Watch What You Say Online – and Protect Yourself Just in Case

The internet: it’s not just for kids anymore. Almost 75% of Americans are now on the internet. Some people just surf the web and email, but more and more are participating in so-called “social media” like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And it’s not just kids. People 35-54 are the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook these days, (much to the chagrin of their children). Who knows how many blogs there are now? It seems that the world lost count somewhere after 60 million.

When Good Posts Go Bad
One thing about “social media” is that they are – well – social. Posts are called that for a reason: they’re publicly available for others to see. Blog posts and web site comments can range from informational to inflammatory, funny to foolish and ranting to R-Rated.

It’s not surprising that some postings have been accused of crossing the line – even relatively tame ones like the book reviewer sued for libel, or the blogger sued by a developer for defamation.

What if You’re Sued?
One question we’ve been asked is whether someone’s homeowners policy would protect them against such a suit. The answer is “it depends”. If your postings are purely personal – not on a business blog, and you purchased “personal injury” coverage, then you should have coverage against claims of libel, slander or defamation of character. Keep in mind that “personal injury” coverage is NOT part of a standard homeowners policy.

Hidden Value
Most people buy insurance thinking that it will pay for their legal damages because of liability of their actions. They’re right, of course. But even more important is the cost of legal representation that’s included in every homeowners policy.

Even a groundless suit can take many hours of attorneys’ time to resolve, and months of court resources. This can be more expensive than the actual damages awarded, depending on the circumstances. If you have a homeowners policy with personal injury coverage, you don’t have to worry about finding or paying for an attorney. Your insurance company takes care of that for you.

Of course, we don’t recommend conducting your online life in a reckless manner. But wouldn’t it be nice to know that if someone did accuse you of libel or defamation, your insurance would help you minimize the financial impact and stress?

Talk to a Maine insurance agent today about personal injury coverage.


Will Maine see a hurricane this year?

June 1 is the traditional beginning of the Atlantic tropical storm season. The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center doesn’t openly issue long range seasonal forecasts, but that doesn’t stop other organizations, from Accuweather (which predicts 10 named Atlantic storms) to the Farmers’ Almanac (9) from doing so.

  • In the event of a hurricane watch/warning or tropical storm watch/warning, new coverage cannot be bound, nor coverage added or increased for existing policies providing property, inland marine or auto physical damage coverage.
  • Policies quoted and bound prior to the issuance of a watch or warning will be honored if coverage was scheduled to take effect during the watch/warning period.

Wind damage and flooding are the most common types of damage caused by tropical storms. Wind is covered by most standard policies, but flood is not. Flood insurance is a government program, sold by virtually any insurance agency,

including us

. The flood insurance program has a 30 day waiting period from the receipt of an application until coverage begins.

Although hurricanes hit New England much less often than southern coastal areas, we are not immune. Maine has been struck by 5 named storm, including 1991’s Bob.

Bottom line: the time to evaluate your insurance coverage is before a storm hits. Be assured that if a disaster does hit our area, Noyes Hall & Allen and the companies we represent are ready to respond quickly, professionally and effectively.

Go Green – Save Green on Insurance!

It seems “green is the new black”. Motivated by the economy, environment, or popular culture, many of us are looking for ways to reduce waste and excess consumption.
Whether you’re trying to reduce your impact on the environment or your expenses, even your insurance choices can make a difference.

Now Save Money by Going Green!
Progressive Insurance just announced a 5% discount for the thousands of Maine policy holders who already receive their policies and bills electronically.

Of course, insurance is primarily about protecting assets. But there are ways you can protect the environment without sacrificing your own protection.

Greening Up Your Insurance:

Pay your bills by automatic withdrawal from your bank account (sometimes called electronic funds transfer or EFT). Most insurance companies now offer EFT. This saves you time, gas and postage, not to mention making sure you don’t miss any bills or payments. Even better, it helps the enviroment by eliminating paper and the energy required to print and deliver it.

Paperless Policy Distribution. Some insurance companies will email your policy to you instead of mailing it. This saves ink, paper, postage, and storage costs for both you and the insurance

company. How often do you really need to look at your policy anyway? Just print your insurance cards, and save the rest on your computer. Some insurance companies even share their savings by offering a discount for those who choose a paperless option. Progressive Insurance even planted over a quarter million trees last year – one tree for every customer who goes paperless!

Choose an agency that “works green”. Modern technology offers many ways to work in an environmentally friendly way. Can your agent email documents and handle financial transactions electronically? Do they use digital storage where available, printing items only when necessary? What organizations, events and charities do they support in the community?

Communicate with your agent via email. Email is a great way to share insurance information. It allows you to review correspondence, quotes and documents at your pace and convenience. As a bonus, it’s all archived. It also reduces mail time and costs. And you can save paper by choosing what you want to print – or not.

You don’t have to sacrifice top-notch local service or solid protection to make green choices. If you would like to try some of these earth-friendly insurance tactics, call Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance today!