The year was 1960. Turlock had a population of around 8,000. That was the year that the Lesan Agency of Farmers Insurance opened an office in Turlock. Although the faces and locations have changed, the office has been operating continuously for the past 51 years.
Dick Lesan started it all April 1960 in a small office on S. Center Street. Later the office moved around the corner to 220 E. Main Street and stayed there until 1977 when it relocated to Geer Road and Hawkeye Avenue. In 1985, one of Dicks’ sons, Ken, joined him when his office partner retired. Dick retired in 1992 after 32 years as an agent. Joining Ken in the office at that time was his brother Randy and sister Phyllis.
In 1997 the three of them bought an office at 700 E. Olive Avenue and are currently operating at that location. The building was originally built as a Kentucky Fried Chicken in the early 1970’s and still had some KFC items left in it when the Lesan’s purchased it. They are displaying those items and others in their break room.
For 51 years, the business philosophy has remained the same; treat the customer with respect and provide exceptional service. Ken and Randy remember their dad saying, “Take care of the customer, and in turn, they will take care of you.” This has proven to be true based on higher than average customer loyalty and referrals.
“Not only do we still have many of Dad’s original customers from 1960, but we also have many of their children and grandchildren as well,” recalls Ken.
Over the years the insurance industry has changed.
One example is technology. Fifty years ago, all insurance rates were quoted from a rate book, and to write a policy or make changes required many different paper forms. Today, quoting is all internet based, and no need for extensive forms since nearly all transactions are submitted on-line.
Another example of changes in the industry is the choices available to the insurance customer. In the past, you could typically only buy insurance face-to-face. Now in addition, you can purchase insurance by mail, by phone and over the internet.
The Lesan Agency is a firm believer in the value of a local agent.
“When you have a problem and need advice, would you rather to talk to your agent face-to-face, or would you rather talk to someone in a call center 2,000 miles away,” asks Randy.
The Lesan Agency offers nearly all types of insurance including auto, home, life (including annuities), commercial, and health insurance. There also is a notary on staff. The office is located at 700 E. Olive Avenue in Turlock. They can be reached by phone at 634-2984. Ken’s website is www.farmersagent.com/klesan and Randy’s is www.farmersagent.com/rlesan.