jlang No Comments

SBA Unveils PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

The instructions for the loan forgiveness portion of the Payroll Protection Loans have been released. This document (PDF) provides you with some guidance if you have been able to take advantage of the loan. Your primary resource will be the bank with which you secured your financing. We are providing this as a reference tool only. Click for a PDF.

jlang No Comments

Insurance for Aquaculture Operations

Insurance is just one tool used to manage risk for a business. This basic guide is designed to help make you aware of the various exposures you may have and the types of insurance protection available. Identifying risk and determining methods and techniques to address that risk is the key to our relationships with our clients.

Aquaculture businesses offer a unique combination of activities and exposures which are both land and water based – and results in a unique set of risks. You should always feel free to ask questions of your insurance agent.

THERE ARE POLICIES TO PROTECT

Liability arising out of your operations or the products you sell: Commercial general liability insurance is a standard insurance policy issued to businesses to protect them against 3rd party liability claims for bodily injury and property damage arising out of premises they own, operations they conduct and products they sell.

Your property: Insurance can cover physical assets which can be classified as real property – this includes buildings and structures built on the land and business personal property (contents), which includes furnishings, fixtures and equipment and inventory in/on or adjacent to those structures.

Your equipment: Coverage known as inland marine insurance is property insurance designed to cover the things which can be moved around (mobile equipment, gear, etc.).

Shipment of your property: Transportation insurance is a policy offering coverage on the insured’s property while it is in overland transit from one location to another on any necessary mode of transport, including transport by land, air and water. Coverage applies when insurance is desired on property owned by you, whether the property is shipped in your vehicles or in public conveyances. Coverage can include spoilage arising from overturn or failure of refrigerating equipment

Shipment of your product overseas: Ocean cargo insurance is a type of insurance covering goods being shipped overseas (air or ocean), with coverage provided from the point of origin (your place) to final destination.

Piers/docks/wharves insurance: This provides property insurance for your (owned or leased by you) piers, wharves and docks, floats, platforms, gangplanks, pilings, wiring, pipes, (water lines, gas lines, electrical power, lighting fixtures and equipment permanently affixed).

Your heating-cooling-refrigerating-circulating equipment: Equipment breakdown insurance provides coverage for loss due to mechanical or electrical breakdown of equipment, Coverage applies to the cost to repair or replace the equipment and any other property damaged by equipment breakdown. (Spoilage of your product.)

Your money/your assets: Commercial crime insurance protects a business from losses arising out of business-related crime. Protection through the policy can cover cash, assets, merchandise or other property loss when someone perpetrates fraud, embezzlement, forgery, misrepresentation, robbery, theft or any other type of business‐related crime on the company.

Any and all online activities: Cyber insurance is designed to cover consumers of technology services or products. More specifically, these policies are intended to cover a variety of both liability and property losses which may result when a business engages in various electronic activities, such as e-commerce, collecting confidential data (customers & employees) within an internal electronic network and the myriad of banking activities. An increasing exposure is created by connection to the grid for utility services and the operation of manufacturing equipment with Internet or cloud-based systems.

Damage to your vessel(s) including barges and floating work platforms: Commercial hull insurance provides coverage for physical loss or damage to a vessel’s hull and machinery (for those listed on your policy). Trailers can be included on a hull policy as can coverage for simple pollution cleanup.

Liability arising out of your ownership and operation of vessel(s): Protection & Indemnity provides coverage for a vessel owner’s or operator’s liabilities arising out of the operation of vessels listed on your policy such as damage to third party property, third party bodily injury or injury/death to a crew member.

Clean up and expenses arising out of a pollution event: This is a type of coverage created specifically to manage the costs associated with pollution clean-up (from a vessel) as defined in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and or state and local regulations.

Vehicles and trailers you own or lease: A commercial auto policy includes auto liability (injury or property damage to a 3rd party) and auto physical damage coverages (comprehensive & collision) as well as medical payments for passengers within your vehicle (excluding employees).

Injury to your employees: Coverage for injury to an employee may be provided by either your state act workers compensation or the Jones Act. Understanding which applies to your employees is essential to managing this risk.

Employment practices liability: This type of liability insurance covers wrongful acts arising from the employment process. The most frequent types of claims covered under such policies include: wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

You may want or need a number of insurance policies (including those listed above or others), depending on your operations, activities and your appetite for risk.

Your insurance policies may all come from the same company or they may come from several different companies. As an independent insurance agent, we can help you identify risk, formulate solutions to address those risks and develop insurance coverage appropriate and specific to your business.

Information provided by:
Sally Carlisle
94 High St.
Belfast, ME 04915
800-439-4311

jlang No Comments

Taking Care: Elder Financial Exploitation

By Sarah Ruef-Lindquist

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, JD, CTFA

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, JD, CTFA

The cases of financial abuse targeting the elderly are increasing. A February 2019 article on AARP’s website cited a four-fold increase in suspicious financial activity involving elders between the years 2013 and 2017 as reported by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

We read almost daily about the topic of elder financial abuse. Often perpetrated by family members or caregivers, and even less often reported, the elderly  are particularly vulnerable to this kind of crime. In addition to betraying trust and depriving an elder person of rightful agency over their property, elder financial abuse often thwarts the intent of the victim as to the ultimate beneficiary of their property, be they family, a loved one or a charitable cause. It is financially and emotionally devastating, and may contribute to higher mortality rates. [i]

This kind of abuse is perpetrated at all socio-economic levels. Cases involving ultra-wealthy individuals tend to get the most media attention. When a charity had understood there was it be a gift from a donor following their death, it can put a charity in the difficult position of having to decide whether to challenge an estate plan, incur legal fees and unwanted publicity in asserting their rights as beneficiaries of that estate.

In the summer of 2019, a superior court jury unanimously awarded the Portland Museum of Art more than $4M, including punitive damages, in a case that highlighted the undue influence that caregivers can impose on their patients, threatening the charitable intent of those patients.

That decision was reaffirmed by the state’s highest court in May of 2020.

The museum brought suit after a donor, Eleanor Potter, died after changing her will to leave substantially all of her estate to her caregiver, Annmarie Germain. Potter had within the prior year created an estate plan through a different lawyer, leaving the bulk of her estate to the Museum.

The Museum was put in the unenviable position of having to challenge the will and assert that the caregiver had abused her position and unduly influenced Potter to dramatically change her estate plans to give most of her wealth to Germain. The unanimous jury verdict finding that Germain had coerced Potter into changing her will was upheld on appeal.

The pandemic may have an acute isolating effect on those who by virtue of their age or infirmity are already vulnerable, and maintaining contact with those who would help to create a buffer between them and the unscrupulous is challenging in the era of self-isolation and quarantine. We have the opportunity to help those neighbors, friends and family members by maintain regular contact with them and paying close attention to any indicators of abuse, such as unusual expenditures or transfers of money, sudden changes in financial or estate plans, or neglect of self-care. If you suspect that someone is the victim of elder abuse in Maine, contact Adult Protective Services, www.maine.gov/dhhs/oads/aps-guardianship/how-to-reporthtml.

 

 

 

[i]Burnett J, Jackson SL, Sinha A, Aschenbrenner AR, Xia R, Murphy KP & Diamond PM. Differential Mortality across Five Types of Substantiated Elder Abuse. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 2016; 28:2, 59-75

jlang No Comments

Post-coronavirus Workplace Preparedness Checklist

By taking workplace preparedness steps such as updating office layouts, encouraging new behaviors and evaluating existing policies, employers can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of employees. To get started, employers can review topics on this checklist. Click for PDF.

jlang No Comments

In the Spirit of Helping Others

Our clients include many of the small businesses and non-profit organizations we count on in our communities. News and social media include stories daily of Mainers helping Mainers and raising money to help others  We thought we would highlight some those efforts.

Opportunity Knox: Hosted online by the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, this is a centralized way to send funds to Knox County area businesses and non-profit organizations. You decide how much you want to give in support, and the website allows you to divide that amount among the businesses and organizations listed. Many, though not all, of those listed are our clients. Participation is not automatic – businesses and non-profits have to ask to be listed. More information: opportunityknox.me

In Belfast, the City of Belfast has set up the Belfast Keep the Faith Fund, which is providing grocery vouchers to residents and grants to small businesses. Individuals can call 338-3370 x131 for more information. Donations can be made by check to the City of Belfast with subject line: Belfast KTF Fund and mailed to: City of Belfast, Attn: Belfast Keep the Faith Fund. 131 Church Street, Belfast, ME 04915. A donation to the Belfast Keep the Faith Fund is tax deductible. More information: cityofbelfast.org/groceryvoucher and cityofbelfast.org/smallbusinessgrant.

On MDI, the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce is highlighting those businesses staying open on their website here: visitbarharbor.com/open. To the best of our knowledge there’s no formal effort launched in Southwest Harbor yet, but we are monitoring the situation and should that change we’ll update this information asap.

Statewide, a host of organizations have banded together to launch Pay It Forward Maine which works in a similar fashion to the Pen Bay Chamber’s Opportunity Knox. You can find full details here: payitforwardmaine.com

Also, there is the statewide Maine Helps program, designed to connect Mainers looking to volunteer time, treasure or talent so that their impact is maximized and everyone stays safe in the process. Maine Helps connects you with ways to immediately help support nonprofits, businesses, and your community in the fight against COVID-19. More information can be found at this link.maine.gov/covid19/maine-helps

Update 4/27/2020:
The UMaine Cooperative Extension is providing an updated  list of agricultural (cheese, eggs, produce, etc.) and seafood pickup locations where consumers can purchase food from the people who produce or grow it. Many local fishermen and producers are organizing more informal efforts. Additional information about these can be found on social media outlets like Facebook. Here is a link to the Cooperative Extension web page: https://extension.umaine.edu/agriculture/farm-product-and-pickup-directory/

Any support for these efforts– however small it seems – can make a difference for our communities.

jlang No Comments

Sally Carlisle Completes 12-Week Class on “Aquaculture in Shared Waters”

Sally Carlisle, Allen Insurance and Financial

Sally Carlisle

Sally Carlisle of Allen Insurance and Financial has completed the 12-week class “Aquaculture in Shared Waters,” offered earlier this year by Coastal Enterprises.

Carlisle, a member of the business insurance team and based in the company’s Belfast office. The class was offered at locations in Brunswick and Belfast, with the final four classes offered via video conference.

Topics included site selection; shellfish biology; marketing, sales and logistics; equipment and husbandry and public health and biosecurity.  Presenters included representatives of the Maine department of Marine resources, the Maine Aquaculture Association, the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, Coastal Enterprises, UMaine’s Sea Grant program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Continuing education is an important part of all aspects of the insurance industry,” said Carlisle. “This class offered a unique opportunity to learn about what is and will continue to be one of our state’s burgeoning industries.”

jlang No Comments

Health Benefits – Information Update – 4/6/2020

By Sherree L. Craig, CEBS

Sherree L. Craig, CEBS

Sherree L. Craig, CEBS

Bravo to the businesses continuing uninterrupted, but changed, right now.

As you may be struggling to maintain your footing in business, your employees need some assurances and an understanding of what might happen with their oh-so-important-now health benefits in the event of a reduction in their work hours, a temporary layoff, a furlough, or if a termination of employment becomes necessary.

• Maine Insurance Code Update. By order of Governor Mills, an employer may continue to insure employees during an interruption to their employment. If an employer chooses this option, this offer must be made to “all affected employees on a non-discriminatory basis.”

• COBRA/mini-COBRA. Federal law requires companies with 20 or more employees to offer continuous group health plan coverage to qualified beneficiaries for a certain period of time, depending on the qualifying event. In Maine, employees working for a company with fewer than 20 employees also have a continuation of coverage opportunity in the event of a temporary layoff. This mini-COBRA protection can extend for up to 12 months and can be paid by the employee or company. The insurance company should be notified of this status change, but the employee’s coverage will be maintained on your group bill. It is important to note that if your company is officially out of business, these options are no longer available.

• Healthcare.gov Special Enrollment Opportunity. Employees should be encouraged to review this chance to enroll on the Federal Healthcare Exchange in a timely manner. The loss of group health insurance is considered a qualifying event (unless for non-payment of premiums). This is the time to enroll and apply for subsidies. It must be done at the termination of the group health coverage or at the end of a COBRA election period. They cannot elect COBRA for a few months and then try to switch to the Exchange.

• MaineCare. Due to the expansion of MaineCare eligibility, many of your employees may find themselves eligible for this program. They may apply for coverage or check eligibility at www.maine.gov/mymaineconnection.

If you have questions about this topic, or other federal requirements for continuation of coverage during a medical leave, I encourage you to reach out to your insurance benefits professional.

Wishing you all the best for your health and success.

jlang No Comments

Anna Moorman Recognized for 2019 Sales

Anna Moorman

Anna Moorman

Anna Moorman of Allen Insurance and Financial has been recognized for Medicare supplement sales in 2019 by Anthem, one of the largest Medicare supplement carriers in the state of Maine.

Moorman is one of two agents at Allen Insurance and Financial who specialize in the complex market of Medicare insurance, working with a number of insurance carriers to give customers a range of choices to suit their needs. Moorman has been with Allen Insurance and Financial since 2012.

The Anthem award was announced in Portland on Feb. 25. This is the fifth consecutive year that Moorman has received an award from Anthem for Medicare sales; for 2019 she was named one of Anthem’s top 10 sales leaders.

“This award indicates that Anna’s clients appreciate the way she simplifies the process,” said Michael Pierce, company president. “And that’s key, because our goal is to provide dedicated, one-on-one attention to our Medicare customers, assessing each person’s needs and finding options that will align with their budget and healthcare goals.”

jlang No Comments

Memo to our Customers and Community / COVID-19

We hope you are safe and well.

Our doors are closed to the public as we do our part to protect our employee-owners, our customers and our communities. Still, and as always, if you have questions, or need assistance with your insurance policy, we are here to help.

Our team is available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many of us are working remotely, so please keep in mind that your caller ID may show a number different than the usual Allen numbers you are used to seeing. If you need to make a payment, please call (207) 236-4311.

We have always believed that the best insurance service comes from a personal conversation, because what is true for one individual or business may not be true for another. This is why we are looking forward to talking with you to review coverage, offer advice and assist with claims matters. Regarding payments, many of our carrier partners have revised their standards for payment and billing flexibility.

We are here to help.

* * *

24 March 2020

As more of our employees work remotely, you may find that some return calls will come from different numbers, or numbers you may not recognize, at least initially. As always, our friendly switchboard personnel are here to answer your calls on our main phone number – and we are able to forward calls quickly to our remote employees. Still, we wanted to let you know your caller ID may not say Allen Agency like it always used to. We’re here to help!

* * *

18 March 2020

At Allen Insurance and Financial, we continue to make the safety and health of our employees and community our number one priority. To that end, as we continue to monitor the information and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as from local and state public health authorities, we would like to let our customers know that effective immediately, and until further notice, we are not accepting walk-in or in-person appointments at our offices.

Your financial advisor, insurance agent or account manager remains available during our regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., by phone and email and our website. For assistance, or to make a payment, please call (207) 236-4311 or (800) 439-4311 or email your Allen Insurance representative. We are here to help.

Additional information:
AllenIF.com/contact
AllenIF.com/claims
AllenIF.com/locations
AllenIF.com/team

 

**

13 March 2020

As we continue to monitor the information and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as from local and state public health authorities, we would like to let the community know that at this time, we plan to stay open and available in person. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 9  a.m. to 3  p.m.

If you would prefer to conduct business over the phone or by email, we understand. Please call us at 207-236-4311 or 800-439-4311 or email your Allen insurance representative.

Ask Allen. We are here to help.

Additional information:
AllenIF.com/claims
AllenIF.com/locations
AllenIF.com/team

We will update this page as needed.

jlang No Comments

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist is President at Maine Planned Giving Council

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, JD, CTFA

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, JD, CTFA

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, JD, CTFA will be serving as president of the Maine Planned Giving Council in 2020.

A financial advisor and wealth manager at Allen Financial in Camden, Ruef-Lindquist has been a council board member for most of the past 20 years, and is a regular presenter at the council’s annual fall conference.

Ruef-Lindquist has had a role in planned giving as an attorney, former trust officer and philanthropic advisor and consultant to non-profits across New England. She previously served as vice president for Southern Maine of the Maine Community Foundation, Senior Administrative Trust Officer at Union Trust Company, Senior Consultant and founder of Planning for Good and CEO of the Maine Women’s Fund.

A trustee of Unity College and director of Rockland Savings Bank, Ruef-Lindquist has presented for the Maine State Bar Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals and Planned Giving Group of New England. She is licensed to practice law in Maine and New Hampshire, and resides in Camden.

Ruef-Lindquist succeeds David Warren, planned giving and major gifts officer at Maine Coast Heritage Trust, as MPGC president. She previously served as president in 2006 and 2007.

“The unprecedented intergenerational transfer of wealth taking place at this time presents tremendous opportunities for organizations to have meaningful conversations with their donors about where their estate and financial planning intersects with their philanthropic passions. Our goal is to see to it that those conversations can take place.” said Ruef-Lindquist.

Founded in 1995, the Maine Planned Giving Council (MPGC) is a statewide, independent, non-profit organization created to encourage charitable giving in Maine through planned giving. The MPGC defines planned giving as any deferred or current charitable gift where the donor’s objectives and circumstances are fully considered in order to provide maximum benefit to both the donor and the charity.