Mr. Merriam Goes to Washington

When you hear the word “lobbyist” do you have a negative impression? Perhaps you think of hired attorneys from large law firms who represent national oil companies, or you think of unions with busloads of their members all wearing identical, loud-colored T-shirts using bullhorns, chants, and placards touting some particular...

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.

Active Shooter Response: How to Survive a Shooting Event

There was just another active shooter incident recently. It seems that this is becoming an almost weekly, if not monthly, occurrence. It is not your imagination; the frequency of such tragic occurrences is increasing. I will not argue for or against more gun control laws or for different background checks...

Determining the Lowest Premium

Many times people who call me for car insurance quotes are satisfied just by hearing the “cost per month.” It seems simple: Determine the lowest total cost, and you know what you are getting into. But in fact, hidden costs can lurk beneath the surface. Here are some questions to...