NORWAY — After providing insurance coverage for a century and a half, familyr un Goodwin’s, Inc. Insurance has been sold to a Bridgton-based company.

Operated since 1865, the locally owned company has remained in the Goodwin family since current owner Stuart Goodwin’s grandfather purchased the company in 1912.

Two weeks ago it was sold to Bridgton-based Chalmers Insurance for an undisclosed fee. Goodwin’s seven full time and one part-time employees will retain their positions.

‘It was a very tough decision,’ Goodwin said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

‘After 102 years it wasn’t an easy situation to step away from,’ he said.

At home on 38 Paris Street since the 1958, the company offers property, casualty, life and health insurance protection. Those policies will remain the same, and the sale will result in additional policies becoming available for nearly 4,000 customers.

While torn over the decision to sell, Goodwin, 62, said the recent adaptation of stricter nation-wide standards made it more difficult to write claims for homes and businesses.

‘I don’t seem to be able to take any time off while owning my own business. In order to perpetuate the business, this seemed like a good solution.’

The Norway office will be Chalmers’ seventh branch in Maine, which ranges from Fryeburg to York. The company, with almost 100 employees, also operates two offices in North Conway and Ossipee, N.H. It has operated since 1857.

Despite other lucrative offers, selling to a local company who was familiar with customers in the region was a high priority, Goodwin said.

‘They have an infrastructure in place and younger people who will help me perpetuate my business, as well as theirs.’

In an interview last week, Chalmers’ President Steve Cote said the acquisition would likely bring onboard thousands of Goodwin customers, many of whom were notified of the sale by mail.

‘We are committed to providing our Goodwin’s policy holders with the same level of personalize, knowledgeable service to which they are accustomed, including working with the same friendly, community-minded agents,’ Cote said.

Like Goodwin’s, Chalmers offers an array of property, casualty, and workman’s compensation policies. Cote said the acquisition would entail further options and more competitive pricing for its new clients.

‘We have additional resources and carrier options. I think that’s a great option for anyone who does business, or would like to do business with Goodwin’s.’

‘It allows us to analyze what a consumer would need for coverage; then, we can go to market and get the best value.’

In addition to new management for the Norway branch, the sale will a greater marketing presence in the Oxford Hills area, Cote said.

Pictures dot the walls in Goodwin’s office, evidence detailing the history of the company and the region. One, dating to 1912, features his grandfather standing of the business he just purchased, newly married, his wife pregnant with Stuart’s father.

After almost four decades entwining himself in the community, Goodwin said it will be difficult to leave that legacy behind.

‘My clients are my friends.’


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