J Wood Insurance Blog
Recently moved to McDonough or Locust Grove, GA? You’re probably wondering what folks get up to around here for entertainment. If so, you’ve come to the right place!
At J Wood Insurance, we don’t just provide home, auto, life, and business insurance policies to Georgia residents. Since we’re headquartered in McDonough in Henry County, just fifteen minutes from Locust Grove, we also know the best places in both towns to hang out, play, and relax.
Without further ado, here are the top 6 things to do in Locust Grove, GA and McDonough, GA.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
If you have kids, or you just love animals, then you’ll want to make it out to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove. Here, across 250 acres of land, you’ll see farm animals like cows, horses, and sheep, but also exotic mammals such as lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!).
Wait a minute, you say. Georgia isn’t a jungle! Well, you’re right, but some people across the United States still manage to get a hold of wild animals from overseas and bring them home. Some of these critters end up being abused by their new owners, which is how they end up in the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is a non-profit organization that doubles as an animal rehabilitation center. Their job is to see to it that these incredible creatures have the best life possible. At the same time, they make it their mission to educate children and adults on the wonders of the animal kingdom. It’s one of the best attractions that Henry County has to offer.
Escape The Museum
Do you love history and escape rooms? Even if you prefer one over the other, you’ll still find Escape the Museum in McDonough a pure delight.
Officially, this attraction is a real life museum. Known as the Camera Museum, it displays antique cameras and takes visitors through the history of this all-important device.
But the best part about it is it also doubles as an escape room. If you want, you can rent out the whole building to hold a private party for a birthday or a work field trip. The museum will even cater your event, if you wish, with craft beer and wine as beverages. Now those are things you won’t want to escape from!
Southern Belle Farm
Who doesn’t love going out into the fresh Georgia air and enjoying the pastoral farmland and orchards that the state is so well known for? Fortunately for residents of McDonough and Locust Grove, Southern Belle Farm is located just minutes away from each town.
On your visit to Southern Belle Farm, you’ll find all sorts of things to do to entertain you and your family. During the autumn, you can pick out fat, round pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and find your way out of a winding corn maze. In the summer, you can harvest your own Georgia peaches, along with other choice fruits.
And of course, no matter what time of year you decide to visit, you can always shop in the Country Market, where you’ll find homemade preserves, seasonal produce, gifts, baked goods, and other delights. It’s the most authentic way to experience Georgia’s natural bounty.
The Honeycomb Cottage
Looking for a place to unwind and have a little “you” time? If so, the Honeycomb Cottage is your number one destination in Locust Grove.
The Honeycomb Cottage is a day spa with just about every form of pampering you could desire. Experience a soothing massage, seaweed wraps, facials, aroma therapy, and so much more.
In addition to the spa, the Honeycomb Cottage also offers salon services like hair waxing and teeth whitening. Go in feeling stressed and rundown, and come out rejuvenated, radiant, and vital.
The Selfie Xperience
Selfies are all the rage these days, especially among kids and young adults. If this is you and your family and friends, then you should visit the Selfie Xperience.
The Selfie Xperience is the first interactive photo studio of its kind in Henry County. With 3700 square feet of space and countless selfie backgrounds and props to choose from, you’ll never have a better time snapping Instagram-worthy pictures than you will in this venue.
That’s right, the Selfie Xperience is a venue. You can rent it out for birthday parties, work parties, a girls’ night out, or any type of event you can think of! It’s an unforgettable place that will make your time spent with family, friends, or coworkers that much more special (don’t forget to say, “Cheese!”).
Heritage Park Veterans Museum
For history buffs, McDonough has one of the most fascinating attractions in the state: the Heritage Park Veterans Museum.
This museum was first opened on Veterans Day in 2010. It features several different collections, including photos, dog tags, uniforms, and medals of US soldiers who hailed from Georgia. It even has a few military vehicles on display. The wars covered range from World War I all the way to present day - over a century of brave sacrifices made in the name of liberty, truth, and justice for our country.
As you can see, there is a wide variety of fun things to do in McDonough, GA and Locust Grove, GA. We may not be as big as our big sister Atlanta, but there’s plenty of local charm, entertainment, and history to go around.
While you’re checking out this region, be sure to check into home, auto, life, and business insurance with J Wood Insurance! We serve all counties in Georgia, not just Henry County. Contact us here to get a quote on your new policy.
If you made it here, I hope this helps you on your insurance journey. Some of this may not age well in this new world of high inflation but most will help you become a better and more judicious consumer. Cheers!
1. Liability coverage is the most important part of your policy.
Sure, comprehensive and collision coverage is important for your vehicle, but a lot of people want to only buy the liability coverage that is mandated by the state. The difference between minimum coverage and 50/100 is often only 5 to 10 dollars per month more and gives double the coverage.
Imagine your vehicle is involved in a serious accident and the driver of your vehicle was at fault. If the person in the other car was seriously injured and had to go to the hospital, the medical bills often would far exceed the 25,000 dollars in coverage that a minimum coverage policy would pay out. You could be left on the hook for the remainder of that person’s medical bills.
My Recommendation: 50/100/50 liability protection should be as low as you go. You should explore higher coverages whenever you renew and if you are shopping make sure the agent doesn’t dumb down the coverage to make the sale.
2. Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage should be mandatory on every policy.
We recently spoke with a customer who used to buy his insurance directly from the carrier. He didn’t understand the importance of uninsured/underinsured motorist, but he loved how cheap the policy was. After he was hit by another driver who was uninsured, he was left with a totaled vehicle and no payout from the insurance company. Uninsured/underinsured motorist covers you in case someone who does not have insurance should get in an accident with you or in a hit and run accident.
My recommendation: Don’t cut corners on your auto policy. Always ask for uninsured/underinsured motorist and be wary of any agent or company that tries to sell you a policy with out this coverage.
3. Roadside coverage is great! But only if you barely use it!
Roadside and towing coverage is a great add on to your policy but be careful how often you use it. Every time you use this service it can be considered a comp claim and can hurt your insurance score and cause your insurance premiums to be high.
My Recommendation: If you use this coverage a lot because you have multiple cars then go ahead and get AAA. If you rarely need a tow then this can be an extremely cheap coverage for you.
4. Buying Direct Is Great For Insurance Companies And Terrible For You The Customer!
It does not matter whether you buy your insurance directly or buy it from an agent, it will cost pretty much the same. So why wouldn’t you go with an agent? They are experts on what is in a policy and more importantly (if they are a good one), experts on the company they are representing. They can help you find the most value in a policy and warn you if something important is missing. Would you go to court without a lawyer? So why would you go around an agent when they are literally a free resource to you. A good agent can advise you on how to handle claims, help you with payments, get on the phone with the insurance carrier on your behalf if you have a problem, inform you whether something is covered with your policy and help you adjust your coverages so that they fit you and your needs. If you buy direct you are a number on a screen with no one to look out for you.
5. Understand the difference between a captive agent and an independent agent.
A captive agent can only sell you one company. They represent some of the most well-known insurance companies out there (State Farm, Farmers, etc.) but they can only offer you one policy for one price. If you do not fit perfectly into their little box then you are out of luck, your agent can only offer higher deductibles or less coverage if your premiums are too high. There are some great captive agents out there, but why build a relationship and trust an agent who can only offer one product?
Alternatively, an independent agent contracts with many different insurance companies. They know what each company’s “appetite” is, which is insurance jargon for the type of customer that they prefer. They can work with you over the years and move you between companies as your life changes (get married, have kids, buy that new boat you always wanted, etc..) to keep your insurance rates down.
A big gap in insurance coverage for most homeowners and renters is for personal property. A typical homeowners policy often has very limited coverage for theft of your most valuable personal possessions like your wedding rings, a valuable collection of guns, records, memorabilia, etc.
Always ask your independent agent these questions:
1. What are the limits of coverage for my personal property?
This will encourage your agent to dig into the policy details with you and make sure you are covered.
2. Are there any upgrades to my policy that extend more coverage for my personal property?
Many insurance companies have different levels of coverage that can be added for next to nothing extra and will be enough to give you the coverage you need. If not, they will offer a rider, which is like a small policy attached to your homeowners that will extend extra coverage to specific items.
3. Are there any special exclusions in this policy that is different than a typical HO3?
Many insurance companies like to sneak in little exclusions (ex. they do not extend liability coverage for bites from one your dogs). You can work with your independent insurance agent to make sure there are no exclusions that may affect you.
Always disclose what valuable items you own and their value during your homeowners insurance quote so that your independent insurance agent can help you compare policies and provide you a quote for an additional policy to cover these items if you do not have enough.
Remember, your independent insurance agent is as big an asset to you as the policy you buy and their expertise is free!
Maybe you’ve been here before. You’ve just come off the plane in Ga, picked up your baggage and gone to the rental car counter. You’re tired from the flight, about to begin an ambitious vacation or a challenging business project. And, this is the point at which you’re asked, “Do you want insurance with that?”
Most travelers, facing that question from the rental representative, have the vague notion that they don’t really need to buy rental car insurance in Ga – which somehow is covered already. With just enough doubt in their minds, and the need to make a quick decision, perhaps they buy it just to be safe.
So, which is it?
Do you need to buy rental car insurance in Ga or not?
Truth be told, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. However, you can likely reach a conclusion you’re comfortable with by considering these three questions.
1. What Types of Rental Car Insurance Are Available?
Typically, car rental agencies will offer you four types of insurance to purchase:
Start with your personal auto insurance in Ga. It’s likely that your policy will provide the same level of coverage for your rental as it does for your own car. That usually includes liability insurance, and, depending on the policy you purchased, may include collision, comprehensive and medical payments, too. There are exclusions, however. Some insurers won’t cover rentals in a foreign country, or rentals that are being used for business. Get in touch with your independent insurance agent in Ga to verify your coverages.
Next there’s your credit card. Most cards offer some degree of coverage, but it varies widely. Coverage is usually secondary, designed to step in and pick up where your auto insurance leaves off, and it tends to be mostly confined to collision, damage and theft. For coverage to apply, most cards require that you decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver and pay for the car in full with the card that provides the protection. Again, contact your card company to find out exactly what is covered.
Then, consider your health and life insurance, too. If you’re in an accident involving a rental car and you have these policies, you likely have coverage for your own costs. Plus, with your homeowners insurance, you may have personal property coverage to help repair or replace valuable belongings that are lost, damaged or stolen while you’re in a rental. Your deductible and policy limits will apply, and the same goes for renters insurance or condo insurance.
3. What Rental Coverage Might I Be Missing?
In the event something does happen to the rental car, you may be looking at loss of use and diminished value fees, and your regular policy may not cover them. Loss of use is the income that the rental agency loses due to the vehicle being in the shop for repairs, and diminished value is the calculated reduction in a vehicle’s resale value as the result of an accident. Credit cards sometimes cover these, but be aware that they may require documentation that rental agencies can be reluctant to provide.
So, before you make that next trip, give us a call and check with your credit card company. That way you’ll be ready to make an informed decision when you get to the rental car counter.
Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance®.
Top image by Flickr user Timo Newton-Syms used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
Your dashboard is filled with icons and alerts that can tell you when your vehicle needs attention. Some of these notifications are more serious than others, but it’s a good idea to know what they all mean.
But your dashboard isn’t the only way to tell if something is wrong. Sometimes you need to rely on your senses, which is why it’s also important to listen to the sounds your vehicle makes.
Have you noticed any clunking, grinding or high-pitched squealing lately? Here’s what some of these odd noises might mean.
These warning noises may help you diagnose the problem, but this list is by no means comprehensive. If you hear something unusual, always ask a trusted mechanic as soon as possible. Ignoring a strange sound can mean more expensive repairs down the road.
Have questions about your coverage? Reach out anytime.
Maybe you’ve heard that people who drive red cars get pulled over more, so insurers charge them higher rates. Or that if you let someone else drive your car, their policy will cover an accident.
Well, when it comes to auto insurance, you shouldn’t always believe what you hear.
Get the facts about common car insurance myths, and reach out to make sure you have the coverage you need.
Myth #1: A ticket automatically increases your rate.
A moving violation doesn't have to increase your insurance rate unless it's a frequent occurrence. You may be able to take a driving course to maintain your rate and even pay less for your ticket.
Myth #2: Car color affects your insurance rate.
The truth is that the color of your vehicle most likely doesn’t affect your premiums. However, there are special cases where color can raise the value of your car — like a custom paint job — which could potentially increase your rates.
Myth #3: Older cars need less coverage.
If you don't have a loan on your car, you may not have to carry comprehensive and collision coverage, only the liability coverage required by the state. But you may not want to drop or lower your optional coverage if your car still has significant value, as it would be pricey to repair or replace.
Myth #4: Someone borrowing your vehicle is covered by their own insurance.
Laws vary by state, but usually the insurance covers the vehicle. Before you drive someone else's car, verify that it's insured. Don't assume that your own policy will cover an accident.
Myth #5: You only need the auto liability insurance that's required by law.
It's smart to buy more than the minimum, because personal liability for an at-fault auto accident can be expensive. Adding a personal umbrella policy for additional coverage can be a wise decision, especially when you have assets to protect.
Get in touch today with any questions you have about your policy.
If you ever needed to evacuate or shelter in place, would you be prepared?
You can't always predict things like severe weather or power outages. But you can prepare for the unexpected by packing a home emergency kit for you and your family.
Review this list of must-have items, then get in touch to make sure your home has enough coverage to bring you peace of mind.
Reach out if you have questions about what's covered in your policy or anything else.
Do you know how damaging potholes can be?
Unfortunately, this common road hazard can potentially send your vehicle to the repair shop.
Here’s what to know if you ever find yourself dealing with pothole problems. Plus: Find out how you might be able to avoid them in the first place.
What kind of damage can a bad pothole cause?
Your policy may cover pothole damage, but such a claim is likely to be considered a single-car accident, which means the fault gets assigned to you. Having an at-fault accident on your record could cause your rates to go up.
Before you file a claim, check your deductible to see if the cost of repair will exceed your out-of-pocket amount. If not, there’s no benefit to filing a claim. Not sure what to do? Reach out to us for help weighing your options.
How can you avoid pothole damage?
Pothole season may be unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean potholes themselves can’t be avoided. Here are a few tips for preventing pothole damage:
Unfortunately, car break-ins happen, but you can take steps to minimize your risk and keep your vehicle and belongings safe.
By taking a few minutes to review these tips now, you could avoid the hassle of repairing (or replacing) your car later.
Here are 10 smart ways to keep your vehicle safe from theft.
Don’t Make a Break-In Easy
If you’re the victim of a vehicle break-in or theft, take photos of the damage, file a police report and reach out for help filing an insurance claim.
We can also help you be more proactive. Get in touch to learn about additional coverage for your vehicle or home.
The spring season calls for refreshing and maintaining your most lived-in spaces, including your home and car.
Taking care of basic maintenance tasks can also help you avoid dealing with expensive repairs in the future.
In other words, now is the perfect time to make sure your property is in tiptop shape. Here are six essential car and home tasks to have on your radar.
First, check your vehicle's service schedule. That way, you'll know when and how often your car needs certain repairs, including:
Do you want to avoid expensive home repairs in the future? Here's what the experts suggest.