What Does an Insurance Agent Do After a Claim?

No one enjoys making an insurance claim. Something bad happened. You need it fixed. Soon. So much to do! Repair a car or building. Run a business. Get a temporary vehicle. Find a place to live or work. Heal from an injury. Replace damaged or stolen property. Deal with another party after the accident. Stress!

It’s an inconvenience you didn’t need. But, that’s why you bought insurance, right? It’s time for policy to do what it promises: fix you.

Insurance is a Two-Party Contract

Your insurance policy is a written contract between you and your insurance company. No one can change it after a claim. Your contract makes you responsible for certain things. The insurance company too. The policy specifies what’s covered, what’s not, and how losses are paid.

If you purchased your policy from an agent, they can help you through the process. But some things you have to do yourself.

Things only YOU can do in an insurance claim:

  • Make a statement about what happened to insurance companies
  • Prove your loss
  • Choose a contractor or repair shop (some companies have preferred contractors or shops, but cannot force you to use them)
  • Accept or reject a settlement

Things only your ADJUSTER can do in an insurance claim:

  • Determine whether your policy covers your loss
  • Decide who’s at fault in claims involving more than one party
  • Evaluate and pay claims

Some claims never involve anyone but you and the insurance company.  You report it directly to the insurance company. The claim is minor. Settlement is simple. Everything goes smoothly. Other claims are more complex.

You never know which kind of claim you will have. That’s why it’s good to have an agent on your side. Not to mention for the advice they can give you the 99.9% of the time when you’re NOT having a claim.

What Use Is an INSURANCE AGENT after a Claim?

A good insurance agent:

  • Helps you decide whether to make a claim at all.  Is your claim clearly not covered? If it is clearly covered, what’s your policy deductible? Is your insurance cost likely to increase if you make this claim? How much? An agent can answer these initial questions so you can decide whether you want to make a claim at all.
  • Is your insurance sherpa. There’s a lot to know and remember. Report your claim to your insurance company or someone else’s. Protect your property. Gather information you’ll need later. Find a temporary solution until the adjuster can take over. An experienced agent is your sherpa in foreign territory.
  • Is your claim cattle dog. Haven’t heard from your adjuster? Waiting for an appraisal? Having trouble preparing the reports the insurance company needs? A good agent can pull things together and herd your claim in the right direction.
  • Has clout with the insurance company. Agents help their clients to find good insurance companies. So insurers want to be on the agent’s “good list”. A trustworthy and knowledgeable agent earns the respect of the insurance company. They can use that to advocate on your behalf. An agent can’t create coverage where there isn’t, but they can influence the process.
  • Is an “insurance translator”. A good agent can explain the gobbledy-gook in that letter from your adjuster. They can tell you why the offered settlement may be different than you expected. They can explain to the adjuster, using insurance terms, it if it’s wrong. Your agent can even translate in real time, meeting with you and the adjuster face-to-face, to resolve issues.
  • Helps insurance companies get better. Want to let your insurance company know how your claim went? Compliment your adjuster? Complain about the company’s preferred service provider? Rave or rage about the service you received? Share advice for how to make it better? A good agent has a pipeline to the insurance company, and knows where to send the feedback to get the most impact.

Need Help With a Claim? Ask Your Agent!

Don’t assume that your agent knows how your claim is going. Insurance companies don’t routinely communicate with agents during a claim. If you need help, ask your agent. At Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance, we ask our clients if they need help a week after they file a claim on their policy. Many don’t need help. But for those who do we’re able to jump in and assist where needed. We believe that helps our clients’ claims go smoother than they might otherwise.

Do you own a business or live in the Portland Maine area? Looking for an experienced agent who represents several insurance companies? An agent who can help you choose the right insurer and be available if you have a claim? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. Or just click “get a quote” above. We offer a choice of Maine’s preferred business and personal insurance companies. We’re independent and committed to you.

What’s the Difference Between a Homeowners Policy and Dwelling Fire Policy?

Two types of hazard insurance commonly cover Maine homes and property: a homeowners policy and a dwelling fire policy. Each can satisfy your mortgage company’s hazard insurance requirements. Homeowners and dwelling fire policies provide different coverage. Here are some of the major differences.

Homeowners – Broader Coverage, Tighter Eligibility, Custom Options

Maine homeowners insurance policies are designed for owner-occupied properties, usually one- or two-family homes. Insurance companies look to write homeowners policies on well-maintained year-round homes with good claim history.

Homeowners policies provide coverage for more classes of property than dwelling fire policies. Dwelling fire policies usually provide little or no contents coverage, while homeowners policies aim to cover most of your belongings. You can tailor a homeowners policy for special types of property like jewelry, art or firearms. These aren’t well covered by off-the-shelf homeowners policies or dwelling fire policies.

Dwelling Fire Policy – A La Carte Coverage Options

Dwelling Fire policies are designed to cover only the things you or the insurance company want to. Is your roof is in poor shape? Your insurance company might exclude damage for water leaks. Own a Maine camp with no plumbing? You don’t need insurance for damage from frozen pipes.  Dwelling fire policies allow you to customize your policy by choosing from the basic DP-1 form, the broader DP-2 form, or the broadest DP-3 form.

Liability coverage on a dwelling fire policy is limited to the premises. Homeowners liability coverage follows you worldwide. Dwelling fire policies also don’t cover theft of contents. These characteristics make dwelling fire insurance policies ideal for tenant-occupied homes or income properties in Maine.

Comparing Homeowners and Dwelling Fire Policies

comparing homeowners and dwelling fire policy coverage - Noyes Hall & Allen

Hazard Insurance in the Portland Maine Area

Do you live in Portland or the southern Maine area? Do you own rental or income property? We’re happy to answer your questions about hazard insurance for your mortgage lender, homeowners insurance or dwelling fire insurance. We can explain the difference between various policies. We offer a choice of several insurance companies, so we can shop and compare insurance for you, and help you choose the proper insurance to meet your needs. We’re independent and committed to you. Call Noyes Hall & Allen at 207-799-5541, or click the “get a quote” link above.

2017 Auto Insurance Winners & Losers – and Why it May Not Matter

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) released its annual market share report last week. It ranks US insurance companies by total sales. Some household names grew substantially. Other familiar brands lost big. Should Maine insurance consumers care? Should it affect your buying decision?

US Auto Insurance – a $230 Billion Industry

There’s plenty of competition for your insurance dollars. That’s why GEICO spends more than $1 billion a year on advertising, more than any other auto insurer. Was their big spending worth it? GEICO grew by more than $2 billion in premium last year. That’s more than twice the industry’s 2.5% growth in 2017.

Which Car Insurers Won and Lost in 2017?

Besides GEICO, Progressive grew by more than $1 billion in auto premium. USAA, Auto-owners and AAA rounded out the top 5. Allstate was the biggest loser. They shed almost $1 billion in auto insurance sales. Nationwide and Farmers weren’t far behind (ahead?). State Farm and Hartford rounded out the bottom 5, each losing almost $400 million of auto insurance premium.

Does it Matter Who Won?

Yes, and no. Growing companies can invest in new systems and even more advertising. Shrinking ones must cut costs. They might lay off claims adjusters or close offices to reduce expenses.

The winners and losers in the NAIC report have one thing in common. They’re all large insurers that write business countrywide. But many Maine consumers prefer to insure with smaller, regional insurers. Companies like Concord Group, Hanover and MMG Insurance have big market shares in Maine. New England insurers like these offer local claims and underwriting. They sell through local agents who provide advice and advocacy to their clients. They fly beneath the NAIC’s national radar.

Related: GEICO vs. Agent or Broker – Insurance Buying Tips

When Too Much Growth is Bad

Growth is good. But if an insurer grows too fast, bad things can happen:

  • Bad Service – an insurance company adding lots of new customers usually hires lots of sales people. If they don’t increase their claims and service staff by the same percentage, customer service can deteriorate. That can mean slower claim settlements, longer telephone hold times and inexperienced agents to give you advice.
  • Rate Increases – There are 2 easy ways to sell more insurance in the short run: sell it cheaper than the next guy; or relax standards to let more business in. Then it catches up. Pretty soon, they realize they haven’t charged enough premium to pay claims and expenses. They have to increase everyone’s rates to pay claims.

Is the Best Insurance Company One You’ve Never Heard Of? 

In Maine, many dependable, financially sound insurance companies don’t advertise. They have competitive rates. Their premiums don’t rise and fall dramatically. They settle claims fast and fairly using local adjusters.

How do you find these insurance companies? Contact a local independent agent like Noyes Hall & Allen in South Portland. We offer a choice from several top insurers and help you find the best fit and value. Want to get insurance quotes yourself? Get up to 5 Maine auto insurance quotes in 10 minutes from our web site. If you live outside southern Maine, look in your area for an independent agent like us. We’re independent and committed to you.

Pet Insurance in Portland Maine – Our Newest Solution

Mainers love their pets. More than 60% of Maine households include at least one dog, cat, bird, rabbit, snake or other non-human family member. That puts us in the top 5 states for pet ownership. In fact, Maine ranks #2 in cat ownership at 46.4% of households, according to one survey.

Pet Ownership is a Responsibility

While the joy they bring is priceless, pets depend on us to do what’s best for them. That’s more than just giving them food, water and exercise. Our pets rely on us to manage their health. Veterinary medical care can be expensive, especially when they get sick or injured. Veterinarian treatment, ER visits and veterinary specialists can be budget-busters for pet owners.

Pet Injuries and Illnesses Can Be Costly

Here are a few of the most common conditions and treatments that pets might face:

  • Asthma, feline: inhaler and medication – $500 (plus visits every 3-6 months)
  • ACL surgery, canine (TPLO) – $3,500 to $5,000
  • Diabetes in cats – 1 day of hospitalization every 3 months to check glucose levels, once stable.
    Medication: about $50 per month.
  • Hip dysplasia, dog: Surgery, $2,000 to $4,000.

Pet insurance can help defray these costs. Yet, less than 2% of U.S. pets are covered by insurance.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Most popular pet insurance plans cover treatment for diseases, illnesses and injuries. That includes:

  • Veterinary or specialist treatment
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgeries
  • Prescriptions
  • CAT scans, MRI, X-Ray
  • Cancer Treatments

Every plan has different limitations. Many insurance companies offer different levels of coverage. The higher the limit of coverage, and the lower the deductible, the higher the cost of the insurance.

What Does Pet Insurance Exclude (Not Cover)?

Most plans exclude regular veterinary checkups (well-care).  All pet medical plans exclude pre-existing conditions. If your cat has been diagnosed with asthma, those treatments would not be covered. But, if she was later diagnosed with feline leukemia, that treatment would be. Also, spaying, neutering, and “maintenance” items like ear-cleaning or gland expressing are usually not covered.

Portland Maine Pet Insurance – Our New Solution

We’re excited to now offer a discount for our clients through FIGO pet insurance, one of the top insurers in the U.S. You can choose any veterinarian or provider – you’re not limited to any network.

As a FIGO customer, you can download a free app and make claims on the go. The app also

  • reminds you about shots and appointments,
  • helps you find nearby services like dog parks, pet daycare and pet-friendly hotels.
  • offers a FIGO digital pet tag, so you and your lost pet can be reunited quickly. And, most FIGO plans cover lost pet advertising and reward.

Our clients receive a discounted FIGO rate by using a special link. Payments are made by convenient monthly withdrawals. For more information and a no-obligation quote, click the link below.


Unlike your home, auto, renters or business insurance, Noyes Hall & Allen can’t answer billing or coverage questions. FIGO handles all policy issuing, service and claims. We simply offer this discounted program as a service to our clients. Let us know what you think!

Access Your Maine Insurance Policy Info 24/7

We’re pleased to introduce a new feature for clients of Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance. Now, you can access policy documents and information from our secure web site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Lost your Maine auto insurance card? Want to check on your coverage at night or on the weekend?  You can log on easily and get the information you need in two minutes or less. Here’s how.

Step 1 – Visit NoyesHallAllen.com

Look for the “My Account” icon on the upper right of the page (or in the list on a mobile phone). It opens to a drop-down menu. Select an option.


Step 2 – Log In Using Your Email Address

You must use the email address that our agency has on file for you. This is usually the one that we have emailed correspondence to in the past. Let us know if we should use a different email address.


Step 3 – Log In With a Secure Verification Code 

This is sent instantly to your mobile device or your email address. This code helps keep your personal information in your hands alone. It expires after 5 minutes.


Step 4 – Choose the Policy or Documents You Want

The default view is “policies. This allows you to view the details of your coverage by clicking “view policy” below the snapshot.(click on the image for a larger version)

Note that there’s an option to switch to “documents” as well as the default “policies”.


If you want to download your insurance cards, choose “documents” click “download” on the right. You can print or save them to your device from there. By law, Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, city and town halls and law enforcement officers accept electronic proof of insurance. You aren’t required to produce a paper copy.

(click on the image for an enlarged verson)


We hope that you enjoy the convenience of 24/7 access to your insurance policy information.

Please note:
1) Most insurance companies share their information with us electronically in a compatible form with this feature. If your documents aren’t available, call us and we can send them to you.

2) The policy information on the Client Center is a very simplified recap of your policy. You may have purchased endorsements that the Client Center can’t show, so your coverage might be different. Your insurance policy is always the definitive document of your insurance coverage.

Insuring Your Maine Classic or Antique Car

Classic and antique cars are fun to admire, show, drive and collect. They can also be good investments, and great spare time hobbies. You’ll want to insure your classic properly to protect your investment.

Teds Hot Rod

Your Maine Classic or Antique Car Is Unique. Your Insurance Should Be, Too.


An “off the shelf” auto policy isn’t a good fit for your classic, for these four reasons:

  • Valuation – standard auto policies pay the depreciated “book value” of a vehicle. There’s a big difference between a ’78 Firebird that’s been babied and one that’s been driven hard and put away wet. Standard policies value the cherry one and the pre-restoration project the same. Collector car policies usually insure on an “agreed value” basis. You and the insurer agree on the amount to be paid on a total loss BEFORE anything happens.
  • Use and Mileage – classic owners drive just a few miles a year – much less than their “daily driver”. When they do drive, it’s often a leisurely trip to the ice cream shop or rally, not a rush hour commute. “Off the shelf” policies consider all driving the same. They also assume a minimum of 8,000 miles driven per vehicle per year. Why pay full-time insurance rates for part-time insurance? Antique and classic owners pay way too much in that scenario.
  • Parts – Anyone who’s scoured New England’s back roads looking for Series 1 Rover parts knows they can be expensive and hard to find. You need a policy that will pay for the right part – and maybe even help you locate it. Regular insurance policies pay for replacement parts after an accident. If your vehicle is more than a few years old, insurers usually only pay for aftermarket parts. That sends shivers down the spine of an antique buff.
  • Roadside Assistance – If you break down on the way to your show, or during a rally, you want your classic worked on by a trusted mechanic. Most classic auto policies offer special flatbed coverage to get you to a mechanic qualified to work on your vehicle.

What Vehicles Qualify For Maine Classic Car Insurance?

In general, insurers define a classic car as 20 years or older, including

  • Sports cars (MG, Triumph, Alfa Romeo, etc.)
  • Muscle cars (Corvette, Camaro, Firebird, Mustang, etc.)
  • Street rods and customized vehicles
  • Collector vehicles, including antique motorcycles
  • Vehicles in mid-restoration

Classic vehicle policies may limit:

  • Annual mileage driven
  • How it’s used (“daily drivers” usually don’t qualify)
  • Young drivers
  • Storage (require you to garage it when not in use)

Answers to Your Antique & Classic Insurance Questions

If you live in southern Maine and have questions about insuring your classic or antique, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207-799-5541. We offer a choice of several insurers; let us find the right one for you. We’re independent and committed to you.


What Happens AFTER You Buy Insurance Online?


There are many ways to buy insurance. Online. Over the phone. Using an app. By email. In person. In 15 minutes. In 7 minutes. Whatever.

Buying Insurance May Be Easy…

But, it’s not how you buy insurance that creates value. It’s whether it’s there when you need it. If you buy insurance from someone hundreds of miles away, whom you’ve never met, or even talked to, do you really think they’ll be there to help later? We will.

A Week’s Worth of Questions We Dare You to Ask Your Internet Insurance Company

We helped Greater Portland Maine insurance clients with these issues, just in the last week:

  • My claim was denied, and I don’t think it’s right.
  • How can I insure property I co-own with three other people?
  • I want more umbrella coverage, but my insurer won’t do it, because I have a couple of speeding tickets.
  • I haven’t gotten my claim check from the other guy’s insurance company after he hit my parked car.
  • I need help completing this form that the insurance company sent me.
  • I’m helping my son buy a car; who should insure it?
  • My insurance company wants me to make some improvements to my home, but I need more time.
  • Who can clean my basement in Saco, Maine after a sewer backup?
  • Who is good Portland Maine jeweler to have appraise my pieces?
  • I own a classic car. What’s the best way to insure it?
  • I’m about to buy a new car. When is the best time to shop for the insurance?
  • My fiancee and I are buying a house together. Can we combine our car insurance, too?
  • Why does the insurance company want to know about other drivers in my house? They don’t drive my car!
  • Should I suspend my insurance for the winter on one of my cars?
  • Help! The Maine DMV suspended my license in error!
  • My former insurance company keeps sending me bills!
  • I’m moving to Maine. How do I register my car? When do I need to get a Maine license?
  • I’m moving to New Hampshire. Can I keep my cars registered in Maine?

Does your insurance company know Pleasant Hill from Munjoy Hill? Westbrook from the West End? Sebago from Sugarloaf? Would you trust the answer they gave you to even one of the questions above? If not, that’s why you need a local agent.

Insurance Choice Filter

It doesn’t matter how easy it is to buy insurance. It matters who’s there to help when you  have a problem that’s not so easy. That’s why you need a local agent.

For answers to your Maine insurance questions, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent. Right here in South Portland. 207-799-5541.

Party Time! Does Maine Homeowners Insurance Cover Renting a Hall?


It’s party season in Maine. Many of our clients will host a Bar Mitzvah, wedding, baby shower, reception, anniversary party, memorial service, graduation party, or fund raiser. They’ll rent a church hall, function hall, camp, country club, college or city building. And, they’ll call us for insurance advice.

The Good News: You’re Covered!

If you bought  homeowners, condo or renters insurance from Noyes Hall & Allen, your policy says:

6. “Insured location” means:
h. Any part of a premises occasionally rented to
an “insured” for other than “business” use.

Those terms in quotations are defined in your insurance policy. If your policy has your name on it, you’re an “insured”. If you’re not profiting from the function, it’s not a “business”.

Boom! Your Noyes Hall & Allen homeowners policy covers your liability from the function and the hall rental.

The Function Hall Should NOT Want to Be an Additional Insured

Every venue should have a rental contract. Most  contain “hold harmless” clauses. That means you agree to be responsible for what happens while you’re renting the premises. Scary? Maybe, but unless you want to have everyone at your house, you don’t have much choice.

Some venues ask to be an “additional insured” on your homeowners insurance policy. Additional insureds are common on Maine business insurance policies. That makes sense, since businesses operate various activities in many locations. It’s not the same on a personal policy.

That Word

The Additional Insured form on a homeowners insurance policy (HO 04 41) is different. It limits “insured” status to others to your home. In other words, it’s useless in a case where you’re renting a function room. No homeowners insurer that we are aware of allows “additional insured” status for cases like this.

Also, remember the “business” exclusion on the homeowners policy? That applies to all “insureds”. So your homeowners policy excludes the owner of the function hall from coverage as an insured anyway.

A function hall shouldn’t ask you to list them as an “additional insured”. Tell them we said so.

Let’s Keep it Simple

Your Maine homeowners insurance is a broad and powerful tool. It protects and defends you against injury and damage you’re liable for. That includes liability you assume by a contract.

You signed a rental contract for the hall. You agreed to hold the owners harmless for what happens during your function. If someone sues the owners for an accident at your function, they will turn that lawsuit over to the responsible one: you. And, your homeowners insurance will protect and defend you.

This is all INCLUDED in the homeowners, renters or condominium insurance policy you already have. You should only need to prove to the hall that you have insurance. Call us, and we can do that for you.

What About Liquor Liability?

Homeowners policies cover you for what happens on the premises. They exclude liability from auto accidents. Look to an auto insurance policy first for that coverage. The driver’s auto insurance would protect you AND them. If the driver doesn’t have enough insurance, your own Maine auto insurance should also protect and defend you. The coverage and damages can vary greatly depending upon individual circumstances. Talk to your Maine insurance agent for individual advice.

Pro Tip: Hire a professional bartender. They’re trained to recognize when someone has reached their limit. Ask them for a certificate of liability insurance. Mingle with your guests and enjoy your party, instead of stressing out!

Do I Need Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance is a different product. It covers the additional costs created if your venue closes, your photographer or band cancels, or some other calamity happens. That’s different that the liability issue we’ve been discussing.

If you live in the Portland Maine area and have questions about renting a hall, wedding insurance, or other insurance questions, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent at 207-799-5541. Noyes Hall & Allen represents many of Maine’s preferred insurance companies, and offers choice and professional advice. We’re independent and committed to you.

Ron Blumenthal Retires, Innova Insurance Clients Can Rely on Noyes Hall & Allen


Ron Blumenthal, the founder of Innova Insurance Services in Scarborough Maine, retired October 31. Ron sold Innova Insurance to Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in December, 2012. Ron had a close relationship with Noyes & Chapman for many years, which continued when Noyes & Chapman became Noyes Hall & Allen. Ron continued to work from the Noyes Hall & Allen office at 170 Ocean Street, South Portland Maine until his retirement.

Tina Countryman, who worked with Ron at Innova, remains at Noyes Hall & Allen, and continues to serve clients.

If you were a client of Ron Blumenthal at Innova Insurance, your insurance transferred seamlessly to Noyes Hall & Allen. Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207-799-5541.

Does a Maine College Student Need Their Own Insurance?


If you’re preparing to send a student off to college, your household is buzzing with activity. If your student is a freshman, there’s the added anxiety (for parents AND students) of doing it for the first time.

Many clients ask our Maine insurance agency these questions about insurance for college students:

Does homeowners insurance cover college students’ computers?

Generally, yes. If they’re living in college housing, they’re still considered part of your household. Your homeowners policy covers their books, clothes, jewelry, electronics and other property. What if you have a condo or renters insurance policy? Still covered. Remember, the same coverage limitations apply to property such as jewelry and money.

If your student does not live in college housing, be sure to consult your agent. Coverage can vary greatly in these situations.

Does homeowners insurance cover a “semester abroad”?

If your student is still a household member, your policy covers their belongings anywhere. If they accidentally damage property or injure someone, your homeowners policy defends any suit brought in the U.S.

Need broader protection? Some personal umbrella policies will also defend against worldwide liability suits. This is another great reason to buy Maine personal umbrella insurance.

Remember, NO auto policies cover outside of the US, its territories and Canada. If your student is driving in a foreign country, make other insurance arrangements there.

My child is not taking their car to school. Can I get a discount on my auto insurance?

You bet! There are a few restrictions: The school must be more than 100 miles away from your home, and the student should not have the car on campus. Don’t forget to ask your agent about the “good student discount” on auto insurance and other car insurance discounts.

Should I buy the medical insurance the college sells?

Our agency does not sell medical insurance, so we are not experts on this topic. Ask your medical insurance provider for their advice. If your family has no insurance coverage, then it may be a good idea to buy the college’s plan.

Have questions about Maine auto insurance, personal umbrella insurance or homeowners insurance? Contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance at 207-799-5541. As a locally owned Trusted Choice independent insurance agency, We represent many of Maine’s best insurance companies. We offer choice as well as professional advice. We’re independent and committed to you.