Six Popular Holiday Lights Drive-Thrus in Georgia

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Looking for a good spot to take your family to see lights? How about loading up the family and going to a holiday lights drive-thru. There are several great options in Georgia to consider.

Magical Nights of Lights at Lanier Islands (Nov. 20-Jan.3, 5-10pm)

  • The drive through this magnificent holiday display of lights is also accompanied by a companion app for a holiday track you can listen to while enjoying the drive through this display.

Holiday Light Spectacular at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Nov.27-Dec.30, Sun-Wed 6-9pm, Fri & Sat 6-10pm)

  • See the speedway light up the season with the Holiday Light Spectacular. Drive through this display of more that 3 million lights including Santa village and carnival rides.

Christmas as The Rock Ranch (Nov. 26-Dec. 31, 6-10pm)

  • Drive through Christmas Lights at the Rock Ranch, this mile long display of lights was hung by volunteers and ranch hands and is a Georgia favorite.

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens (Nov. 13-Jan.2, 6-10pm)

  • Bundle up for a trolley ride or drive through your own car through this lighted wonderland of more than 8 million lights. This was named one of the top 10 places to holiday lights nationally.

Life College Lights of Life (Nov.26-Dec.31, 6-10pm)

  • More than 100 displays on a 1.5 mile drive thru the whole campus that the family is sure to love.

Pettit Creek Farms (Nov.28-Dec.31, Mon-Thurs 6-9pm, Fri-Sun 6-10pm)

  • Enjoy this well lit one mile drive through this farm in Cartersville sure to be a family hit.

Common Property and Liability Insurance Claims on a Homeowner’s Policy

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Photo Credit/kattekrab

We buy homes to be a safe and happy place. There are quite a few potential hazards and large amount of money in claims paid on the homeowners claims. The natural elements and events are typically what you think of when you think about claims around the home, things like wind, water and fire. Events surrounding the property. Talk to your agents if you are also interested in flood coverage and that you have limits you are comfortable with for the above mentioned natural events.

But what about claims around our homes?Slippery floors, pets that bite, trampolines and injuries resulting in lawsuits are a  few things revolving around liability coverage. Home Owners policy generally have this up to a certain limit. To add more coverage Umbrellas are very effective.

Here are a few of the most common claims for property and liability claims related as relates to your homeowners’s policy.

 

Property Claims:

  • Fire Damage-Homeowners policies generally respond for these damaging events just make sure it for “Guaranteed Replacement Cost” make sure your amount is correct for debris removal and rebuilding. It also important to keep receipts, photos and records for your belongings so they can be replaced at proper values following an event.
  • Water Damage-This is the most common cause of loss. There can be a lot of causes, roof leaks,  broken washer hoses or piping issues. Bring up with your agent if your home is older or you think you may need water back up or sump dump overflow coverage for your residence.
  •  Storm Damage-This included wind damage. This can be anything from tornadoes to straight lines winds or any other more common weather events. Make sure these events are covered sufficiently on your policy.

 

Home Liability Claims:

  • Home Accidents- Whether invited or uninvited, accidents happen. This could be a door-to-door salesman that is injured, a guest tripping on loose carpet, stairways in disrepair or trampoline accidents. There are lawsuits around these events for home owners. Intoxicated guests can increase this exposure as you would be responsible for any injuries or property damage.
  • Pet Bites-A typical home insurance policy for damages or injuries caused by members of the household is covered . This would encompass pet bites, however, some dog breeds are excluded such as (pit bulls,German Shepherds, Akitas, etc..) For excluded breeds separate often more expensive coverage must be added or found with another carrier. These claims are on average thousands of dollars for injuries.
  • Neighbor Related- What happens when a tree or branches fall on a neighbor’s house or fence? Or if there are resulting injuries. This can be a costly claim
  • Hired Workers-If you hire a domestic worker to clean your house or do other odd  jobs around the house, think about your potential liability. Check for them to carry a contractor’s liability policy as well.

 

Halloween Safety Tips

 

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Photo Credit

Halloween is a fun holiday for the whole family. As  parents with your little ghosts, goblins or super heroes, a safe holiday is the best kind of holiday to have.

Safety for the Neighborhood Walk: 

  • Use Cross Walks don’t cut corners.
  • Seems simple but you can forget on nights like this. Look right an d left, then look again.
  • Have the kids watch for car back or turning, no darting or walkign between parked cars.
  • Always use sidewalks when able, if not, walk facing traffic ad far out of the way as possible.
  • All kids under 12 should have adult supervision while trick or treating. If old enough to go without supervision, make sure they stick to familiar and well-lit areas.

Wow with the creativity, cuteness and safety of the costume:

  • Decorate costumes and candy bags with reflective tape if possible.
  • Face Paints or makeup can be preferable to masks, as masks can obscure vision.
  • Make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks and flash lights to be seen by drivers.

Watch Out Drivers:

  • Drive without distractions so you can be extra careful and full alert to any kids crossing.
  • Popular trick or treat hours are between 5:30-9:30pm so be especially careful during this time.
  • Slow down and take extra time at intersections, medians and curbs.
  • Turn your headlights on sooner to see from greater distances for extra pedestrian traffic.

Oh Deer! Time to keep a look out for them on the roads

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It’s that time of the year, time to keep a look out for deer on the road.

October through early December is mating season for deer and they are out and about more which includes roadways,

Deer are most active from dawn to dusk and with daylight savings time approaching rush hour will occur during their most active times of day.

Be aware that deer are wildlife and can be unpredictable. Just because they are calming standing on the side of the road does not mean that they will not dart out into the roadway so use careful and proactive driving techniques.

Also be aware that deer generally travel in groups so if you see one there may be others to look out for.

Road shoulders generally provide a green source of food during dry seasons and may increase deer population around roadways.

If it is too late to avoid a collision, slow down as much as possible. Resist the urge to swerve as this could cause more damage to your vehicle or cause a collision with another vehicle.

Just remember to keep an eye and use more caution during this time of year where more deer are out.

Make sure you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle should an unavoidable collision with a deer occur. Your agent would be happy to discuss this with you.

Make sure you don’t Miss out on your Subsidy for the 2016 Plan Year

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Some of you who are Individual Pre-65 Public Exchange member may have recently May have recently received a notice from the IRS to file your 2014 Federal Tax Return Form 8962. this is for member who receive Advanced Premium Tax Credit(APTC) or Cost Sharing Reduction(CSR). This Tax Form is what must be completed for keeping the APTC and CSR  for the 2016 plan year.

If you have gotten health insurance from the marketplace please make sure you have completed the 2014 Tax form.

If you have completed the 8962 form no action needs to be taken.

If you have not files with this form you need to take action by electronically submitting this form electronically with your 2014 fax return.

The IRS site advises that you complete these steps within 30 days of receiving the letter regarding completing this information in order to avoid missing out of subsidies or having coverage dropped for affordability reasons for the 2016 plan year.

For more information you can visit the IRS site at http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act, or contact WTM to speak with our benefits specialist to answer any questions you many have regarding this.

Personal Safety Tips for Yourself and Your Family

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  1. Choose a home in a nice area and safe community. Make sure that you choose a home with low crime ratings which are published and near law enforcement.
  2. Secure your home by getting a dog or a home alarm system.
  3. Spend the money when you are going out of town to get a house sitter. Have your mail put on hold, ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  4. Keep your car remote in your pocket or on your nightstand. The panic button can be a good tool as a loud noise to scare someone away. Keep a first aid and emergency road kit in the trunk on vehicle safety.
  5. Get a conceal permit for a weapon. Take classes, train at a range, take safety classes and decide if this is a good decision for your family.
  6. Establish safety fire escapes and meeting locations with your family.
  7. Put a GPS app on your phone for locating purposes.

Here are just a few personal safety tips to keep you and your family safe.

Back To School Safety

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Make sure your child knows the bus route. If they are going to be riding the bus, drive them to school on the first day and follow the bus on its route. This makes sure that they know the route to make sure they are on the right bus and they know if anything is wrong.

Don’t let your kids walk to the bus stop by themselves. Even if the bus stop is right across from your house, wait until there are other parents or kids around. There is safety in numbers. Or wait with your child.

Make sure your child has all of the information they need in the event of an emergency. Make sure they know the signs of danger and there is a meeting place should you be separated. Make sure they know your address, names, cell phones numbers and all of the contact information for this situation.

Establish a code word for your child with family and guardians. They should never get in the car with a stranger but in this case they will know it is safe for other family friends you could arrange to pick up your child.

Make sure your children know who are trusted adults. Police officers, business owners, teachers are all options that children can typically run into in case of an emergency. So if they get into situations with other adults that they are uncomfortable they know to run and who to get help from.

When prepping your kids it is important not to scare them but to give them the information to deal with unsafe situations. These are not situations that are likely but equipping them with the information they need is very important. It is important that they know that most everyone is good but for the uncomfortable situations they need to have the above safety information.

Running/Walking Outside Safety Tips

 

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With the daylight extending later into the evening and the nice weather, exercising outside is a pretty popular option for fitness. While there are many benefits to outdoor exercise it also invites some risks that aren’t present in the gym. Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe while you run or walk outside.

1. Run In Well-Lit and populated areas- Make sure there that is lighting and there are people around as you run. If you are running through an isolated area, take off your ear buds as predators think people who are have ear buds are distracted and easier targets.

2. Be aware and trust your gut. If someone suspicious is approaching you try to cross over to the other side of the street or change directions and run that way quickly if it becomes a threatening situation.

3. Be Prepared- If someone approaches you be vocal in telling them “You are too close”, “Back Off” attackers are looking for people easy to overpower. Use self defense, Be aware of the top four vulnerable spots on a person’s body: eyes, nose, throat, and knees. If you’re close enough to fight back, do it. Stay confident and strong.

4. Always carry your smart phone. They can be the most important tool for self defense. Mace and pepper stray are often left a home but the cell phone should always be with you. There are also some apps that .ReactMobile,StaySafe,.MyPanic,.Guardly, and .bSafe. These apps help you report suspicious incidences with GPS coordinates, add path and time and input emergency contacts if not completed, trigger alarms and bright colors for other people nearby to be alerted and other great features to check out for your runs or walks while alone.

Are your appliances and electronics at home surge protected?

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If you buy a new T.V. generally you will plug it into a surge protector. What about the other important appliances in your home(ie: computers, refrigerators..)?

You could buy and plug these items individually into surge protectors or a get a whole house surge protector like the one above, this is a SurgePro Ac Power- GE plug in.

These plug into your circuit breaker and for installation is recommended that a professional electrician install this.

This whole house device offers protection to these items up to 27,000 amps of surge.

It has a three year warranty up to $25,000 on plugged in items which does not effect an insurance homeowners deductible.

A surge protector like the one above is affordable (around $50)

Click HERE for a link to more info.

 

Least and Most Expensive States for Insurance

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When accounting for health, home, life and car insurance it can account for a  significant portion of the budget. According to the NerdWallet Study it this category can account for around 12% of yearly income.

But depending on where you live insurance cost can vary and be less or more expensive for this category.

These are the most costly states for insurance costs:

10.Mississippi 9. Michigan 8. Massachusetts 7. Oklahoma 6.Vermont 5. New Jersey 4. Rhode Island 3. Florida 2. New York 1. Louisiana

These are the least expensive states for insurance costs:

15. Nevada 14, Illinois 13. Arizona 12. Idaho 11. Colorado 10. Pennsylvania 9.Oregon 8.Georgia 7. California 6. Washington 5. Ohio 4.Virginia 3. Washington D.C. 2. Utah 1.Maryland