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 to the right.

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

  • Icicles hanging from a frozen water jets, tube, yellow pipe. aged wall background. winter time concept.

    Ice!

    I just checked the forecast for Elk Camp this weekend. Snow Friday and Saturday. Brrr. But a little fresh snow makes chasing those tricksy elkses easier to find – in theory. This year, I’m hunting with two guys who have become great friends over the years. We weren’t able to draw bull tags this year, so we’re only looking for the antlerless bunch, which don’t make for amazing pictures. Maybe I’ll bolt on a tree branch for the picture or something. On To Business…  Have you ever seen a broken pipe destroy an entire wall in a room? It is amazing how much force and destructive power is in those half-inch pipes. Quite a few years ago, a bathroom was completely destroyed while I ran around looking for the water shut-off. It took us 6 weeks to repair all the damages… and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s time to make sure you have disconnected and drained hoses… unless you live in southern-most parts of the US. If you’re still using hoses, please disconnect them when you’re done for the day… it is one preventive way to avoid significant cost and inconvenience. Finally, if you have Crawl vents around your foundation, it’s time to close ’em. That’s it! Until next week’s 15-Minute Check-up, enjoy your day off!

  • Man pruning tree brunch with pruning shears

    Pruning!

    I love pruning trees & shrubs. Once I get started, I’ll keep going until my blisters have blisters, leaving my hands sore and tired for days. Regardless, the satisfaction of whipping nature into submission is inexplicable. My first real pruning efforts were not appreciated. I pruned the top 10 feet off a 15-foot juniper. It never recovered. Since winter is getting closer, let’s focus on the areas that matter most: Branches hanging over the roof should be pruned back at least 2-4 feet from the edge of the building. (Fire defensible space is 10 feet minimum) Conifers are generally happiest when trimmed in the fall Flowering cherries should have been pruned by mid-fall, but it’s not too late Dead/damaged/diseased wood should be taken out any time. Diseased wood should be burned or taken to your enemy’s property where it can spread (don’t forget to pray for them) if you need a warm prison cell for sleeping in this winter. Branches hanging over parking areas should be considered hazardous. (My Subaru still has “hail damage” from parking under a pecan tree in the fall… and have you ever been hit on the head with something falling from a tree?) Branches hanging over your neighbor’s fence should be evaluated as to strength. If you see areas of the tree that are hollow (or the top is dead/broken off), the health of the tree is likely compromised. Better to control the falling branch than have it damage your fence and friendship. If you do live in a fire-prone area, now […]

  • Autumn Leaves with Frost

    Fall is just around the corner

    I love autumn. The crisp apples in late August remind me that the leaves will be changing soon. Along with the beauty of the seasons, we must ensure a safe environment where we live and work, so that there are no injuries and we can enjoy the beautiful days. This may sound like common sense, but we as humans, often forget to check on the little things. Imagine that my 95-year old grandmother is coming to visit. She’s not one of those women who is hardy, but I remember her going on a roller coaster almost 30 years ago. Anyway, she can trip over things easily – and needs something firm to hold onto. I need to look at these things: Sidewalks: clear of cracks Decks: clear of protruding nails/screws Hand rails that are solidly attached (metal ones like to rust out at ground level) Steps that are not wobbly Landings that are not sloped Walk, test, and observe. Then watch someone else walk and test the safety. What do you instinctively avoid? If my grandmother can navigate my house safely, your house can easily be made safe for visitors when it’s icy, snow, or rainy. When you’re done, I’d recommend making notes in a small notebook or computer file, in case you find something similar in a couple months or years. If you notice that you have to pound the deck nails back in every year, seeing the pattern written in your notes may be sufficient to help you determine […]

  • The difference between an agent & a broker

    The classic line in most states is that all an insurance agent has to do is listen and get the insurance a client asks for. They’re not legally required to actually search out what a client’s needs might be.

  • bigstock-Hand-Of-Man-And-Cy-ber-Robot--101111201

    Broker vs. Computer

    I am seeing more articles about the rise of the machines in the insurance industry. Every year, someone is introducing the technology that will replace insurance agents. After I am often asked, “what do you provide that a computer (or competitor) does not?” When the personal computer came out, many were suddenly able to produce their own logos, flyers & brochures. Some organizations, however, want more than they (or a secretary) can create. Similarly, in insurance, people are empowered to buy the insurance they feel is appropriate for their own needs. And to a large extent, basic personal coverage is so systematized and regulated, online purchasing works well enough. But who will go to bat for you when you believe a claim should be covered, but is denied by the system? Factoid:  Many people mistakenly assume that everything will be covered by their insurance company. The perspective of a professional grows in value as the risk(s) increase. If the purpose of insurance is to fulfill a requirement, the underlying strengths and weaknesses of the policy become irrelevant to the purchaser – and fixing those (perceived as “up-selling”) is undesirable. Many people unknowingly self-insure in many areas. However, If the purpose of insurance is to mitigate risks, the expert human is still necessary. A broker, like myself, works to bring a higher level of expertise/experience from a larger group to benefit their clients. I have acquired many new clients who were unsatisfied by the “surprise” cost of a loss that was not […]

  • Agent vs. Direct

    I’m sure you have seen the commercials for insurance carriers such as Geico and Progressive. These carriers are reached by phone or internet. You rarely, if ever, speak to the same representative twice. Insurance is a complicated business. When you purchase from the internet, you choose the options yourself, not always getting what you think you are getting. What’s different when purchasing your insurance through an independent agent? Here are some important distinctions: • An independent agent has access to several carriers and can compare rates and coverage options to get the best fit for your insurance needs. • Your agent understands the complicated insurance coverage options and can direct you to the best option for you. • Most times you will be speaking to the same representative when you call the agency with a question, concern or claim. • The independent agent is your advocate between you and the carrier. Secret: I’ve heard — from unnamed sources — that The North Creek Branch of The Merriam Agency has a couple of the best representatives in the North Country.