General

An Ounce of Prevention

Many of us carry some type of insurance to deal with accidents and catastrophic loss. Finding the right combination of coverage is crucial for protecting your personal and/or business assets. The Merriam Agency takes pride in our ability to offer clients the coverage they need in order to achieve their protection goals. Finding and keeping an insurance plan, that is both comprehensive and affordable, is our top priority for our clients.

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!

Does Your Organization have Enough Liability Insurance

Most leaders have no idea whether or not their business or organization carries enough liability insurance. Many tell me, “I have an umbrella, so that should be fine,” and then end the discussion there. Even those who give the size of their umbrella some thought may not fully appreciate the size of injury payouts. If you fit into this category of “umbrella purchaser,” you probably have

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

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.