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

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    Uninsured Motorists Coverage

    One of the Best Deals in Insurance Wouldn’t it be great to be able to buy insurance against other people’s stupidity? Well, if by "stupidity" you mean "a person who neglects to get car insurance, and then hits your car," then there is good news! For a relatively minimal premium, you can purchase insurance that pays for hospital costs and lost wages when the accident is someone else’s fault, but they don’t have insurance to cover those bills. I know your blood is probably boiling. “It’s their fault – so they should pay for it!” you say, full of righteous indignation. I completely agree with you! They should pay – but perhaps the reason they did not purchase insurance is because they have nothing. Nothing? Yes, nothing. Many of our fellow Americans really own very little, free of the encumbrances of debt. Take a look at these net worth statistics: Census: Wealth Distribution, and appreciate that many drivers have little or nothing that you could take in court. A much better, and very inexpensive, alternative is to purchase uninsured motorists coverage (UMC). This insurance pays for your hospital bills and rehab expenses when the other party does not have insurance. I recommend you carry the same amount of UMC as bodily injury liability. (Read more on that here. "How Much Bodily Injury Liability Should I Purchase?")

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    What’s an “Uninsured Motorist” and why should I care?

    Statistically, one in every eight vehicles you see driving down the road is not covered by insurance (12.6%). Fifteen cars drove by my window in the time it took me to write this, so this is disconcerting. Where I live in New York, only about one in twenty do not have insurance (5.3%), which is a bit more comforting. However, in Oklahoma, the nation’s leader in this infamous statistic, one in four cars do not carry any insurance (25.9%)!! Concerned about your state? Check out a great table of 2014 data here: http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/uninsured-motorists. I had planned to drive through Oklahoma at least once next year, and now I am a little nervous. I can imagine being rear-ended and potentially injured (which has happened before), except this time when I get out to exchange insurance information, the other driver looks at me blankly and says, “Sorry man, I don’t have any insurance,” and drives off. Unbelievable! What if I was badly hurt?? Fortunately, there is insurance for this. More on that soon.

  • 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.”

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  • 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. [...]

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