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 Compare Insurance Prices

There are lots of ways to compare auto, home, condo or renters insurance prices. Most people prefer to save time and work by getting several quotes at the same time. Two common methods: contact a local independent agent; or get multiple quotes from an app or web site. Businesses that produce these quote sites are called “aggregators”.

Aggregators: slick apps, relentless solicitation

Online apps are usually well-designed, easy and convenient to use. Most don’t sound anything like an insurance company. They often named after a food or an animal, for some reason. Or they sound like tech companies. That’s because most of them are not insurance companies. Although they promise insurance quotes, aggregators rarely present firm numbers. Instead, they sell your information to insurance agents and companies. It’s up to those agents to try to close the sale.

And they’re relentless.

I tried getting quotes recently. I’d barely clicked “submit” when my phone started ringing. It didn’t stop for 2 days. My voice mail clearly says I’m an insurance agent. You’d think they would quickly figure out that I wasn’t going to buy from them. But they kept calling back. And the emails! I gave them credit for persistence even as I cursed their repeated interruptions.

Think that’s unusual? Google insurance quote scams.

Of course, not all insurance quote sites are the same. Some provide an estimated price at the end of your session. But most of those still need more information from you to produce a policy. That can change the price.

Independent Agents: good insurance takes time

IA’s also offer several insurance options at the same time. They are locally owned businesses – about 35,000 in the US. Call or visit an independent agent and you’ll spend 10 minutes answering the questions they need to quote. Then, the agent compares rates and coverage and presents a recommendation. Instead of just taking your order, they use their local market and insurance knowledge to recommend the right solution. It may take a bit more time than the aggregator’s app, but that can be a great investment if  it helps you avoid an expensive mistake.

Some independent agents are more aggressive than others. Some even buy leads from aggregators. A few (like us) offer online insurance quotes 24/7 on their website. Most don’t share your personal information with anyone else.

It’s smart to shop around

Savvy consumers know to compare insurance prices. You can call several “one company stores”; give your information to an online aggregator; or choose a local independent agent that you trust. If you’re in Southern Maine, Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance might be the agent you trust. Find out. Call us at 207-799-5541, get insurance quotes online, or stop by our South Portland office. We’re independent and committed to you.

4 Insurance Secrets Top-Selling Realtors Don’t Share

 

Top real estate agents know secret hacks can make the difference between making a sale and losing one. Present a personal letter from the buyer to the seller with the offer. Quality staging and photography sell houses. An early conversation with sellers can help avoid cold feet later.

Knowing about home insurance can drive sales, too. That’s why the top-earning realtors learn these insurance secrets and use them to sell more homes.

“There’s a Lid for Every Pot”

Almost every home is insurable. There are different types of lenders, right? Same with insurance companies. No single insurer will cover every home. Some prefer to insure luxury homes. Others like mobile homes. Some don’t insure homes on the ocean. Others do. Your client who buys a “fixer-upper” may use the specialty market until their project’s done, but coverage IS available for almost any home you sell.

A Good Buyer Can Insure a Difficult Home

Knob & tube wiring. An old roof. Electrical fuses. An unfinished deck. These are a few of insurance companies’ unfavorite things. You’ve heard about that “blacklist”. Buyers can’t insure homes with these issues. There’s some truth in that. But insurance companies are more flexible than you think.

Insurers underwrite people AND properties. A solid buyer with a credible plan to quickly fix property issues can still find good coverage at a great price. Need 30 days to get the work done? Insurance companies may allow it if an insurance agent they trust represents the client.

Insurance is More than a Binder

A lot happens between contract and closing. It’s easy for realtors and buyers to see “proof of insurance” as something to check off the list. Find a good price. Get your binder. Move on.

Not so fast.

What happens AFTER the closing? Will the price go up? Will the company cancel the policy after inspection? Will there be enough insurance to rebuild after a fire? Does their insurance dovetail with their condo association master policy? Will they have the right coverage to repair storm damage?  Recommend the wrong agent, and your referrals can dry up.

Speed is important. But insurance is more than a binder.

Your Insurance Referral Partner Makes a Difference

Which insurance agent do you refer your buyers to? Do they:

  • Offer a choice from many insurance companies?
  • Respond to you, your buyer and the lenders?
  • Thoroughly review the property and recommend the right coverage?
  • Advocate for your buyer to the insurance companies?
  • Adapt to changes between contract and closing?
  • Promise to be there for your buyer AFTER the closing?

Looking for a referral partner who knows the insurance market? One who works for your buyer as hard as you do, and owns and manages their own local independent business? One where your buyers can get quotes on their own from 5 insurance companies in 10 minutes? Contact Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland. Since 1933, we’ve been independent and committed to you.

 

 

A New Easier Way to Get Maine Home, Condo, Renters or Auto Insurance Quotes

 

Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance has offered online auto and home insurance quotes to Maine people since 2014. We’re excited to invest in a new platform that’s faster and easier to use. Best of all, if you find a quote you like, we can bind your coverage faster than ever.

Can I Get Quotes from Many Insurance Companies at Once?

Yes! In only 10 minutes, you can get quotes from up to 5 A-rated insurers, including:

  • Concord Group
  • MMG Insurance
  • Patriot Insurance
  • Progressive Insurance
  • Travelers

get Maine insurance quotes

Is It Safe to Enter My Insurance Quote Information Online?

Yes, our secure site protects your personal information.

 

Will an Insurance Agent Call Me?

If you request an online quote from one of “the big guys”, they will call or email you repeatedly, pressuring you to buy. We hate that as much as you do. We will only call you if you ask us to.

We will send one follow up email, in case you have any questions about your quotes. If you’d like to see quotes from other insurers that can’t yet provide “real time” quotes, you can let us know. If one of the quotes interests you, tell us and we’ll reach out with more information. No pressure or obligation.

 

Can I Buy Maine Home, Renters or Auto Insurance Online?

There’s no need to come into the office – or even talk to us on the phone – unless you want to. You can sign, pay and get proof of insurance electronically. Of course, not everyone’s insurance needs are straight and narrow. You may want the confidential advice of an experienced agent sometime. That’s where we shine. Our knowledge of the local area, our clients and the insurance market is why many of our clients choose to do business with us. Their insurance agent reviews tell the story.

 

Can I Get My Insurance Documents Online?

Yes! We’ve invested in a state-of-the art, secure client center, protected by two-step verification. You can:

  • Review your policy
  • Get proof of auto or property insurance
  • Request to change a driver, vehicle or lender
  • Update your contact info
  • Upload a document or photo to your agent.

You can learn more about our client center here.

 

What If I Need to Talk to an Agent?

The Noyes Hall & Allen team takes pride in providing personalized service and advice. We’re accessible by email, text, phone or in person. We’re small enough to know you and big enough to serve you. Whether you have a claim, a coverage question, or need to choose another payment option, we’re here to help. No call centers. No chatbots. No phone menus.

 

Finally! Insurance for Maine Uber & Lyft Rideshare Drivers

Since Uber and Lyft launched in Portland 3 years ago, rideshare drivers have had a big insurance gap. Personal auto policies exclude coverage for “Periods 1, 2 and 3” of a driver’s availability. Rideshare companies cover Period 2 and 3, but not Period 1. When a driver turns on their Uber or Lyft app, they turn off their personal insurance coverage.

Progressive just introduced a gap-closer for Maine Uber and Lyft drivers: the Transportation Network Company (TNC) Endorsement.

How Does the TNC Endorsement Provide Auto Insurance for Maine Uber and Lyft Drivers?

  1. Period 1 (logged onto TNC app, no trip accepted). Progressive now covers drivers during this period if you’ve bought the TNC Endorsement.
  2. Period 2 (trip accepted, driver en route to pickup). Progressive’s TNC Endorsement covers your full policy liability limit, not the skimpy coverage provided by many TNC insurance programs.
  3. Period 4 (on a trip). Progressive’s TNC Endorsement covers the difference between your policy deductible and that provided by Uber or Lyft. The TNC policy remains primary. This helps reduce your out-of-pocket expense.

How Much Does Uber or Lyft Driver Insurance Cost in Maine?

The cost for Progresssive’s new TNC Endorsement varies. We’ve seen prices as low as $6.00 per month. Your rates will depend upon your driving record, insurance score, and whether or not you’ve maintained consistent insurance.

If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft in Maine, and you’re not certain you have insurance coverage for it, you probably don’t. Many drivers have been afraid to call their insurance company to ask about it, for fear that their insurance might be canceled. Our agency represents more than 10 auto insurers, none of which has offered a solution until now. Kudos to Progressive for living up to their name in this case.

If you live in Southern Maine and have questions about your auto insurance, call a Noyes Hall & Allen agent at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.