Defensive Driving

Save $$ on your auto insurance and reduce up to 4 points off your license by taking the New York Safety Program’s Defensive Driving Course!

Or take the entire course online, by clicking the banner below.

Welcome to the Merriam Agency

The Merriam Agency is an award-winning full-service insurance agency providing commercial, personal, and health insurance, as well as 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. Contact us now by phone or email for a free no obligation quote.

Recent Articles

  • Old Warehouse Converted To Modern Apartments

    Do you own an older building?

    If you answered YES, there is some important information you should know. In most parts of the United States, buildings are older than the people who use them. Right around the corner from my apartment in Schenectady, NY is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the country, known as The Stockade. Many buildings there were built sometime in the 1800’s and a few date back to the 1700’s. Renovations have provided new roofs, wiring, plumbing, and heating systems, but the basic structures of the buildings have not changed. We see our clients renovate and re-purpose their buildings frequently; non-profits change old factories into apartments, entrepreneurs turn Victorian mansions into boutique inns, and homeowners gut and renovate. Many of these clients know to purchase a “replacement cost” policy so that if there is extensive fire damage to the roof, for example, the insurance company is obligated to pay for a new roof, even though the home is not new. What many building owners do not realize is that extensive damage may necessitate more than gutting the building. Sometimes parts or all of the house must be torn down and new structures put into place. In these situations, owners of old buildings can be faced with steep costs if they are required by the municipality to build new structures that are up to building code. Many buildings have been “grandfathered” into acceptance because they have been in use for so long, but if they are partially or completely destroyed, the municipality […]

  • bigstock-Builder-handyman-with-construc-88606493-web

    Help from the Handyman: What to Watch For

    What happens if your inn’s handyman causes an unnoticed water leak in your walls, causing fungus to grow? What if a guest bumps into his ladder and both are injured in the resulting fall? What if he turns out to be a terrible handyman and the roof you hired him to repair is faulty and needs to be replaced? Running an inn is next to impossible without help. Even if the family running the inn can do all the day-to-day work, they still often need to contract out roof repairs, plumbing, electric, and foundation work, among other things. Most inns have a few go-to providers who know the property and provide invaluable service, often at the most inconvenient times. While handymen are invaluable, they can also cause serious damage and liability if something goes wrong. What can you do to be prepared should a catastrophic accident strike? Here are some key factors the Inn Team at Merriam advises you to consider: Look into the qualifications and experience a handyman has regarding the specific issue you have. Just because he is an able electrician does not mean he is a good plumber. Whenever possible, make sure he has his own general liability insurance and workers compensation. General liability insurance will pay for damage his work causes to you, the inn, or your guests. Workers Compensation insurance will pay if he is injured on the job. If your handyman does not carry Workers Compensation insurance, because he is self-employed, make sure you […]

  • bigstock--drone-180586210

    Want to use a drone for your next event?

    What happens if the drone malfunctions mid-flight and damages overhead wires or a building? What if it injures a spectator while landing? What if someone alleges you invaded their privacy? All of these issues can potentially be protected by your insurance policy—but you need to ask permission. We’ve approached some of the insurance companies who insure non-profits/community organizations around the country. Here are some of the responses we’ve received. Company A “We can include coverage for a drone by endorsement. There is a small charge. Here is the information we need: Confirmation owned & operated by insured as defined in the policy Licensed and registered Weight of the drone How and when the drone would be used” Company B “We will extend liability to drone operations if the following criteria are met: The drone is owned and operated by an “Insured” The operator is licensed and the drone is registered It is operated at less than 400 ft. elevation The drone is less than 55 lbs. They are using it for event photos only, the event is not in a restricted air space such as near an airport or government owned facility” Company C “We do not have a good way to extend our policy to cover drones. You’ll need to get a separate policy to have liability coverage for drone malfunction/error/negligence.” No matter what industry you are in, your insurance company is probably going to take one of these three positions. Each insurance company has different guidelines, so ask before you […]

  • Cyber-security-hacker-web

    Don’t be a victim . . . Email fraud in Real Estate transactions is on the rise

    Scams are on the rise. Are you safe? Click here to learn more. Article courtesy of Source of Title.

  • girl-on-slide-web

    Allowing Safe Day-Use In Your Park

    If you’ve invested resources to make your park a fun place, chances are that people will want to come visit! These visitors are not limited to your camping guests; friends of campers or members of your local community may want to come as well to swim in your pool, play on your playgrounds, see your fireworks, or ride your zip line. If you are considering allowing non-campers to use your amenities, here are some important facts to appreciate: If a visitor gets hurt on your premises, you are just as responsible for their injury as you are for the safety of your camping guests. Even if you have the visitor or camper sign a waiver, they can still sue you in the event of an injury. Your insurance company is able to cover you if you allow visitors, but they usually want to know you’re monitoring visitors in a methodical way. If you want to allow day-use of your premises, here is some advice on how to do it safely: Have a waiver signed for each person using your premises. If families are coming in, have one waiver that will cover the whole family (including kids) to make it easier. One method we recommend is to have one waiver for all activities that is good for the whole season. Have this waiver reviewed by an attorney familiar with the laws in your state. While having this waiver doesn’t prevent a lawsuit, it will be evidence that you advised visitors of […]

  • Bear-web

    Protecting your Work Camper while they are on the job

    What happens if a Work Camper is seriously injured? Work Campers are wonderful people who are extremely integral to the operations of many parks. They provide valuable services without the cost of an employee. But what happens if a work camper is seriously injured? What if someone has their hand crushed by a log or piece of equipment, or falls and sustains serious back injuries? Who is responsible for paying for their injuries? Even though most work campers sign a waiver acknowledging the risks of the job, the campground owner (in most states) still bears some liability for that camper’s well-being. This is especially true when evidence can show a particular piece of equipment or part of the park was not properly maintained, or that proper instruction was not issued. It is easy to think of work campers as volunteers, but in the eyes of the Labor Departments in many states, they are considered employees. As a Labor Department would see it, they are following your instructions and working for your business in exchange for remuneration, such as a complimentary site or other perks. In many states, this can fit the definition of an employee and thus be covered by workers compensation. Many parks do not even carry workers compensation insurance, meaning this could be an uninsured loss. Furthermore, many parks also do not think to report work campers and their remuneration to their workers compensation insurer – meaning that the insurance company can be paying a claim for an “employee” they never knew […]

I am raw html block.
Click edit button to change this html