Full-Service Insurance Agency
Since our establishment in 1957 by my grandfather, Charles W. Skeele Sr., our company has grown to be a full-service insurance agency. My father, Win, joined the business in 1972 and I followed in 1977. Brothers Shawn and Shea came on board with the agency in 2001 and 2003, respectively. The agency currently serves over 7,000 clients in Madison, Onondaga, Cortland, Chenango, Oneida, Cayuga and Tompkins counties from offices in DeRuyter, Cazenovia, Chittenango, Manlius, Moravia and Waterville.
While our client network stretches well beyond these counties, we are strongly committed to personal service without regard to account size and location. We are an independent agency providing the products of several national, regional, and local insurance companies to satisfy all of your insurance needs. We work for you, offering the best coverage at the most competitive price.
The Skeele Agency is a firm of proven and licensed professionals that are certified in the insurance industry. We are a FOUR GENERATION FAMILY business that has been in existence since 1957. Watch our video on what makes Skeele Agency different
Our goal is to provide reasonable insurance products to close potential financial risks that have been identified – doing this promptly, professionally, and with a smile! We offer a toll-free line, are reachable 24/7 for emergencies, and provide accessibility through the internet and social media outlets.
You will find all of the Skeele Agency staff active in our various communities as coaches, in civic groups, school and church activities, community organizations, and even politics. We believe in doing business and being involved LOCALLY!
Thank you in advance for considering us for a no-obligation review of your insurance needs. We work hard to earn your business and keep it!
Michael J. Skeele, CIC, CPIA
In 1957 Col. Charles W. Skeele (the Colonel) retired from the Air Force after serving his country in three wars including WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. That year he began the Skeele Agency from his briefcase and home on East Lake Road on DeRuyter Lake. He had a small farm where he raised beef cattle and grew crops. The business grew over the years as the Colonel focused on life policies. Charles W. Skeele Jr (Win) joined his dad in the business in 1972. Win was a public school math teacher for 13 years, but decided to join the family business and helped move it towards a full-service agency, selling all lines of personal insurance.
In 1977, Michael Skeele (Win’s oldest son), joined the company after graduating from Morrisville college with a business degree. Once Mike joined the office, the agency grew by selling and servicing all personal lines and offering commercial products. The Agency purchased the insurance businesses of Wesley Lewis, Duane Skeele, Basil Conway, and Lloyd Holdredge over the next few years and experienced steady growth. In 1979, after a fire that destroyed the office in Charles’s house, the office relocated into a newly renovated house across the road. This property was later added onto as a residence for Win and Connie Skeele.
In 1995, Bob and Jeanine Denkenberger sold the Gutches Agency to Skeele. The current office building, in the village of DeRuyter, was built at this time and remains the home office for the agency. Mike Skeele, Christine Newton (2002) and Shanna Pelcher (2010) are fully licensed, certified insurance professionals that will assist you in the DeRuyter office with your insurance needs.
In 1985 Win, Connie, and Mike, with guidance from the Colonel, decided to expand into the village of Cazenovia (what is currently Common Grounds Cafe). From there, the office moved to the Atwell Mill Building in the early 90’s, where it was until the fall of 2014. The agency purchased the historic “White Lilacs” building at 9 Albany Street in Cazenovia, where you will find the office located today. Shea Skeele (Win’s youngest son) came to the agency in 2003 from the communication industry with a decade of sales and management experience. He is joined there by Maurine Brown, who rejoined us in 2015, and are both licensed certified professionals. Win, while retired, still comes in and helps out occasionally when needed and maintains his license.
Agency Expands to the yellow brick road in Chittenango…
The Skeele Agency purchased the Allan Granish Agency in 2000. Shawn Skeele (one of Win’s middle sons) was welcomed into the Skeele Agency in 2001. He brought 13 years of business ownership and management experience to our organization. In 2003, our Chittenango office moved 149 steps south on the same side of the street to the bottom floor of the old Masonic Building.
In 2011, we purchased and renovated a building that is now our current office location across from the hardware store/post office. The new space was needed to accommodate our growth of the agency, including the purchases of the PKB Insurance Agency and Fudesco-Jones Agency – both formerly of Canastota. We gained a more visible location with the new office and a sign along with easy vehicle access and parking. Matt Skeele (Mike’s oldest son) joined us in 2011 and represents the 4th generation Skeele in the business. Deborah Stowell joined us again in 2012 after working for us years ago. Together with Shawn, they represent an experienced, licensed, and professional group of agents ready to assist you with solving your insurance needs.
Skeele Agency opens fourth office in Manlius…
In February 2002, the agency purchased the Ernest and Cooper Insurance Agency and its building. The location is at the corner of Smith Street and Fayette Street (Rt. 92) across from the Swan Pond. Extensive improvements were undertaken on both the interior and exterior of the structure to bring it to its present condition. We wanted to enhance the property in the community, taking pride in continuing to provide insurance services to local residents and businesses. We were recognized for our efforts by the Village of Manlius in 2003 and 2009 with the Swan Business of the Year Awards.
Shayna Gersch (2007) joined our staff with several years of experience with full licensure in the insurance business. In 2011, the Stam Agency was purchased in Dewitt and moved into the Manlius office. Mike and Shayna can provide solutions to your rate issues, coverage problems, and general insurance needs.
Skeele Agency expands to Oneida County…
On August 1, 2009, the Skeele Agency purchased the Morcy-Morehouse Agency in New Hartford, bringing us to five locations in the CNY region, and the first located in Oneida County. The Morcy-Morehouse was a two-generation family run agency with a deep history of exceptional insurance service in the New Hartford/Utica area. On August 1, 2015, six years after moving to New Hartford, we relocated the agency to the current location on West Main Street in Waterville. With a majority of the in-office clientele being from the Waterville area, we felt it was the right decision to move the agency closer, but we hope to have a physical presence back in the New Hartford/Utica area in the near future! For your insurance questions and needs, the solution providers, besides Mike, are Jennifer Tehan (2010) and Jan Kelley (2011). They are both fully licensed and certified insurance professionals with many years in the industry.
Expanding to the Finger Lakes Region…
In March of 2016, we purchased the Tregaskis Agency located at 10 Central St in Moravia. There are a large amount of logging and construction policies that were written in the office, and we are excited to continue servicing those and writing new logging accounts. Matt will be joined there by Jacki Boyden, who has over 30 years in the insurance industry, and Lisa Bancroft, who worked for the Tregaskis Agency in the past and is familiar with the clientele – All three are fully licensed for all policy types. Along with continuing to write and service the logging and other commercial accounts, we look forward to growing the personal lines business with the 30+ companies we bring to region.