Is Commercial Auto Insurance Right for Your Small Business?

Even if you just started up your small business in the Portland, ME area, it is a good idea to sit down with one of our friendly agents at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance to make sure you have the coverage you need. Maybe you are using your personal van, truck, or SUV to save on capital expenditures. If so, your personal auto insurance might not fully protect you or your business. You may need  commercial auto insurance.

Making Deliveries in Your Own Vehicle?

If you are delivering goods to clients in your vehicle and cause an accident, an injured party may go after your personal assets as well as your business. A commercial auto insurance policy would provide the liability protection your growing business needs to stay afloat.

Sending Someone for Business Errands

Do you ever send someone to get supplies, tools, or even lunch, using their own vehicle?  That’s a business use. Your business can be sued for any injuries or damage they cause. Of course, if you have employees, you need to purchase workers compensation insurance to pay their medical bills and lost time.

Driving the Crew to a Job

When you are the boss and are offering transportation in your SUV to your workers, it becomes a business vehicle. Make sure that you carry sufficient coverage for liability and medical expenses if something goes wrong.

When starting a business, it’s important to control expenses. But improper insurance takes big chances with your personal investment. By purchasing the right commercial liability, auto, and workers compensation insurance, you allow your Portland, ME business to grow instead of being bankrupted by a lawsuit or other disaster.

Give our agents a call at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance for more tips and the right coverage today.

Why Maine is a Great Place to do Business

Are you thinking about opening a business in Maine?

If so, you should consider doing so in Portland, ME. This city stands out as a location where entrepreneurs have access to all the resources they need to find success with their new business. In fact, Portland has been ranked as the ninth best location for women entrepreneurs and number five for starting a business overall. If you are starting a business, you need to protect it with proper commercial insurance coverage with the help of Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance.

Keep reading to find more reasons why Greater Portland is such a great place to start a business.

Maine Has Great Support Network for Entrepreneurs

The history of underemployment in Maine has helped to spark several institutions that are designed to support and fund entrepreneurs. For example, The Maine Venture Fund, which was established in 1995 has currently received more than $13 million to provide startup companies. Maine Center for Economic Development, Startup Maine, Top Gun, Greenlight Maine and other resources help startup business owners to network and learn. Several Portland coworking spaces offer work and meeting rooms, including Think Tank, Cloudport, Engine Room and Peloton Labs.

Integration of  Maine Values into Business 

Another reason that Maine is such a great place to do business is the fact that this is a location where values are at the forefront of business ideas. For example, a recently opened company, American Roots, sells ethically sourced, fleece clothing made in Maine. The state is brimming with young values-based companies including GrandyOats, Heritage Seaweed and Flowfold.

As you can see, the Portland Maine area is a great place to open a business. Before you take the leap, be sure you have the proper protection for your business. The best way to do this is by purchasing a robust insurance policy from a quality insurer. Contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance today. We offer a choice of Maine’s preferred business insurance companies. We’re independent and committed to you.

 

What to do if You Have an Accident

Car crashes can be a devastating event, leaving you feeling shocked and confused. Having the right information before you ever have an accident can give a better grip on the situation. The Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland, ME have experts that can provide you with information about auto insurance and what to do if you have an accident.

Assess Any Injuries

When you are first struck by another vehicle, you may feel a little disoriented. If the accident is a minor fender bender and you have neck or back pain, it is crucial that you don’t move until you are seen by a registered EMT or paramedic. You can cause further injury if you delay medical treatment. Check to make sure that your passengers are also uninjured.

Move Over Safely

If it is at all possible, move your vehicle to a safe location out of the way of moving traffic. If your car is too damaged, turn on your hazard lights and then call 911. If you are not injured, safely look at the damage to your car and the other vehicles involved. Many people take photos of the damage with their cellphones. This can be helpful in the claim process.

Get Information from Others

Gather your insurance card and driver’s license. Get the same information from the other drivers involved as well as their license plate numbers and type of vehicles. Try to do this before the police come, if it’s safe to do so. Although the police will gather this info and create a police report, these can take days to be available. It is essential to document everything you can. Over time, your memory from a traumatic event is less reliable than photos.

Have Enough Auto Insurance

Before you are ever in an auto accident, make sure your insurance is up to date. In Portland, ME, the professionals at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance can help you stay safe with the right kind of coverage for your vehicle. Contact us to get a quote.

Commercial Insurance for Maine Small Business

Maine small businesses face many of the same hazards as their larger counterparts. They are also unique, and as such, they have unique insurance needs. For businesses in the Portland, South Portland and Scarborough, ME area, the agents with Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance can help you to find the right insurance policy to protect their unique operations.

Maine small businesses are not legally required to carry property or liability insurance. If your business has employees, you must carry Workers Compensation insurance, though. Smart business owners know that insurance is a cost-effective way to protect their investment in property such as inventory, fixtures and equipment. They also know that business liability insurance will protect them from lawsuits alleging negligence that causes injury or property damage.

Many business contracts require proof of insurance. These include rental agreements and leases, equipment leases, and independent contractor agreements.  A Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent can help you determine what kind of insurance you need and how much. They’ll help work within your budget so you don’t buy too much – or too little – insurance. For those in the Greater Portland, ME area, Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance offers the choice of several of Maine’s preferred insurers. We’re independent and committed to you. Call us at 207-799-5541.

Homeowners Insurance and Accidents on Your Property in Maine

Having the right home, condo or renters insurance policy is an essential step toward protecting your most valuable asset. It’s an important tool that will protect you and your family financially should a disaster occur. Home insurance policies allow you to recover following events such as fires, weather damage, theft or vandalism. They can also help with the replacement of structures on your property if they are destroyed. The coverage you need depends on your situation. That is why it is important to get to know your agent at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance. They serve the Portland, ME area, so they understand the challenges that Maine homeowners face.

Liability Insurance Protects Your Assets

One aspect of home insurance to address with your agent is the amount and type of liability insurance that your policy provides. If someone is injured  and you are found to be at fault or negligent, you could be held responsible for their medical expense and legal fees if they decide to sue.  Injury can be caused by a dog bite, slip and fall, swimming pool accident or even a rock thrown from a lawn mower. This can financially ruin many homeowners. Having the appropriate amount of insurance can prevent this unfortunate situation and help you recover financially. You want to take care of your obligations. An adequate home insurance policy can help you achieve these goals.

Questions About Insurance and Your Personal Liability?

Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. Our knowledgeable staff has worked for a long time with clients throughout Portland and the southern Maine area, so we understand the needs that you, as a homeowner, have. Just checking prices for now? You can get up to 5 instant Maine home insurance quotes by clicking the “get a quote” button above. We offer a choice of Maine’s preferred insurance companies, so we can compare options for you. We’re independent and committed to you. Contact us and get the protection and coverage you need today!

How Much Commercial Insurance does Your Small Business Need in Maine?

Are you a small business owner in Portland, ME looking to protect your assets? The last thing that you need is for disaster to strike and to learn that your policy limits are too low for you to rebuild the company. Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland can help you determine how much coverage your small business needs to survive a catastrophic event.

What is considered a small business in Maine?

By definition, a small business owner in Portland, ME is a someone who owns a company with fewer than 50 employees. Technically, sole proprietors are considered small business owners even though they are the only employee at their company. Even those who work from home should consider commercial insurance since homeowner’s policies tend to reject claims resulting from conducting business in the residence. Imagine the entire cost of medical bills for one of your clients resting on your shoulders because your homeowner’s insurance policy refused to cover a business-related slip-and-fall incident!

How much coverage do you need?

The amount of coverage varies by business. Many low-risk companies such as those primarily operated online may think they only need a minimal amount. Retail business owners might understand the exposure to loss that their customers’ foot traffic creates, and be more likely to want higher insurance limits. In reality, your liability limit should be at least $1,000,000 per occurrence – higher if  your business’ net worth exceeds that. Of course, Maine small business owners with employees also need to buy workers compensation insurance.

You have worked hard to establish yourself as the owner of your company. Do not let an incident threaten your financial stability. Contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance today at 207-799-5541 for a Maine business insurance quote!

Retirement in Maine: How to Reduce Insurance Expenses

If you’re planning to retire or recently retired, CONGRATULATIONS! It’s time to enjoy what you’ve worked so hard for. Many people dream of retiring in Maine. Of course, some of us are lucky enough to already live here!

Retirement finances can be a source of anxiety. No matter how much you’ve saved for retirement, you may wonder:

  • Will I Outlive My Money?
  • How Can I Safely Reduce My Monthly Expenses?
  • Can I Reduce My Insurance Now that I’m Retired?
  • Can I Live on My Monthly Retirement Income?

retirement insurance expense reductionMaine Retirees Are:

  • House Rich – Maine condo and home values are at an all-time high. With even modest savings, you may have a lot of net worth to protect. Make sure you have enough insurance to rebuild or relocate after a disaster. Protect your assets against lawsuits from injuries or property damage you might cause.
  • Income Tight – You’re on a fixed income. Every monthly payment reduces your retirement fund. You watch expenses more closely than ever.
  • Closer to Home? – Travel is now for pleasure, not work. You may drive fewer miles than you used to. Do you plan go south in the winter? What happens to your home and your car while you’re away?
  • Uncertain About the Future – will you stay healthy enough to do the things you want to? If there’s a disaster, will you have enough money to live the life you do now? If you can’t drive, who will help you with your errands?
  • Done with Property Maintenance  – you spent years mowing, shoveling, landscaping and painting. Now someone else can climb the ladder or wrestle the snowblower. Hiring contractors can open you up to liability if they hurt someone – or themselves.

Do You Need Less Insurance in Retirement?

As you prepare for retirement in Maine, you may be eager to reduce your insurance costs. You want to keep monthly expenses down because you’re on a limited income. But you also want to protect the assets you’ve spent your life accumulating. A good insurance agent can help you pick the coverage you need within your budget.

5 Retirement Planning Insurance Value Tips

  1. Buy enough liability insurance – and not too much. Your auto and homeowners liability insurance limits should at least equal your net worth. If your total assets exceed $500,000, keep your umbrella policy (or buy one). Umbrella policies are one of the best insurance buys; $1 million coverage often costs less than $200 a year.
  2. Watch Your Maximum Out of Pocket – How much are you comfortable paying if something bad happens? Choose your home and auto insurance deductibles with that in mind. Larger deductibles reduce your monthly insurance costs.
  3. Compare Insurance Prices –  Because you’ll drive differently, and won’t be working any longer, your underwriting profile changes. Your current insurance company may still be the best value. Or maybe not. A Maine independent insurance agency like Noyes Hall & Allen can compare prices and coverage among several insurance companies with one phone call.
  4. Keep Maintaining Your Property – Regular maintenance helps you budget your expenses and maximize your insurance options real estate value. If you want to change insurers, your new insurance company will inspect your home. Even if you don’t change companies,  your insurer may inspect from time to time. If they find something that they’re concerned about, they will require you to repair it. It’s better to keep up with repairs and maintenance on your own timetable.
  5. Choose Contractors Wisely – Hire reputable and trustworthy people to work in and on your property. Ask them for proof of insurance. If they hurt someone or damage their property, or injure themselves, they should be responsible – not you. When hiring cleaning people, home health care or similar service providers, ask if they are bonded.  Bonding protects you against theft by someone you’ve let into your home.

Want a Pre-Retirement Insurance Review?

If you’re thinking about retirement in southern Maine, call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. Or, get several insurance quotes online from our website. We can help you check your current insurance, and let you know if it’s the best value. We can also give you cost-effective advice to customize your insurance to your exciting new life. If you’re moving to Maine in retirement, and looking for a new insurance agent, we’re happy to help. We offer a choice of several of Maine’s top insurers and can do the comparing for you. We can even introduce you to some wonderful local realtors and financial planners.

Either way, you’ll know that your insurance is solid and the cost is reasonable as you head into retirement. At Noyes Hall & Allen, we’re independent and committed to you.

How to Evaluate Auto Insurance Quotes

You know you need auto insurance. You know it’s smart to get more than one quote. But do you know how to compare car insurance quotes. To help you sift through that information, here are some guidelines, courtesy of Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance serving Portland, ME.

Cost

You want the lowest price possible. Who doesn’t? Just remember that the cheapest isn’t always the one to go with. For one, you may not be comparing the same coverage. Plus, companies have different levels of billing, policy maintenance and claims service. An independent agent like Noyes Hall & Allen represents several insurance companies. They can compare rates, saving you lots of shopping time and hassle.

Deductibles

Higher deductibles mean lower prices. They also mean you’ll have to pay more out of pocket. Be honest with yourself about your financial position and risk tolerance. Make sure you choose deductibles that are in line with your budget and lifestyle. Ask questions if you’re not sure what you’re buying.

Types of Insurance

Auto policies can contain – or omit – several coverage types: collision, liability, uninsured motorist, roadside assistance, lease gap and many more. Know what you’re buying and why. This is where an agent can be helpful in guiding you to exactly what you need, and away from what you don’t. Ask your insurance agent as many questions as you need to understand what you’re buying.

Medical Expenses

After an accident, you or others in your vehicle may need medical attention. Even if someone else is at fault, it’s faster and simpler to use your own Medical Payments coverage to get the care you need. That way you’re not out of pocket waiting for the other insurance company to reimburse you. Even if you have great medical insurance, do you know what kind of insurance your passengers have? Probably not. You want to be sure you have adequate coverage that is also affordable. An informed insurance agent can provide quality advice about choosing Medical Payments limits.

Uninsured Motorists

Unfortunately, some people drive without auto insurance or adequate coverage. So you need to protect yourself, and you need to evaluate that coverage when assessing each auto insurance quote you obtain. Beware of “per person” limits on uninsured motorist policies. One quote might say “$100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident” and another “$300,000 combined single limit”. You may think they’re comparable. They’re not. One has potentially 3X more coverage. Learn how to compare them.

Is DIY Insurance Cheaper?

Not always. Sometimes, an agent-serviced policy costs the same – or even less – that one that requires you to be your own expert and do all the work yourself. A good agent knows which discounts are available. And, when you have claims or billing questions, or forget your insurance card while you’re in line at BMV, a professional insurance agent can be worth their weight in gold.

Auto insurance doesn’t have to be confusing. Get plenty of quotes, and evaluate them using these tips. Then you can be confident in the auto insurance policy you choose. If you need additional information about Maine auto insurance, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland, ME. If you want to see several quotes at once, click on the “Get a Quote” button above.

Commercial Insurance for Maine Business Start-Ups

Commercial insurance is requisite for any business in the modern world, including start-ups. In fact, new businesses or start-ups have the most to lose if things go south. Therefore, it’s vital to protect yourself in the best possible way – including getting commercial insurance. In Maine, this type of coverage is not mandated, but if you are serious about running a successful business, you need to get it.

Purchasing commercial insurance might be the difference between death and survival  for your start-up. If you are planning to open a new business in The Pine Tree State and need coverage, Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, ME is the place to look. We offer the following commercial insurance coverage options for start-ups:

  • General Liability Insurance for Start-Ups. GL pays for losses arising from settlements, claims, or lawsuits that your start-up may face due to injuries or property damage caused to third parties.
  • Professional Liability Insurance. Many creative and tech startups would face disaster if sued for copyright infringement, programming error, printing mistakes and other gaffes. Professional liability insurance protects you and your reputation by defending you and paying damages you might owe.
  • Property Insurance for Start-Ups. This covers physical assets owned by your start-up. This includes your investments in inventory, structures, equipment and company vehicles (commercial auto insurance). Damages caused by wind and hail storms, fire, smoke, collision and vandalism fall under this category.
  • Flood Insurance.  Flood damage isn’t covered by business property insurance. That’s why you need flood insurance for your start-up. Remember that flooding can occur anywhere, anytime. It helps to be covered from the resultant losses.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance. In Maine, if you have employees, you’re required to provide workers comp insurance. Your employees are an essential part of your business. Ensure that they are taken care of in case of an accident that results in injury, disability, or missed work.

Other coverage options are available, but these are the most important. Commercial insurance is the best way to make sure that your business doesn’t go under after an unfortunate event. For more information on commercial insurance from Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in Portland, ME, call us at 207-799-5541, or visit our website to get the answers you need.

Home Insurance and Swimming Pools: What You Need to Know

Spring is almost here, and as the ground begins to thaw, you may be thinking about having an in-ground pool or above-ground pool built in your backyard. If you are planning on having a pool installed, it can affect your homeowner’s insurance policy. Here at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance, serving the greater Portland, ME area, we want you to know how and why pools affect your homeowner’s insurance policy. Here is what you need to know.

When to Notify Your Home Insurance

Many people prefer to talk to their home insurance company before they sign a contract to have a pool built. This allows them to budget for  any increases to their policy, and learn if the company requires any safety features. You aren’t obligated to let your home insurance company know about the pool until it is fully constructed.

Why You Need to Notify Your Home Insurance

There are many reasons why you need to notify your home insurance about your new pool. A new pool increases the value of your property and may create issues that home insurance would need to cover. It can be a safety hazard for visitors and neighbors. As such, your home insurance company may need to adjust your policy.

What Changes Need to Be Made to Your Home Insurance

The insurance company may require certain changes to your policy. Regardless, you may want to increase your liability insurance coverage, or add a personal umbrella policy. This helps to protect you in case someone injures themselves or drowns in your pool.

If you are looking to have a pool installed in the greater Portland, ME area, you may be looking to change your homeowner’s insurance policy too. When you are in the market for a new policy, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent. Call us at 207-799-5541, or compare Maine home insurance quotes online today. We represent several home insurance companies so we can help you find the best value. We’re independent and committed to you.