Andover Insurance Offers New Protection from Cyber Crime

Many of us are online more than ever. We can shop for everything from groceries to garden supplies. We can pay bills, communicate with doctors, connect with loved ones, and read news online.

This can all be really convenient. It can also expose your personal information to cyber criminals and other bad actors.

Up to now, insurance coverage against cyber crime frankly hasn’t been very good. It covered limited types of loss – mostly the kind that don’t occur often.

But Andover Companies recently introduced Cyber Protection coverage.

We like Andover’s Cyber Protection because it covers you against many common situations, including:

  • Cyber attack – someone attacks your computer, stealing information.
  • Data breach – your personal information is stolen or compromised from a vendor or service you use.
  • Online fraud – unauthorized use of accounts, identity theft, etc.
  • Cyber extortion – your computer is disabled by bad actors who promise to fix it – for a price.
  • Cyberbullying – harassment or attack via text, email or social media. 

Premium starts at $45 per year for $25,000 in protection. You can buy as much as $50,000 coverage for $55 per year. 

For years we’ve asked our insurance companies to introduce coverage like this. Andover Companies is one of the first one to make it broadly available to our clients. We recommend that our clients consider it.

Interested in learning more? Here is a link to our Blog Post about Cyber Insurance (5 minute read). 

If you’re a Noyes Hall & Allen client who would like to add cyber protection, or have any questions about your insurance, we’re happy to help with local, personalized service. Call us at 207-799-5541.

Individual Cyber Insurance – Protection Against Cybercrime

Individual Cyber Insurance protects against data breach, online fraud, cyber ransom and more. As our lives become more digital, we’re vulnerable. Identity theft, cyberbullying, phishing and ransom attacks are constant risks. Cyber insurance can help reduce your inconvenience and loss.

Individual cyber insurance protects against data breach, fraud, hacking, phishing, malware, ransomware and more.

What Does Individual Cyber Insurance Cover?

Cyber insurance for individuals is different than businesses cyber coverage. It pays to repair your online identity and reimburse for theft due to computer fraud. Coverage forms vary by insurance company. Some common examples of personal cyber liability coverage are:

Online Fraud and Identity Theft

Bad actors are everywhere on the internet. Spoofing. Phishing. Scamming. They’re looking for a quick buck or to capture your personal information or bank account info. A good cyber insurance policy reimburses you for fraudulent charges.

Ransomware or Cyber Extortion

Ransomware is malicious software that disables your computer or steals your data. The criminals then offer to fix the issue – for a price. Cyber insurance can pay for expert counsel to respond to the extortion.

Cyberbullying

Cyber crime isn’t always about money. Experts estimate that 1 in 6 teens have been bullied online or by text. Cyber Insurance can cover the cost of counseling, tutoring, and legal expenses.

Individual Cyber Insurance Against Data Breach

Every day, criminals hack companies and organizations and steal their clients’ personal information. Smart companies buy their own cyber insurance. That can help their customers. But personal cyber insurance can help, too. Cyber insurance can connect you with credit monitoring and identity restoration services. It can also pay for that professional help.

Identity Fraud Expense vs. Individual Cyber Insurance

Identity Fraud Expense coverage sounds good. But it’s much weaker than true Cyber Insurance for Individuals. Identity Fraud Expense reimburses you for costs to report and challenge identity theft. Examples include notarizing costs, loan re-application fees and some lost income for time spent meeting with credit agencies and lawyers. This is a fraction of the true damage of cyber crime.

Cyber Insurance also pays the costs of those extra services to help you fix things. But even more, it also repays money you lost to fraud or illegal activity. That’s much more valuable and meaningful insurance coverage.

Cyber Security Vendors (e.g. Lifelock) vs. Individual Cyber Insurance

Cyber security vendors provide a valuable service. They can help monitor your data and credit. They can also help with password protection and other loss prevention activities. In fact, insurance companies often partner with vendors to offer these services when you buy individual cyber insurance. But in addition, cyber insurance reimburses you after a covered cyber event. Some third party vendors don’t do that.

Where to Get Individual Cyber Insurance

Personal cyber insurance is usually bundled with homeowners or condo insurance instead of on its own. Few companies offer it in Maine as of Spring 2022. High-value home insurers like AIG and Chubb do.

Hanover Insurance offers cyber insurance to middle-to-upper income households as part of their bundle. Andover Companies do, too. We expect other Maine insurers will follow suit.

Get a Quote for Personal Cyber Insurance

Do you live in Maine? Interested in a quote for individual cyber insurance? Although options are limited now, the market is changing quickly.

Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. As an independent agency, we’re not limited to one insurance company. That means we can compare and offer options that are available. We’re independent and committed to you.

Maine Business Vehicle Insurance: Can GPS Reduce Costs?

If you operate a Maine business, vehicle insurance can be major expense. Business fleets are necessary tools for many businesses. They also create costs, liability and control issues. GPS fleet monitoring solutions are more widespread and less expensive than ever. Some Maine businesses are using them to track their fleet and reduce Maine business vehicle insurance costs at the same time. 

GPS fleet monitoring technology can help reduce Maine business vehicle insurance costs.

Control Personal Use to Reduce Maine Business Vehicle Insurance Costs

Many Maine businesses prohibit personal use of company cars and trucks. This reduces fuel and maintenance expense, and reduces the company’s liability exposure. GPS reporting and tracking discourages employees from using company vehicles for personal purposes.

Reducing Business Vehicle Theft with GPS

GPS Tracking systems can deter theft. They also increase the odds of recovering a stolen vehicle. It can take police a long time to recover a vehicle if it has no anti-theft system. Meanwhile, your business has to rent or buy a replacement.

Some stolen vehicles are never recovered. However, with GPS tracking, you can lead police to the exact location. This reduces recovery times and minimizes cost for everyone.

Promoting Safe Driving Reduces Maine Business Vehicle Insurance

Safe driving saves fuel and reduces insurance costs. Employees who know that their driving is being monitored operate with extra caution.

Nowadays, GPS devices can record incidents like heavy braking, rapid acceleration and speeding. Management can run reports to check driving. The business can use this data for training, driver screening or accident reconstruction.

Improving Job Accounting and Customer Service

GPS technology can even help Maine service businesses simplify accounting and improve customer service. For instance, GPS reports can track how long a service vehicle is parked at a job. Likewise, real-time reporting can verify that your technician arrived at the promised time and remained at the job.

In addition, GPS can improve customer service. For instance, GPS directions can help drivers find the fastest route to the job. Also, real-time traffic monitoring can suggest time-saving alternate routes. Moreover, with GPS monitoring, your business can text a customer about a delayed driver and provide a new ETA. 

Maine Business Vehicle Insurance Discounts for GPS Users

Insurance companies give preferred pricing to businesses that control their exposures well. At the same time, fleet GPS implementation helps insurance companies, too. Safer driving means fewer accidents. Fewer non-business miles reduces road exposure. GPS tracking can help recover a stolen business vehicle. 

In the future, insurance companies may use GPS data to customize rates for each business customer. Meanwhile, they’re happy to encourage their customers to use GPS to avoid or reduce losses. For instance, they may provide business vehicle insurance discounts.

Has Your Business Invested in Fleet GPS Monitoring? 

Your Maine business has invested in GPS vehicle fleet monitoring. Are you maximize your return on investment? Call Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland.

We are a locally owned independent agency. That means we represent many of Maine’s preferred business auto insurance companies. Our agents can help you check the insurance market. In other words, they can help make sure you get the best value for your business insurance. At Noyes Hall & Allen, we’re independent and committed to you.  

Increasing Construction Costs – Do I Have Enough Home Insurance?

Increasing construction costs may mean you don’t have enough insurance. Building costs are very high now. The 2020 pandemic caused material supply shortages. Meanwhile, many people wanted to improve the homes where they were spending so much time. The increased demand and supply shortages caused increased building material costs.

Increasing Construction Costs in Maine

Construction costs have two components: labor and materials. Both factors have increased during COVID. Contractors have been very busy. That drove up labor costs. Material shortages and supply chain interruptions pushed material costs higher, too. There’s no doubt that it would cost more to rebuild your home if a disaster struck this year.

My Home’s Worth More than It’s Insured For

Your insurance amount is almost never your home’s market value. Real estate values include acreage, desirability of location, landscaping, hardscape and excavation. These don’t affect the cost to rebuild your home. Your insurance amount should cover reconstruction costs, and no more.

How Do Insurance Companies Set the Value of My Home?

Insurers and agents use software to estimate the cost to rebuild your home. The largest vendor of this software is MSB, now owned by CoreLogic. Using MSB, agents input your home’s dimensions and features to calculate the rebuilding cost. This software isn’t perfect. Neither are agents. The program uses historical building data. In a fast-changing market, past data can differ from actual current costs. If an agent enters incorrect information, the result can be wrong, too.

Almost every homeowners policy has a built-in inflation guard factor. Many insurers change these every year in response to current cost changes. Others increase by a flat percentage each year – often 4%.

These adjustments help cushion against inflation but they aren’t perfect. It’s a good idea to ask your agent to do a fresh MSB estimate every few years.

How Can My Insurance Adjust to Increasing Construction Costs?

Building costs rise and fall with supply and demand. They can spike after a disaster and drop when contractors are looking for work. It would be a pain to calibrate your insurance coverage every time the market changes. Insurance companies know this. That’s why they build extra coverage into many policies.

Look for something called “specified additional amount of insurance.” A common additional amount is 25%. That means that your policy has up to 25% more building coverage than the limit shown on the front page. This insulates you from cost spikes and estimating errors that could leave you without enough insurance to rebuild.

Concerned About Your Insurance?

If you live in Southern Maine, contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland. We offer a choice of several of Maine’s top insurance companies. We can help you find the proper coverage for your home and your budget.

Looking for new home insurance, but not ready to talk to a human yet? Get up to 5 Maine insurance quotes online here.

We’re independent and committed to you.

Reduced Driving and Insurance Rates

Reduced driving and insurance rates have been hot topics during COVID

During the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced driving and insurance costs have been a hot topic. Many Mainers are driving less. Why haven’t their car insurance rates dropped? It’s more complicated than you might think. But there are ways to keep your car insurance costs in check.

Why Maine Insurance Rates Haven’t Dropped

Insurance is Slow and Steady

We count on insurance companies to be dependable and stable. We need to know they’ll be able to pay claims in the future. So it’s no surprise that insurance companies aren’t built to react to fast trends. Especially those that may not last.

We want stable insurance prices. The whole purpose of insurance is to avoid a large loss by paying a small cost (premium). Some years, disasters cause insurance companies lose a lot of money. Other times, claims are low. Insurers bank our premiums in those times to pay for the bad ones.

Insurers Have No Experience with COVID

In insurance, data rules. Insurance companies charge premiums based on expected claims. They hire smart math nerds who use decades of data to find the proper rates. Consumers want the lowest possible price. Regulators and stakeholders want rates high enough to make a profit pay future claims.

Historical data didn’t help much during COVID. Americans drove less as people telecommuted and stayed close to home. Nothing was normal.

But overall mileage doesn’t tell the whole story. Essential workers continued to commute as usual (thank you, essential workers!). Law enforcement and highway construction crews noticed increased speeds due to less traffic. That led to more serious crashes and injuries.

COVID Auto Insurance Rebates in Maine

Remember how quiet the roads were in the early days of the pandemic? It was a very uncertain time for the economy. Many people were out of work, and small businesses feared that they’d have to close.

In response, most American auto insurance companies refunded some premium to policyholders in 2020. This was an unprecedented response by insurance companies. By law, rebating of premiums is illegal. But state insurance departments approved exceptions.

But it wasn’t easy. Insurance companies’ billing systems weren’t programmed to rebate money to customers. It was difficult for many of them to calculate and distribute the refunds.

Although the insurance industry returned $10 billion to US consumers, individual refunds were quite small. The public hardly noticed them. Between the underwhelming public response and the cost of the workarounds, insurers didn’t think the rebates were that valuable. We don’t expect rebates again anytime soon.

Reduce Your Auto Insurance Costs When Driving Less

OK, so car insurance companies aren’t slashing rates in response to COVID. And they’re probably not going to refund premium this year. You still have control over your own policy. Here are some adjustments you can make.

Be Sure You’re Properly Rated

Does your policy reflect your actual driving? If you’re working from home, retired or unemployed, maybe not. Check the drivers listed on your policy. Are any of them no longer at home? Do they now have their own insurance?

Check Your Collision Coverage

Do you have an older car that isn’t worth much? Is it rarely driven? Do you have a vehicle that’s completely off the road? Consider removing collision coverage, at least during COVID. Just remember to add it back if the situation changes.

Prove You’re Driving Less

Even “slow and steady” insurance is changing with the times. Several now offer “usage based insurance”. Commonly advertised brands include Progressive Snapshot, Travelers Intellidrive and Drivewise from Allstate.

With usage-based insurance, you allow the insurance company to customize your rate in exchange for an up-front discount. You’ll need a smartphone and the insurance company’s app. Your final price varies depending on how, how much and when you drive. It can be lower or higher than the initial discount.

Safeco Insurance offers a twist: a “low mileage discount” that doesn’t use a real-time monitor. You simply verify your previous year’s mileage to continue to earn their discount. Safeco also has a usage-based mobile app option.

Want to know more about these options? Ask a Noyes Hall & Allen agent.

Shop Your Auto Insurance

If those cost-saving measures don’t work for you, you can always compare rates with other insurance companies. Live in Greater Portland Maine? You can get up to 5 Maine auto insurance quotes in 10 minutes on our website. Or call a Noyes Hall & Allen agent in South Portland for quotes at 207-799-5541.

We offer the choice of more than a dozen insurers, so we can search the market for the best value. We’re independent and committed to you.

Relocating to Portland Maine? We Can Help

During the COVID pandemic, many people are relocating to the Portland Maine area. 2020 has been a banner year for people moving here.

Looking for a safer, more affordable place to live, work and play? A desirable place to raise a family? A slower pace? Portland offers all of this. So do nearby suburbs like South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Falmouth, Cumberland and Westbrook.

Portland Maine is Safe

Through November 2020, Maine successfully managed the public health aspect of the COVID pandemic. Cumberland County had about 1/3 the infection rate of the rest of the country: 11,500 cases per million. Rural Maine had even lower rates.    

Maine is a safe place to live even after COVID time. Maine’s crime rates are among the lowest in the nation. Our roads are safer, too: traffic deaths are about 10% below national average.

Maine: Room to Spread Out

The Portland Maine MSA is home to about 250,000. That’s 390 people per square mile. Even Portland, the state’s largest city, only has about 3,000 people per square mile. Portland is the ideal size for a small city: about 70,000 people.

Like the outdoors? Sailing, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, cycling and beaches are all a short distance from home.

Prefer to be entertained? Portland has choices. Live music venues, theatres, professional sports teams, museums and more.

Portland Maine’s Foodie Culture

Portland has a national reputation for restaurants, breweries, distilleries and food. The proximity of local farms and seafood adds to its farm-to-table culture. Portland was Bon Appetit’s Restaurant City of the Year in 2018.

COVID restrictions limit indoor restaurant dining in 2020. But it’s too much a part of Portland’s identity to disappear. The restaurant scene will be vibrant again.

We Can Help You Settle Here

Whether you’re buying a house or a condo or renting an apartment, our agents can help with insurance. We’ll send proof of renters or hazard insurance to your landlord or lender. We can provide you with the insurance card which you need to register your vehicles in Maine.

First time homebuyer? We make the insurance part easy. A 10-minute phone call is all it takes to start. Or, you can compare Maine insurance quotes online at our website. When you’re ready for help, Noyes Hall & Allen agents are known for responsiveness and knowledge. We’ve earned great customer reviews.

Call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. We’re independent and committed to you.

Adding Outside Dining to Your Portland Maine Restaurant

Portland and South Portland Maine recently passed ordinances expanding outdoor seating options for local restaurants. These respond to indications that coronavirus is less likely to spread outdoors. Soon, some local restaurants will be able to serve patrons :

  • on sidewalks
  • in parking lots or closed streets
  • in on-street parklets.

Transitioning a Restaurant to Outdoor Dining

Outdoor dining isn’t for every restaurant. Depending on your cuisine, location, formality and clientele, you may choose not to serve al fresco. If you do, here are some things to consider.

  1. Check city rules and resources. Portland and South Portland city web sites have the ordinances and applications for permits and street closures.
  2. Up your cleaning game. During the COVID threat, you’re already doing extra cleaning and disinfecting. Outside adds new cleaning challenges: pollen, dust, litter and even insects.
  3. Keep it light – and smooth. Make sure there’s enough light for employees and customers to see well. Paint or tape the edge of irregular surface levels. Avoid loose cords and other trip hazards.
  4. Watch the skies. That includes the sun. Plan your seating to avoid excessive sun exposure during meal service, if possible. Summer thunderstorms can develop fast. Have a plan to quickly evacuate your dining area and secure umbrellas and other furniture. That will help avoid injury and damage.
  5. Beware of vehicles. Create barriers between diners and vehicles – including bikes and scooters that might be on sidewalks.
  6. Watch outdoor flames. Keep propane heaters, cooking equipment and other heat sources away from flammables like fabrics and awnings.
  7. Check your insurance. Many liquor liability policies only cover you “on premises.” Does that extend to a parking lot or street? The same with property insurance for your outdoor seating and fixtures. Ask your agent about your insurance coverage.

Do you own a Portland Maine area restaurant, cafe, food truck, brewery or other food service business? Contact a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. We’re local business owners, just like you. We offer a choice of Maine’s top business insurance companies. We’re independent and committed to you.

Doing Insurance Business Safely and Remotely

Right now, staying apart is staying safe. That includes when you buy insurance, file a claim, and repair vehicles or property.

Insurance is more necessary than ever. People value stability in uncertain times. Insurance delivers. You can do your insurance business in a low-contact, safe manner. You don’t have to sacrifice personal advice and service. Here’s how.

GET NO-TOUCH INSURANCE QUOTES

  • Get insurance quotes online. Most insurance agencies and companies offer online auto and home insurance quotes. Enter information about your vehicles and property and get quotes back. A good independent insurance agency can deliver several quotes at once. That helps you compare.
  • Get advice, not just quotes. It’s hard to know if you’re asking for the proper coverage online, or to compare the quotes you receive. That’s why most people prefer to consult an agent before they actually buy a policy. A tech-savvy insurance agent should be available by text, video or real-time chat as well as phone and email.

BUY INSURANCE REMOTELY

  • Read and sign documents electronically with e-mail, text and e-signature. These tools allow you to read and sign applications from anywhere. All you need is a computer or mobile device.
  • Use contactless payment. Most insurers accept credit cards or electronic checks using your bank account info. No need to leave home and go to the insurance office.

AVOID INSURANCE PEOPLE COMING TO YOUR HOME

Many insurers allow customers to complete a self-inspection. That usually involves answering questions about your home’s systems and emailing pictures.

In case of a claim, avoid an insurance company appraiser’s visit. Email or upload photos of your damage to the insurance adjuster.

CONTACT-FREE INSURANCE SERVICE and PAYMENTS

  • Use mobile apps. Most insurers have them. Download and use them to request changes, check on billing, make payments and file claims.
  • Don’t want to use an app? You can do many of the same things over the phone, email, video or text chat with your agent.

GET VIRTUAL INSURANCE COVERAGE REVIEWS

Modern tools allow you to meet virtually with your Insurance agent. They can even share documents with you by video. You can get personal service and answers to your questions quickly and safely, without leaving home.

DOWNLOAD INSURANCE DOCUMENTS

You don’t have to go into the insurance office to get policy documents. Here are some other ways:

  • Your insurance company’s app. Get documents on your mobile device.
  • Register for an insurance company account. Set one up and download the documents to your computer.
  • Use your agency account. Tech-forward insurance agencies offer online access. These allow you to view your policy information and download insurance documents.
  • Ask your agent to email or text your document to you.

FILE CLAIMS FROM THE SCENE

  1. Report online. Use your insurer’s mobile app to start a claim. Or register for a free account with your insurance company, and file online.
  2. Call the insurance company directly to report your claim.
  3. Call your agent who can explain your coverage, answer questions and help you file a claim.

DON’T SACRIFICE PERSONAL SERVICE

One advantage of having a local agent is that we know you and live where you do. That’s more important than ever in this era of physical separation.

Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance is a forward-thinking agency. We’ve invested in tools and ideas to provide personal advice to you easily and safely. Do you prefer text, video, phone, or a combination of all? Any way, you can get a local agent’s trusted insurance advice without venturing to our office.

Are you looking for a Maine insurance agent who can serve you safely in uncertain times? Call a Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance agent in South Portland at 207-799-5541. Or visit noyeshallallen.com.

Stay safe!

Does Insurance Cover Loss of Business from Coronavirus?

UPDATED 4/2/2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease), has everyone’s attention. It’s changed behavior around the world, and now it’s here. Business owners feel it. Emergency declarations have forced many to close for the duration.

For those businesses remaining open, routines and procedures are completely disrupted. No more non-essential shopping, eating at restaurants or going to shows. No going out for drinks or coffee. Instead, people are stockpiling supplies, staying home, washing, disinfecting and keeping their distance.

COVID-19 is causing turmoil for businesses large and small. Inventory control and staffing are all messed up. Marketing and sales are on hold as clients and prospects are otherwise occupied.

What if Your Business Suffers due to Coronavirus?

Many businesses feel threatened.

  • What if fear causes my customers to stay home?
  • What if I can’t get inventory or supplies?
  • How can I keep my employees safe?
  • What if my employees get sick and can’t work?
  • What if I have to disinfect or close my workplace?
  • The government has restricted movement in my area.
  • What if economic fear or market changes cause me to lose sales?

Do My Policies Cover Business Interruption?

Unfortunately, business insurance is very unlikely to cover you against lost business due to Coronavirus. Even policies that provide “”business interruption” coverage exclude damage caused by communicable diseases. They also require physical damage to your premises by a covered peril, like fire or water.

If Not, Why Not?

You probably don’t care about the reason behind the exclusion, but there is one. Put simply, diseases are too uncertain for insurers to accurately price insurance to cover them.

Insurance companies have a lot of experience with fires, hurricanes, and other disasters. They know how to price insurance for that, and they know that these perils are local or regional in scope. They can collect enough premium from everyone to pay for the few who suffer a loss.

Viruses are extremely rare – or even unknown – until they’re widespread. And it’s hard to quantify a resulting drop in business. Profits and sales are subject to changing factors: weather, competition, consumer preferences. It’s very hard to put a dollar value on lost sales directly caused by a public health threat.

Should I File a Business Interruption Claim Anyway?

Although the chances of coverage are very small, each business situation is unique . Coronavirus is new for everyone. Insurers are trying to deal with it just like everyone else. Coverage interpretations and response may evolve.

No one wants to file a claim, only to have it denied. But, you may choose to anyway. Here are two reasons why it might be a good idea to file a claim with your insurer.

  1. By contract, insurance companies must investigate each claim to determine if coverage applies. If they find that coverage does not apply, they must show the wording in your insurance policy that precludes it.
  2. The government could create a relief program in the future that might apply to your loss of income. Government could also force insurers to create coverage, in spite of policy wording. Such government actions would probably require you to prove your loss. You might also have to show that your insurance policy provided no coverage for the incident.

Resources for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Congress passed the CARES Act in March, 2020 to help people and businesses weather the economic effect of Coronavirus. This Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act provides a good recap of the bill. It tells you how to apply for benefits, which are widespread. We encourage our affected clients to apply early if they’re affected.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million. The goal is to help small businesses overcome a temporary loss of revenue.  These are loans, not grants. They must be repaid.

The Maine CDC Coronavirus information page is a good resource for Maine businesses and citizens. It contains factual and timely information about the disease and its effect on our state.

We’re Here to Help our Neighbors

We are a local business. We live and work in Greater Portland. While insurance may not be able to help our clients directly, we still want to be accessible. We want to help where and how we can.

While our office is closed to the public, we’re available by phone, email or our website. Our insurance company partners also continue serving customers while keeping their employees safe.

Stay Safe

Public health scares and economic uncertainty create anxiety. Most business owners feel responsible for the safety of their employees and customers, as well as their loved ones.

We hope that all or our clients, friends and business partners remain safe and calm during these trying times. We’re here to answer your insurance questions.

In this anxious season, check on family and friends. Be kind to each other. Together, we can make it through.

How to Reduce Car Insurance Costs for Maine Teen Drivers

Car insurance is expensive for teenagers in Maine and everywhere else. Parents worry about their kids’ driving. So do insurance companies. For good reason.

Statistics show that new drivers are the most likely to have an accident. Experience matters. Newly licensed teenagers often need more driving time to learn to anticipate and avoid hazards. Even after they gain experience, teens judge risk differently than adults.

Will my teenager be a good driver?

Some drivers are better than others. It’s hard to predict. Even responsible teens and honor roll students can be terrible drivers. We all know that being tentative on the road can be almost as dangerous as aggressive driving.

We know these factors increase the likelihood of crashes for all drivers:

  • distracted or tired driving; 
  • alcohol or drug use; 
  • late night driving; 
  • traveling in unfamiliar areas; 
  • quick stops and starts. 

How much will it cost to insure my teen driver?

Modern auto insurance pricing is sophisticated and secretive. You and your neighbor may be the same age. You may drive identical vehicles. Have similar commutes and accident records. You could still pay very different prices for car insurance. How much insurance you buy obviously affects the price you pay.

So do;

  • credit scores;
  • how long you’ve been a customer of that insurance company;
  • how long you’ve lived in your home;
  • whether you bundle your home and auto insurance.

Rate complexity makes it almost impossible to predict exactly how much your new driver will add to your insurance costs. Years ago, agents could easily do “what if” quotes. No longer. Today, they need detailed information about each driver and vehicle. Your agent may be able to estimate the cost close to the time you’re adding a new driver.

How can I tell if my teenager is driving safely?

A generation ago, parents relied on neighbors and friends to report if their teen drove recklessly around town. Now, mobile apps can track where, when and how your teen drives.

Your teen probably won’t be pleased to know that you monitor them. But driving data can also bring peace of mind to teens and parents. Because they track location, mobile apps can request roadside assistance or direct tow trucks or first responders.

Many telematics apps feature a scorecard so teens can compare their driving to their peers and improve. Some parents use these scorecards to coach their teens.

Can I assign drivers to certain vehicles on my car insurance?

Some insurance companies consider your teen to be a principal operator if you have a vehicle for every driver. If you have more drivers than cars, many insurers allow you to name one driver as an occasional operator. Principal drivers cost more than occasional ones. Makes sense. 

Some insurance companies let you assign drivers to vehicles. Others use a “blended rate” method. In a blended rate scenario, you can’t assign your 2018 Mercedes to you and your 2000 Honda to your child.

Whether your insurance company uses blended rates or not, more vehicles mean higher premiums.

Recently, a top Maine insurer introduced a new way for parents to save money on teenage car insurance. They let you designate vehicles that your child never drives. You pay a lower rate to insure those vehicles. But, if your child does drive one, you’ll pay a big deductible in case of a crash.

How can I reduce the cost of insuring my teenage driver?

Check with your agent. Each insurance company files their own rates with the Maine Bureau of Insurance. Some insurers charge more than others for young drivers. Some use blended rates, others assign vehicles. 

Discounts vary by insurer, too. Maine auto insurance companies commonly offer discounts for:

  • Honor roll or dean’s list students
  • Driver training classes
  • Students living away at school without a vehicle.
  • Monitoring via mobile app
  • Specialized online driving courses for teen drivers

Get Auto Insurance Quotes for Your Teenage Driver in Maine

Noyes Hall & Allen Insurance in South Portland offers a choice of many insurance companies. Get several quotes with one phone call to 207-799-5541. Or request a Maine auto insurance quote online. We can help you find the best value and fit for your family. We’re independent and committed to you.