has acquired and developed a wealth of expertise; on average our customer service team members currently have 22 years of insurance experience so you can expect unrivalled customer service and a rare level of professionalism.