Where to Live in Portland, Maine

It seems like everyone wants to live in Portland, Maine. Hardly a week goes by that we’re not on some “best of” list. College graduates flock here for the food, drink, entertainment and active sports scene. Retirees downsize to Portland for cultural options and top-shelf medical facilities. Everyone loves the city’s size. It’s big enough to keep you busy, small enough to find your “tribe”, and see them often about town.

Many new Portland Maine residents want to be “on the peninsula”. Portland’s downtown is flanked by hills overlooking the east and west ends, and water access on the north and south. Almost anywhere on the peninsula, you can walk from grocery to gallery, beach to brewery, or concert hall to coffee shop. And you can’t spin a lobster without pointing to a restaurant.

What’s the Best Neighborhood in Portland Maine?

With so many great neighborhoods, it’s more about finding the best fit for you. We’ve broken down the choices to help you decide where to look. All the neighborhoods are in Portland, unless noted.

Near Lots of Restaurants (walking distance):

map of Portland Maine neighborhoods
Some popular Portland Maine neighborhoods
  • Munjoy Hill
  • Newbury / India Street
  • Old Port
  • Meeting House Hill (South Portland)

Near Nightlife and Music Venues:

  • Old Port
  • Congress St – mid-town
  • Longfellow Square

Near Beaches and Trails:

  • Baxter Boulevard
  • Newbury / India Street
  • Ferry Village / Willard Square (South Portland)
  • Munjoy Hill

Car-Free Possible:

  • Knightville (South Portland)
  • Bayside & Parkside
  • Congress St. – mid-town
  • Longfellow Square

Mostly Residential:

map of South Portland Maine's east end
Popular neighborhoods in the east end of South Portland Maine
  • Oakdale
  • West End
  • Ferry Village (South Portland)
  • Meeting House Hill / Willard Square (South Portland)

Less Congested, but Close to the City:

  • Deering Center / Rosemont
  • North Deering
  • Ferry Village (South Portland)
  • Meeting House Hill (South Portland)
  • Peaks Island

Drive-to Cheaper Rents in Portland Metro Area:

  • Westbrook
  • Old Orchard Beach
  • Redbank / Brick Hill (South Portland)
  • Riverton

Older Apartments with Character:

  • West End
  • Oakdale
  • Deering Center
  • Old Port

Sleek New Apartments and Condos:

  • Munjoy Hill
  • Newbury / India Streets
  • Bayside
  • Commercial St.

What’s the Cost of Living in Portland Maine?

Like many coastal cities, Portland Maine’s cost of living is above average. But, it’s about 50% less than New York and almost 30% less than Boston. The biggest outlier in our cost of living is housing cost: about 57% higher than the U.S. average. You might need to compromise on your “wish list” to find a place you can afford. And, because it’s so popular, it’s a seller’s market right now. If you see a great house, condo or apartment, it likely won’t be on the market tomorrow.

Moving to Portland, Maine?

You’re going to love it! We’ve been here since 1933, and are proud to be active in our community. We sponsor local non-profits and events. We champion fellow small businesses. We volunteer and buy local. Find us in the Knightville / Mill Creek area of South Portland, across the Casco Bay Bridge from Portland. We love to share our knowledge about the place we call home.

Need insurance for your car, apartment, boat, snowmobile, home or condo? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207-799-5541. We represent many insurers and can compare rates and coverage to find you the best value. We’re independent and committed to you.

Not ready to talk to an insurance agent? You can get real insurance quotes online in 10 minutes from our website.

More Maine Home Insurers Cover Water & Sewer Lines

 

Portland Maine Water District is one of several that have offered a service contract for underground water and sewer lines. Available through a third party provider called HomeServe, the plans for both types of pipes cost $168.00 per year. We wrote a blog post in 2010 to help our clients decide if it was worth the cost for them.


Should I Buy Water / Sewer Line Coverage From My Water District?


Off the Shelf Home Policies Don’t Cover Exterior Pipes

Homeowners, renters and condo unit owner policies cover water damage to your home from leaky or frozen pipes. But they don’t cover damage to pipes outside the home, like water supply or sewer lines between your home and the street.

 

Insurance Companies Now Sell Underground Line Coverage

Some Maine insurance companies now offer underground service line coverage. Like the water district plan, they have a coverage limit – often $10,000, with a $500 deductible. That’s more than the water district service contract, which covers up to $3,500 for water lines and $5,000 for sewer lines.

Insurers now selling this coverage in Maine include Andover Companies, Concord Group and Vermont Mutual. Some sell the coverage a la carte, while others include it in a special bundle of coverage. In all cases, you have to purchase it – it’s not automatically covered by homeowners policies.

Is the Coverage the Same?

Along with the coverage limits, there are other important differences. For example, the water district service plan has no co-payment, while insurance company policies usually have a $500 deductible.  Also, the water district service agreement covers unblocking clogged pipes, while insurance policies generally do not. The contract wording is different, too. Water district plans exclude “pre-existing conditions” and “acts of God”, words not found in property insurance policies.

Which is Cheaper? Homeowners Policy or Water District Plans?

Insurance companies charge different premiums for the coverage. Most are much less than the $168 per year charged by the water district – some as little as $15 per year!

If you live in Southern Maine and would like a quote for underground line insurance on your home, apartment or condo, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207-799-5541. We can help you find the best overall value, with several quotes from top insurers. We’re independent and committed to you.

Uninsured motorists coverage in Maine

At least some liability insurance is required everywhere. This makes sense because people should be able to pay for damage they cause to other people or their property. But there are people who will not obey the law and get insurance for a variety of reasons. It can be confusing in such a situation, but the staff at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, Maine can help you determine what you need with your automobile insurance policy. 

Maine is a "fault" state, meaning the person ruled to be responsible for the accident, is responsible for all damages or injuries caused. Some states are "no-fault" meaning each person pays for their own car in an accident regardless of who is at fault. Maine also requires that people have coverage for uninsured motorists. Having this coverage means your insurance company will pay for any damages caused by someone else that their insurance will not cover.  For instance, if your damages are $50,000, and the other person has insurance for $40,000, your own insurance will cover the rest of the charges. This could be very beneficial in an "at fault" state like  Maine when the other person has no coverage at all. 

Contact the professional staff at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, Maine to find out more about automobile insurance and what to do if you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Don’t wait until you are in that situation to learn what you need to know. Get information about a new policy, or come see us make sure your policy is up to date and that you have the coverage you need. If you are changing cars or adding a vehicle, you will need to update your policy to have that vehicle covered.

Does Commercial Insurance Cover Office Equipment?

One of the biggest decisions you will make when starting your business is selecting the right commercial insurance. Commercial insurance is designed to add a layer of protection in the event of a covered loss. Some of the covered losses that your insurance protects you from include fire and theft. Your insurance policy will cover any named items belonging to the business including office equipment.

How To Get The Right Coverage

When you start to look for commercial insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind. Find an insurance provider that carries the type of coverage that best suits your business in the increments that most closely resemble your total asset value. Select an insurance company that has skilled representatives that can work with you to help get the coverage you need to give you peace of mind. Make sure you include all business owned assets in your inventory figure to help prevent gaps in your coverage that could lead to losses. 

Documenting Office Equipment

It is important to include your office equipment in your coverage. One way to ensure that you adequately protect valuable office equipment is to save all of your purchase receipts or appraisals. Photocopy all of your documents that figure into your insurance policy and keep them stored in a separate location or in the cloud. A highly respected insurance company that can help you step by step through the coverage process is Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, ME.

If you are looking for high quality and reliable commercial insurance, you should call or stop by Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, ME, and speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives about your insurance needs. They have answers to your questions and can help you get started protecting your investment today.

A New Easier Way to Get Maine Home, Condo, Renters or Auto Insurance Quotes

 

Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance has offered online auto and home insurance quotes to Maine people since 2014. We’re excited to invest in a new platform that’s faster and easier to use. Best of all, if you find a quote you like, we can bind your coverage faster than ever.

Can I Get Quotes from Many Insurance Companies at Once?

Yes! In only 10 minutes, you can get quotes from up to 5 A-rated insurers, including:

  • Concord Group
  • MMG Insurance
  • Patriot Insurance
  • Progressive Insurance
  • Travelers

get Maine insurance quotes

Is It Safe to Enter My Insurance Quote Information Online?

Yes, our secure site protects your personal information.

 

Will an Insurance Agent Call Me?

Only if you want us to. If you request an online quote from one of “the big guys”, they will probably get call or email you 5 times, pressuring you to buy. We hate that as much as you do.

We will send one follow up email, in case you have any questions about your quotes. If you’d like to see quotes from other insurers that can’t yet provide “real time” quotes, you can let us know. If one of the quotes interests you, tell us and we’ll reach out with more information. No pressure or obligation.

 

Can I Buy Maine Home, Renters or Auto Insurance Online?

There’s no need to come into the office – or even talk to us on the phone – unless you want to. You can sign, pay and get proof of insurance electronically. Of course, not everyone’s insurance needs are straight and narrow. You may want the confidential advice of an experienced agent sometime. That’s where we shine. Our knowledge of the local area, our clients and the insurance market is why many of our clients choose to do business with us. Their insurance agent reviews tell the story.

 

Can I Get My Insurance Documents Online?

Yes! We’ve invested in a state-of-the art, secure client center, protected by two-step verification. You can:

  • Review your policy
  • Get proof of auto or property insurance
  • Request to change a driver, vehicle or lender
  • Update your contact info
  • Upload a document or photo to your agent.

You can learn more about our client center here.

 

What If I Need to Talk to an Agent?

The Noyes Hall & Allen team takes pride in providing personalized service and advice. We’re accessible by email, text, phone or in person. We’re small enough to know you and big enough to serve you. Whether you have a claim, a coverage question, or need to choose another payment option, we’re here to help. No call centers. No chatbots. No phone menus.

 

Access Your Maine Insurance Policy Info 24/7

We’re pleased to introduce a new feature for clients of Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance. Now, you can access policy documents and information from our secure web site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Lost your Maine auto insurance card? Want to check on your coverage at night or on the weekend?  You can log on easily and get the information you need in two minutes or less. Here’s how.

Step 1 – Visit NoyesHallAllen.com


Look for the “My Account” icon on the upper right of the page (or in the list on a mobile phone). It opens to a drop-down menu. Select an option.

 

Step 2 – Log In Using Your Email Address

You must use the email address that our agency has on file for you. This is usually the one that we have emailed correspondence to in the past. Let us know if we should use a different email address.

 

Step 3 – Log In With a Secure Verification Code 

This is sent instantly to your mobile device or your email address. This code helps keep your personal information in your hands alone. It expires after 5 minutes.

 

Step 4 – Choose the Policy or Documents You Want

The default view is “policies. This allows you to view the details of your coverage by clicking “view policy” below the snapshot.(click on the image for a larger version)

Note that there’s an option to switch to “documents” as well as the default “policies”.

 

If you want to download your insurance cards, choose “documents” click “download” on the right. You can print or save them to your device from there. By law, Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, city and town halls and law enforcement officers accept electronic proof of insurance. You aren’t required to produce a paper copy.

(click on the image for an enlarged verson)

 

We hope that you enjoy the convenience of 24/7 access to your insurance policy information. Most insurance companies share their information with us electronically in a compatible form with this feature. If your documents aren’t available, call us and we can send them to you.

Finally! Insurance for Maine Uber & Lyft Rideshare Drivers

Since Uber and Lyft launched in Portland 3 years ago, rideshare drivers have had a big insurance gap. Personal auto policies exclude coverage for “Periods 1, 2 and 3” of a driver’s availability. Rideshare companies cover Period 2 and 3, but not Period 1. When a driver turns on their Uber or Lyft app, they turn off their personal insurance coverage.

Progressive just introduced a gap-closer for Maine Uber and Lyft drivers: the Transportation Network Company (TNC) Endorsement.

How Does the TNC Endorsement Provide Auto Insurance for Maine Uber and Lyft Drivers?

  1. Period 1 (logged onto TNC app, no trip accepted). Progressive now covers drivers during this period if you’ve bought the TNC Endorsement.
  2. Period 2 (trip accepted, driver en route to pickup). Progressive’s TNC Endorsement covers your full policy liability limit, not the skimpy coverage provided by many TNC insurance programs.
  3. Period 4 (on a trip). Progressive’s TNC Endorsement covers the difference between your policy deductible and that provided by Uber or Lyft. The TNC policy remains primary. This helps reduce your out-of-pocket expense.

How Much Does Uber or Lyft Driver Insurance Cost in Maine?

The cost for Progresssive’s new TNC Endorsement varies. We’ve seen prices as low as $6.00 per month. Your rates will depend upon your driving record, insurance score, and whether or not you’ve maintained consistent insurance.

If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft in Maine, and you’re not certain you have insurance coverage for it, you probably don’t. Many drivers have been afraid to call their insurance company to ask about it, for fear that their insurance might be canceled. Our agency represents more than 10 auto insurers, none of which has offered a solution until now. Kudos to Progressive for living up to their name in this case.

If you live in Southern Maine and have questions about your auto insurance, call a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.

How to Secure your Home with Insurance

A home is a place where you go after a long day of work. It is where you raise a family, and share and creates memories. To most people, home is the most important place and thus an investment. But life is unpredictable; you never know what to expect. You may wake up one day to find your house on fire or damaged by weather. What do you do then?

At Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, ME, we are experienced and have been in the insurance business for quite some time, and within that time, we have had the chance to work with different clients and handle a multitude of different situations. We understand the risks that can affect a home, and so, we have various coverage options that are designed to fit your needs and provide the protection you want.

Here is a glimpse at some of the options available:

Structure Coverage

With our home insurance policy, we may be able to rebuild or repair your home if it gets damaged by hail, winds, fire, or any other disaster. Note, however, not all home insurance policies protect your home from floods, and so it is essential to make sure you know and understand your coverage.

Personal Belongings Coverage

Home is where you keep all your personal belongings. It is where you have your clothes, shoes, furniture, electronics, and just about everything in between. So, if your home is destroyed, all your possessions may become destroyed as well. With a personal belonging coverage, we help you recover all your lost or damaged personal items. It is also wise to make an inventory of your more important items for the insurance company.

Additional Coverage

If your home is destroyed, you may have to find a place to live while your home is being repaired. Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance can cover all additional living expenses which include restaurant and food bills. With that, you get to continue living your life without worrying about the costs.

If you are in the Portland, ME area, please feel free to contact us for more information and to have your questions answered.

HO-5 vs. HO-3 Homeowners Policies. What’s The Difference?

 


Note: This discussion applies only to Insurance Services Office (ISO) coverage forms. These are used by most insurance companies in Maine. Some insurers (Allstate, State Farm, Travelers and more) use their own proprietary forms. If you have a quote or a policy from those companies, ask an agent to explain the coverage you’re buying.

 

All Maine homeowners policies are not created equal. In fact, if your policy is properly written, there may not be another like it. Common insurance policy forms have important differences, even though they look very similar.

HO3 vs. HO5

One key example is the difference between ISO HO-3 and HO-5 homeowners forms. The HO-3 was the most popular coverage form for decades. It covers a broad scope of building damages, but more limited coverage for your personal belongings.

A quick chart:



 

 

 


Open Perils – Covers any cause of loss unless excluded.

Named Perils –
Covers only damage from specified causes.

 


 

The HO-3 covers personal property against 16 named perils:

  1. Theft
  2. Fire or Lightning
  3. Freezing
  4. Windstorm or Hail
  5. Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water from Plumbing
  6. Vehicles
  7. Smoke
  8. Weight of Ice, Snow, or Sleet
  9. Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
  10. Sudden & Accidental Tearing Apart, Cracking, Burning, or Bulging
  11. Sudden & Accidental Damage from Artificially Generated Electric Current
  12. Falling Objects
  13. Volcanic Eruption
  14. Riot or Civil Commotion
  15. Aircraft Damage
  16. Explosion

Why Buy HO-5 Instead of HO-3?

The open perils HO-5 form shifts the burden of proof from you to the insurance company. You’re not required to prove that the damage to your personal property was caused by one of the 16 named perils. It’s covered, unless it’s specifically excluded. Believe it or not, insurance adjusters like this, too. It removes a lot of the uncertainty and headache out of proving coverage.

What does an HO-5 Cover that an HO-3 Doesn’t?

Because the coverage is so broad, there are almost no limits to the ways your property could be damaged. Here are a few:

  • On a hot August day, a freak thunderstorm hits while you’re at work. Rain blows through an open window, damaging your home entertainment system.
  • At a dinner party, a guest spills a glass of red wine on your oriental carpet, damaging it.
  • A skunk finds its way through your open patio door. You startle it, and it sprays inside your home. All of your upholstered furniture must be deodorized.

Admittedly, these are not common claims. But clients often call insurance agents to report damage that’s NOT covered. Wouldn’t it be good to put the odds in your favor?

 

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost to upgrade from HO-3 to HO-5 varies by insurer. Believe it or not, sometimes, the HO-5 with one insurer may cost LESS than the HO-3 with another.  Often, insurers only offer HO-5 coverage for preferred properties and clients. That means you may qualify for very good pricing to begin with, which could save you money from your current HO-3 policy. If you qualify for both forms, the HO-5 is the preferred option.

Do you live in Southern Maine and have questions about your Maine homeowners insurance? Are you buying a home in Southern Maine and want insurance advice? Call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent.  Or, you can create your own Maine home insurance quotes online in 10 minutes. We offer a choice from many preferred insurers. We’re independent and committed to you.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Portland Maine?

 

Most Portland Maine landlords require proof of renters insurance before you move in to your apartment, house or condo. That’s because the landlord’s insurance does NOT cover your belongings against water damage, theft, fire or other perils. They want to make sure that you have coverage for your own stuff. The same goes for your liability. If someone slips on an ice cube in your apartment, the landlord’s insurance will not pay for medical bills or lost work. But, your renters insurance will.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?

The price depends on how much coverage you need. The minimum premium for many insurers is $150 to $200 per year. That usually buys you $300,000 of liability protection and $20,000 of personal property (contents) coverage. You can insure an engagement ring on the same policy for a few dollars a year. If you have a lot of stuff, you might spend $300 – $400 for $100,000 of contents. You may save money by bundling your car insurance and renters insurance.

How Long Does it Take to Buy Renters Insurance?

Most insurance agents can quote and bind renters insurance the same day – and often within the same hour. A local agent knows most of the apartment buildings in their area, and can quickly put together a cost-effective program to meet your lease requirement. They can also send proof of coverage to your landlord.

How Do I Provide Proof of Renters Insurance?

Your insurance agent can list your landlord as an “additional interest” so that your landlord automatically gets a copy of your renters insurance every year. This proof doesn’t cost any extra, and makes sure that you stay in good stead with your landlord.

If you’re renting a Portland Maine area apartment or condo, get a renters insurance quote from Noyes Hall & Allen.  We know every neighborhood from Willard Square to Westbrook, Oak Hill to the Old Port, the Eastern Prom to Eastern Village, and the Foreside to Bayside. We work with you and your landlord to make sure you’re protected quickly and properly, so you can focus on moving into your new place.

We’re independent and committed to YOU.