Should You Install a Water Shutoff?

A water shutoff system can help avoid a common cause of building damage: water leaks. They aren’t cheap, but neither is water damage. Some insurers offer discount codes for these systems. Installing one may also qualify you for an insurance discount.

Water shutoff systems can minimize damage from plumbing leaks.

Water – The Most Common Property Insurance Claim

Most home and business owners worry about fire or theft damaging their property. But water damage is far more likely. According to Leak Defense, you are 7X more likely to have water damage than a fire. Moreover, water losses are 6X more common than burglaries.

There are 2 broad categories of water damage:

  • Weather related water damage such as: ice dams; wind-driven rain; or backup of sewers or drains.
  • Non-weather related water damage such as: plumbing leaks; tub overflows; or frozen pipes.

Water Damage is Expensive and Disruptive

Water damage is expensive. The average 2018 water damage claim for Hanover Insurance was $10,849. That’s just the water damage, not including the insurance deductible or the plumber’s bill to fix a leaky fixture. And costs have only increased since then. This Hanover Insurance infographic shows that buildings older than 20 years are more likely to have issues.

Water damage also disrupts your life or business. Hanover reported that the average length of impact from water damage to homes was 3 to 6 months. In severe cases, that can mean moving out of your home during repairs.

Water Shutoff Valves Can Minimize Losses

A water shutoff system does just what its name suggests. It monitors water flow in a building’s plumbing and automatically shuts off the water when it detects too much. It also alerts the building owner or manager so they can correct the problem.

The longer water flows from a leak, the more damage it causes. Shutting the water off quickly reduces the extent of water damage. That can be the difference between a minor mess and a major disaster.

How Much Do Water Shutoff Systems Cost?

Prices vary from building to building. For example, a professionally installed shutoff device in a home might cost $3,000 to $5,500. Commercial installations would cost more.

Sensor systems without shutoff valves can cost as little as $100 and you can install them yourself. However, low-cost sensors only alert you. They don’t shut off the water, which is so important to reduce damage.

Some insurance companies offer discount codes or special pricing for water shutoff systems. Check with your agent to see if your insurance company does this.

Insurance Discounts for Automatic Water Shutoffs

Many insurance companies offer discounts for customers who install automatic water shutoffs. Although the discount is only a fraction of the cost of the system, it helps offset the cost and rewards those who take this extra step to protect their property.

Not every system qualifies. Most insurers require:

  • Automatic water shutoff valve
  • 24/7 reporting to a monitored service
  • an approved vendor. This varies by insurance company. Check with your agent before you commit to install one.

Answers to Your Water Damage Insurance Questions

Do you own a home, condo or business in the Portland Maine area? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland. We offer a choice of Maine’s top personal and business insurance companies. That means we can search and compare for the best value for you.

We’re independent and committed to you.

What is Personal Injury Liability Coverage?

Personal injury liability coverage fills an important coverage gap in many policies. Off-the-shelf personal and business liability policies cover Bodily Injury and Property Damage. But you can be sued for reasons that fall between the cracks.

Personal injury liability insurance fills an important coverage gap in most policies.

What Is Personal Injury Liability?

Personal injury means non-physical injuries. Some examples:

  • Invasion of Privacy – interfering with someone’s right to be left alone or to control their personal space or information.
  • Libel – writing, posting or publishing something false or damaging about someone.
  • Slander – saying or broadcasting something false or damaging about someone.
  • False arrest – detaining someone without legal authority or justification.
  • Malicious prosecution – bringing legal action against someone with the intent to harm them. Suing someone without reasonable grounds.

This coverage is not included in the standard homeowners, renters, condo or business liability policies. You can usually add it for a small additional premium.

What Are Some Examples of Personal Injury Liability Claims?

  • A person posts on Instagram about a negative experience at a restaurant. The restaurant owner sues for libel.
  • A landlord enters an apartment to check something while the tenant isn’t home. The tenant finds out and sues for invasion of privacy.
  • At happy hour, a golf club member tells others that a certain member cheats. That member sues the accuser for slander.
  • A homeowner sees someone in the neighborhood who looks suspicious to them. They call the police and detain them until the police arrive. The person is actually a fellow resident out for a walk. They sue the caller for false arrest.
  • A parent posts photos online of their child’s soccer game. Another parent sues the poster for invasion of privacy.
  • A store owner accuses teen of shoplifting. They keep them in the store until the police arrive. Even though the police confiscate the stolen items, the teen’s parents sue the store for false arrest.
  • A resident puts a large sign on their lawn, against HOA rules. Another neighbor complains. The neighbor with the sign sues the other for malicious prosecution.

What Does Personal Injury Liability Insurance Pay For?

If someone sues you for these types of injuries, Personal Injury insurance can:

  • Provide an attorney to defend you – even if the claim is baseless.
  • Pay legal fees and court costs
  • Pay settlements or judgments

Who Needs Personal Injury Coverage?

Almost everyone is exposed to personal injury liability. For example, if you or a family member:

  • Live, work or go to school near other people
  • Have a high-profile job or volunteer position
  • Use social media
  • Own income property
  • Encounter someone with a history of disputes with others.

Liability Insurance in Maine

Do you live or own a business in Southern Maine? Looking for answers about liability insurance? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland. We offer a choice of Maine’s top insurance companies. We’ll do our best to help you find the right coverage within your budget.

We’re independent and committed to you.

Maine Insurance Rates 2Q 2023 Home and Auto Update

Maine insurance rates are affected by national and local trends. Home and auto rates continue to jump as insurers and customers struggle with rising claim costs and construction values. Portland Maine area insurance buyers saw almost a 15% price increase in the 2nd quarter of 2023. Still, Maine insurance rates remain among the lowest in the US.

Maine Insurance Rates – April to June 2023 – Auto

In the 2nd quarter of 2023, Portland Maine area auto insurance rates jumped 11.6% on average at renewal, up from 2% a year ago. The average annual auto insurance policy in Cumberland County costs $1374 per year.

According to a report by Insurify, personal auto prices were up 17% countrywide in the first half of 2023. Insurify says that Maine rates increased even more: 28% statewide. That was the 6th highest rate in the US.

Maine insurance rates for auto rose 11.6% in 2Q 2023.

Insurers continued to report higher than expected losses as body shops and mechanical repair shops passed along higher costs. Used auto prices spiked during COVID and settled above pre-pandemic levels. Finally, auto rental times remain very long as body shops require much more time to schedule repairs. All of these factors, along with medical cost increases, put strong upward pressure on auto insurance rates in 2Q 2023.

Maine Insurance Rates – Home – April to June 2023

Maine home insurance rate increases continue to outpace even large auto insurance increases. The average home insurance premium was 13.3% higher than a year ago. That’s up from 4% a year ago. The end is not in sight yet.

Maine insurance rates for homeowners rose 13.3% in 2Q 2023.

Many of the same inflationary pressures pushed home prices higher. Building materials and labor costs have dropped from post-COVID peaks, but remain historically high. It’s been difficult and expensive to find contractors. That delays repairs and increases claim costs.

But reinsurance costs remain one of the biggest drivers of property insurance rates. Reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies. It protects them against catastrophic losses from natural disasters like wildfires, blizzards, ice storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Many insurance companies continue to see their reinsurance costs jump 30-50% this year. Insurance companies must pass on that cost to their customers.

Although this isn’t great news for Mainers, we’re better off than many areas of the country. Extreme weather has caused wildfires in the west and north, tornadoes and heat in the south and torrential rains elsewhere. Insurance companies have responded by canceling policies in Florida, Louisiana and California, and reducing their new policy offerings elsewhere.

Compare Your Options with an Independent Agent

Most financial advisors recommend comparing to get the best insurance value. If you live in southern Maine, you can get up to 5 insurance quotes in 10 minutes from our website. Or contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541 for a free no-obligation custom review. We offer a choice of several insurance companies. That means we can help you find the best insurance value.

We’re independent and committed to you.