Make Your Home Safe and Welcoming for Halloween


Halloween is one of America’s favorite holidays. Kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door in search of the biggest and best goodies. Plus, Candy Corn.

Ross Berteig photo (Flickr)
Ross Berteig photo (Flickr)
If your neighborhood teems with little zombies, superheroes and princesses, be sure your yard and stoop are safe and welcoming. A little pre-planning can prevent an accident that could be tragic for kids and their parents, and trying for you.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for Halloween trick-or-treaters.

Pets First

Many dogs and cats are scared or disturbed by the repeated doorbell-ringing and the parade of oddly dressed strangers. Find a safe and comfortable space in your home, or take them to a friend or family member’s home in a less active neighborhood.

Clean Up

Many Halloween costumes can limit vision. This can increase the chance of tripping and falling. Make sure your yard is free of toys, yard tools, fallen branches or piles of leaves.  Create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.

Light Up

Create a well-lit path, and keep your steps and porch brightly lighted. Trick-or-treaters aren’t familiar with your home and yard. If your regular outdoor lighting isn’t sufficient for the high traffic of Halloween, supplement it with solar, string, LED, or glow-in-the-dark yard lights .

Try This Slick Door Trick

Here’s a neat idea: remove the glass from your storm door before trick-or-treaters arrive. This allows you to hand out goodies without opening the door, so kids don’t have to take that dangerous step backwards. Plus, it really freaks the kids out! Bonus: if your door has a solid bottom panel, it can help keep your pets safely inside the house.

Shut it Down

When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning all inviting lights off. However, if you’re still offering candy in a bowl on the porch, keep the path well-lit until your sweet treats are tucked away inside the house.

At Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance, we hope your Halloween is all treats, no tricks, and – most of all – safe and fun.

New Maine Driving Laws: Texting, Electronic Proof of Insurance and More


Several new Maine motor vehicle laws went into effect October 9, 2013. Among other topics, they deal with distracted driving, electronic proof of insurance, driving permit practice time, and accidents involving bicycles. Here are some of the key points Maine drivers will want to know.

Distracted Driving

Drivers cited for texting while driving will be charged:

  • a $250 minimum fine for the first violation;
  • a $500 fine for the second or subsequent offense within three years, plus 30-days license suspension for each offense above two. These suspension periods are mandatory, without a right to a hearing.

Electronic Proof of Insurance Electronic Proof of Insurance

Noyes Hall & Allen has provided electronic proof of insurance to our clients for several years. Most local city and town halls have accepted them after we made initial calls to explain them.

Now, the State of Maine has caught up. Police officers and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles must now accept proof of insurance in electronic form as well as paper.

Did you know?

Most of the insurance companies we represent offer an optional online account to our clients. Once you create an account, you can retrieve copies of bills, policies, evidence of insurance and other documents. If you’re interested, follow the link above to your company’s web site and create your account.

Practice Driving Time for Permits

The minimum practice time for anyone younger than 21 who applies for a learner’s permit after October 9 increased from 35 to 70 hours, including an increase in night driving from 5 to 10 hours.

three foot rule poster

Bicyclists and Roller Skiers

Bicyclists are now part of the definition of “traffic”. Along with motorists in 21 other states, Maine drivers have already been responsible for keeping a distance of at least 3 feet from a bicycle on the road. Now, a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicyclist or roller skier is prima facie evidence that the motorist violated the three-foot law.

Other new driving laws deal with Veterans; driving on an expired license; and Operating Under the Influence (OUI). For more information about these new laws, visit this Maine Secretary of State web page.

For more information about Maine commercial vehicle insurance or Maine auto insurance, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland at 207-799-5541. You can even get up to 5 Maine car insurance quotes online in 10 minutes at our website. We’re independent and committed to you.

How to Winterize Your Motorcycle


You’ve seen them out there: hard-core Maine riders who hop on their motorcycles in the rain and the cold and hit the road late into the season. Plenty of others limit their road time to warmer weather. After all, riding is about enjoying yourself.

motorcycle rider from Safeco TV commercial

Eventually, a Maine winter forces even the hardiest riders to put their bikes up for the season. These tips will help ensure your ride is ready to go when our days get longer and the weather warms up.


Keep it Covered

If you can’t store your motorcycle in a garage or shed, make sure you protect it properly from the elements.

DO: use a breathable cover designed for motorcycles .

DON’T: use a tarp or a cotton sheet; they trap moisture, which can lead to mildew or rust.

 Check the Fluids

The American Motorcyclist Association recommends that you:

  • Top off the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer, then run the engine for a few minutes to spread the stabilizer through the system.
  • Check your coolant to ensure your bike is protected against freezing weather.
  • Change the engine oil either before you put the bike away, or before you take your first ride in the spring.

Power Up

If your motorcycle has an alarm system or other features that can drain the battery, invest in a charger to keep the battery alive. Otherwise, the AMA says, make sure it has a full charge when you put it away and recharge it once a month. You can also maintain a trickle current to keep the battery charged.

Keep it Clean

Both Honda and the AMA say you should clean your motorcycle thoroughly before putting it into storage. Special treatments are available to help avoid oxidation, fading and keep your bike looking sharp.

Honda recommends that you:

  • Change your brake and clutch fluids every couple years;
  • Clean the area around the outside of the spark plugs to ensure debris does not get into the cylinders.

A little preparation before and during storage will ensure that when it’s time to ride in the spring, you won’t have anything to worry about – except where to go! How about the Lakes Region or the White Mountains? Spring can’t get here soon enough, can it?

Tune Up Your Insurance

While you’re taking a break from riding this fall and winter, why not come in to Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance and talk about your Maine motorcycle insurance coverage options? If it’s been a while since we’ve done a review for you, let’s talk about how we can help you performance-tune your motorcycle insurance – and Maine home and auto insurance, too. Just contact Noyes Hall & Allen at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.

(Thanks to our friends at Safeco Insurance for providing some of this content.)