Author Archives: Brian H Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI, President

Brian H Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI, President

About Brian H Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI, President

President
376 Broadway
Schenectady, NY

Toll-Free:
(877) MERRIAM x 201
(877) 637-7426 x 201

Identity Theft

I reviewed my credit card statement recently and was surprised to find that I had paid a utility bill in California and purchased a widescreen TV in Colorado. Since I live in New York, I was pretty certain it was not a matter of my poor memory. More recently, bus ticket purchases from Mexico were denied by my credit card company. I don’t know how these thieves were able to get my credit card number, but I do know this is part of the risk of living in an increasingly electronic-dependent society. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2010, 7% of households

Early Driver Warning System

a free new program to monitor mission drivers
 Great American Insurance Company, the endorsed insurance carrier for the AGRM, has teamed up with SafetyFirst™ Systems to provide select policyholders with a program designed to help identify those drivers who may be “at-risk” of becoming involved in a collision if their habits are left unchecked. The program gives organizations timely, credible information about drivers

Best Practices Award Received

For the third year in a row, we have received the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association’s (IIABA) Best Practices Award. In order to qualify, insurance agencies are nominated by state associations or insurance companies and must qualify based on the agency's operational excellence. Of 1200 agencies nominated nationwide, only 224 qualify for the top honor. To be chosen, the agency has to be among

When Rising Water Is Called a Flood

There are floods in the news again… seems incessant. Hurricane Sandy just devastated the New York metropolitan area. Duluth is still working to recover from recent flood damage of trout streams and hiking trails. Though we’ll likely have a reprieve for a few months, flood season will come roaring back shortly after we’re lulled to sleep. Most everyone experiences a surprise “flood” in one situation or another, whether a formally declared flood such as caused by hurricane Sandy, or a swamped basement because a sump pump couldn’t keep up following a spring thunderstorm. There are multiple definitions of what constitutes a “flood.” Some floods are addressed easily by insurance, some are clearly excluded.

Brief Overview of E&O Policies

“E&O” stands for Errors & Omissions liability insurance. This is an essential form of insurance for any mission that provides pastoral counseling, lay counseling or medical services. Because general liability policies always exclude counseling and medical services, it is necessary to purchase this separately, or endorse it onto the liability policy. In addition to providing a settlement for a lost lawsuit, this coverage also will provide the insurance company’s best attorneys to defend the mission against allegations of professional malfeasance. A common lawsuit may involve

Brief Overview of D&O Policies

“D&O” stands for Directors & Officers liability insurance. This is an essential form of insurance that provides both defense and settlement for the mission’s Board of Directors and the mission’s Officers (CEO, CFO, Executive Director, etc.) The trigger for coverage to respond is that the Board and/or the mission’s Officers must have been accused of a “wrongful act.” There need not have been any actual bodily injury or property damage arising out of the alleged act, but there must be an allegation of something that was done “wrong.”

Who is Covered

A thorny question for missions—and one that requires an understanding of a “hidden loophole” in almost every insurance policy—is whether or not the mission’s insurance policy provides coverage for guests. While most insurance policies provide liability protection (coverage against injuries and property damage of “others” that may be the result of the mission’s negligence), the question becomes who is insured versus who are “others”?