Romance Is Not Dead

Romance is not dead after all, in spite of what some cynics will tell you. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to look too far for proof! Right here in Georgia, there is a modern-day castle that was built by a man who promised his wife a castle and he did not mean it figuratively. Aside from being viewable as you are driving on Arnold Mill Rd in Alpharetta, it is surrounded by a fence and gate (as any good castle would be); a private home that is not open for tours. This is part of what makes it even more alluring and mystical, becoming the subject of numerous articles (including this one 😊). The castle also has a pool that functions as a moat surrounding it and there are drop bridges leading to the garage!

The fairytale-like true story of this castle is that Rudy McLaughlin, a now retired truck driver, built the castle for his wife, Ruth. It seems they have been living happily ever after here since the 1950’s. It is known as the Dwarf Castle because of the gnome statues that are guarding the outside of it. It also does look smaller than your “average” castle, but it is said that this is because most of it is actually underground.

Perhaps part of the appeal of this castle also has to do with the fact that it reminds us that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. The dreams that we had as kids do not have to remain just childhood dreams, they can become a reality for us as adults, even if we are not millionaire celebrities. There were probably many people that told Rudy it would not be possible to build a castle and yet, over fifty years later, it is still standing and is a source of conversation and inspiration for many.

I love stories like these and, as an insurance agent, I love helping my customers in achieving their dreams, regardless of how out of the ordinary they may be. What sometimes may cause people to postpone their goals is the many intricacies that go into building something, such as having the right insurance to protect what they have worked so hard for. If they don’t know where to begin, then their dreams may go onto the backburner while the million other responsibilities in their lives pile on top. The good news is that, with the right insurance agent, you can make your dreams a priority and let them worry about all that “other stuff”. They can also help you understand what some of those confusing terms mean so that it does not seem so daunting.

Whether you have a castle or a “regular” home, we will give you the time and attention you deserve and guide you through the insurance process. At the end of the day, you can rest easy and put your feet up while you enjoy your favorite TV show in your castle or wherever it is that you call home; you know that we’ve got you covered.

Buying Insurance in a World of Instant Gratification

We live in a world of instant gratification. We can do almost anything with the technology that is literally at our fingertips, a couple of decades ago, may have been unimaginable. We now even have packages that can be delivered to us by drone on the same day we place our order. While these technological advances have facilitated our lives in many ways, they have created certain expectations and standards for how and when we expect certain things. It has even made many of us become frustrated if something takes more than a few seconds or clicks. If we do not see immediate results, we may completely disregard something or do it reluctantly because we have no choice. This is one of the challenges that insurance agents may face in selling and servicing insurance policies and, frankly, why many consumers may dread shopping for insurance. It can be relatively quick to buy insurance, but you also want to take the time to make sure you are using a reputable company and purchasing the right coverage. In addition, insurance is not a tangible product that you hope you may never need to use. If you ever do need to use it, you will be very glad you have it but nonetheless, it is still delayed gratification. Some people may use it almost as soon as they buy it but some may use it after months or years of having it and very few may never even use it.


As an insurance agent, I am passionate about the products I sell, and I truly believe in them. I also know that the agents I work with feel the same way and we have helped our customers appreciate the importance of insurance as well. I believe that is because we have shown them that insurance does provide instant gratification after all, and that is peace of mind. Peace of mind is not a tangible product but it is more valuable than just about any other product we can buy. When you walk out of our agency or hang up the phone with us, you know that you have the right coverage tailored specifically for you and your family. Not having to wonder “what if…?” and knowing you and your family are protected for a rainy day is priceless; a weight lifted off your shoulders and one less thing to stress out about.

One insurance product that this is especially true for is life insurance. Nobody wants to think about death, but life insurance can actually be a very positive product when viewed from the perspective of buying peace of mind. This is a way to enjoy life insurance during your life, by knowing that you made a good choice to take care of your family while you are here and also while you are gone. Not to mention, there are also life policies that accumulate cash value that can be used during life, something many people do not know of. In the end, insurance doesn’t have to be a dreadful topic and it can actually be interesting! I am constantly learning new things about insurance and am happy to help my customers with any questions they have or even the ones that they may not even know they have yet!

A Part of Life

We’ve all been there. All of a sudden you check your bank account and your insurance company has pulled the monthly payment. Seems pretty normal. Except this time, its $20 more than it normally is. Frustrated and feeling a little betrayed, you get on the phone and dial their number. You’re met with an automated message that takes 20 minutes to navigate. After exasperatedly pressing 0 and screaming “REPRESENTATIVE!” into your iPhone 30 times, you finally hear the sweet sound of a live human on the other end. They’re doing their best to console you, saying “The number of accidents is going up” and “We all have to pay our part” and “Everybody is raising their rates, it’s part of life now”.

You’re beginning to feel a little hopeless, thinking you should probably shop around. God, what a hassle. You’re not eager to jump back into the market of passing around all your personal details hoping to save a few dollars. Having to make all those calls, or worse having 100 hungry insurance agents call you promising “to never hurt you the way they did”. So you resign to keeping your current policy as you forlornly tell yourself “Everybody is raising their rates, it’s part of life now”

This is where we come in. Go ahead and dial that number on the side. If it’s within business hours you will get a real live person on the other end. We don’t work for any one company, we work for you. We’ll shop around and make sure you’re getting the best possible rate. You only have to talk to one person to get all those quotes.

Secrets to Lowering Your Home Insurance

It is never much fun to get a notice that your insurance rate is increasing! The knee jerk reaction is to shop the insurance. But don’t get mad, get smart! Sometimes you can lower the premium where you are and stay with your agent and current bundle situation. First ask yourself what has changed?

Has a recent claim caused my insurance premium to jump? Weighing it now was the claim worth it? Did the claim get me a new roof (this could mean new roof discount). Did I recently update anything: plumbing, electrical, roof, HVAC. Depending on the insurers guidelines, one or all of these may get you a discount! Have I added an alarm system? Most insurers give a discount for having a monitored burglar alarm.

When is the last time I reviewed my protection. The most important is the dwelling limit. This is something to watch, many carriers automatically increase this value due to inflation. Some carriers just use a standard % for everyone. After 10+ years of that, you could be over-insured. Perhaps adjusting that could lower the premium. The remaining values are often just % of the dwelling value.

Next important item is reviewing the deductibles. If you still have a $500 or $1,000, you may want to see if increasing to a 1% or maybe a $1500, $2000 or $2500 deductible. This can make a big difference; especially if any of the above suggestions can be combined this this one.

Lastly, are you bundling? Are there other lines you could bring over to get multi-policy discounts? I would highly recommend running all these scenarios and any that your agent deems important before just firing your current agent/ company.

Hate Shopping for Insurance?

Shopping for a new outfit or that new addition to the man cave can be really fun! However, shopping for insurance, not so much. Insurance does not provide instant gratification and you hope that you never have to use it; but it is one of those things, that if the need to use it ever comes up, you will be very happy that you have it and especially that you have the appropriate coverage. At Carriage Insurance Agency, we understand this! That is why we have experienced agents that will make your insurance shopping experience more pleasurable and we will make sure you purchase the coverage that is right for you.

Nowadays, living expenses can add up fast and we know you want to save on your insurance premium, so we will make sure that you have all the applicable discounts and that you are not over-insured. On the other hand, you definitely do not want to be underinsured. Carriage Insurance Agents are here to make sure you obtain that right balance of insurance coverage that is tailored to your needs, as a Goldilocks of insurance, if you will (not too much or too little).

We will do the work so you don’t have to. All it takes is a few minutes and answering a few questions for a free quote and we will do the rest.