Wind, hail in N.C.
Coverage cut, but did you know?
If you have wind and hail coverage on your home anywhere in coastal North Carolina, it's not worth anywhere close to what you might think. The N.C. legislature enacted House Bill 1305, and it was signed into law on Aug. 26, 2009 (it became Session Law 2009-472 that date). It lowered your protection without lowering your premiums. Under your state-controlled wind and hail policy, the contents of your home are now covered at only 40 percent of their value as opposed to 70 percent before the law, and it is no longer at the actual cash value to replace them. Coverage is now at 40 percent of what the state and the insurance companies say they're worth - a price much lower than their replacement cost. To reinstate the actual cash value coverage at 40 percent will cost you about $156 per year more.
For more information, contact your insurance carrier and/or go to www.ncjua-nciua.org, look to the right under "Breaking News," and scroll down to "House Bill 1305 Signed Into Law."
Sunset Beach, N.C.
Remind leaders how essential benefits are
S.C. seniors need to pay attention to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in Washington. This commission is making recommendations to reduce the annual deficit to 3 percent of the national economy by 2015. Social Security and Medicare are current targets.
While seniors support deficit reduction, we cannot support cutting benefits critical to America's most vulnerable populations. Without Social Security and Medicare:
47 percent of elderly households, 1.3 million children and 55 percent of severely disabled workers would now live in poverty.
2.4 million grandparent-headed households caring for 4.5 million grandchildren would lose their most important source of income and health care.
We urge all seniors to let their members of Congress know how important Social Security and Medicare are to you and your families.
The writer is president of the S.C. Alliance for Retired Americans
U.S. needs to rebuild at home; exit wars
What concerns me more than anything right now, as a voting citizen, is our nation's involvement in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a complicated issue, and a lot of smart and dedicated people are struggling to do something about it. But too many of our fellow citizens of all ages are losing their lives on the other side of the world.
It reminds me of Vietnam. We got involved. We lost a lot of lives. We ended up "losing" rather than winning. As one of our senators said, "Let's declare victory and leave." And finally we did.
I come from a family that has served, voted, tried hard to speak up and stand up for what we think is right for our great country.
But please, congressmen, senators and others who have the smarts and the ability to change directions, please get us out of this international morass so we can rebuild our country. And not try to be the world's savior. That is not our job.