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.

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.

How to Keep the Funds in Your Fundraising Event


You created a fabulous signature event for your non-profit. The stakes are high. Your budget – maybe your job – depends on its success. But you’ve done your homework. The board is jazzed. Volunteers, donors and the venue are ready. Publicity and social media are on point. RSVPs and reservations are rolling in.

Now all you need is good luck. Here’s how to stack the odds in your favor.

Your Programs Depend on the Event’s Revenue. Protect It

Insure the weather.

Does the forecast keep you up at night for weeks before your event? Believe it or not, you can insure the weather. A special insurance policy can reimburse you for lost revenue caused by stormy weather.

How does weather insurance work? Pick the amount of income you want to protect, and a “trigger”. For example, if it snows more than 6” at the event site, your insurance pays the amount on your policy.  It might cost a few points of revenue, but it’s better than a big loss if the weather makes everyone stay home.

Hire Out the Risky Stuff

Your non-profit is probably not in the business of tending bar, supervising a road race or shucking oysters. Do yourself a favor: hire a professional. One with their own insurance.

Don’t take on a lot of risk for a little savings. If something goes wrong, those savings are soon forgotten. But the injury or damage you caused to others – and to your reputation – could last a long time.

Protect Donations

Do you collect and store auction prizes and other donations before your big event? Don’t let a broken pipe, fire or theft erase the good they were intended to do. Add them to your insurance policy – and remove them after the event.  It doesn’t cost much, and can save a lot.

While we’re at it, make sure you have “money and securities” coverage and “employee dishonesty” coverage. Make sure your organization keeps the funds you worked hard to raise.

Love Your Volunteers

Your organization would be lost without them. You appreciate the heck out of them. Do you treat them that way? Would you leave them out to dry if they got in trouble from working your event? Does your insurance protect them against lawsuits for injury or damage they cause while volunteering? If not, fix that. Now.

What about board members? Committed directors are hard to find. Does your non-profit have Directors & Officers Liability coverage? Those with considerable assets are more likely to serve if they have protection from lawsuit. Don’t you owe that to them?


Talk to your insurance agent about your event. Explore the coverage we listed above. See what fits your budget. Better to explain to your board that you investigated insurance and chose not to buy it than that you never thought of it.

Noyes Hall & Allen helps Greater Portland non-profits manage their risk within their budget. That allows them to stay true to their mission and avoid financial catastrophe. If you’d like to talk to a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent, call 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.

What’s Covered and Excluded on a General Liability insurance policy?

When you own a business, you invest your time and resources into it so you can make it successful. Getting sued could cause your company a great deal of damage, including loss of reputation and financial losses. It’s important to protect yourself. If you have a business in Portland, ME, you can talk to the trusted agents at Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance to learn how to protect your business against future losses with a general liability policy.

Here are some of the items covered:

  • Property Damage – This includes any damage to physical property that occurs because of the operation of your business. It can also include damage caused by a defective product.
  • Medical payments – This comes up frequently when visitors have accidents, such as when customers slip and fall on a snowy parking lot or wet floor. This can become expensive if injuries were serious or treatment is long-lasting.
  • Advertising – This protects you if someone claims that you infringed on their copyright when advertising your own product or service.
  • Reputation – While most people don’t think about this before it becomes an issue, you can end up owing money because of claims of libel, slander, false arrest, and other similar charges.

Some people are unfortunately quick to sue. A single lawsuit could destroy your business if you are not protected.  If you have a business in Portland, ME that you want to protect, contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance today at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.

Are Drones Covered by Maine Homeowners or Business Insurance?

Flying Drone

Innovative Maine businesses use drones to literally get a new perspective on their operations.  Land owners survey lots and buildings. Engineers use photos from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in project work.  Photographers and videographers use drones to capture unique images and videos. Marketers use or hire them to create compelling and disruptive visual content. Even individual hobby fliers own drones now.



Drones: A Money Saving Investment

High quality drones and UAVs are not cheap. It’s easy to invest $15,000 or more in a good quality industrial setup, including cameras and software. Still, that can be a lot less expensive than renting an airplane or helicopter, and offers much more control and flexibility. It’s also safer than sending an employee up on a ladder or bucket to inspect facilities at height. The price of hobby drones has dropped a lot in the last few years. You can find them for less than $1500.

Legal Issues for Drones in Maine

The FAA requires registration of drones and UAVs weighing more than 0.55 lbs. The maximum weight permitted is 55 lbs. Permitted location and other rules vary between pleasure and business use. A remote pilot airman certificate is required as well.

Drone owners and operators face many of the same liability issues as other aircraft pilots. The low altitude operation of UAVs can also create privacy and property issues. Some examples:

  • Injuring someone, either directly, or by causing an auto accident
  • Damaging property by striking it
  • Invasion of privacy or trespass

Even if a claim against you is not valid, defending yourself can cost many thousands of dollars in legal fees in Maine.

Drones are NOT Covered by Standard Insurance Policies

Because drones are considered unmanned aircraft, and subject to FAA regulation, they are excluded from coverage on homeowners or business liability policies. The Maine Bureau of Insurance recommends that you buy separate insurance for your drone. We agree.

Up to now, few insurers have offered insurance on drones. One of our company partners, Acadia Insurance recently introduced a liability insurance plan for businesses that use drones as an incidental part of their ordinary operations.

If you or your Maine business uses a drone or other UAV, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207.799.5541. We’d love to hear how you’re using this innovative technology for fun or business. We can help you manage your risk. We’re independent and committed to you.

How Much Does Lawn Care / Landscaping Contractor Insurance Cost in Maine?


Maine’s growing season is short. Landscapers and lawn care contractors only have a few months to earn money. That means they must watch expenses carefully to be profitable. Too much overhead can be the difference between profit and loss for a Maine contractor. 

How Much Does Landscaping Liability Insurance Cost?

Prices vary depending on:

  • Whether you specialize or not – pesticide or heavy tree work specialists pay more for insurance.
  • How much experience you have – seasoned businesses with good experience pay less than start-ups.
  • How much you make – higher revenues means higher insurance costs. 
  • If you plow in winter – If you take on lots of commercial plowing jobs, you’ll pay more for coverage.

If you’re a single operator in Maine with a mower or two, you’ll probably pay less than $1500 a year. If you have heavier equipment to insure, you’ll pay a bit more.

 Do I Need Workers Compensation Insurance for My Landscaping Business?

If you have employees, yes. If not, you may or may not have to buy workers’ comp, depending on the legal setup of your business. For example, if you’re a “dba”, you can choose to cover yourself under workers compensation, but you’re not required to.


Related Post: Who Needs to Buy Workers’ Comp Insurance in Maine?


How Much Does Lawn Care Equipment Insurance Cost?

You can insure tools and equipment like deck mowers, weed trimmers, hand mowers and hedge trimmers on a contractors package policy. The price varies with the value of the equipment. It usually costs less than $3.00 per $1,000 of value. Some policies offer replacement cost coverage (new for old). Other policies cover depreciated value. Ask your agent what they’re quoting.

How Much Does it Cost to Insure My Landscaping Truck and Trailer?

Business vehicle insurance costs more than personal. For a brand new 1/2 ton pickup, budget about $1500 per year – more if you plow commercially. Even though it’s more expensive, it’s still a good idea to buy the business policy. You want to be covered properly.

Related Post: Should a Maine Contractor Insure Vehicles in a Business Name?


Can I Store My Lawn Care Stuff in My Garage at Home?

Storing fuel or equipment in an outbuilding  can VOID COVERAGE for that building on your homeowners policy. If you have gas cans and mowers in your detached garage, and a fire starts, destroying the garage, your homeowners policy will NOT cover the rebuilding cost – even if the mowers or fuel had nothing to do with the fire.

Talk to your homeowners insurance agent about how your policy deals with this. Another option: insure your garage on your contractors policy. You want to make sure you have insurance help to rebuild after a disaster.

Have questions about contractors insurance for Maine landscaping or lawn care business? If you live and work in the Portland Maine area, call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent at 207-799-5541. We represent many insurance companies, so we can recommend the best value. We’re independent and committed to you.

When Should a Maine Contractor Insure Vehicles Commercially?


Contractor Banner 582 X 172 (2)


Many Maine contractors drive personal vehicles for business every day. Cleaning contractors drive their own cars to jobs from Cape Elizabeth to Cumberland. Food delivery workers pop a magnetic sign on the roof and zip through Portland streets. Uber drivers shuttle people to and from the Old Port in their SUVs. Landscapers haul mowers on trailers from Scarborough to Yarmouth. Carpenters and handymen load tool boxes and ladder racks for Munjoy Hill rehab projects. In winter, contractors from Kittery to Fort Kent pick up plow jobs to pay the bills.

Does a Personal Policy Cover Contractor’s Business Use of a Vehicle?

Maybe not. Many insurance companies exclude delivery or transporting commercial goods. If you’re in a crash hauling your tools or delivering a pizza, you could find yourself with no coverage. Almost every personal policy excludes carrying passengers for a fee (Uber or Lyft).

If My Truck Has Lettering on the Side, Does it Require Commercial Insurance?

Lettering can be a “tipping point” when defining a business vehicle. Is your truck lettered? Talk to your Maine contractor’s insurance agent to see if you need to switch to a business policy. Avoid a surprise at the absolute worst time – after an accident.

What if I’m in an Accident With My Contracting Truck on My Personal Insurance Policy?

You may have no coverage (see above). Even if your policy doesn’t exclude your claim, your personal insurer won’t be happy. After paying, they could cancel your family’s insurance. Or, they could force you to insure your truck on a business policy. At the very least, they would surcharge your policy for the claim.

What’s the Advantage of Business Auto Insurance?

Compared to a personal auto policy, a commercial vehicle policy allows you to:

  • Get coverage for business use of the vehicle – which is the whole purpose of having insurance at all.
  • Buy higher liability limits – to meet job requirements, and better protect your business assets and reputation.
  • Have Loading and Unloading coverageIf you yank the wires from a customer’s house while pulling your ladder off your rack, that’s not covered by your business liability insurance. Business Auto policies cover it.
  • Purchase higher rental limits, so you can rent a vehicle comparable to the one that’s damaged. No one wants to show up for a carpentry job in a subcompact car.
  • Include non-owned auto coverage – protects your business if someone crashes while picking up a part or a tool for you with their own vehicle.
  • Separate your personal life from your business. You don’t want to explain to your spouse why their insurance was canceled, or the price increased so much.
  • Insure larger vehicles – most personal policies don’t insure anything bigger than a 3/4 ton pickup.
  • Include attached equipment – like tool boxes, ladder racks or signage.

How Much Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cost in Maine?

It varies of course, depending on the vehicle and use. Plan to spend about $100 a month for a contractor’s pickup truck with collision coverage and $1 million of liability coverage. Prices can decrease if you have more vehicles, or increase if you have bigger trucks.

Would your Maine auto insurance pay if you were in an accident at work? Have questions about Maine contractors insurance?  Contact Noyes Hall & Allen in South Portland at 207-799-5541, or click “let’s talk” below. We’ve helped contractors to stay on the job and out of hot water since 1933. Because we represent many insurance companies, we’re independent and committed to you.

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5 Portland Maine Restaurant Owners’ Nightmares – Solved by Insurance


Portland Maine is a foodie town. In a city of 65,000, our city hall issues about 600 food prep licenses. Between Beard Award finalists, dining savvy locals and travel magazine-inspired foodie tourists, Portland  is a popular – and challenging – town to run a successful restaurant. The stiff competition raises the bar for everyone. There’s little room for error or bad luck. menu of restaurant disasters

The Unfriendly Fire

You’re careful with your life’s work. But no matter how often you clean your filters, or get your Ansul and fire extinguishers checked, fire is a threat every day. Oils, high temp grills and gas ranges are a delicate combination. The danger doesn’t go away when you close up for the night. Appliances can be left on. Lighted candles can be forgotten. Appliances and extension cords can short out. After a fire, officials will force you to throw out any food for fear of contamination.

The Problem Neighbor

Food bloggers and tourists call Portland “quaint and cozy“. What that really means is we’re wedged into a tight peninsula. It’s not unusual to have 3 or 4 restaurants in one city block – even more in the Old Port. Plus, apartments and offices above. No matter how careful you are, you can be done in by one of your less careful neighbors. A frozen pipe upstairs that leaks into your dining room, or a fire  up the block can shut down YOUR restaurant.

CLOSED, for…?

Diners are fickle. If you’re off line for just a few weeks, even your regulars can find a new spot in a restaurant town like Portland. It can take months – or longer – to get business back to pre-shutdown levels. Meanwhile, you have bills to pay. An estimated 25% of businesses never re-0pen after a disaster. In the restaurant business, that’s probably a lot higher.

The Difficult Diner

No matter how good your restaurant is, not every customer experience is flawless. It isn’t always food-related. People can trip on a carpet or fall on stairs or on the sidewalk. They don’t even have to be your customers. Someone can be injured in your parking lot. Of course, the food business has its own unique hazards. A customer’s stomach flu can sometimes become “food poisoning”; a broken tooth attributed to a piece of shell in their meal.  It’s expensive to defend against these accusations – and expensive to make the situation right if you were in the wrong.

Drinking and…?

Most Portland restaurants have a full bar or good beer and wine list. Alcohol sales can be the difference between a profit and a loss. Of course there are plenty of regular bars in town. That means your diners may have drinks before they arrive at your place, and more after leaving. If they get into an accident on the way home and are found to be over .08, people they harm might sue any business that served the negligent driver. Even if you’re blameless, that lawsuit can be expensive to defend.

Restaurant Insurance to the Rescue

A thoughtful Maine restaurant insurance program can protect your business from all of these nightmares and more. Insurance may not make your worries disappear, but it can help you sleep better after a long night’s work. And, it can keep a terrible day at work from destroying your business. If you own or run a Portland Maine area restaurant, food truck, bakery or other food prep business, call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent at 207-799-5541. We’ll work with you and your budget to keep your nightmares at bay, so you can focus on what you love most: creating great food.