When Can You Claim Your Home Insurance?

Becoming a homeowner is one of the most significant achievements in your life. A home provides shelter and a sense of belonging, which is why you need a homeowner insurance cover especially to those residing in Catonsville, MD. Buying insurance policy should not be a topic for debate but a necessity for your property. HBW Insurance Group offers a lifetime solution to those living in Catonsville, MD.

 However, in case of the damage to your home or personal property due to natural disaster, there is a process that needs to be followed step by step when filing for homeowners insurance claim settlement. Through HBW Insurance Group, you will get plenty of assistance available to recover your property. Some situations can push you to claim your home insurance depending on the policy.

Most of the insurance policies on homes state that you should file a claim within the time limit. It does not matter whether the damage is covered by the policy or not. The company expects you to read and understand the policy carefully before getting repair estimates to determine the cost of the damage. In that respect, the insurance company assumes that you report damages within two weeks or not more than thirty days except for theft claims. Some of the common damages to the property are caused by water, fire, wind or other natural disasters.

A personal injury occurs mainly on your property when someone is injured. Claims of personal injury are among the highest, and as such, the insurance company advises you to file a claim as a protective measure should the victim’s family take legal action. However, this incident calls for you to file a claim no matter your deductible or the amount of the claim.

Therefore, for more advice and guidance on the homeowner insurance policy, reach out to HBW Insurance Group at Catonsville, MD.

Do All Homeowners Need Flood Insurance?

When you own your own home, one of the most important things you can do is purchase homeowners insurance. Without this type of insurance, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to having to dip into your own pocket to pay for things that go wrong with your home, such as damage to it by fire. With homeowners insurance, though, you can rest assured that your home will be protected against a variety of claims. And in the event that a claim has to be made, your insurance policy will help ensure that your home is restored to its original state. 

What about flood insurance?

If your purchase insurance for your home, it is imperative to understand that it likely does not cover flood damage. This is why you need to assess whether or not you need to buy additional insurance in the form of flood insurance. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, it is highly recommended that you purchase flood insurance. Fortunately, the company that you have purchased your home insurance through may be able to provide you with a flood insurance policy as well. If the company cannot, it should at least be able to direct you in the right direction to a company that sells flood insurance. This company can help you decide what type of flood insurance policy will work best for you. 

Don’t Wait! Get Flood Insurance Today 

It is important that you do not wait long to invest in flood insurance. You never know when a flood might happen and could cause great damage to your house. To learn more about flood insurance, please contact the HBW Insurance Group serving the Catonsville, MD area.

5 Ways to Secure Your Home Before Going on Summer Vacation

Summer vacation can be the highlight of the season. If you’re traveling far from home, take time to secure your property before leaving. With advanced preparation, you can keep your home safe from theft, vandalism, and intrusion during your absence. Here are a few ways you can safeguard your property while you’re gone.

Home Repairs

Before taking off on vacation, make vital home repairs that weaken your security such as cracked windows, faulty locks, broken screens, etc. Look around your Catonsville, MD property to see what fix it jobs are necessary to protect your property and get these done.

Landscaping

Make sure your yard work is up to date to include mowed lawn, trimmed hedges, weeded garden, etc. If you’re taking a prolonged vacation, pay someone to care for your landscaping while you’re gone. An unkempt yard is a sure sign that no one is home, which could attract the attention of thieves.  

Security System

Invest in a security system with motion detectors, window sensors, and security cameras to protect your property. You can also set up automatic timers for indoor and outdoor lights to give the impression that someone is home and looking after the property. 

Mail

Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail or have the post office hold your mail while you’re gone. Piled up mail is yet another sign that no one is on the property.  

Neighbor Checks

Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your property during your absence. A conscientious, friendly neighbor can be your best deterrent against theft or vandalism. 

Summer is also a good time to review your homeowner’s insurance with HBW Insurance Group, Catonsville, MD, to make sure your policy is up to date. Adequate insurance coverage from HBW Insurance Group will keep your home safe from any eventuality.

How DIY Can Impact Your Homeowners Insurance

Whether you have your dream home or not in Catonsville, MD, it’s understandable that you might take the DIY approach in some instances. While this can save you money, it’s important to know how it will impact your homeowner’s insurance.

Electrical Problems

Electrical is tricky and it’s why there are licensed electricians. If you end up starting a fire in your home because of DIY electrical work, it might not be covered on home insurance. To find out more about what is and isn’t covered, it’s a good idea to talk with an agent at HBW Insurance Group.

Plumbing

Plumbing issues tend to be complicated as well. You don’t want to run into an issue where you cause more damage than what was already in place. Professional plumbers will be able to assess the problem and let you know what needs to be done.

Security

Just as there are problems with DIY, there are also advantages. You can decide to install your own security system. If it’s monitored, you will also be able to save money on your insurance premiums because of taking an added safety precaution.

Fencing

Building your own fence might be easier than you think. As to whether you decide on aluminum, PVC, or another material, it provides a barrier around your property. This also serves as a deterrent to potential crimes on your property.

Ultimately, it comes down to knowing what you’re doing and following the various rules and regulations. If you do work that requires a permit, you need to pull the permit to follow city code. If at any point you’re not sure what you’re doing, it’s best to work with a contractor in Catonsville, MD.

For more information about obtaining home insurance and how to get an affordable premium, contact us at HBW Insurance Group today.

 

Things to Do Before a Winter Storm

A winter storm is almost inevitable in Catonsville, MD. If you do not want to get caught unprepared, there are a few things you need to do. Use these tips to help prepare yourself and your home for the next winter storm.

Get Food and Water

You always want to have enough food and water in the home for each person so survive for a few days. When you are building your stockpile, make sure you choose items that do not require cooking so you can still eat even if you lose power.

Get Some Warm Blankets

In case you do lose power, you want to make sure you can stay warm. A big component of this is having enough blankets for everyone. If you do not have enough, go out and get some more warm ones just in case. 

Prep Your Fireplace

No matter what kind of fireplace you have, you should make sure you have everything you need to keep it going for a few days. Your fireplace is a great source of warmth and can really bring a family together on colder nights. 

Get Things to Melt Ice

Even after the storm is over, you may need to remove some of the ice that has built up. Make sure you get some items that can help you do that naturally. Some things to consider include cat litter, salt, or sand. 

Winter storms can be unpredictable. Help protect your investment and get a home insurance policy. If you do not have one or would like our office, serving Catonsville, MD, to take a look at your current policy, contact us today. We can get you a quote for a new policy that will meet your needs and meet your budget requirements. 

How to Prevent Home Water Damage

Water damage inside a home is a common occurrence simply because people do not take the right precautions. Whether it is a small or large amount of damage doesn’t really matter. You will still have to take care of the damage as soon as possible to avoid further issues. For your home in Catonsville, MD, however, it is always better to prevent water damage than to fix it. Use these tips from HBW Insurance Group to prevent water damage in your home:

  • Watch Where You Plant. You may love having trees in your yard but you should make sure you place them in an area where they cannot interfere with water lines as they mature. 
  • Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill. One of the best ways to detect water damage before it gets too bad is by keeping an eye on your water bill. You should always keep track of your usage and if something seems off or your bills is larger without you actually using more water, it could be due to a water leak problem. Detecting this change quickly is key. 
  • Don’t Pour Grease Down Your Sink. You never want to do this because even if you pour it with cold or hot water, it can still create a block that will be a bigger issue for you later. Protect your pipes and don’t pour grease down them. 

Even with the best prevention methods, you may still find yourself with water damage. Sometimes, you cannot prevent it at all. To better protect yourself, your finances, and your home, make sure you have a good home insurance policy in place that have a water damage clause. Contact HBW Insurance Group, serving Catonsville, MD, today to ensure you are protected and to get a free quote. 

Repairs to Old Windows and Doors Protect Your Family from Intruders

As a homeowner, keeping up with repairs and maintenance can be an unending struggle. Especially in an older house with rattling doors and windows. You realize the cold air is seeping in around the edges as the winter wind blows, but have you taken the time to determine just how secure the aging portals into your Catonsville, MD home are? HBW Insurance Group offers up some simple tips to help improve the security of your home while protecting your family.

Replace Loose Door and Window Locks

If the door knob to the back door has been rattling for years, now is the time to have it replaced. Burglars love to look for the easy way in. A loose lock indicates that perhaps the rest of the home is equally easy to invade. For a few dollars and a couple hours of your time, loose and broken locks can be replaced providing one more deterrent to the curious home invader.

Fix Broken Window Panes

There’s nothing that indicates that a home is an easy target more than an exterior that has been allowed to fall into disrepair. You don’t have to replace the window with a new one if the frame is still in good shape. However, by ensuring that all the glass is in one piece, you are telling a potential burglar that not only do you care for your home, you will make it hard for them to find anything of value inside as well.

So often homeowners put off the small maintenance tasks thinking they will replace the problem area sometime in the future. However, by spending just a few dollars to fix a broken window or door instead, you can end up saving money on improvements and protect your home against burglars. Ask your agent at HBW Insurance Group in the Catonsville, MD area for more tips on how to protect your largest investment against loss.

3 Ways to Safeguard a Home from Fire During the Holidays

Although fire can occur in a home at any time, the risk of residential fire increases substantially during the holidays. Home insurance from HBW Insurance Group, Catonsville, MD, can help cover damage from accidental fires. Homeowners can also take these precautions to lower the risk of fire. 

Cooking

Home cooked meals are one of the greatest pleasures of the holiday season. Extensive cooking also increases the risk of a kitchen fire. As people tend to family and friends, it’s easy to leave food on the stove unattended to the point of accidentally starting a fire.    

Those who are cooking should commit to their task until it’s done. If leaving the kitchen, even momentarily, burners should be turned to low. Every kitchen should have a smoke detector to give warning when something is burning. A fire extinguisher should also be within easy reach to douse any flames.

Christmas Trees and Decos

If using a live Christmas tree, homeowners should ensure it’s watered daily to reduce the risk of fire. The tree should be placed in a safe location, away from a portable heater, radiator or fireplace and disposed of immediately after the holidays. If buying an artificial tree, consumers should ensure it’s flame resistant.

Inspect Christmas lights carefully before hanging, disposing strings with cracked wiring or damaged sockets. In like manner, avoid using old, worn extension cords as they pose a risk of starting a fire. Lights should be hung with clips or other type of hanger as opposed to using nails or staples that can damage the wiring.

Candles

Although candles add a special touch to the holidays, they can be dangerous in a house full of guests and kids. By replacing real candles with attractive flameless LED designs, homeowners can enjoy a candle lit atmosphere without the risk of fire.

For home insurance coverage that offers full protection against fire damage or any other eventuality, contact HBW Insurance Group in Catonsville, MD, today.

 

Home weatherproofing tips for the fall season

The frigid temperatures that are rapidly approaching could make it hard to keep your home comfortable and keep your utility costs down this winter.  The following are five things you can do to weatherproof your home this fall and get ready for winter:

Seal gaps around doors and windows

Buy some adhesive cell foam strips to place around your windows and doors at gaps where air can get through. You can also get some V-channel weatherstripping to put around loose sashes to keep your windows as secure and efficient as possible.

Plan window coverings to take advantage of the winter sun

Don’t underestimate the power of sunlight in naturally heating your home. By keeping open curtains and blinds on south-facing windows, you can take advantage of sunlight to warm your home during the day. However, you’ll need to remember to close these curtains and blinds after the sun goes down to help keep the warmth inside.

Clean out gutters

Clogged gutters can leave your home susceptible to developing ice dams that could cause leaks on your home’s interior. Clean leaves, branches and other debris out of your gutters to prevent this cumbersome and potentially expensive problem. 

Repair cracks in your driveway

You can seal small driveway cracks with acrylic latex concrete repair and larger driveway cracks with a vinyl concrete patching compound.

Make sure your heater or furnace has a good filter

Needless to say, your heater or furnace is one of your most important tools in fending off the cold. Make sure your unit has a good filter so that heated air can flow freely throughout your home. 

Follow our blog and contact HBW Insurance Group for more great tips on maintaining your home throughout the year. 

How To Make Packing Less of a Hassle

It is no surprise that no one likes to pack and unpack for the moving process. It would be so much better if everything could magically go from one place to the next. Unfortunately, we do not live in a world where that is possible. Instead, we have some tips that can help you out. If you take a little bit of extra time while you are packing everything for the move, then you can have a much easier time unpacking everything after you have gotten there. Also, do not forget to contact us at HBW Insurance Group for all of your homeowners insurance needs so you can protect your new home. 

  1. Organize boxes by room and color code them. When you are packing everything up, make sure you color code boxes with stickers for their corresponding rooms. That way, when you move, all of the boxes can be placed in the room they go in and you can tackle the unboxing part room by room. This can save you some time from searching through a big pile of boxes and just focus on the room you are in.
  2. Keep an inventory and label your boxes. A great way to find what you need quickly while moving is to keep an inventory for the items you have packed and to label the boxes accordingly. This will prevent you from searching through a lot of boxes to find the one you need. 
  3. Pack a first night box. Chances are, after you move everything, you will not want to unpack everything. To prevent that, pack a first night box with toiletries like your toothbrush, shower stuff, toilet paper, fresh closes, and things you need to sleep. If everything you need is in one box, you can rest easy and get busy the next day with unpacking.