Bill Sparks 2023William M. Sparks   1945 - 2023

My father, William (Bill) Sparks, passed away sadly but comfortably  Sunday morning, surrounded by his family. He was a kind and loving man with a heart of gold.  There are so many who loved him and will feel this loss –  in the business world and far beyond.  He would say thank you to all of his small-business customer for their support, and he would wish everyone peace and happiness. I have run the William M. Sparks Insurance Agency for many years now, and I will continue to run it just as my father did and as he would want me to do.  On behalf of my family, I thank you all for your kind words, well wishes and support at this time.   --- Danielle Sparks

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Items filtered by date: September 2021

Thursday, 23 September 2021 21:02

Protect Your Pets From Home Accidents and Fires

Protect Your pets From Home Accidents and FiresIf you have pets, you have probably worried about leaving them in your house unsupervised. In particular, home fires are likely a big concern. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) indicates that 500,000 pets a year are affected by house fires. Moreover, pets are reported to be responsible for starting 1,000 house fires.

So how can you prevent your pets from starting a fire in your home and also protect them from fire-related injury? The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services offer the following tips that could save your pet’s life.

  • Extinguish open flames — Pets tend to be attracted to stoves and open fires like the fireplace or BBQ. Restrict your pets from the kitchen or the grilling area when cooking with flames is being done, and also use a sturdy screen in front of your fireplace that will keep sparks from flying into the room and one which will not tip over easily. To prevent problems when you are not at home, completely extinguished all sources of fire so they do not pose a threat to pets left at home.
  • Remove or protect stove knobs — The NFPA cites pets turning on stove knobs as a leading reason for pet-started house fires. Your curious pet could jump onto the kitchen stove, turning on the stove knobs in the process. Not only could the pet be injured by the stove flame but the flame could spread to involve the entire kitchen and beyond. To prevent such dangers, remove or cover stove knobs so that they cannot be activated while you are away.
  • Flameless candles — Pets are also drawn to burning candles and lanterns which they can easily turn over causing a fire to spread quickly to surrounding furniture and walls and then engulf the entire house. The answer: use battery-powered flameless candles which will offer the same visual effect without the flame.
  • Water bowls on wooden decks — You might believe that leaving your pet in your back yard while you are not at home would be a safe decision. You might be correct unless you have left your pet’s water in a glass water bowl on your wooden deck. The water in the bowl acts like a magnifying glass to concentrate the sunlight, thus heating the wooden deck enough to ignite the wood. The solution: Use a ceramic or stainless steel water bowl which does not focus light in the same way.
  • Inspect and pet proof — Loose electrical cords can cause several different hazards. If the cord is attached to a lamp with the bulb turned on and the pet pulls the lamp over, the lightbulb could ignite a carpet if it lands against it. Pets can also become entangled in loose electrical wires and be strangled or cause an appliance to fall to the floor and hit your pet. Then there is always the chewing pet who can suffer severe burns if they chew through the electrical cord.

Homeowners Insurance Tip

Even when you "pet proof" your home and remain aware to prevent pet-related accidents, sometimes those accidents can still occur.  Be sure that you are fully protected.  Have a conversation with your insurance agent well in advance of a time when you'll need it to be sure that you have the homeowners insurance coverage you need on your policy.  He or she will help you to anticipate any circumstances that might given your lifestyle because it's too late after the accident happens.

Feel free to contact any of our very capable and experienced agents at the William M. Sparks Insurance Agency here in Lutherville/Timonium MD to discuss your home insurance.  We can help you review your current insurance policy and explore your options to be sure you have the best coverage and protection according to your circumstances.



college and nsuranceIs your student off to college this semester? Have you done an insurance review?

Can you believe that summer is coming to an end and it’s now back-to-school time once again? It’s the time of year when we notice more than ever the way our children are growing and how their lives are changing. So this makes it the perfect time of year to also evaluate your family’s auto insurance and homeowners insurance coverage. Is this the year when your teen goes to college? Will your son or daughter get a drivers license? Will you be replacing your vehicle to make room for school carpooling? Will you be adding an addition to your home to accommodate space for home schooling? Keep your children safe in the new school year— review your car and home insurance coverage this fall.

Car Insurance

  • Before you decide on that new vehicle, check with your insurance agent to see how its purchase will affect your auto insurance rates. Also, you’ll want to discuss how carpooling impacts your coverage as well.
  • Teen drivers can be expensive to insure, but don’t forget to check for a student discount. Typically, getting the discount requires that your child carry a good grade-point average, so you’ll need the details on that as well. In addition, if your teen passes a driver safety course, you might qualify for reduced car insurance rates.
  • If your child in college, it’s possible that you might receive a further discount, provided they meet the requirements – typically attending school outside of a specific distance from home without a vehicle while away.   Again, your insurance agent will know the details.

Home Insurance

  • Perhaps home schooling is your plan, and you know you’ll need to expand your home to accommodate the space. There are many insurance questions to resolve before you move forward. For example, if your home is expanded and the property value increases, then how will this affect your homeowners insurance cost. Not to be forgotten, also, is the need for sufficient liability coverage if your home schooling will include others beyond your immediate family.
  • If your college-bound teen will be living on campus, then most of his or her belongings will typically be covered – at least in part – by your homeowners insurance policy. This includes all those expensive items like a laptop, TV, bike, smartphone and other electronics, among others. 
  • If your college student will be living off campus while away at school, then it is likely that your homeowners insurance will not cover, and renters insurance will then be your answer. Renters insurance is typically very affordable, and a discussion with your insurance agent will let you know your options.

Home and Auto Insurance Tip

The start of another new school year can be an exciting time for your family. Giving yourself the peace of mind knowing that you’ve got the right insurance coverage can help you protect your assets as you invest in your child’s future. The first step to doing so is to meet with your insurance agent who can help you explore your options.

The William M. Sparks Insurance Agency located in Lutherville / Timonium, MD, is a full-service insurance agency offering auto/car insurance, homeowners insurance, business/commercial insurance and life insurance to all of Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) and Pennsylvania (PA) since 1981. Our experienced insurance agents welcome your inquiries and are glad to discuss your coverage needs at any time.

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