Prepare Your Business for Hurricane Sandy (aka Frankenstorm)


The path of Hurricane Sandy is still uncertain. Most recent estimates indicate that the storm will make landfall south of Maine.

A Storm That Misses Still Can Cause Damage

Even if the storm hits well to our south, high winds and rain are predicted over a large area, including ours. Forecasts include a very wide wind-field and varied degrees of rain and potential flooding that will probably affect at least Southern Maine. – as of 1100 10/26/12

Prepare Your Business

Better to prepare your business for the worst and never have to use it than to be completely unprepared. Peerless Insurance Company has created an excellent pre-hurricane checklist for businesses, which we have shared below.  We hope you find it helpful to prevent and mitigate costly losses and interruptions to your business.

Pre-Hurricane Checklist (.pdf, 85k)


We are happy to answer your questions about Maine business insurance, from workers’ compensation to business property to commercial vehicles and general liability. Contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance at 207-799.5541.

Protect Yourself From Carbon Monoxide This Winter


About 20,000 Americans suffer from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning every year, including 400 deaths. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if you inhale it.

Know the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, confusion, chest pain and nausea. People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms. If you suspect CO poisoning, get outside immediately and call 911.

Tips to Avoid Deadly CO Poisoning

Properly use and maintain fuel burning appliances such as your boiler, furnace, space heaters and similar heaters. Have them professionally checked. Ideally, you should do this before the start of the heating season, but it’s not too late now.

Install a quality CO alarm. Check the batteries twice  a year, along with smoke detector batteries.

NEVER use these appliances indoors or in a closed garage:  a generator, charcoal or gas grill, pressure washer or other gas or propane fueled device.

Keep vents and flues clear of debris. 

NEVER leave your car idling in a garage.

Check your vehicle’s exhaust system for leaks to help prevent CO from collecting inside your vehicle.

In Case of Power Outage

NEVER use a gas range or oven to heat a home.

Run generators outdoors only– never in an enclosed space.

Photo of generator

Use flashlights for indoor light – not liquid fuel lanterns.

Use gas or charcoal grills or camping stoves outside – never indoors.

If your home gets too cold, go to a friend’s house or a community shelter.


Our local Maine insurance agency wants you to stay warm and safe this winter. If you have questions about whether your Maine homeowners, condo or renters insurance covers winter storm damage, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance at 207-799-5541.



Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Earthquakes?

Maine felt a 4.0 magnitude earthquake on October 16, 2012. That’s certainly big enough to feel, but not likely to cause much damage to a solid structure.

As people checked their homes, more than a few Maine residents wondered if their renters, homeowners or condo insurance policy covers earthquake. The short answer: not unless you chose to. The chances are very slim: very few Maine residents buy earthquake coverage.

Maine earthquake insurance costs vary by company, from about $75 to $150 a year for a $400,000 home (much more for a brick home). You can add it on to your homeowners policy. Earthquake coverage carries a high deductible – usually 5% of the insurance amount. In other words, on that same $400,000 home, only damage above $20,000 would be covered. It would probably take much more than a 4.0 quake to cause that much damage.

If you would like a quote for Maine earthquake insurance, call Noyes Hall & Allen at 207-799-5541.

Insurance for a Maine Home with a Wood Pellet Stove or Wood Boiler


Wood and pellet stoves and boilers have long been a popular source of heat for Maine homes and businesses. However, the vast majority of Maine homes use oil as heating fuel. Recent increases in oil prices have led to greater interest in alternative heating fuels in Maine. This has inspired technological improvements in wood-burning appliances.

Graph of home heating fuels in Maine 2011Source: US Census Bureau, American FactFinder

Insurance companies are often slow to adapt to new technologies and changing behaviors. This is prudent, since they rely on empirical data and the law of large numbers to manage risk. Their risk is much greater in the early years of adoption.

Maine homeowners insurance companies have carefully accepted homes heated by wood, provided:

  • The wood or pellet stove or boiler is a secondary heat source.
  • The primary heat source is controlled by a thermostat.
  • The stove is UL approved and installed in accordance with fire codes.
  • The insured follows woodstove safety tips.

In 2012, one of the insurance companies we represent, announced that they would insure homes, farms and businesses with certain wood and pellet stoves and boilers as the primary source of heat. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Homes using pellet or wood stoves must have a thermostatically controlled backup heat source, such as oil, propane or electric.

In addition to the traditional requirements listed above, some insurers require the make and model of the wood stove or boiler, and require the appliance to be:

  • Professionally Installed;
  • Self igniting and thermostatically controlled;
  • Fed automatically by auger or gravity from a bulk storage hopper or silo (pellet fuel only);
  • Protected by a sprinkler head above the unit, if required by code.

For more information about insuring your Maine home or business, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland at 207-799-5541. Our Trusted Choice independent Maine insurance agency represents many insurance companies.