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

Brian H Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI, President

About Brian H Merriam, CPCU, ARM, AAI, President

376 Broadway
Schenectady, NY

(877) MERRIAM x 201
(877) 637-7426 x 201

Life and Disability for your Executive Director

The greatest assets of a mission are its personnel. Arguably, one of the most important people on your staff is the Executive Director. I find it interesting that buildings and vans get excellent insurance protection, yet these are readily replaceable. However, of all the “assets” I see left uninsured, it...

Everything Changes

In the 30 years of my professional career in risk management and insurance, I have never come across an issue as divisive as the debate over National health insurance. I will admit, right up front, that I am an opponent to the idea. Categorically, I am one of those conservatives who are prone to side with Thomas Jefferson who was quoted as saying, “The role of government is to do for society what society cannot do for itself.” Likewise, I am apt to quote what was printed in the monthly periodical

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

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

Abuse and Molestation

Due to the personal violation inherent in claims of this nature, the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty” does not often seem to apply here. Should a mission have a serious fire, you might expect to see an increase in donations coming from the community so as to help restore the affected building. However, when the press reports an allegation of A&M at your mission, the news may be met by mission benefactors with surprising little charity, especially if the accused is

Identity Theft

I reviewed my credit card statement recently and was surprised to find that I had paid a utility bill in California and purchased a widescreen TV in Colorado. Since I live in New York, I was pretty certain it was not a matter of my poor memory. More recently, bus ticket purchases from Mexico were denied by my credit card company. I don’t know how these thieves were able to get my credit card number, but I do know this is part of the risk of living in an increasingly electronic-dependent society. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2010, 7% of households