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

Recent Articles

  • homecare worker

    Prepare NOW for Long-Term Care

    The majority of Americans will live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility at some point in their lives, but most have done nothing to plan for this event. Given the current options for addressing long-term care, they may carry the bulk of the burden. Currently, 12 million Americans need long-term care. By 2050, that number is expected to more than double, to 27 million. Where they’ll find that care and how they’ll pay for it is unclear, creating a crisis. “I think Americans believe that either their health insurance or Medicare will cover long-term care,” says Aaron Ball, senior vice president of long-term care products at Genworth, a financial security and insurance company. However, neither is a true funding source for long-term care, and most Americans don’t have alternatives in place. In a recent study, Genworth found that despite the fact that roughly 70 percent of Americans reaching age 65 will one day depend on long-term care services, only 11 percent have a long-term care insurance policy. “Most Americans aren’t adequately funded for their retirement income needs, let alone a long-term care expense,” Ball says. “So there’s a significant financial gap for most individuals in terms of long-term care … and it won’t be funded by a public program or their current health insurance plans.” Although Ball and other experts and legislators believe that broader public policy changes are needed to address the unsustainable demand for often unaffordable long-term care, you can prepare for the very real possibility that you will one [...]

  • Welcome to the team, Kim Rainey!

      There comes a time in your life when hard decisions need to be made. Last year I was at such a crossroads with my career.  Without boring you with the details, I knew I had to make a change, and that it had to be a calculated and well-thought-out change. My background is in banking, insurance, sales and marketing. With that being broad and applicable to many industries, the possibilities were plentiful. I consider myself lucky in that I have a wide network of contacts in the business community through my involvement in various activities and groups. After much soul searching and advice from peers, mentors and trusted advisers, I was able to determine what I could bring to the table for an organization.  On that same vein, I knew what qualities I wanted my future employer to possess. The decision to join Merriam was an easy one. Having been in business since 1895, 4th generation locally-owned, and an independent agency, community-minded, reputable and, most importantly, respected. It was a no-brainer. One more attribute is innovative. Insurance? Innovative? Yes, it’s true! With the volatility of the Title Industry Errors & Omissions insurance coverage and insurers exiting the market as quickly as they came in, The Merriam Agency knew that they could fill that void. Our experience allows us access to the most competitive stable markets, which is a huge win for our clients. Knowing that there was still more that could be done for our Title Clients, our Professional […]

  • Water Leaks Flood Risk

    Two Tips to Avoid Water Flooding Your Home

    Do you know of someone who had water gushing into their house, damaging the floors, furniture, and electronics? Or maybe someone who returned from a weekend away, only to find their basement full of water? Has this happened to you? It is possible if you aren’t prepared. In just a few minutes, water can permanently damage electronics; in a few hours, it can permanently damage floors and walls; and, if several days go by with water pouring into the building, your home may become uninhabitable.       These two simple steps can make a significant difference in protecting your home from water damage:  Replace the rubber hose that connects your washing machine to the water line with a braided steel hose. Unfortunately, water pipes and water hoses wear out and break without notice – and if you are not there to plug the hole and frantically call a plumber, you could have literally a ton of water in your home or apartment. Unlike rubber, a steel hose will not dry out, thereby eliminating unexpected cracking, which can cause water to pour unrestrained into your house. Also consider: Do you know how old the water pipes and hoses are in your residence? Do you know if they have been thoroughly inspected recently? Keeping them up-to-date helps prevent a flooded home. Whenever you leave your house for more than a day, turn off the main water supply to your home. Typically, there is a lever on the pipe where water enters your […]

  • Choosing an insurance provider is like choosing a new pair of skis…

    When choosing a new pair of skis... Step One Choosing a pair of skis depends upon the type of activities in which you want to participate. Are you interested in venturing into deep snow off the beaten path? Do you plan on using the skis for racing? Sport? Adventure? Different skis are designed for each type of activity in which you are engaged, and like choosing insurance, you sometimes end up with either the wrong ski, or too “MUCH” ski, for what you need. That can be an expensive, and frustrating, error. Step Two The length of ski is crucial: the lighter the skier, the shorter the ski should be. Longer skis are faster. They ride more smoothly. Shorter skis are easier to control, and make turns more simple to negotiate. Step 3 The width of ski is also important. When skiing on packed trails, a narrow ski is preferable. How-ever, if you like to venture into fresh, deep snow, you will want to choose a pair of skis with a larger surface area. The wider area allows you to “float” on the surface of the snow more readily. Step 4 There are also many different “ski flex options” to consider. A stiff ski flex means that a lot of weight is needed in order to flatten the surface of the ski against the snow. A soft flex means that the ski flattens out much more easily. If you desire speed, a stiffer ski flex. Step 5 Ski boots should fit [...]

  • Are my Independent Contractors covered?

    This is one of the most common questions I am asked when preparing quotes for E&O insurance. My answer is always the same: “we must look at the policy form to see how your carrier covers ICs.” More often than not, E&O insurance coverage is usually extended to the Independent Contractors being used. However, it is important to understand the nuances behind who is covered and the impact they have on your E&O policy. Many policy forms cover Independent Contractors only as “natural persons,” meaning there is no intent to cover other corporations outside of your own. It makes sense that other entities you are working with should have their own coverage in place, rather than relying on yours. Additionally, the IC is only covered for work they are doing on your behalf, and not for work done on their own or for others. Almost all E&O applications now ask for information relating to your use of ICs. Although frustrating, it is important to provide an accurate representation of your Independent Contractor exposure. Here are some key things we are looking for: How much of your work is done by ICs rather than your company/employees? Are you diligent to vet your ICs? How much experience do they have in the industry? Do they have a record of any claims? Do they carry their own E&O insurance? The answers to these questions can impact the eligibility and cost of your E&O insurance. The lengthy application you complete each year gives the […]

  • Lawsuit

    “Transgender Discrimination… does my insurance cover that?”

    Questions of discrimination are frequently being asked by leaders in non-profit organizations like our Rescue Missions and Churches. It is the right question to be asking; however, the risk is not limited to just non-profits. We have seen a dramatic increase in allegations of discrimination and lawsuits since the 2015 introduction of Caitlyn Jenner and the Pentagon policy shift. Claims of gender discrimination are no longer just in the big city. It is a part of a major cultural shift, and we are seeing claims of discrimination spread to regions and businesses that would have previously been considered “safe.” Some of these have been in the news, while others have mercifully stayed silent. As we studied the insurance policies protecting a variety of organizations, we have identified numerous policies with significant gaps. Statistically, your company’s policy is probably one with significant gaps as well – and this is why we are very concerned. While these gaps exist in the almost all of the most commonly-purchased insurance policies for non-profit or religious organizations, we also noticed that most small corporations and private companies typically avoid purchasing insurance policies with these coverages. Risks are increasing, we recommend that you explore this a little further. Testing and Transition Christians have been in the spotlight for discrimination for quite a few years. Whether declining to bake a cake or refusing to perform a wedding ceremony, the media are having a hay-day and the courts are very busy. This week, we learned of two more [...]