Ben Merris

Senior Vice President

One North Franklin Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone:  (860) 975-2489
Cell:  (312) 806-3511

Ben Merris is a Senior Vice President and Director of CRC Group’s Public Entity Practice Group. He also leads the Chicago and Connecticut based team responsible for placing insurance and reinsurance for public entity and higher education clients across the country.  

Ben earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Behavior and Management from Brown University before joining Mutual of NY & Guardian in 2000. Five years later, Ben took a Senior Analyst position with Brown & Brown’s Internal Audit Department, ultimately transitioning into a wholesale production role at Apex (a Brown & Brown owned public entity wholesaler) in 2007 where he remained until 2012 when he was hired away by Swett & Crawford to create the Swett & Crawford/CRC Public Entity Practice. Starting from scratch, Ben has played a foundational role in building the practice into a nationally recognized presence and hopes to continue to help it grow into the best and largest in the nation.  

Across more than 20 years in the industry, Ben has remained committed to expanding his expertise, earning Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities (ARM-P), Associate in Risk Management (ARM), and Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI) designations. He has also received awards such as 2017 CRC Casualty Broker of the Year and 2021 CRC Broker of the Year (Overall). Known for his creativity, deep market relationships, analytical ability, and attention to detail, Ben loves collaborating with team members, retail agents, and carriers to craft high-quality solutions for clients.

Ben, his wife Meghan, and their 3 children make their home in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Outside the office, you’ll often find Ben diving into a good book, enjoying a day on the golf course, or cheering on the New York Giants.   


  • Reinsurance
  • Monoline
  • Mutli-line
  • Follow Form Excess Liability
  • All Lines Aggregate Structures and Retention/Buffer Buy Downs

Exclusive Focus on

  • Public Sector
  • Higher Education
  • Governmental Entities
    • State Governments
    • Counties
    • Cities
    • Towns
    • Townships
    • Boroughs
    • Villages
    • Law Enforcement Organizations
    • Miscellaneous Public Entities
  • Educational Entities
    • K-12 School Districts
    • Community and Junior Colleges
    • Colleges and Universities (both public and
    • Vocational Schools
    • Charter Schools
  • Special Servicing Districts
    • Water and Sewer Entities
    • Special Districts
    • Irrigation Entities
    • Conservation Districts
    • Public/ Profit/ Non-Profit Utilities
  • Property
  • General Liability
  • Automobile Liability
  • Professional Liability
    • Law Enforcement
    • Public Officials
    • Educator's Legal
    • Employment Practices Liability
  • Excess Liability
  • Workers Compensation