Commercial Leases in Maine – Protecting Your Business

Are you looking for a commercial lease for your Maine business? Moving your business from home or a co-working space to your first real office? Expanding your retail footprint from Portland to Westbrook or Scarborough? Just looking for new space? Either way, negotiating and signing a lease is a big move. It’s also a big commitment. And a legal contract.

A new location is an exciting opportunity for your Maine business. It’s tempting to lock in a great location by quickly signing a lease. Be a smart business person. Review it with your attorney, accountant and insurance agent first. It can save you trouble during the term of your business lease.

Why a Written Lease is Important

It’s good to have a written lease. It’s a legal contract that you can refer to whenever you have questions about your space. It’s also in black-and-white, which reduces misunderstanding when conflicts arise. And, a written lease is easy to review with your trusted advisors. 

Review Your Lease with Your Advisors – Before You Sign It

If you have an attorney, make sure they review your lease. They know what clauses are standard, and which are unusual in the Southern Maine market. They can help you negotiate with your potential landlord. Likewise, your accountant can determine tax implications of your lease. They can set you up to properly record your lease expenditures. 

Don’t forget to review your lease with your Maine business insurance agent. Your lease requires property and liability business insurance. Your agent can help make sure you meet your lease obligations.  They can also keep your property and other assets protected. Finally, they can help you build an insurance budget for your new location.

Insurance Implications of Your Commercial Lease

Depending on your operations and your lease agreement, you may need to update your business insurance.  Here are a few examples.


BUSINESS PROPERTY INSURANCE AND YOUR LEASE


Insuring building items and improvements. 
Your new space may need a build-out. Who pays for that? Who insures it after it’s done? And who owns it, and when? A well-written lease addresses those issues.

A good Maine business insurance agent can help you determine whether you need to insure improvements. If you do, they can also tell you how much it will cost. Triple net leases require a tenant to assume many expenses of the building, including insurance. Your agent can help you budget for that. 

Insuring Your Contents and Inventory
Your new place may be larger, or be an additional location for your business. If so, increase your insurance to make sure that your assets are properly protected. Don’t forget to insurer new signage, awnings, etc. 

In Case of Emergency
What does your lease say about damage to the property? What if the property is damaged to the point where you can’t operate your business for some time? A well-crafted lease outlines the extent of damage and the time limit that triggers the clause.

It’s one thing for your lease to allow you to move somewhere else in case of damage to the property. It’s another thing to be able to afford to move, and to let your customers know about it. An astute Maine business insurance agent can help you buy insurance to pay for business interruption and extra expenses. 


BUSINESS LIABILITY INSURANCE AND YOUR LEASE


Your lease may require a certain amount of business liability insurance protection. That may be more insurance than you currently have. You might even need business umbrella insurance to satisfy the lease requirements. Your commercial insurance agent can provide figures to build into your pro-forma for the new location. 


Who’s Responsible for What? 
Your lease should outline what areas you are responsible for vs. the landlord. It may address issues such as maintenance and snow removal. Make sure that you know what your lease commits you to. Share that with your business insurance agent. 


Hold Harmless Clause / Mutual Waiver of Subrogation
Many commercial leases have a “hold harmless” clause. This prevents a landlord from suing a tenant or vice versa, except in cases of extreme negligence. These clauses help to maintain good relations between the parties. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, the landlord and tenant simply pay for damage to the property they’re responsible for in the lease. Many leases also have a “mutual waiver of subrogation.” This prevents the landlord and tenants’ insurance companies from collecting from an other at-fault party after they pay a claim. It’s important to share your lease with your insurance agent so they can make sure your insurance is properly set up. 


Additional Insureds and Certificates of Insurance
Many leases require tenants to make the landlord an Additional Insured under their policy. Insurance companies are generally willing to do this when required in a lease. Some insurance companies charge extra for Additional Insureds. Check with your business insurance agent to build your budget.

Does your new location have an exterior sign or outdoor seating area? The city or town may require a certificate of liability insurance showing them as an Additional Insured. Hanging signs and outdoor seating are popular in areas like the Old Port and downtown Westbrook, Biddeford and Saco. The city wants to make sure that if your sign injures someone, your insurance will pay. Overhead signs are also common in suburban strip retail areas, such as Scarborough, South Portland and Falmouth. 

Are you looking for a commercial lease for your southern Maine business?
Call Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland at 207-799-5541. We offer a choice of many of Maine’s best business insurance companies. We can help make sure your insurance meets your lease requirements. We can also help you build your insurance budget for this location. We’re independent and committed to you.

What Maine Small Business Owners Need to Know About Insurance

Running your small Portland, ME business can be a rewarding and satisfying endeavor. However, without the right liability insurance coverage, running your small business open you up to lawsuits. Here is a brief description from Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance of the most common business liability insurance.

Worker’s Comp

Worker’s compensation insurance is required in Maine for any business with employees. As a business owner, you need to stay up to date on your state’s requirements concerning worker’s compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation insurance protects your employees when they are injured on the job. This also protects you as the employer from liability for said injuries.

Liability Insurance

General liability is one of the most important types of insurance for the small business owner to have. Liability can come in many forms. Individuals can get injured on your property or by your product. Something could go wrong with a service you provided resulting in damage or injury. Liability insurance will protect you in these situations and ensure that your company is not required to pay out of pocket for these types of liability claims.

Commercial Auto

If your company owns vehicles in order to provide services or deliveries, then you need business auto insurance. Commercial vehicle insurance can cover your drivers and your vehicles in the event of an accident. If your company uses vehicles, then you will no doubt have invested a good deal of money into those vehicles. This will protect that investment.

Umbrella Insurance

Commercial umbrella insurance policies help small business cover all their bases in one simple policy. Umbrella policies provide high limits of liabilty over your general liability and business auto policies. To learn more about small businesses, contact our friendly staff at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance serving Portland, ME at 207-799-5541. We offer a choice of Maine’s best business insurance companies, so we can help you find the best value. We’re independent and committed to you.

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.

 

Contractors Liability Insurance in Maine – What does it Cost?

If you’re a contractor or subcontractor in Greater Portland Maine, you will have to show proof of liability insurance to get preferred jobs. Whether you’re a Maine carpenter, plumber, electrician or other trade contractor, people or businesses who hire you want to know that you’ll be able to pay for any damage or injury caused by your work. A certificate of insurance shows proof of liability insurance.

 

How Much Does Contractors Liability Insurance Cost in Maine?

The cost of your insurance depends on several factors:

  • What kind of work you do (type, number and size of jobs)
  • How much experience you have
  • How much liability insurance you buy
  • Whether you’re insured now, and how long you’ve been insured
  • Your insurance claims experience

 

My Job Requires $1 Million of Contractors General Liability Insurance. Isn’t That Too Much?

One million is a common requirement, even for smaller jobs. It seems like a lot of money, but it’s not when you consider how much damage or injury you could cause in a worst-case scenario. Many contracts for larger jobs require even higher limits. Fortunately, insurance companies readily provide these limits. The prices are probably lower than you think.

 

Can I Get Contractors Liability Insurance Today?

If you currently have insurance, have a proven track record of work and few or no claims, many insurance companies want your business. You can get insurance right away. If you’re new in business, or have never had insurance, it may take longer.

 

I’m Starting a Maine Contracting Business. Can I Get Insurance?

Congratulations on your big leap! Do you have lots of experience as a supervisor? Are you going out on your own after years of working for someone else? Many insurance companies will take you on as a new business with that kind of experience.

 

How Long Does it Take to Get Proof of Insurance in Maine?

Once your coverage is bound, your insurance agent can send insurance certificates to anyone who’s requesting one.

 

Do I Need to Get Certificates of Insurance from Maine Subcontractors?

Yes! Without proof that your subs have their own insurance, you may be responsible for injuries to them or damage they cause. Always collect and keep certificates of insurance from subs you hire. Otherwise, your insurance company will increase your rates at the end of your policy for your added responsibility.

 

What Other Insurance Does a Maine Contractor Need?

In addition to general liability, you may want to protect your tools and equipment against theft or damage. If you have a business vehicle, you’ll need commercial vehicle insurance. And if you hire employees, you must provide workers compensation insurance. Fortunately, insurance companies can bundle some of these with your general liability policy. This reduces cost and confusion from multiple bills and policies.

 

How to Get Maine Contractors General Liability Insurance

If you have a contracting business in Scarborough, South Portland, Westbrook or elsewhere in Greater Portland, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541, or click the “get a quote” button below. We offer a choice of Maine’s preferred insurance companies, including MMG Insurance, Concord Group, Hanover, Liberty Mutual, Acadia Insurance and more. We’re independent and committed to you.

 

Maine Drone Insurance

Maine businesses are using drones to create unique video, capture aerial shots, and check locations that would otherwise be hazardous or difficult to access. Photographers and videographers capture unique images and videos. Marketers use drones to create compelling and  content. Real estate agents and developers use drones to show the attractiveness and potential of properties.

New Drone Insurance Program in Maine

Acadia Insurance Drone coverageWe were excited to learn today about Acadia Insurance‘s new drone insurance program.  Until today, our clients have had to insure their drones in Maine with specialty insurance programs. That meant separate billing, coverage and claims. Sometimes, it’s even meant that they had to work directly with the insurance company, with no agent to help. Insurance company financial stability isn’t a given for these programs.

The Acadia program allows Maine businesses to insure their drone with the rest of their property and liability. One bill, one claim adjuster, one agent. Acadia is based in Westbrook, Maine and already insures thousands of Maine businesses. They’ve introduced special programs inspired by iconic and growing Maine businesses, from breweries to artisans and contractors.


related post: Are Drones Covered by Maine Homeowners or Business Insurance?


Do you use a drone in your Maine business? Have you bought insurance from a specialty program or an insurance company you’ve never heard of? Do you wonder if they’ll be able to pay claims? Do you struggle to speak to a human at your insurance company? Call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. We’re eager to see if Acadia Insurance can help Maine businesses insure their drones with a Maine insurance company.

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.

Maine Business Insurance – How Much Does it Cost?

If you’re starting or running a business in Maine, your budget includes insurance. How much fire, auto or liability insurance do you need, and what will it cost? The answer varies, depending on what your business does. Restaurants pay more for fire insurance because of open flames and heat. Web designers pay more for professional insurance due to copyright infringement hazards. Breweries and other manufacturers spend more for product liability insurance. Contractors and food trucks pay more for auto insurance because they have a lot of equipment on the road.

Your business location affects your insurance costs, too. Business insurance in Portland or Southern Maine may cost more due to more congested roads, exposure to out-of-state travel and more a more litigious environment. But, business fire insurance may cost less in Portland, South Portland, Scarborough or nearby southern Maine towns due to strong fire protection.

Average Costs for Small Business Insurance in Portland Maine

The business clients of Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance, an independent agency in South Portland Maine, pay an average of:

  • $3600 for all their commercial vehicles
  • $4500 for workers compensation
  • $1400 for business property insurance
  • $2600 for business liability insurance
  • $2750 for professional liability (Errors & Omissions) insurance

Those figures include all business clients, large and small. Some clients only need business liability coverage; others need all the insurances.

What Would It Cost to Insure Your Maine Business or Idea?

If you own a business or a startup business in Maine, we can help you find out. We offer a choice of Maine’s preferred business insurance companies, so we can survey the market. We’re independent and committed to you.  Call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland Maine, or click “get a quote” above. In the end, you’ll know how much to budget for insurance, and what kind of business insurance you need.

Get Proof of Insurance for a Portland Maine Sign Permit

 

If you own a business in Portland Maine, you may want an outdoor sign or awning to attract and help customers. Signs can be simple or elaborate, carved wood or electric, mounted or hanging. But all signs need a City of Portland sign permit from City Hall. You can find the application at the Citizen Self Service portal. Most sign permits cost $30 plus $2.00 per square foot. Sidewalk sign permits cost $25 plus $0.20 per square foot.

You’ll need to show proof of insurance for a Portland Maine sign permit. Your insurance policy must name the City of Portland Maine as additional insured with respect to the sign.

Proof of Sign Insurance ExampleWhy Does the City of Portland Maine Need to be an Additional Insured for My Sign Permit?

When you apply for your permit, you agree to be 100% responsible for your sign. This is called a “hold harmless” agreement. The city wants proof that you have insurance to back that up. They want to know that your insurance will pay if your sign injures someone or damages property. That’s one reason they require to be named as an Additional Insured on your business liability policy with respect to the sign.


See also:  Adding an Additional Insured to Your Insurance Policy


What Does an Additional Insured Do? 

When you add an additional insured on your business liability policy, it does two things.

  • Extends coverage to protect them under your insurance policy
  • Notifies them if your policy cancels for any reason

 

How to Get Proof of Sign Insurance

Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance can help you show proof of insurance for your Portland Maine business. Often, you must show this before you even open your business or move into the location. Sign insurance isn’t expensive. It’s often part of another policy, such as a package policy or a businessowners policy.

What Does Business Sign Insurance Do?

Sign insurance can protect

  • The value of the sign against vandalism, wind or other damage. The city doesn’t require this.
  • Your liability if your sign injures someone or damages property. That’s the part that your Maine town or city requires.

If you’re opening a business in Portland Maine and want to know more about insurance coverage and cost, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent. We offer a choice of many top Maine business insurance companies. We can help you find the right insurance for your business and budget. We’re independent and committed to you.

Helpful Link: City of Portland Maine Citizen Self Service Portal Login

 

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!

Adding an Additional Insured to Your Insurance Policy

What is an Additional Insured?

An Additional Insured (AI) is someone else who is added to your business insurance policy. That coverage might last one day, one job, or all year.

Additional Insureds get two valuable kinds of protection:

  • Defense – if someone sues your AI for something covered by your insurance, your policy steps in to defend them.
  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage – your policy will pay on behalf of the AI for someone else’s medical bills or property damage .

Why Would I Agree to Cover Someone as Additional Insured?

Usually, it’s because you really want to sign a contract that requires it. Often, the contractual party with the most bargaining power is the one named AI. The weaker party adds them to their insurance. We didn’t say it was fair, did we?

For example, a landlord with a prime retail location might require tenants to add them as Additional Insured. Because you really want to be in that location, you could agree.

Additional Insureds are also common in construction trades. The practice may reduce finger-pointing and expedite settlement of accidents and claims.

What are the Disadvantages to Adding an Additional Insured to Your Policy?

Adding an Additional Insured essentially shares your insurance with someone else. Their claims become your claims. Their troubles become yours. It’s like a shared data plan, but with a maximum cost in the millions. What if your Additional Insured has a lot of claims?

  • Your insurance company might raise your rates, refuse to renew, or even cancel your policy.
  • Many commercial liability policies have an “annual general aggregate” limit. Each claim reduces the fund available to pay future claims. You may be left with a lot less insurance – less than your next job requires.

How to Add an Additional Insured to Your Insurance Policy

Contact your insurance agent if you want to add an AI to your policy. They should review the contract and your policy. They can advise you how this will affect your business and your insurance costs.

Can My Insurance Company Refuse to add an Additional Insured?

Yes. The insurance company will review your contract and exposure it creates. They may decide that it’s too risky. Some insurance policies don’t permit Additional Insureds at all. Professional liability policies are a good example. Each party should be responsible for the performance of their own professional activities.

How Much Does it Cost to Add an Additional Insured?

Additional Insured costs vary among policy types and insurers. Some business policies have “blanket additional insured” endorsements. For a flat price, these cover anyone that you contractually agree to include as AI. Otherwise, insurers charge for each Additional Insured, usually starting at $25.

Are “Proof of Insurance” , “Certificate of Liability Insurance” and “Additional Insured” the Same Thing?

No. Certificates and other proof of insurance forms are just that. They show that you have insurance at a moment in time. But if your policy doesn’t include an Additional Insured, proof of insurance doesn’t change that.

However, Additional Insureds usually DO ask for Certificates of Insurance. They want to prove that they are Additional Insureds on your policy. Your agent will only provide this if your certificate holder has AI status.

Is your business in the Portland Maine area? Do you need help with contracts, insurance requirements, additional insureds, leases or equipment rental? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen business insurance agent at 207-799-5541. We offer a choice among Maine’s preferred business insurance companies. We can help you find the right fit for your business and your budget. We’re independent and committed to you.