Defensive Driving

Save $$ on your auto insurance and reduce up to 4 points off your license by taking the New York Safety Program’s Defensive Driving Course!

Welcome to Merriam Insurance

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 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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    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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    Four Generations Providing Expert Evaluation

    After the national tragedy in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, the nation’s oldest mission lost its insurance coverage because of its high-risk location. If it couldn’t secure new coverage, hundreds of needy New Yorkers would be deprived of basic needs. Merriam Insurance filled that void and provided the shelter with comprehensive coverage thanks to its expertise in writing policies for churches, missions and shelters.
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    Protecting Yourself Against Wire Fraud

    Statistics recently gathered by Beazley Insurance indicate that in 2017 the average theft through fraudulent wiring instructions was $357,000. Some thefts were only a few thousand dollars; however, others were in the millions. Fraudulent wire instructions have become a significant threat to the well-being of individuals and businesses. Even if you do not directly handle or wire funds, defrauded consumers and their attorneys may seek to involve all parties associated with the transaction. What are you doing to prevent fraudulent wiring instructions from being followed? Here are some risk management practices you might want to consider: Don't rely on emails to receive wire instructions. It is recommended you implement procedures to call and verify email instructions that are received. If your only option is to email the wire instructions, you should first call to verify the account numbers. You should also know that talented fraudsters may be able to impersonate bank or other office personnel, so be wary. Make doing business with people you know a preference. While unrealistic for some, many manage their risk by predominantly dealing with attorneys and banks they know. Inform everyone involved in the transaction, as many may not be aware that fraudulent wire instructions are an issue. If they play any role in the transfer of their funds, be sure you have communicated clearly with them about this threat to their financial well-being. Aggressively educate yourself... Bear in mind that when fraudulent wire instructions are followed and money is lost, we all lose—even if the loss was not specifically the [...]

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    Tips for Safe Outdoor Adventures

    This season millions of Americans will head outside to camp, kayak, hike, and bike. To ensure that you maximize your valuable leisure time, here are 5 tips to recreate safely for the whole season. Plan Ahead and Prepare. Knowing where you’re going to hike, paddle, or bike is just the beginning. There are many other factors to consider. How are the bugs during the day you’ll be outside? Are there any trails that are closed? What animals might you encounter, and what precautions can you take to safely enjoy their presence? These, and other questions, can usually be answered by the local land management agency (The National Park Service, local rangers, etc.) or by a reputable outfitter. Buy or Rent the Proper Equipment. Every outdoor activity requires proper gear. Basics such as a map, water bottle, and appropriate clothing are essential. Other activity-specific gear (such as a headlamp for longer day hikes) is often required as well. Visit your local outdoor supply store to get advice about what to purchase, or contact a reputable outfitter near your trip location to rent the necessary items. Check the Weather. This may seem simple, but weather patterns often change quickly. Knowing what to expect will help ensure you and your family remain dry, warm, and comfortable. Be sure to check more than just the percentage chance of rain the day of your trip. Wind, temperature, humidity, and time of day also play a role. Tell Someone Where You Are Going. Providing a trusted [...]

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    How you can lower your Homeowner’s Insurance costs

    As the years pass, the average price of many items can increase due to inflation. Your homeowner’s insurance is no different. In addition to the regular increase due to inflation, the cost to repair or replace your home also increases. Insurance companies must account for these rising costs, which in turn can raise your premium. By making some adjustments to your policy as well as some long-term investments, you can keep your insurance costs under control. Here are several ways to help lower your homeowner’s insurance: Increase your Deductible. Increasing your deductible can have an immediate impact on your homeowner’s insurance. A higher deductible will result in a lower premium because you will be responsible for paying more out of pocket when a claim is filed. Reduce the Risk of Flooding. Flood damage is the number one insurance claim in the United States. If you're in a high-risk flood zone, there are steps you can take to reduce your insurance premium. Contact Merriam Insurance for more information. Look for Discounts. Ask an agent about discounts. Just like auto insurance, there may be several discounts available for your homeowner’s insurance. Eliminate Unnecessary Coverage. Evaluate your policy and eliminate any coverage you no longer need. Bundle your Policies. Bundling your insurance policies can save you some money. Check with your agent about moving all your other policies to the same company as your homeowner's insurance. Decide Carefully about Making Claims. Claims can drive up your premium because your insurance company may see you as a [...]

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    Teaching Your Teenager Safe Driving Habits

    While driving home one evening last week, I found myself stopped in traffic behind a van with two hand-written signs taped to the back: “STUDENT DRIVER BEHIND THE WHEEL” and “THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND SYMPATHY.” I chuckled as I remembered learning to drive many years ago, and wondered how the experience might have prematurely aged my parents. Instructing your child on in the critical skills of how to drive can be a bittersweet moment for any parent. While proud to see them reach a significant landmark, that pride is often tinged with sadness when you recognize that driving may be among the last skills you teach them before they become a fully independent adult. Regardless of how you may feel about this landmark, you invariably want to make sure your children learn the skills of safe driving. Your years of driving experience do not make what to teach or where to start obvious. It may be harder to remember to pass along driving skills that are second nature to the teacher—or they may not be correct! Merriam Insurance recommends parents of teen drivers prioritize the core essentials of safe driving and follow these crucial driving safety tips. Turn off the phone and put it in the glove box. Up to six in ten traffic accidents involving teens involves distracted driving, according to new research commissioned by the American Automobile Association. Cell phones are, by far, the most common source of distraction. Your first parental rule should be turning [...]

Four Generations Providing Expert Evaluation

Protecting yourself against Wire Fraud

Tips for Safe Outdoor Adventures