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

Brian H. Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI

About Brian H. Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI

376 Broadway Schenectady, New York 12305 Toll-Free: (877) MERRIAM x 201 (877) 637-7426 x 201 Send Email

Sandy Adams: In Memoriam

It is with great sadness that we tell you of the passing of our friend and colleague, Sandy Adams. Sandy joined the Agency in 2011 and quickly became an integral part of our Health Benefits department. She brought a wealth of knowledge relating to health benefits, benefit providers and the...

A Message from the President

I remember our inaugural newsletter of 1991 in which the headline read, “We’re 100 Years Young.” The following words were in the body of the Message from the President, “Change happens quickly now, and those changes directly affect your insurance coverage. It’s our responsibility to make sure that your insurance...

Merriam Insurance Agency Acquires Latham-based Corporate Benefit Planning

Schenectady-based Merriam Insurance, which announced the deal on Tuesday, did not disclose financial terms. The acquisition closed the previous Monday. Corporate Benefit Planning is located in Latham, NY. Carol Bowman, prior Manager of CBP, said, “We strongly believe that The Merriam Agency will continue the personalized and excellent service we have provided to our valued clients and we are pleased that The Merriam Insurance Agency is available to provide … an expanded service and product line.”

Opportunities to Help Those in Need

In January of this year, I took my 16-year-old daughter, Kalina, to Haiti for a short-term mission trip. I hoped that, by showing her the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, she would have an appreciation for the bounty that is ours in America. Additionally, I hoped that she would perceive an obligation to someday help those who have not been as well blessed as we Americans. Even those who are below the poverty line here in our own country have available resources that those in poverty in Haiti do not. Four years ago I took a similar trip

Jump Into Spring: Annual Business Insurance Review

New business owners are concerned to see that conditions are favorable for the success of their business, which includes obtaining the protection of business insurance. However, it is possible that business success and longevity may cause complacency. Ten years ago, you might have started your business with just a small office space and one computer. Yet, today you have an office full of employees and equipment. You may now need to make changes to your original insurance coverage. It is common for small businesses to start out with basic insurance coverage,

Used Car Sales

Increasingly, AGRM member missions are seeing the financial opportunity of used car sales operations. These operations benefit both the donor and the mission.
The donor obtains a tax-deductible receipt for donating a working automobile to a charitable organization, and the mission receives a vehicle which provides a source of revenue when it is sold. Risks To Be Considered However, the typical insurance policy excludes

Consumer Driven Health Plans

Now that the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) is underway, many missions are looking for ways to comply with the act, but not bust their budgets. Some tools are available that might make sense to consider. Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) are growing in popularity. Recently, a major health insurance carrier announced that

Cyber Threat

A growing risk is threatening homeless shelters. This threat is more insidious and less measurable than most risks for which we often prepare. I am writing about what is usually referred to as “cyber-risk”. Unlike buildings that are susceptible to fires and automobiles that are exposed to collisions, cyber risks are imposed upon a mission, not just by a rogue employee, but by people from outside the mission looking to steal without ever stepping foot on the premises. Unlikely, you think? Please don’t be naïve!

Loss prevention

I usually avoid the use of clichés, but this one is just too obvious to ignore: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin was certainly right, though I doubt he imagined he would ever be quoted in Rescue Magazine 250 years later! However, when it comes to preventing losses before they happen, he was extremely sage. The amount of money that is lost on insured claims may be huge. Additionally, they are typically a time waster, exacerbated by the work and energy that must be expended to even file a claim. Such possible expenses to the ministry include