The Most Popular 2012 Vehicles in Portland, Maine (our corner, anyway)

The Portland Maine area economy shows signs of life this spring, including car sales. With roughly half of the model year behind us, we thought it might be fun to share which new vehicles our clients have chosen.

We don’t pretend that this is a scientific survey of which cars are the hottest selling, or that it reflects any trends beyond simply what our Portland Maine insurance agency‘s clients have chosen to buy or lease. However, we suspect it’s a reasonable cross-section of local consumer behavior.

It would be interesting to compare these results against prior years, when $4.00 per gallon gas was a distant threat instead of a reality. We do notice that the best-selling models lean mostly towards the fuel-efficient end of the spectrum.




Car Buyers’ Insurance Tips

If you’re thinking about buying or leasing a new vehicle, here are a few tips for saving money on insurance and making sure you have the proper coverage:

  • Check Insurance Prices – Vehicles that seem similar can have very different insurance costs. Call your agent for a quote, or get car insurance quotes from 5 different companies at once from our online quote service.
  • Consider Increasing Your Deductible – Generally, new cars cost more to insure than older ones. They’re worth more, and are more expensive to repair. To keep costs down, consider increasing your physical damage deductibles.
  • Get the Discounts You Deserve – Insurers offer car insurance discounts for all sorts of things, from air bags to being a non-smoker, anti-theft alarms to having a student on the honor roll. Some even offer special discounts for certain types of vehicles, such as hybrids. Contact your agent  and tell them about all of the features of your vehicle.
  • Don’t Buy Coverage You Don’t Need – Many vehicles come with a roadside assistance plan. If you purchased AAA or your insurance policy includes roadside assistance, consider whether you want to drop those. This can save you money. Just remember to add it back on when your new vehicle’s roadside assistance benefit stops.
  • Combine and Save – If you have your property and auto insurance with different companies,  now’s a good time to combine them. Insurers offer substantial insurance discounts when they insure both your property and vehicles.
  • Review Coverage on Your Other Vehicles – Maybe you have an older vehicle that’s not worth as much as it once was. When is it time to stop insuring collision and comprehensive coverage? That’s up to each individual’s risk tolerance, but it’s a good time to consider it, anyway.
  • Mind the Gap – New vehicles deteriorate rapidly at first. If you made a low down-payment, your loan or lease could be “upside down.”  If your vehicle  was declared a total loss, the insurance company would pay the “book value”, which may be less than what you owe the finance company. An inexpensive optional coverage called Loan/lease gap would pay the difference. Talk to your agent about this potentially important coverage.

Does Homeowners Insurance Protect You Against Ill-Advised Posts?

Most of us have said something in the past that we wish we could take back. Years ago, we could hope that once said, the words went no further. These days, your comments can last for years, and be shared among millions. With so many of us using Twitter, Facebook and other social media, ill-advised words and videos can spread at blazing speed.

Hurtful Words Can Be Costly

Bullying Facebook updates, accusatory tweets, teasing posts, or videos revealing private information about someone can expose you to liability under slander, libel or invasion of privacy laws. The most recent public example of this is the guilty verdict against the New Jersey college student who posted video of his college roommate, creating ridicule that led to the roommate’s tragic suicide. What if your child was accused of one of these crimes? You may be surprised to find that a standard Maine homeowners insurance policy wouldn’t provide protection for this.

A Small Coverage Addition Makes a Big Difference

Maine homeowners policies provide liability protection against bodily injury and property damage due to negligence. Damage to someone’s reputation doesn’t fall into either category. That’s why our South Portland Maine Insurance agency recommends that our clients choose Personal Injury coverage. What is Personal injury insurance? It protects you against accusations of slander, libel, defamation of character and invasion of privacy. It can pay the damages in a civil suit, and more important, the legal costs of defense. Personal injury coverage is usually an add-on endorsement. The cost is usually about $25 per year – a bargain for up to $500,000 in protection.

Talk to Your Children About Online Behavior

Of course, the best defense against these kinds of accusations is to stay away from risky behavior. Talk to your children about social media, how they use it and what’s expected of them. Let them know how their behavior could impact their own reputation – not to mention your insurance. Some parents choose to actively monitor their children’s computer activities. Various commercial software programs are available to parents who want to closely monitor what their children’s online activities.
No matter what you choose to do, we should all encourage respectful discourse and behavior – online and “IRL” (In Real Life).  For more information about Personal Injury Insurance in Maine, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207.799.5541.