Should I Buy Trip Cancellation or Travel Insurance?


A client of our South Portland Maine insurance agency recently returned after wintering in the Caribbean.  She shared the story of a friend who fell on the island, breaking her leg. Fortunately, the travel insurance the couple had purchased saved the day – and thousands of dollars. The injured woman’s husband called the travel insurance company from the parking lot where his wife fell. Within 10 minutes, an ambulance arrived to transport her to the local hospital, where she was evaluated and stabilized. Once it was determined that her leg was broken, they wanted to return home for surgery and recuperation.

The next day, a private jet flew them from the island to their local airport, where an ambulance transported them to the hospital. The bill for the island hospital stay and medical evacuation to the U.S. was over $25,000. Travel insurance paid for nearly all of it. Without travel insurance, they would have been on their own to navigate the medical system of a foreign country. They may not have been able to afford to go home as quickly as they did, either.

Are you planning a big trip? Consider buying travel insurance. High end vacations require a lot of advance planning. Sometimes, the unforeseen happens between your deposit deadline and your travel date. If your plans change or if  the provider is unable to fulfill the trip, it could mean a significant cost to you. Vacation insurance protects you against the financial impact of some of the things that can go wrong on vacation.

What Does Travel Insurance Cover?

Policies differ, but most of  “package travel insurance” policies provide some coverage for:

  • Trip Cancellation
  • Trip Interruption
  • Missed Connection Flight Change Charges
  • Medical Expenses for Emergency Accident or Sickness
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation Expense
  • Baggage Delay, Loss and Theft

The amount of each coverage varies from policy to policy. Some programs also allow you to add optional limits and coverage.

How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

The cost of travel insurance depends on:

  • The cost of your trip;
  • Your destination;
  • Age of travelers;
  • Method of travel;
  • Travel dates;
  • Level of coverage you choose.

For example, the cost to insure a $3,700 cruise to the Caribbean for a 50-year old lasting two weeks could cost as little as $161 per person.

What is Commonly Excluded  from Travel Insurance Policies?

  • Certain cancellation reasons (e.g. work, “change of heart”, etc.);
  • Injuries sustained in sports activities;
  • Identity Theft;
  • Political Evacuation;
  • Pre-existing Conditions (unless you purchase coverage shortly after making your travel deposit).

Many programs allow you to “buy back” these coverages.

3 Questions to Ask When Considering Travel Insurance

  1. Does my medical insurance cover me outside the U.S.?
  2. Do my credit cards protect me from trip cancellation?
  3. Does my auto insurance protect me where and when I travel?

If you live in Maine, travel insurance is available from Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you evaluate whether travel insurance is right for you. Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen insurance agent at 207-799-5541.

Who Is Liable for Pothole Damage to Your Car in Maine?



Potholes can cause hundreds to thousands of dollars of damage to your vehicle, including flat tires, bent rims, misaligned steering and underside  damage. They can even cause an accident if you lose control of your vehicle or swerve suddenly to avoid one.


What should you do after you hit a pothole? Clients of our South Portland Maine insurance agency commonly ask three questions after they hit a pothole:

Who Pays for Pothole Damage to My Car?

Potholes can appear quickly, and can reappear even after they have been filled repeatedly. Maine law absolves municipalities from liability for damage caused by potholes unless the pothole was reported more than 24 hours before your accident, and untreated.  This is difficult to prove, which means you’re usually not going to get help from city or town hall. Maine State Law is even more lenient with state-owned roads: the state of Maine is never liable for damage caused by potholes.



Is Pothole Damage to My Vehicle Covered by Insurance?

Hitting a pothole, or any other hazard in the road (other than live animals) is covered by the collision section of your Maine auto insurance or Maine commercial vehicle insurance policy. If you purchased collision coverage, your collision deductible will apply. If it is a single-car incident, it’s considered “at fault”, and therefore may increase your auto insurance rates. Your Maine insurance agent can help you decide whether or not you want to file an auto insurance claim for pothole damage.

Will Anyone Else Pay for Pothole Damage?

New car dealers sell a product called “road hazard warranty”. It typically covers road damage to tires and rims, with a small deductible. Check to see if you purchased this warranty when you bought or leased your vehicle. If so, you may be in luck.

"Fix It! Portland." web page.
“Fix It! Portland.”

What to Do if Your Vehicle is Damaged by a Pothole

  1. Pull off the road as soon as it’s safe. Is your vehicle is still OK to drive? If not, call a tow truck. 
  2. Note the date and time of the accident. Take a photo of the pothole and report it. If it’s a town road, report it to your municipality’s Public Works Department. If it’s a state route, report it to MDOT (207-885-7000 in Southern Maine).  The City of Portland has a web page: FixIt! Portland. They also have a mobile app.
  3. If you’re not sure your vehicle is OK, have a repair garage check it.
  4. Call your insurance agent if you’re considering whether to report an insurance claim.


Have questions about Maine auto insurance or Maine commercial vehicle insurance? Want to compare Maine car insurance quotes in 10 minutes? Contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.

Who Does an Insurance Adjuster Work For?


If you report an insurance claim, your insurance company assigns a claims adjuster to settle your loss. The adjuster’s job is to pay insurance proceeds required by the terms of your policy. Depending upon the type, severity and location your claim, you might work with different types of insurance adjusters:

Staff Adjuster

A staff adjuster is an employee of the insurance company. There are two types of staff insurance adjusters:

  • Inside adjusters are desk jockeys. They take statements over the phone, collect bills and documentation from you and anyone else involved in your loss or accident. The also gather information from police or fire officials, or your body shop or contractor. Though they may be hundreds of miles from you, they are often familiar with the area they are assigned to and the local retailers and repair shops.
  • Outside adjusters work in the field. They handle claims that require physical inspection. Outside adjusters specialize in auto, property or liability claims. Auto specialists are sometimes called appraisers. Many are trained in auto body repair techniques (or have repair shop experience), and work closely with body shops to agree on the repair cost for your vehicle.

Independent Adjuster

An Independent Adjuster (IA) is NOT an employee of the insurance company. Most are small business owners contracted by insurance companies to settle your claim when your insurance company does not have staff available. IA’s have a lot in common with independent insurance agencies. They often live and work in your area, and represent multiple insurance companies. Many independent adjusters are former insurance company staff adjusters. In order to be re-hired by an insurance company, an independent adjuster must provide excellent service to you, while keeping track of different insurance company policies and procedures.

Paid by Insurers

Both staff and independent insurance adjusters are paid by the insurance company; their job is to guide you through the (hopefully) unfamiliar process of claim settlement, and to pay you and others what’s fair. The claim adjuster job attracts empathetic people who enjoy helping others. After you’ve had one of  life’s unpleasant experiences, they enjoy it when they see a smile on your face at the end of the process.

Of course, no insurance company wants to over-pay for a claim. They do monitor adjusters to make sure they are paying only what’s fair. But good adjusters know that an insurance company is defined by its claim payment reputation. Insurance companies that treat people with respect and fairness enjoy a good reputation; those with a tight-fisted one quickly lose favor, especially in the age of Social Media.

Your Insurance Agent: Your Claim Advocate

In our South Portland Maine insurance agency, most insurance claims go very smoothly: the company adjuster connects quickly with you, gathers the information they need, and settles your claim without complication.  Sometimes, claims do go off track.  You might be extremely busy and have trouble connecting with the adjuster. The circumstances of your claim might require more investigation. Or, you or your adjuster may have a question about coverage.

Your local insurance agent can be your claims advocate. We can’t create coverage where there isn’t any, but we can help make sure you get the settlement you deserve. We can also help both you and the insurance company reach agreement and settle your claim quickly and fairly.

If you have questions about Portland Maine business insurance or personal insurance, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen insurance agent at 207-799-5541. We’re local, independent and committed to you.