Small business owners are the heart of the American economy. Maybe you are not big enough to be listed on the Dow Jones Index, but your enterprise is what drives Main Street in towns across Maine. However, you should not get complacent. Small businesses are susceptible to lawsuits, workers compensation claims and other situations that they cannot handle as readily as large corporations. It is imperative that you have protection for these times.
To keep your business safe in times of adversity, you should consider comprehensive commercial insurance. Contact us at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance to speak with one of our agents today.
Following are examples of commercial insurance that many small businesses in the Portland, ME region find beneficial, along with some factors used to decide which, and how much, insurance to purchase.
These policies can protect you when held liable for harm done to another.
A customer or supplier who comes into contact with your business may get injured or sick for example. You will then need funds to take care of medical bills or legal fees. Liability policies can help defray certain of these costs.
If your business uses vehicles to transport things or people, then you will probably need some commercial auto insurance.
It is best not to rely on your personal auto insurance, even if you do use your everyday car for these purposes. Commercial auto insurance policies usually cover situations that your personal auto insurance will not.
Errors and Omissions
It is imperative that professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, and others who work independently, have error and omissions insurance. These policies help individuals who provide services and dispense advice when they are charged with negligence.
As you never know when a client may be dissatisfied with your work, it is best to have adequate errors and omissions insurance in place at all times.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Policy:
Number of employees
Get More Information Today
Contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance today to learn more about specific commercial insurance policies in the Portland, ME area and beyond.
Many cities and towns struggle to balance short term rental with affordable housing. Advocates for short term rental say it encourages property improvements and neighborhood revitalization. They believe private property owners use should be free from government intervention.
Short term rental opponents say owner occupancy and long term leases foster community. They argue that short term rental erodes that community. They also contend that STR contributes to high housing prices. By removing inventory from the market, STR reduces long term housing supply.
Portland, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth Maine are not immune to short term rental controversy. Both passed STR ordinances in 2018 after contentious debate. These laws restrict the time, place and type of short term rental activity. You can find recaps of Portland, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth STR regulations at the bottom of the page.
Insurance for Short Term Rentals in Maine
Thinking of renting your Maine property on AirBnb, HomeAway, VRBO or another short term rental platform? Check with your insurance agent. You may need special insurance to protect yourself. STR platforms also include insurance for hosts. Most of this insurance is supplemental. It’s not intended to replace your primary insurance policy.
If you need insurance for your short term rental property in the Portland Maine area, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland at 207-799-5541. If you meet Portland or South Portland’s STR laws, we may help you choose the best insurance value. We’re independent and committed to you.
Portland Maine Short Term Rental Law
This information is current as of 12/1/18 (Code of Ordinances Sec 6-150 et seq.)
Short-term rental operators must register yearly and pay a fee.
Maximum of 400 unhosted units allowed on mainland.
Property owners may register up to 5 STR units combined.
Up to 5 units within primary residence (bedrooms, separate spaces, etc.)
Non-owner-occupied single-family homes and condominium units may not be rented out short term.
Only homes or apartments used as a primary residence can be registered as owner-occupied.
No more than two short-term rental guests are allowed per bedroom. Two more may use other areas for sleeping.
multi-unit buildings have their own rules (below)
South Portland Maine Short Term Rental Law
Current as of 1/1/2019 (Ordinance #22-17/18)
Unhosted non-owner-occupied short-term rentals prohibited in residential zones (single-family home owners may rent their primary homes up to 14 days per year).
Owner-occupied short-term rentals allowed under certain conditions in residential zones.
Requires city-issued registration number in STR advertisement
Short-term rental operators must register yearly and pay a fee.
Short-term rental operators must also be inspected, insured, and licensed by the city and collect Maine sales tax.
No more than two short-term rental guests are allowed per bedroom and six total per occupancy.
Cape Elizabeth Maine Short Term Rental Law
Current as of 1/1/2019 (Zoning Ordinance, Chapter 19)
Apply to Town Code Enforcement Officer for a STR permit.
No permit required for < 14 days per year
For non-owner occupied properties,
No more than 12 tenants at a time from May 1 to October 31
No more than 2 tenants per bedroom.
No more than 8 tenants at a time.
No more than 2 weeks rental per month
7 day minimum rental period
Maine Sales Tax on Short Term Rentals
The State of Maine requires owners of “casual rental” property to pay 9% sales tax. Properties rented fewer than 15 days per year are exempt. For more information about sales tax on short term rental, see Maine Revenue Services Bulletin 32.
When buying car insurance, choosing proper coverage limits is very important. Uninsured motorist and liability insurance limits are the most important of all.
Understanding Insurance Policy Liability Limits
Auto insurance policies cover bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) liability in an at-fault accident. BI reimburses others for medical treatment, missed work, pain & suffering and related expenses. PD pays to fix or replace autos, structures and other property that you damage.
In Maine, uninsured and underinsured motoristbodily injury (UMBI) is important coverage. It protects YOU and people in your household or vehicle. What if you’re in a crash where someone else is at fault? They have little or no insurance. UM pays your medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering and more. In Maine, UM limits match BI liability limits except in very rare cases.
Split Liability Limits
Split limit liability policies are easy to identify. They have separate limits for bodily injury and property damage. They also slice BI coverage into a limit per person and per incident.
If your policy limits are 100/300/100, you have a split limits policy. In an at-fault crash, your policy will pay $100,000 max per person. It will pay $300,000 max for all injuries you cause. You have the same limits for injuries uninsured people cause to you. A 100/300/100 policy also pays $100,000 max to fix vehicles, buildings and other property you damage.
The Most Common Insurance Shopping Mistake
Many insurance shoppers think 100/300 UM limits give them $300,000 of protection. They actually have about 1/3 of that. Here’s why: most vehicles on the road have 1 person in them. If you crash into another vehicle injuring a single occupant, your policy pays only up to $100,000.
That sounds like a lot. It’s not. A few days in ICU with surgeries, CAT scans and other tests can easily cost more than $100,000. Accident victims often collect pain and suffering settlements, too. What happens if your insurance isn’t enough to pay for the injuries you’re responsible for? Your personal assets are at stake.
Remember that your UM limits are the same as your liability limits. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver an you have 100/300 limits, your medical bills may exceed your insurance.
Auto Property Damage Limits
Don’t forget that third number: 100/300/100 means you have $100,000 max of property damage coverage. That could include:
Vehicles (including commercial or public vehicles)
Street signs, telephone poles and other roadside items
With the cost of vehicles, it’s easy to imagine causing more than than $100,000 damage in a multi-car accident. The cost of driving into the front of a building can easily top that.
Combined Single Limit to the Rescue
Combined single liability (CSL) is just what it sounds like. There are no sub-limits for bodily injury per person and per accident and property damage. Just a big, round number. If you buy a $300,000 combined single limit policy, you have a pool of $300,000 to pay for all the damages you cause. It’s all available for property damage if no one’s injured. It can pay for one seriously injured person.
Even more important, $300,000 of UM coverage pays up to that amount of YOUR medical bills following a crash with an uninsured at-fault party.
Which is Cheaper: Combined Single Limit or Split Limits Auto Liability?
Most discount insurers sell split limit policies. Because they have “gotcha” sub-limits, the insurance company can charge lower premiums. They know that they are unlikely to pay the high “per accident” limit on the policy.
In the real world, most split limits policies have MUCH less coverage than a combined single limit policy. Very rarely, you see generous split limits like 500/500/250. A policy like that would be even better than a $300,000 CSL policy. Most split limits policies have MUCH lower limits. Unsuspecting buyers, lulled into complacency by the “per accident” limit, think they’re fine.
A Good Insurance Agent Can Help
If you’re shopping for Maine car insurance and confused by all the options, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland. We offer a choice of Maine’s top insurance companies. We can compare price and coverage to find the best value. Best of all, we provide personalized professional advice, at no extra charge! Call us at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.