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IIABA Best Practices Awarded 4 Years Running

The MERRIAM INSURANCE AGENCY is part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group. Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories.

We Are Ready

For the past 3 years, the health insurance industry has been working to meet the requirements of the Patient Protective Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The intricacies of the over 2,000 page document can be staggering. Part of our job is to assist both employers and individuals in your navigation through this new health care reality, as well as with the decision-making process that lies ahead. Even prior to the implementation of the PPACA, the Merriam Agency has had access

Does Your Organization have Enough Liability Insurance

Most leaders have no idea whether or not their business or organization carries enough liability insurance. Many tell me, “I have an umbrella, so that should be fine,” and then end the discussion there. Even those who give the size of their umbrella some thought may not fully appreciate the size of injury payouts. If you fit into this category of “umbrella purchaser,” you probably have

Poor Quality vs. Low Price

As consumers in a distressed economy, we have all found, and continue to search for, ways to cut costs and save money. Prior to spending a hard earned dollar, we take a closer look at the value of what it is we are purchasing. When it comes to your insurance needs, determining the value of the product and service you are receiving versus the cost can be difficult. A couple examples to consider: • Over the past several years, as E&O premiums have continued to increase,

Residential Fire Awareness

According to a recent U.S. Fire Administration study, on an annual basis, fire departments across the country are called to 360,900 fires, resulting in “2,495 deaths, 13,250 injuries and $7 billion in property losses.” This research also found that residential building fires peaked between 5:00 to 8:00 P.M., typically while people are cooking dinner. What can be done to reduce the likelihood of a death, injury or property loss as a result of a residential fire?

Are Insurance Costs Too High

Here are a few tips from North Creek that might help: • Bundle your policies. Most insurance carriers give a discount for having both your home and auto policies. • Take a defensive driving class to reduce your auto premium. If you take this class, you will see a 10% discount off the collision, liability, and personal injury protection premiums on your policy, especially if you have a new driver in your family. This is a great way to save money

Exchanges Explained

An Exchange is a New York State marketplace where small business employers, sole proprietors and individuals may shop for health insurance plans. The Exchange is an addition to your current health insurance options. There are two parts to the Exchange: 1. the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) 2. the sole proprietors and individuals program (Individual Exchange) The Exchange is a means of shopping

Large Employer Update

The Treasury Department has confirmed that the 2014 mandate for employers with 50 or more full-time workers has been delayed until 2015. This means that employers will not be subject to Federal penalties for not providing qualified health insurance in 2014. The Affordable Care Act requires that all employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health insurance

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

— Vince Lombardi

Accidents In the Wild West

Jon Barron, our branch manager in Colorado Springs, recently was involved in three accidents within a week. All were minor and all were the fault of other drivers within a slippery one-mile stretch of mountain road. One of the other drivers was fully insured, one was uninsured, and one was possibly underinsured. Because Jon carries full insurance coverage including collision, underinsurance, and uninsurance on his vehicles, his insurance company paid the bill to get the vehicle fixed. The insurance company then handled all other negotiations and collection.