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Welcome to Merriam Insurance

The Merriam Insurance 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. Additionally, our network of providers is so extensive that we can get risk personnel on the ground quickly . . . all to make sure that you are back up and running in the event of a loss. Contact us today for a free no obligation quote.

Recent Articles

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    Safely Handling Snow and Ice at Your Inn

    While winter may be a beautiful time of year, it is not all about skating, sledding, and romantic walks in the park. Along with the many enjoyable recreational activities comes the potential for injury from exhaustion, dehydration, back injuries, slip and falls, or even heart attacks. It is advisable your Inn take the proper precautions to ensure that you, your workers, and your guests avoid potential injuries, or a costly insurance claim. Merriam Insurance recommends you evaluate your snow and ice removal procedures. Workers should be made aware of any unexpected hazards. Walkways, driveways, porches, steps, and railings should be inspected regularly by a competent person to determine if they are structurally safe for your guests and employees. Employees should be trained in the proper methods to ensure their work is performed safely. In addition to having a formal written procedure, sturdy ice-free handrails, and non-slip surfaces, follow these recommended tips when clearing snow and ice: Track your clearing of snow and spreading of a deicer. You should keep a log that shows how frequently walkways and parking lots are checked for unsafe conditions. We recommend an early morning check of all surfaces to see if ice has formed. If it has, treat and monitor those surfaces regularly. If you choose to have a contractor take care of your outdoor snow removal, be sure to have: A written contract, outlining his responsibilities and liability if the work is not done correctly. Proof of insurance for auto liability, in case their […]

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    How to Properly Insure Your Campground’s Cabins

    Cabins, from Camping Cabins to larger Park Models, are a key part of revenue generation for many KOA Campgrounds. It is essential that KOA owners know, and fully understand, what is covered by their insurance and what is not, especially if one or more of your cabins experience damage. What many KOA owners don’t know is that insurance companies have the right to determine not only the amount of the loss, but also whether you are carrying enough insurance. These rights are specifically written into every property insurance policy. If you do not have enough insurance, you may not receive a large enough check to fully repair the structural damage or fully replace damaged appliances, fixtures, and furniture. When selecting the coverage limits for your cabins, one of your main priorities should be to determine the type of valuation. The most common option for valuing a cabin is “replacement cost,” which is the cost to have a qualified contractor replace it with a similar sized structure of “like kind and quality.” In other words, “enough” insurance is the amount it would cost to hire a contractor to replace the entire cabin, just as it stands today, with entirely new material. Many campgrounds purchase prefabricated cabins or cabin kits. If that is the case, “replacement cost” should be the cost to purchase the kit, have it delivered, and set up. If you do not have enough insurance, the insurance company is allowed to only make a partial claim payment. Even if […]

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    Holiday Parties: Is Your Inn Protected?

    It is once again the holiday season, a time when many inns like to host holiday parties and charity events. While these gatherings can provide opportunities for your guests and visitors to mingle casually and revel in the spirit of the holidays, they can also prove to be a liability for you and your inn. That is why it is important that you take reasonable precautions to minimize risk and financially protect yourself through proper insurance coverage. The United States Department of Labor states that hosting a holiday party with improper use of alcohol can make your inn more vulnerable to liability under Workers’ Compensation or other laws. When you host a holiday party and serve alcohol as part of the festivities, liquor liability can be covered by your Commercial General Liability policy. However, it is always best to check with your insurance agent or broker first, to make sure this coverage is specifically included. If you are an inn without a liquor license that does not serve alcohol, you may not need a Liquor Liability policy. We strongly recommend you discuss the specific serving practices of your inn, whether by staff or by the guests themselves, with a trusted insurance advisor, to make sure you have the protection you want for this activity. In addition to a Commercial General Liability policy, businesses should also consider purchasing an Employment Practices Liability policy. This policy will protect your inn from claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, emotional distress, and other workplace-related issues. […]

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    Why you should review your KOA’s building insurance every winter

    Have you had the good fortune of undamaged campground buildings for a number of years? When you least expect it, your KOA may experience loss or damage to a building that is covered by your insurance. Having your insurance policy pay to repair or replace that building is why you have insurance! However, what many KOA owners don’t know is that your insurance company has the right to determine not only the amount of the loss, but also whether or not you are carrying enough insurance. These rights are specifically written into every property insurance policy. If you do not have enough insurance, you may not get a large enough check to fully repair the damage. The following information is meant to provide background on how property insurance works for both campgrounds and other types of businesses. Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of insurance rules and how to avoid the penalties. When selecting the limits for your building, one of your main priorities should be to determine the type of valuation. The most common option for valuing a building is “replacement cost”, although some campground owners opt for “actual cash value” property insurance. Replacement cost is commonly defined as the cost to have a qualified contractor replace your building with a similar sized structure of “like kind and quality.” In other words, “enough” insurance is the amount it would cost to hire a contractor to replace the entire building, just as it stands today, with entirely new […]

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    Bundling Your Insurance: What You Need to Know

    Obtaining insurance for your home and auto are necessary expenses. One of the easiest and most common ways to save money on those expenses is to bundle your home and auto insurance. In addition to the potential discounts, which can vary from 10 to 20 percent depending on the company and state in which you reside, the convenience of having one bill for both your home and auto insurance is an additional benefit. Furthermore, the more insurance you purchase through the same company, the more discounts you may receive. Some of the discounts that Merriam Insurance clients receive come from: Owning multiple cars Owning both a home and at least one car Adding a Personal Umbrella policy Possessing a college degree It is important, however, to remember that price isn’t everything, and having the proper coverage is of the utmost importance. Here are some recommendations for better bundling: Compare quotes for bundled policies from several insurers. An independent insurance agent is able to get prices from multiple companies. Agents who sell exclusively for one company can only offer discounts available with that insurer. Ask if the insurer uses a third-party insurance company for either policy. Although you may still save money, you lose the convenience because you won’t be dealing with one insurance company any longer. Regularly review whether the pricing of your home and auto policies is still reasonable. Merriam Insurance clients get better prices for the same products when they consolidate the insurance companies they use. We will […]

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    Church Security: What Are You Doing to Protect Your Congregation?

    Imagine the following scenario:  It is Sunday morning, and 15-minutes after your service begins, a deranged, and heavily armed, gunman enters your church. Who will be in your lobby to intercept him? Are you confident in that person’s or team’s training on how to respond? Have they practiced the appropriate response so that their adrenaline rush does not overpower their knowledge? The thought of having an active shooter enter a church during a service/activity is sobering. Most church leaders we have spoken to have discussed the issue, and come up with some sort of plan, but many are not confident their plan is good enough in the event a gunman actually visits. The church insurance experts on the Merriam team have been studying this issue for several years, consulting with a variety of sources, and even sending one of our staff to a multi-day seminar on preparing for an active shooter. Through this education we have learned, unfortunately, that there is not one universal plan or behavior that can best protect a church. Rather, there are several principles to keep in mind while constructing your plan of action. Because each church has a different geographic location, technology, floor-plan, and staffing availability, each congregation must develop its own unique plan in response to an active shooter, or any similar threat. Here are some principles to keep in mind as you plan: Designate one or two responsible church leaders to oversee the process of formulating the plan. This person does not have […]