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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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    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.
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    Avoiding 5 Common Injuries

    It is difficult to eliminate the possibility of all accidents, but a few moments of awareness education, along with diligent planning and follow-through will certainly reduce their likelihood. 1. Wet Floors. Whether from melting snow or ice, rain, or everyday spills, wet floors always pose a hazard. If you operate a business, make sure that every employee understands their responsibilities for ensuring that all surfaces are kept safe and dry. 2. Uneven/Cracked Sidewalks. Periodically check the sidewalks around your facilities for potential hazards. Undertake needed repairs as quickly as possible. While waiting for repairs, either clearly identify known hazards, or create alternate traffic patterns in order to ensure safety. 3. Power Cords, Tools, and Toys. Sometimes the everyday items in our environment can be the most dangerous. Should power cords need to stretch across walkways, cover them with appropriate cord covers or mats. Keep all tools, clothing, kid’s toys, and other items well-organized and out of known passageways. 4. Stairs and Railings. If not already in place, consider adding non-slip covers to your stairs. This will help to reduce or eliminate potential accidents. Should stair railings appear loose, they need to be tightly re-secured to their mounts. 5. Rugs and Carpets. When rugs become worn, their corners often bend. Sometimes these edges can be nailed down. Small tears in carpets are also a hazard, especially for individuals using canes, crutches and wheelchairs. They are a special hazard for young children as well. Repair or replace worn carpets regularly. Merriam Insurance recommends […]

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    How to Buy Car Insurance

    “Yes, is this the insurance agency? I need car insurance. The cheapest you have!” For many people, the monthly premium is the most important factor in choosing car insurance. They may try to pay attention to having “good coverage,” but often are not sure what that means, and end up paying the most attention to what is most straight-forward: the monthly cost. While one should absolutely search out a fair price, there are other important items to also consider when shopping for car insurance. Here are a few of the most important matters: Premium. This is what you pay each month. Problem Solver. When there is a problem with your insurance, who is going to solve that problem? Will there be additional fees? Will they be accessible? Ease of Solving Problems. Some insurance companies are easier to work with than others. Claims Service. When you have an incident, will you receive a quick response and fair treatment? Coverage. This can be complex. We recommend you contact a Merriam Insurance representative to learn more. Stability. Over time, how stable will your premium pricing and service remain? Remember, Merriam Insurance recommends that before you purchase car insurance, you ask the insurance agent about all six of the items listed above, and not just about the monthly premium.

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    How Changes May Affect Your Insurance Premiums

    Keeping up with customer needs is one of the most important parts of a service team’s job. Our service team has decades of combined experience and compassion for our clients’ business and personal needs. Helping you, the client, through changes is part of our daily work. Be it a simple policy change or complex business restructuring, we are here to make your experience a positive and easy transition. Sometimes you may experience change, and it either did not need to involve us or you did not think the small change would make a difference in your insurance coverage. Whether we are servicing a personal lines client, commercial business or not-for-profit, there are several areas which would indeed make a difference but are often overlooked by our clients. Such areas include: Commercial Lines Change in business operations Opening, closing or changing locations Key employee or organization contact changes Building updates, security or sprinkler system additions Driver changes Building additions or improvements New or upgraded equipment purchase/lease Loan payoffs Changes to additional insureds listed on the policy Personal Lines Contact phone numbers/mailing address changes Vehicle purchase/sale Driver additions or status changes (i.e. students away at school) Vehicle or home loan payoffs Vehicle use changes/miles to & from work Gifts, purchase or lease of jewelry, fine arts, musical instruments etc. Life & Health Benefits Home purchase Family growth/birth of a child Marriage/divorce Children starting college Informing our service team of small changes could make a big difference in how we are able to […]

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    Understanding Business Interruption Insurance for KOAs

    Imagine this scenario. You own a very popular campground and are fully booked for the current summer season. What would happen to your business if the campground was forced to close for part of the summer? How would that effect your bottom line? Business Interruption Insurance is the answer. Kevin and Dawn Benson, owners of the Cascade Locks KOA in Oregon, experienced this catastrophe first hand. On September 2, 2017, a teenage boy igniting fireworks during a burn ban started the Eagle Creek Fire. This wildfire raged in the Columbia River Gorge for more than 2 months, burning over 50,000 acres. Fortunately, the buildings at Cascade Locks were not damaged; however, the municipality required them to shut down for several weeks due to the smoke and the proximity of the fire. None of the campers were able to stay, and the Bensons had to refund fees to those who had prepaid for their sites. Early September was fully booked, as is typical, so they lost several peak revenue weeks. Since their park is only open seasonally, they depend on every day during prime camping season to bring in the revenue they need to support the park, and their family, year-round. Fortunately, the Bensons had a “Civil Authority” add-on to their policy, which means the insurance carrier would reimburse them for lost income and continuing expenses during the time they were closed. Because most “Business Interruption” insurance policies will not pay for lost revenue if the park is not physically damaged, […]

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    Understanding Business Interruption Insurance for Inns

    Imagine this scenario. You own a very popular inn, and reservations are close to capacity for the current season, including several weddings. How would you react if you were forced to close for several weeks because of mandates put in place due to wildfires? What about a plumbing or electrical issue? How might that impact your business, and effect your bottom line? Fortunately, many carriers offer, and inns purchase, “Business Interruption” insurance which pays for lost profits and continuing fixed expenses during the time it takes to repair and reopen the inn following an insurance claim or after a mandated closure. In another example, what if a bathtub overflows, damaging the room it is in and the room below it? You may lose the revenue of both rooms for 10 days while they are being repaired. Your lost profit and fixed expenses, such as cable, utilities, mortgage, and property taxes, could be reimbursed by your insurance carrier for those 10 days. Typically, business interruption insurance has a 3-day (or 72-hour) deductible. This means the first 3 days you are prevented from conducting business, you will not be reimbursed; however, you will be reimbursed for the rest of the time you are closed, starting on day 4. Only the owner of the inn knows how much a 3-day deductible might hurt your business financially. We encourage our clients to plan for the worst-case scenario, and imagine their business is shut down just before the busiest weekend of the year, whether for […]