Prepare for the Worst: Weekend & Vacation Rental Insurance

Everyone looks forward to a fun family vacation during the summer. Some of my best memories from my childhood have been made during vacations and road trips that I have taken with my parents and siblings. There was always so much to look forward to during these trips: fun games during the long car rides, the interesting stops along the way, and even the forced family photos that we could look back on years later. Since this is something near and dear to my heart, I decided recently to buy a second home to rent out as a vacation property; I wanted to help facilitate memorable vacations for other families, just as I had as a child.

Get Involved: Summer Fun With Community Events

Support your local community while also having fun in the sun with your family this summer! Attending local festivals and events can be a great way to engage with your community while also providing affordable summer fun for you and your family.

Community makes Life Worth Living

Pexels Photo by Leah Kelley

Community Speaks Louder than Words

With the Holiday Season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, I wanted to reflect a moment on the importance of community.  People make up community; people with different lives, interests and characteristics.  In this area of Blue Ridge, Georgia, Copperhill, Tennessee, Murphy, North Carolina, Franklin, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Blairsville, Georgia, Tellico Plains, Tennessee, McCaysville, Georgia, Ducktown, Tennessee and Andrews, North Carolina, all of these small towns, thriving cities make up special communities.

What makes them (each of these communities) special are the people we meet, get to know and support along the way.  I am not sure it is our heritage, but I know my parents taught me a lot about the value of neighbors and treating others the way you would want to be treated. I enjoy living in an area which support community involvement through different fund raising activities, education, needs of others who need a lending hand during tough times, and charities which support our youth who cannot support themselves.

Reflecting On Community Support

In these communities, you see businesses and their caring employees who make it a point to volunteer time, money, food, gifts and endless hours to provide for the people in our community to make it a special place.  When you enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas with family and friends, the community plays a role in helping others find a little happiness along the way too.

So many times, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our jobs, after school sporting events, coordinating schedules, and life in the fast lane that we miss some of the joy and beauty of our local communities and the support they are providing to the less fortunate, people young and old looking for a place to fit in and grow, and overall business health in the area.

Tri-State Area of Communities

As you look around our Tri-State area of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, you will find some hard working communities.  I know as I have witnessed for several years now the care and hard work Dickey McCay Insurance staff invests in their local communities in which they live, work and play.  Yes, they sell awesome insurance packages at valued/competitive rates, but more than the insurance offers, it begins in the communities in which they serve.  They work at supporting community which grows their care and concern for the people.  There are other companies and organizations committed to the same passion of community as Dickey McCay Insurance, but I can only share and write about what I have witnessed in my years of experience being around their professional staff.  With Dickey McCay, it begins with Community and their love and support for the people in which they serve.  Community is their passion as it is the cornerstone of a healthy and growing town.

Happy Holidays

As you spend time shopping for those special Christmas presents, preparing for the upcoming meals, scheduling that family trip, getting that super Christmas tree and decorating it from top to bottom or spending time with loved ones, I want you to take a moment to reflect on the power of community and how each of us can take part in the upcoming year to help our Community support those around us.  I want to wish each of you a Happy Holiday Season and a Memorable New Year!

I will leave you with one last thought regarding community and taking a little time out to help others —- if you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.

Take care and enjoy the journey,

A Community Santa and Helpers

Dickey McCay Insurance Shares Some Local Tourist Activities

Local Community and Tourist Favorite Activities

Whether you are vacationing in the Southeast, are a new resident, or were born & raised in one these charming southern towns, there are places and activities that we regail as the “things to do” in the areas we serve. Dickey McCay Insurance has chosen a few of our clients favorite areas to visit, places to eat, and activities to do during your trip or staycation; take it from the locals, these are the places you do not want to miss & the best time of year to see them!

Andrews & Murphy, North Carolina:

  1. Andrew’s Brewing Company: Operating out of the town’s first jail, this place is where the locals comeAndrews Brewery with a View to hang out & where tourists come to see the views of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. With a fire to sit around come autumn, this is the place to finish your day with friends or make a few new ones.
  2. Fire’s Creek is one of the best kept secrets of this area for hiking, horseback riding, swimming & camping. Located in the Nantahala National Forest, you can drive in for some nice creek-side car camping, or enjoy the 23 mile Fires Creek Rim Trail ideal for hiking and horseback riding. This is the perfect place to escape the summer heat with a swim or an easily accessible weekend camping trip. Fire Creek Falls is the waterfall at the end of the dirt road & certainly worth the drive or hike.
  3. Harrah’s Casino: The newest attraction in Murphy is Harrah’s Casino boasts 50,000 feet of gambling as well as a massive food court.  With an affordable hotel attached, this is the perfect night or weekend getaway to the mountains for some casino fun!
  4. Rafting the Nantahala RiverNorth Carolina’s pristine & scenic Nantahala River offers river rafting through family-friendly rapids that are mild but exciting. The Nantahala features eight miles of practice on easy Class II rapids before splashing through the exciting Class III whitewater of Nantahala Falls. You can go with a guide or rent a raft & take your friends & family down yourself! We recommend going with Nantahala Outdoor Center, one of the most experienced river companies in the Southeast. It also boasts a river-side restaurant & bar to watch as paddlers float down the river & play in the wave!

Blairsville & Blue Ridge, Georgia:

  1. Lake Winfield Scott: Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area offers year-round recreation opportunities including camping, stand up paddling, fishing,  picnicking, boating, swimming and hiking, all centered around beautiful Lake Winfield Scott. A Man-Made reservoir, this is the best start and endLake Winfield Scott loop trail in the area on a hot summer day. The Slaughtercreek Trail in the area climbs the less trafficked area of Blood Mountain with the same beautiful foilage. With camping along the way, this 6 mile trail is both difficult and rewarding. 
  2. Hiking Blood MountainBlood Mountain Hiking:  One of the tallest mountains in Georgia, Blood Mountain is one of the first views along with Appalachian Trail where you can get a 360 degree view & the tallest peak along the AT in Georgia. A short, steep hike, this is one of the most frequented hikes in the area, and on a clear day you can even see the Atlanta skyline. Called Blood Mountain for the fables Cherokee & Creek Native tribe’s battle, this hike holds as much lore as views that you do not want to miss. 
  3. Vogel State Park: Vogel State Park, the second oldest state park in Georgia, sits at 2500 feet above sea level right at the base of Blood MountainThe North Georgia Mountains around Vogel wereVogel State Park linked to Native American people for generations before European settlement. With family-friendly camping, easy hikes, a lake with a variety of recreation opportunities, & several waterfall views, Vogel is a must stop when passing through Northeast Georgia. 
  4. Mercier’s Orchard:  When passing through Blue Ridge, Merciers Orchard is the local spot to take a stroll, explore orchards, pick your own fruit, & find local produce, art, & goodies hailing from the Southeast. Our favorite time to go is in April to pick fresh strawberries straight from the vine to your mouth! And be sure to try and apple pie and Mercier’s wine slushie on the porch; you won’t want to leave! Merciers Apple Orchard

Tellico Plains, TN & Copperhill, Tennessee:

  1. Fishing the Tellico River: The drive to the Tellico River is worth the trip even if you never make it to the river, but we definitely suggest not stopping until you reach Baby Falls, a small waterfall on the Tellico River, & taking a moment to take in the magnitude of the large Bald River Falls (pictured here). Beyond just great views, The Tellico also offers incredible kayaking for experienced boaters & is nationally recognized as a premiere trout stream, renowned for brook, brown, and rainbow trout. For fishing, the best time to visit is when the Tennessee Wildlife Agency stocks trout in the Tellico River from March through August. Fishermen here enjoy unspoiled wilderness settings and, more often than not, no company from other fishermen & boaters. 
  2. Ocoee River RaftingRafting the Ocoee River: One of the most rafter rivers in the world, the Ocoee river offers rapids ranked from Class III-IV & was even the host of the 1996 Olympics! There are over 42 rafting companies in the area that takes customers down the Middle or Upper Ocoee. The Upper Ocoee boasts the Olympics Whitewater Park & bigger rapids, while the Middle Ocoee is a more scenic, all-natural flow with continuous, class-III fun rapids!
  3. Tour the Breweries: Copperhill, TN hosts a quaint downtown area with a diverse selection of Blue Ridge Georgia Tourist Locationrestaurants, local shops, & new breweries! We suggest taking a stroll around the downtown area & stop in at the three newest breweries: Copperhill Brewery, Buck Bald Brewing, & Copper Ale Station. These hills and their families have been brewing for years & are happy to share their new brews with locals & visitors alike! 
  4. Cherohala Skyway: Known to motor-bike enthusiasts simply as “The Dragon’s Tail,” the skyway offers 43-miles of National Scenic Byway from Tellico Plains, Tennessee, to Robbinsville. As you ride, you will experience ridge after ridge of forested mountain views as far as you can see. Named one of the 10 best rides in North America, there is little evidence of civilization from views that rival or surpass any from the Blue Ridge Parkway, & you will feel like you stepping back in time! We recommend traveling along the road during the fall as the colors are changing & the mountain air is a bit cooler.Cherohala Scenic View

Shopping Cheapest Insurance

shopping online is easy_insurance quotes

Shopping the Best Insurance Quotes

When you begin looking for a new insurance plan, it can become quite overwhelming with the masses of insurance companies as well as each of their unique websites and the online insurance quotes they offer. Many of these services willgive you an insurance quote quickly, and on the surface they seem to offer a cheap quote for different types of coverages. If you are young, single, and not paying a mortgage, then getting insurance online on something small such as your car may be a great option. However, purchasing insurance via the internet which can seem like a cheap solution can often lead to more hassle than it is worth. We suggest using these online quotes as a means of understanding insurance rates and using what you learn about pricing to use as a reference when calling your local agent to get their expert opinion and direction moving forward.  The online quote you find can be your guide when discussing what you do and do not need covered in your plan. For instance, last month I was searching for new car insurance, so I did what most do and got online to shop around for the best rates. After gathering quotes and a detailed list of what is covered, I took these reports to my local insurance agent. Small, local agencies like Dickey McCay provide not only excellent insurance support based on their expert knowledge of the insurance industry, but they are also able to sit down with you one-on-one to discuss insurance rates, what is covered in what instances, and the best policies for you and your family.

Does Cheaper Insurance Rates Mean Cheap Insurance?

searching for good deals on insuranceThese days, companies and online platforms market to potential customers as an opportunity to shop for the “cheapest ” car insurance or purchase insurance at perhaps a cheaper rate than what the customer is currently receiving.  While we are all looking for the best rates on different types of insurance, it is important to understand the value of talking with a local insurance professional who specializes in listening to the customer’s insurance needs, sharing their understanding and then researching the best insurance policy and price for them. For example, when I was looking for car insurance, the quote I found online had a low deductible for collision insurance making my premium higher. After speaking with my local agent, she suggested that I did not need a lot of collision insurance as I have an older vehicle; however, my father has a new car, so his collision coverage needs to be able to cover the cost of any fixes his car may need, thus a lower deductible. Often these rates depend on your age, assets, etc. which is why an insurance agent can help guide you towards the perfect plan for you.

Local Insurance Agencies with Experience Provide Value

As you attain more assets, you will also benefit from having someone in the business who has experience handling multiple insurance policies and/or umbrella coverage. When you are looking for an affordable rate, you may get what you ask for from an online insurance tool in finding a cheap insurance rate, but what you may not get is the the best policy for you to protect your insurance assets – you, family, healthcare, auto insurance, life insurance, etc. Online quotes are simply a starting point when shopping around.

Finding quotes online through automated search platforms can be helpful, but the local agencies with trained insurance professionals you know bring added value to ensure you get the best deal (value) for the money you are investing each month.  Then when the time comes to get a claim paid, the same agent you have been working with all along will then assist in ensuring you get what you are owed. At a small, localshopping deals on the web agency like Dickey McCay, you will have an agent who answers the phone and goes to work for you so that you are covered when needed. Smaller, experienced, hard-working local insurance agencies like Dickey McCay Insurance will fight for you and aid in helping you create the best policy for you and your family. These are a few of the important benefits you should consider when searching for the best quote.  Sure, there will be some pricing online that will look tempting and even push you hard to hit the enter button to complete the transaction, but one needs to think and weight out personal touch, pricing, experience, community support (giving back) and background of insurance company, etc.

At Dickey McCay, you will sit with a trained professional insurance agent (person) and be able to call him/her as needed. You are not just a number in a huge corporate insurance agency but a personal name with a face who needs insurance support.

Local Insurance Agencies Care About their Community

What Dickey McCay Insurance wants is what is best for you. They value and support the communities they serve, and as your local insurance agency, they can guide you to secure the best insurance policy for you at the most affordable price based on the highest quality of the insurance company when it comes to purchasing an insurance policy and supporting a future claim. It’s all about treating people like you want to be treated – fair, honest and caring.

Health Insurance Plans for the Unexpected

Health Insurance – Security and Peace of Mind for the Unexpected

Whenever I hear someone say that they do not have insurance, I feel obligated to let them know how important it is to have insurance in case of an accident. Without insurance, I remind them, you are putting your financial life in the hands of someone else or in the hands of luck. Recently I met someone who dislocated his shoulder; since he does not have health insurance, he cannot afford to get an MRI or surgery, so he will have to be in pain until he buys health insurance and can afford a doctor’s visit.

Securing those Assets we Love

health insurance_caring and protecting family

Most people realize what a huge risk they are taking if they opt out of health insurance, while some assume that if he/she takes care of their own body then they have control of their health. In fact, according to bankruptcy and legal experts, medical bills have been a leading cause of personal bankruptcy because unlike other leading causes of debt, medical bills are often unexpected, involuntary, and large.Often this means that the larger your family’s deductible, the more financial protection you have. Accidents can occur at any moment and people with quality health insurance see more benefits than those without. Here are just a few benefits to consider:

Insured people receive better and more timely healthcare:

People who are uninsured usually receive fewer preventive benefits and get less screening and education as to how he/she can prevent future health-related obstacles. Screening is essential as some diseases like breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, and cervical cancer can be detected in the early stages and cured. It is good news for adults and children that health care plans are now required by law to cover preventative screening each year with no deductible or co-pay as long as they are performed by a doctor/provider in your network.Uninsured pregnant women tend to receive little to no pre-natal care, which is not advocated for, in regards, to the health of the mother and the baby.

Better health outcome:

People who are not insured tend to get sick from time to time, may face an unexpected illness, infection, or accident, and in extreme cases has to spend days, week, or months in the hospital, some people may never be able to leave professional care. In such cases, insured individuals receive better healthcare and tend to live a better life with controlled health conditions. No matter the condition, one is able to reap maximum benefits of an insurance plan. Individual health Insurance safeguards one’s health in general as well as the risk of debt once care moves into the realm of intensive care, surgeries, multiple doctor visits a year, and extended hospital stays.

Individual Health Insurance Saves a lot of Money

People spend their lifetime savings and other resources trying to cater for huge medical bills. Medical insurance plans cater for the patient’s medical needs, thus saving them even when they are financially down. Uninsured patients often become a source of burden to other family members who are unable to cater for the hospital bills that inevitably show up after a hospital visit. The health insurance saves the insured individuals from the unexpected and the high medical costs as no one plans to fall ill.

Unexpected Accidents and/or Illness

No one can foresee an accident, especially one on the road, fires, or perhaps doing your favorite hobby. Even many chronic illnesses are unforeseen for families and individuals, and without good health insurance, it can become impossible to pay for basic healthcare needs. Let’s say for example your child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at ten years old. For the next eight to sixteen years your child will be covered under your health insurance, which is good for your child but can become expensive for you. Many diabetics have to pay thousands of dollars a months for medical supplies, and that is with health insurance, so having great health insurance is important in reducing stress and debt for you and your family. Dickey McCay can help you pick out a health insurance plan that is right for you; we will take into consideration these important factors like your family’s health and unforeseen circumstances such as accidents and/or illness that can affects you for the rest of your life.

If you want a reliable insurance provider, who can provide you the most current information regarding advice, then Dickey McCay Insurance agency is the best local option to consider. They understand your local issues and can meet your needs at a moment’s notice.

Caring and Protecting those You Love

health insurance protection for the future

When you decide to purchase health insurance for yourself and your family, you want to be sure that the insurance you choose includes necessary features. Here are the most important ones to make sure your insurance will encompass:



Specific Coverage

Your health insurance should cover the medical needs you have without covering those that do not affect you. For example, if you anticipate having a baby, you want to be sure that the policy you choose covers prenatal and maternity expenses as well as quality coverage for the child’s own medical expenses. If you know that having a baby is not in your future, there is no need to but this type of coverage.

Pre-Existing Conditions

If you or someone in your family has a pre-existing condition, you may want to check with your local insurance agent, seek advice and take appropriate action as the national health care laws can change from one year to the next. An experienced local insurance agent can keep you informed of the changes and help you maintain the right type of insurance for peace of mind and financial security. Whether you are young, middle age or growing wiser with age, inform yourself, and consider your options wisely and carefully as it could save you money and protect your most important asset — you.


Most people have a budget that puts a cap on how much they can spend on health insurance and medical needs. Figure out how much you can afford per month in health insurance costs so you know which insurance is affordable for you when you look at options. Ideally, you want to get the best coverage you can while still keeping the cost reasonable.

If you have any questions about your existing insurance coverage or need additional help about saving money, please give the caring insurance professionals a call at Dickey McCay Insurance agency to determine if all your assets and/or loved ones are covered.