The Merriam Insurance Agency

Merriam Insurance is an award-winning, full-service insurance agency, providing commercial, personal, and health insurance, as well as employee benefits. By working with clients across the country through our offices in Schenectady and North Creek, New York, as well as in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, Merriam Insurance recognizes the national trends and helps you prepare for potential threats.

Through our systematic approach to evaluating your risk management and insurance, we ensure that all bases are covered and that your risks are properly underwritten. 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

  • home, house, for sale, real estate, insurance, Merriam Insurance

    Buying a House? What You Need to Know about Homeowner’s Insurance

    Buying a home, be it the first or the fifth, can be an incredible roller coaster of emotion, combined with copious amounts of information on subjects or terminology you may or may not recognize, such as radon, easements, and gutter quality. Since homeowner’s insurance is purchased after you have already selected your home, it is not unusual to ignore it altogether during the home-search. It is, however, a significant expense, one which will most likely cost you $600–$1,200 each year you own the home. Since the average person stays in a house 7 years (longer as you get older), you are looking at an average expense of over $6,000 in insurance costs. Meriam Insurance suggests you follow a few tips when shopping for homeowner’s insurance to help you get the proper insurance coverage, at a fair price, in an efficient manner. Fill out the form below to download your copy today.

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  • house, kitchen, flooding, water, homeowner's insurance, Merriam Insurance

    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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  • auto insurance, web search, Merriam Insurance

    Why Do Auto Rates Increase and What Can I Do About It?

    To stay viable, businesses are required to sustain higher revenues than expenses, and the auto insurance industry is no different. Auto insurers gain revenue from the premiums their customers pay and incur expenses when fulfilling their obligation to pay for damages. If total claims are higher than total premiums, the company faces a serious problem. The costs to repair damaged vehicles continues to increase, as does the cost of the medical procedures necessary to help accident victims recover from their injuries. Although the total cost of insurance may go up most years, there are certain measures you can take that may help control or reverse this trend, including: Multi-Policy Discounts. The more insurance policies you purchase through the same carrier, the more discounts you may receive, and the convenience of having one bill for all your insurance policies is of further benefit. Defensive Driving Course. Join Brian Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI in Schenectady, New York at 376 Broadway for a New York State sanctioned Defensive Driving Course. This 6-hour, two-night course (3 hours each night) is valid for 3 years and can save you 10% on your auto insurance as well as remove points from your license. Risk Reduction Credits. Vehicles equipped with daytime running lights, anti-theft devices, passive restraint systems, and anti-lock braking systems may qualify you for additional discounts. Your risks may not be as great as the premium you are paying suggests. Merriam Insurance recommends we meet and review your policy to ensure your policy correctly reflects [...]

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  • board of directors, meeting, conference table, chairs, Merriam Insurance, Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

    How to Be a Good Board Member

    Many of our clients offer their time to be a volunteer board member for a non-profit or other community organization. They might be an elder on the board of a church, a board member of a community animal shelter, or a board member of a multi-million dollar community non-profit. Whatever the organization, if you choose to serve on the board, your participation brings you legal responsibility and liability. This might come as a shock. You are volunteering your time and probably donating money to this organization, and now you carry personal liability as well? What kind of thanks is that?! Nevertheless, it is true. If you are on the board of directors of a corporation, you are responsible for making sure the corporation follows its own bylaws and the laws of the state in which it is incorporated. In the case of a non-profit, disgruntled stakeholders, such as donors, have the ability to sue you personally if they feel you have not correctly managed the non-profit’s dealings in its best interest. Before you decide this is too much responsibility for a volunteer position and resign, here are a few tips on how to be a good board member. Interview other Board members. Find out how involved they are, what sort of time and resources they are able to give to the organization, their experience, and their other pursuits. These are the people who will be responsible, with you, for the organization’s leadership. You want to be sure the group is [...]

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  • plumber, service line coverage, homeowner's insurance, Merriam Insurance

    Service Line Coverage: What You Need to Know

    It is common for homeowners to forget that the water that flows through our homes and the wastewater that flows out spends time traveling through the area between the front of the house and the street. If those subterranean pipe systems happen to fail, the homeowner, not the utility, is financially responsible for the necessary repairs. However, unlike with leaks inside your home, your standard Homeowner’s Insurance policy does not cover the oftentimes expensive repairs to water lines, sewer lines, and landscaping. While utility companies do offer a potential solution by selling service plans at a monthly rate, your current Homeowner’s Insurance policy may be updated to provide the necessary coverage to protect you and your property. Most policies do not automatically cover sewage and drain backups, which can cause expensive damage if water and sewage backs up into your house. It may cost just $50 to add about $10,000 in sewage backup coverage. However, that is only to cover the internal work, and does not cover water or sewer line repair outside of the home. Merriam Insurance has a better solution. We recommend that you ask about adding a Service Line Rider to your Homeowner’s Insurance policy. Not only will it cover repairs to the water and sewer lines outside of your home, but unlike the service plan from your utility company, you will be able to use your own plumber for the repairs. Merriam Insurance recommends you contact one of our experts today to learn more before you [...]

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  • man, driving, auto insurance, car interior, Merriam Insurance

    The Benefits of taking a Defensive Driving Course

    Does it ever seem that you are paying way too much for your auto insurance? Do you have a blemish or two on your record that causes you to miss out on insurance company discounts? There is a way to obtain a large discount that is open to every New York licensed operator: the Defensive Driving Course (DDC). This course carries a 6-hour commitment and may be taken in-person in a classroom setting or over the Internet. There are no tests and you needn’t get behind the wheel to demonstrate driving acuity. Merely watch some lively videos, engage in some discussions about values, attitudes and behavior, and fill out some Q&A items. Upon completing the 6 hours, typically divided over a couple sessions or accomplished all in one sitting, if preferred, you will be given a certificate which will result in up to 4 points being removed from your driving license. Even if you have no points, this certificate, when remitted to your insurance company, will prompt them to reduce the premium on your Liability, Personal Injury Protection, and Collision premiums by 10% for three years! You will find the discount greatly exceeds the cost of the course making this a truly valuable investment of your time. A cleaner record, a substantial reduction in your insurance premium and the learning of new information to help make you a better driver…that is a great result! Brian H. Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI Certified DDC Instructor The Benefits of taking a Defensive Driving [...]

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When Rising Water is Called a Flood

Why Do Auto Rates Increase and What Can I Do About It?

How to Be a Good Board Member

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