Two Quick & Easy Steps to Reduce Maine Home Insurance Costs


Two Easy Steps to Save Money on Maine Homeowners Insurance

2 Easy steps to save money on Maine homeowners insurance

Our Portland Maine area insurance clients save an average of $133 per year on Maine homeowners insurance when they increase the property deductible from $500 to $1,000. It was once common to have a $500 deductible, but many clients think it’s smart to increase to $1,000 now for three reasons:

  1. They wouldn’t make a $500 claim anyway. Most people save their insurance for larger problems. They wouldn’t file a claim for less than $1,000. They know that insurance companies do look at claim history when pricing insurance, and they want to only file a claim when they really need to.
  2.  Inflation has made a $1,000 the rough equivalent of what was a $500 years ago, when they bought their home insurance. It only makes sense to adjust their policy.
  3. It usually saves money in the long run. The average savings payback is a little less than 4 years. Most people don’t file a homeowner claim more often than that.

Noyes Hall & Allen clients also save an average of $200 more when they bundle their Maine home and auto insurance. Because insurance companies in Maine offer discounts on both home and auto insurance when you insure both with them, you can probably reduce your auto insurance costs by bundling as well. In addition to saving money, packaging your home and auto coverage provides other benefits:

  • Only one person to call for all your insurance. If you move, change bank accounts, or have a question about your insurance, you only need to remember one contact.
  • More clout with the insurance company. Insurers often give more favorable treatment to clients who place more business with them. Some offer member benefits or better coverage to package clients; others offer the simplicity of  combined billing and other correspondence; all of them are more inclined to give a long-term multi-policy client the benefit of the doubt in a sticky situation.

Would you like a review of your personal insurance program? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 799-5541. We represent several of Maine’s preferred insurance companies, so we can find the best value combination for your unique situation.



Can I Replace Building Materials With Green Ones After an Insurance Claim?


Portland, Maine is a hotbed of green living. Maybe its our proximity to the sea and mountains. Or the people we attract from around the USA and the world. Whatever the reason, many Portlanders care about the environment, and make lifestyle choices accordingly.

Our farm-to-table game is strong. The cool kids here buy local, with Portland Buy Local and South Portland Cape Elizabeth Buy Local leading the charge. The cities of Portland and South Portland are converting landfills to solar farms. We have an award-winning private community composting service, Garbage to Garden. We even discuss green living over beer at Portland Greendrinks.

It’s only natural that many locals choose to repair or replace any damage to their home with “green” materials and technology. Now, they may be able to get help from their insurance companies. “Off the shelf” home or condo insurance won’t pay to replace your old oil boiler with super-efficient heat pumps. Or replace your water heater with a solar setup after a fire. Fortunately, Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance represents  insurance companies that will.

Going Beyond What You Lost

Traditional homeowners or condo insurance is designed to put you in the same condition after a loss that you were before (“indemnity”, in legalese). Your insurance company promises to replace the items you lost with “like kind and quality”. If your home had green materials, the insurance company will replace them. If you didn’t have them before, you can upgrade at your own additional cost.

Upgrade to Green Materials After Your Home is Damaged

Say your home had traditional materials and technology, and you suffered a fire. You want to replace what you lost with greener options, like bamboo flooring, solar and geothermal heating, low-VOC paints, and high efficiency insulation. Some of these may save money in the long run, but initially cost more than their traditional counterparts. Basic insurance policies only pay to replace what you lost with “like kind and quality”. But there are options.

Two Insurers that Pay for Green Upgrades

In response to customer demand, Concord Group and Travelers, have introduced “green home insurance endorsements”. These provide an additional amount of coverage to replace with environmentally-friendly, non-toxic or energy efficient options. Usually, there is a maximum amount of additional coverage as well.

These endorsements are inexpensive – often $2-3 a month. 

Would You Choose to Rebuild or Repair “Green”?

We can help. For Greater Portland Maine home, condo or vacation home insurance, contact Noyes Hall & Allen at 207-799-5541. Because we’re a locally-owned Trusted Choice Independent Insurance agency, we offer choice among many insurance companies.

We’ll help you find the best value for your individual circumstance. Of course, we also offer Maine auto, motorcycle and boat insurance and insurance for Maine businesses as well. We’re always happy to answer your insurance questions.

Contact your Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent  at 207-799-5541 for details. We’re independent and committed to you.

Can an Insurance Company Make Me Remove Roof Moss?

It is quite common for Maine homeowners and landlords to receive a recommendation from their insurance company to remove moss growth from the roof of their building. Usually, this occurs following an inspection by the insurance company. Here’s some background on the issue, and what options you may have in dealing with it.

While there has not been much scientific study on the subject, most roofing professionals believe that moss is harmful to roof surfaces. Since most Maine homeowners insurance and landlord insurance pay for water damage and ice dams, insurance companies are understandably concerned with the subject. You may think they’re being picky, but insurance companies are in the business of reducing risk – theirs, as well as yours.

According to Oregon State University, roofing professionals say that the root-like structures of moss grow into cracks into roofing material, accelerating degradation and causing leaks. Moss can also hold moisture on your roof, allowing mold and rot to take hold. Finally, moss can grow under the edges of your roof shingles, loosening them and allowing water to enter.

The University of Minnesota Extension shares that you should scrape away as much moss as possible. A power washer may work. Be careful not to damage your roof in the process. If you’re unsure, hire a professional to remove the moss. You can also use a commercial moss removal product. Most contain zinc sulfate, and are most effective when the moss is actively growing. Be careful: zinc can corrode some metals, including copper. Minnesota Extension cautions you to NEVER use table salt on your roof: it is corrosive to metal, and not effective at controlling moss.

  • Keep leaves, branches and other debris off your roof.
  • Remove overhanging branches (or hire an arborist to do it). Moss thrives in a dark, damp environment. Direct sunlight and good aeration prevent moss growth.

Insurance companies can be like spouses. A “recommendation” means “do it, if you know what’s good for you”. An insurance company can (and often will) cancel your insurance for failure to respond to reasonable loss control recommendations.

If you receive ANY recommendation from an insurance company – about any situation – talk to your agent (you DID buy your insurance from a local agent, right?).

  • Ask them for their advice. They can tell you how urgent the situation is, and whether this is something that all insurers would require.
  • They may be able to recommend a local contractor or resource to help.
  • They can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
  • If you need more time than the insurance company has allowed, your agent may be able to negotiate that for you (depending upon the severity of the situation).
  • If you’re unable or unwilling to complete the recommendation, your agent can discuss your insurance options.

When all is said and done, you don’t HAVE to make the repairs or changes that your insurance company tells you to. But, they don’t HAVE to insure you if you don’t.

Most preferred insurance companies in Maine have similar underwriting requirements, but some underwriters are pickier than others. Also, depending upon your circumstance, you may be willing to  have less coverage, a higher deductible, or pay a higher rate to keep your property “as is”.

If you have questions about Portland Maine area insurance, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance. We have represented many insurance companies, and served the community for more than 80 years. We have the experience to help you make an informed decision.