The Merriam Agency is an award-winning full-service insurance agency providing commercial insurance, personal insurance, health insurance and employee benefits.

By working with clients nationally, we see the national trends and help you prepare for potential threats. Through our systematic approach to evaluating your risk management and insurance, we ensure that we cover all the bases and properly underwrite your risk. We show you the “must-haves” and present any options that make sense to consider. In addition, our network of providers is so extensive that we can get risk personnel on the ground quickly… all to make sure you’re back up and running in the event of a loss.

Our purpose is far greater than just providing risk management and insurance services. We use our skills and resources to support those who assist the disadvantaged, disenfranchised and the destitute.

Contact us now by phone or email, for a free, no obligation quote.

Recent Articles

  • The Merriam Agency Acquires Scherff Insurance Agency, Inc. of Gansevoort

    We are excited to announce that we have acquired a local insurance agency, formerly known as Scherff Insurance Agency, Inc, based in Gansevoort, NY.  The addition is an enhancement to not only our agency, but, we hope, to the markets and clients that we are privileged to expand to. The Merriam Agency announced the acquisition on Monday, October 5th.  Financial details of the transaction, which closed on Friday, October 2nd, have not been shared. Avon Scherff, owner of Scherff Insurance Agency, said, “I have known Brian for many years.  I believe that The Merriam Agency will continue to provide access to competitive markets, comprehensive insurance programs, and excellent, personalized service to our valued clients, as well as an expanded product line.” Brian H. Merriam, President of Merriam Insurance, stated, “The Merriam Agency has been serving the personal and commercial needs of local and national clients since it was founded in 1895.  As the needs of our clients change, so must the products we offer to them.  Scherff Insurance Agency enhances our markets in several areas.  We were attracted to their commitment to excellence, and the acquisition fits well with the current direction of the Agency.”

  • Meanwhile in the North Country…

    We are enjoying the last days of summer.  The piles of wood are growing. The summer clothes will soon be tucked away AND motorcycles will soon be put in the back of the garage except for the few diehard riders. There is one last big run of the season. The Chris Hitchcock Memorial Run is a day-long ride ending with a feast at the end of the day. It is to celebrate the life of my nephew, Chris Hitchcock, who lost his life in a motorcycle accident in 2007. It is put on by his family, with good food, good company, and lots of laughter. This year has a new participant: Chris’s dog, Bailey, goes along for the ride. I want to remind everyone how necessary it is to have a good insurance policy. Check with your insurance agent to review your coverage and make sure it is up to date and covers your current exposures. We, at the Merriam Agency, are here to be of service to you.

  • How Does a Medical Deductible Work?

    I frequently get asked by insureds how their medical deductible works. One would think that this should be a fairly straight forward answer; however, it can be confusing. The reason: the embedded vs. the non-embedded deductible. The embedded is a traditional deductible, the aggregate deductible is non-embedded. You may have some benefits (i.e. preventative care) which do not require the deductible to be satisfied initially, before your insurance will pay the costs of your visit. Embedded Deductible If you are on a family medical plan with an embedded deductible, your plan contains two components; an individual deductible and a family deductible. Having two components to the deductible allows each member of your family the opportunity to have your insurance policy cover their medical bills prior to the entire dollar amount of the family deductible being met. The individual deductible is embedded in the family deductible. For example, if you, your wife and daughter are on a family plan with a $3000 family embedded deductible, and the individual deductible is $1000, if your daughter incurs $1000 in medical bills, her deductible is met. Any subsequent medical bills for your daughter that year, [your insurance will help pay], even though the family deductible of $3000 has not yet been met. Non-Embedded On the other hand, if your insurance policy contains a non-embedded family deductible, there is not an individual deductible embedded in the family deductible. In this situation, before your insurance helps you pay for any of your medical bills, the entire [...]

  • Be Prepared!

    ... A Message from the President It has been a while since I wrote a “technical” article.  My desire to write on a technical matter is due to all of the unnecessary frustration I see when it comes to people, businesses and not-for-profit entities experiencing prolonged difficulties following a loss. I am addressing the necessity to have a contingency plan. You might find this to be an obvious matter and hardly worth the ink to explain, but contingency planning, or “continuity plans” or “business interruption plans,” or whatever you want to call them, are almost more rare than is the predictability of the losses that warrant them in the first place. The reason I am considering this a priority is because I see losses happening almost daily, and with very few exceptions, most of those adversely affected by loss fail to have a plan as to what to do next. Instead, they are forced to figure out steps in the heat of the moment and make emergency plans even while the embers are still smoldering. Such pressure to make decisions in a crisis is going to result in a lesser quality outcome. As such, it is my counsel that each of us is immeasurably better off, if, before the storms of life hit, when there is no pressure to respond, we design contingency plans for what we will do if bad things happen to us. Here are some suggestions. Start by identifying the threats that may effect our individual/family/business life. [...]

  • New Ordinance in New York City Ensuring Pre-Tax Transit Benefits

    Effective January 1, 2016, a new law will require New York City companies with 20 or more full-time employees to offer pre-tax transit benefits, which will enable their employees to save on their commuting expenses. According to the American Public Transportation Association, one-fifth of all mass transit riders in the United States are in New York City. In 2014, a survey by TransitCenter found that when employers offer pre-tax transit benefits, their employees are over five times more likely to use mass transit regularly than employed persons who do not receive the benefit. According to the Riders Alliance, this new ordinance is expected to give as many as 450,000 additional people access to this benefit. With this new law, we expect smaller companies to take advantage of a benefit that many larger companies are already offering. The Merriam Agency looks forward to working with New York City employers and implementing a great benefit that will not only save the employees money but also save the company money too. It’s a win win!

  • Getting by With a Little Help From Your Friends

    My friend Ray is the handiest person I know. He can fix just about anything. Ray occasionally hires people to help him with jobs around the house. And let me tell you -- if Ray needs some outside help, then all of us do; hence, the important issue of other people working on your property. People who help fix your home or business property typically fall into one of three categories: 1. friends who help for free (or for pizza), 2. loose connections who work for cash, and 3. contractors who do the work professionally. Let’s break this down: Friends: If friends are helping you, be sure to make sure the correct tools and safety equipment are provided. If a person is hurt on your property, especially if you invited them, you bear some responsibility for their injury. While a good homeowner’s insurance policy will often bear your financial responsibility, having to resort to insurance money can ruin a friendship. Be careful who you invite when works needs to be done, and if you really should hire a contractor, then do. It will be worth it in the long run. Loose Connections: Neighborhood kids who mow your lawn for cash are technically working on your property. Once again, a good homeowner’s policy will provide some protection for you if a toe is severed by a lawn mower. While you might not discuss “liability” with a 13-year old, you may want to discuss it kindly with his or her parents beforehand. [...]