Maine Insurance Rates September 2022 Home and Auto Update

Maine insurance rates remain among the lowest in the US. But home and auto rates are up as insurers struggle with rising claim costs and rising construction values. Portland Maine area insurance buyers saw increasing prices in the 3rd quarter of 2022.

Maine Auto Insurance Rates – June to September

Between June and September 2022, Portland Maine area auto insurance rates averaged a 2.2% increase at renewal, up from 1.7% last quarter. That’s considerably less than the national average of 4.3%. 

Maine auto insurance rates are up 2.2% at renewal as of September 2022.

About 50% of auto insurance buyers experienced an increase in premium. The other 50% saw premiums the same or less than before. Higher repair costs, delays finding replacement parts and increased driving speeds are all factors insurance companies site when they have to increase rates. Customers’ rates might decrease if accidents and violations “age off” or they choose to reduce or remove coverage on vehicles.

Maine Home Insurance Rates – June to September

Portland Maine home insurance renewal rates increased 5.4% from June to September. That’s rising faster than auto premiums, and an increase from last quarter’s 4.1% clip. That’s still less than the national average.

Maine home insurance rates average a 5.4% increase in September 2022 in the Portland area.

Home owners were more likely than auto insurance customers to see a rate increase. Sixty-two percent of customers saw a renewal increase. Only 38% saw rates stay the same or decrease. Higher building costs contributed to increased rates. So did longer rebuilding times due to labor shortages. Finally, the cost to rent temporary housing is very high now. That drives property insurance rates higher.

Maine Insurance Rates – Find the Best Value

If you live in southern Maine, you can get up to 5 insurance quotes in 10 minutes from our website. Or contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541 for a free no-obligation custom review. We offer a choice of several insurance companies. That means we can help you find the best insurance value.

We’re independent and committed to you.

Maine Insurance Rates – Home and Auto Update

Maine insurance rates are some of the lowest in the US. But home and auto rates are up as insurers struggle with rising claim costs and rising construction values. Fortunately, Maine insurance buyers are seeing smaller rate increases than much of the country.

Maine Auto Insurance Rates

As of June 2022, Maine auto insurance rates are averaging a 1.7% increase at renewal. That’s considerably less than the national average of 4.3%. The Wall Street Journal recently reported increases as high as 20%.

The main factors driving auto insurance increases include:

  • More driving. Miles driven are returning to near pre-pandemic levels
  • More serious crashes. Traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high last year.
  • Higher repair costs. Parts and labor costs have both risen sharply due to staffing issues, shipping problems and supply chain glitches.
  • Higher used car prices. When insurance companies total a vehicle, they have to pay the current used car market price. Used car prices went through the roof recently.
  • Car rental issues. Auto body repair times are much longer. That means longer replacement rentals. Daily car rental costs have spiked, too.
Maine auto insurance rates are up 1.7% at renewal as of June 2022.

Maine Home Insurance Rates

Maine home insurance rates are rising faster than auto premiums, at a 4.1% clip. That’s still less than the 6% national average. And at an average premium of $1005 per year, Maine home insurance is a relative bargain.

Home insurance costs are affected by building values and claim costs.

  • Rebuilding costs. Building materials and labor costs spiked during the pandemic. Insurance companies have increased their “inflation guard” factors to provide increased coverage on renewals.
  • Longer repair times. Contractors are hard to find, too, which increases additional living expenses.
  • Unusual weather. Natural disasters caused $116 Billion in insured claims in 2021. Maine sees far less than the rest of the US. That’s one reason why our rates are lower. But insurers are feeling less certain about predicting future losses.
Maine home insurance rates average a 4.1% increase in June 2022

Individual Home and Auto Insurance Rates Vary

Every insurance company files their rating plan with the Maine Bureau of Insurance. That plan includes individual rating factors such as driving record, insurance claim history, property location and personal insurance scores.

Maine Insurance Rates – Find the Best Value

If you live in southern Maine, you can get up to 5 insurance quotes in 10 minutes from our website. Or contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541 for a free no-obligation custom review. We offer a choice of several insurance companies. That means we can help you find the best insurance value.

We’re independent and committed to you.

Market Value and Building Cost – How Much Insurance do You Need?

Market value and building cost are important factors for property owners. But only one really matters when buying insurance. Knowing which one can help you avoid buying too much – or too little – insurance.

Market value and building cost are both important to property owners. But only one matters for insurance.

Market Value and Building Costs – Both are High

Market values of real estate are at an all-time high. That’s no secret to anyone buying or selling property. Whether you believe we’re in a bubble or not, 2022 is clearly a seller’s market. Due to low supply and high demand, buyers are offering above asking price and making other concessions to get properties.

Building costs are also high in 2022. Although lumber prices are lower after a huge COVID spike, they remain at a historically high level. So do contractors’ labor rates. Prices for petroleum-based building materials are also sky high.

Market Value – What is It?

Simply put, real estate market value is the going price. The one a willing buyer and seller agree upon. Many factors go into market price. Among them:

  • Location (location, location)
  • Inventory of similar properties for sale
  • Features of the buildings
  • Acreage
  • Landscaping and other improvements

Building Cost vs. Reconstruction Cost

Building cost is different from market value. It’s also different from reconstruction cost.

Building cost includes:

  • Building materials (“sticks and bricks”)
  • Design or architectural work
  • Contractor labor and use of equipment

Reconstruction cost per square foot is often higher than building new. Some reasons for that include:

  • Constraints of working around existing landscaping and structures
  • Matching existing materials, design, etc.
  • Reduced economies of scale. Contractors often build several new homes at a time. This distributes the cost of equipment, materials and labor. A reconstruction job at one home doesn’t permit this kind of scale.

Insurance Doesn’t Cover Market Value

Market value includes land, earth moving, landscaping and hardscape. Insurance doesn’t pay for any of those things. Market value also includes outbuildings, fences, pools and other structures. Insurance lists those separately from main buildings.

Insurance Covers Reconstruction Cost

Insurance covers the cost to rebuild. Even after a complete disaster, a contractor may be able to use the excavation or foundation that remains. That’s why in highly desirable areas, insurance values are often less than the price you would pay to buy the property.

Can A Lender Make You Insure the Purchase Price?

Lenders are always concerned about protecting their interest in your property. But your building insurance amount may not match your loan amount. That’s OK.

By law, lenders cannot require insurance in excess of rebuilding costs for 1-4 family dwellings in Maine. If your insurance agent can prove that your policy covers 100% of reconstruction costs, your lender cannot require more insurance.

Your Insurance Agent – Your Advocate

An insurance agent should work with you to estimate the proper rebuilding cost of your property. They should also provide proof of insurance to your lender. Finally, they should advocate on your behalf if the lender pushes for insurance above the fair rebuilding cost.

Do you need to insure property in Southern Maine? Whether it’s in Greater Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough or anywhere in Cumberland, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc or York County, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland or call 207-799-5541.

We offer a choice of many insurance companies so we can help you find the best value. We’re independent and committed to you.

Home Insurance About to Renew? We Know South Portland and Can Help You Get the Best Value

From Ferry Village to Highland Avenue and Brick Hill to Meeting House Hill, Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance has helped South Portland residents and businesses protect their properties since 1933.

Is your home insurance about to renew? Do you know if the price and coverage are competitive? Why not get a 2nd opinion? It’s totally free and no-obligation.

As a Trusted Choice Independent Agency, we offer a choice of Maine’s preferred home insurance companies. That allows us to find solutions that fit your budget and your needs.

We’re a locally owned business. Our team lives, works and plays here. We support South Portland organizations and non-profits. Put our local knowledge to work for you. You can get up to 5 home insurance quotes in 10 minutes here, or by clicking the button below.

Home Insurance About to Renew? We Know Scarborough and Can Help You Get the Best Value.

From Higgins Beach to Fogg Brook and Beech Ridge to Oak Hill, Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance has helped Scarborough residents and businesses protect their properties since 1933.

Is your home insurance about to renew? Do you know if the price and coverage are competitive? Why not get a 2nd opinion? It’s totally free and no-obligation.

As a Trusted Choice Independent Agency, we offer a choice of Maine’s preferred home insurance companies. That allows us to find solutions that fit your budget and your needs.

We’re a locally owned business. Our team lives, works and plays here. Put our local knowledge to work for you. You can get up to 5 home insurance quotes in 10 minutes here, or by clicking the button below.

Comparing Homeowners Insurance Quotes

Comparing homeowners insurance among several companies is smart. When you only check one company, you don’t know if you’re getting a good value. Some insurers target higher value homes. Others focus more on the middle-market. Still others specialize in manufactured homes or hard-to-insure homes.

Comparing homeowners insurance quotes is hard. An independent agent can make it easier.

What’s the best way to shop for homeowners insurance?

Step 1: Gather Information About Your Home

You’ll need:

  • Square footage
  • Approximate age of updates to roof, plumbing, heating and electrical systems
  • Details about any claims in the last 5 years
  • Current coverage limits and deductibles (if you currently own the place you’re insuring).

Step 2: Decide Where to Get Quotes

You have 3 main options for getting insurance quotes:

  • DIY – go online or call an 800 number. You’ll get 1 quote at a time from companies like Progressive, GEICO, State Farm or Liberty Mutual. Plan to call a few places and repeat answers to the same questions to get quotes to compare.
  • Company Agent – State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual and others may have local offices near you. You’ll still only get 1 quote at a time. But unlike the DIY option, you’ll get advice and help from an agent.
  • Independent Agent – like Noyes Hall & Allen. Indie agents offer the convenience of several quotes at once. They also provide help and advice, like a company agent.

Step 3: Comparing Homeowners Insurance Quotes

Comparing homeowners insurance quotes can be challenging. Each company’s presentation looks different. Some may not offer the coverage you asked for. And they may not even tell you that it’s not the same.

Key Differences

The basic coverage limits and deductibles should be clear. You should be able to tell the difference by looking at the numbers. A policy that insures your home for $600,000 obviously has more coverage than one insuring it for $500,000. Of course that coverage costs something. Likewise, a higher deductible usually costs less than a lower one.

The other differences may not be easy to find. Here are a few things to look for:

  • “Open Perils” vs. “Named Perils” contents coverage. Open perils (sometimes called HO-5) coverage is better.
  • Water damage – Basic policies may not cover hidden leaks or water backup. These are some of the most common homeowners insurance claims.
  • Service Lines – Base homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage to pipes outside of your foundation. You can buy service line coverage or a water district plan to protect yourself.
  • Extra Replacement Limits – Base policies limit coverage to the amount on the face of the policy. If building materials or labor costs spike after you buy your policy, that may not be enough. Look for “additional amounts of insurance” or a similar clause to protect yourself.
  • Wind deductibles – Some insurers apply special wind deductibles to homes near the coast. This practice is very inconsistent between companies. Pay attention! Wind deductibles can be several times higher than your regular one.

Comparing Homeowners Insurance Quotes Since 1933

Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland Maine has helped generations of home and condo owners protect their assets. As an independent agency, we offer a choice of several insurance companies.

Own property in Southern Maine? Want to compare insurance quotes all at once? Call a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207-799-5541. Not ready to talk to an agent? You can get up to 5 insurance quotes online on our website.

We can help you find the best fit and value for your Maine home or condo insurance. We’re independent and committed to you.

Your Insurance Claim is Reported – What Happens Next?

We’re sorry to hear about your loss. You’ve reported an insurance claim. What’s next?

After you report your claim to an insurance company, they assign it to an adjuster. The adjuster determines whether your policy covers this claim, and, if so, what it will pay.

The adjuster should contact you within 24 hours. It might be longer if you reported your claim on a holiday or a weekend. If you haven’t heard from the adjuster after a full day, or if your situation is urgent, contact the adjuster or your agent.

Your insurance policy is a contract.
It requires you AND your insurance company to do certain things.

Your Responsibilities

  • Prevent further damage to any property until it can be inspected and repaired.
  • Respond promptly to any claim communication. That helps speed the process.
  • Keep copies of any documents important to settling your claim. That might include: police reports; receipts; estimates; or notes of conversations.
  • Cooperate with the insurance company to settle the claim. That may include providing a list of your lost or damaged items.

Insurance Company’s Responsibilities

  • Investigate your claim thoroughly, promptly and fairly.
  • Pay or deny your claim within a reasonable time.
  • Provide a written explanation for any denial, referencing your insurance policy wording.
  • Fairly compensate you for a covered loss, according to the terms of your policy.

Your Insurance Agent’s Role

One reason you do business with Noyes Hall & Allen is assistance after a loss.

Most claims go faster if your agent doesn’t get involved. You and your adjuster work together to settle your claim quickly and fairly.

Sometimes you need more help. We’re here! Your agent can:

  • Explain any insurance terms, or how the process works.
  • Help get your claim back on track if communication falters during the process.

Call Noyes Hall & Allen if you need assistance with your claim: 207-799-5541.

Andover Insurance Offers New Protection from Cyber Crime

Many of us are online more than ever. We can shop for everything from groceries to garden supplies. We can pay bills, communicate with doctors, connect with loved ones, and read news online.

This can all be really convenient. It can also expose your personal information to cyber criminals and other bad actors.

Up to now, insurance coverage against cyber crime frankly hasn’t been very good. It covered limited types of loss – mostly the kind that don’t occur often.

But Andover Companies recently introduced Cyber Protection coverage.

We like Andover’s Cyber Protection because it covers you against many common situations, including:

  • Cyber attack – someone attacks your computer, stealing information.
  • Data breach – your personal information is stolen or compromised from a vendor or service you use.
  • Online fraud – unauthorized use of accounts, identity theft, etc.
  • Cyber extortion – your computer is disabled by bad actors who promise to fix it – for a price.
  • Cyberbullying – harassment or attack via text, email or social media. 

Premium starts at $45 per year for $25,000 in protection. You can buy as much as $50,000 coverage for $55 per year. 

For years we’ve asked our insurance companies to introduce coverage like this. Andover Companies is one of the first one to make it broadly available to our clients. We recommend that our clients consider it.

Interested in learning more? Here is a link to our Blog Post about Cyber Insurance (5 minute read). 

If you’re a Noyes Hall & Allen client who would like to add cyber protection, or have any questions about your insurance, we’re happy to help with local, personalized service. Call us at 207-799-5541.

Jewelry Insurance – Is a Homeowners Policy Good Enough?

If you’re fortunate enough to have jewelry, you may wonder about jewelry insurance. Does a homeowners, condo or renters policy properly cover it? What kind of jewelry claims are covered by homeowners policies, and which aren’t?

Off the shelf homeowners policies do a good job of insuring everyday belongings. But to keep costs reasonable, they limit coverage on unusually valuable items. That includes jewelry, watches and similar items.

Therefore, many people choose to insure their jewelry specifically. The most common way is to list jewelry as Scheduled Personal Property on a homeowners policy.

Jewelry insurance is limited on homeowners policies. It's a good idea to have separate jewelry coverage.

5 Reasons to Separately Insure Your Jewelry

1. To Cover Jewelry Theft

Maine renters insurance policies only cover theft of jewelry up to $1,000 or $1,500. Maine condo insurance policies and homeowners policies have the same limitation.  If you separately list your jewelry (called “scheduling”), it’s covered for theft up to the listed value.

2. Jewelry Insurance is Cheap

Maine jewelry insurance is inexpensive. Insuring a $5,000 ring often costs less than $50 a year on your homeowners policy.

3. To Avoid Arguing with Your Insurance Company about Value

After your jewelry is gone or damaged, it’s hard to prove what it was worth. What size and quality were the stones? What type and grade of metal was it? Scheduling more expensive pieces of jewelry requires an appraisal. When your jewelry is appraised and scheduled, you and the insurance company agree up-front what you have and how much it’s worth.

4. Jewelry Insurance Can Avoid a Deductible

Your homeowners policy has a property deductible. Often that’s $1,000 or more. If you lose a stone or a piece of jewelry, you’re less likely to replace it if you have to pay that kind of money. When you schedule your jewelry, there’s no deductible. That makes it more likely that you can replace or repair it.

5. Broader Coverage for Damage

Homeowners policies cover your belongings for 16 “named perils”. Those include everyday causes like fire, theft, etc.  If you schedule your jewelry, it’s covered for “open perils”. In other words, if a cause of loss isn’t excluded in the policy, it’s covered. For example, losing a stone from a diamond ring is NOT covered on an unendorsed homeowners policy, but IS covered when the ring is scheduled.

Maine Jewelry Insurance Quotes

Do you live in Maine and own jewelry? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. As an independent agent, we offer a choice of Maine’s top insurance companies. That means we can compare price and coverage to help you find the best value. We’d be happy to compare options for your jewelry insurance and give advice.

In other words, we’re independent and committed to you.

Professional Liability Insurance – Do I Need It?

Most Maine businesses have general liability insurance. However, if your business provides a service, you should have professional liability insurance (errors and omissions insurance) as well.

Professional liability insurance (errors and omissions insurance) protects the assets and reputation of service providers.

Professional Liability vs. General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is essential to protect your business assets. It’s also required to get larger jobs. But every business needs GL, from manufacturers to restaurants, contractors to service providers.

General liability protects against damages and legal defense for:

  • Injury to people
  • Damage to property
  • Product liability
  • Personal Injury, such as invasion of privacy, slander or libel

Professional liability insurance is designed for Maine service providers. It’s sometimes called Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance, or “malpractice insurance”. Although professional liability insurance is required less often than general liability, it can be even more important.

Anyone who sells their expertise needs professional liability insurance. Whether you’re a tattoo artist, cosmetician, financial service or health care provider, professional liability insurance is for you.

Professional liability insurance protects your assets and your reputation against claims of substandard work. In addition to paying for damages, it also provides defense costs. Some examples of professional liability accusations include:

  • Work errors or omissions
  • Failure to complete work
  • Deadline or budget errors
  • Improper design
  • Intellectual property infringement
Professional Liability (errors and omissions) is an important addition to general liability for Maine service providers

Who Needs Professional Liability – Maine Examples

Almost every service provider has a professional liability risk.

Examples include:

  • Medical professionals, including pharmacists
  • Attorneys and accountants
  • Real estate and insurance brokers
  • Drafters, architects and engineers
  • Consultants of any kind
  • Hair stylists, tattoo artists, personal trainers and other personal service providers
  • Advertising and design studios
  • Web site and marketing services
  • IT services
  • Practice managers
  • Board of directors, including not-for-profits

Find Professional Liability Insurance in Maine

If your Maine business provides services, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541.

Because we’re local and independent, we offer a choice of insurance companies. In other words, we can help you find the best value for your insurance protection. Moreover, we can help protect your assets and reputation.

We’re independent and committed to you.