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[GSBN-Greenbuilder] GSBN:SB Mutal Assurance Fund (was re: Our Home)

"Chuck Learned" clearned@... wrote:
[snipped & pasted for brevity,
   please see message #9649 in the SB-r-us archives for full text of
   Chuck's message  <a  target="_blank" href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SB-r-us/messages/9649";>http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SB-r-us/messages/9649</a> ]

> [year 1 to year 5 of owner-builder process <snipped>
> This spring we were to ... move in.

> last Friday night we watched it all burn to the ground.

> We had no insurance, we tried a few times to get it and were
> un-successful,though we felt more hopeful that we would get it once we
> moved in.Now its a wasteland a charred dreams.

I don't know what progress has been made on the Alt Home Insurance list
but Chuck's situation has brought the issue to the forefront again.

Long ago it was suggested that since SB/Natural homeowner/builders often
experience difficulty in obtaining insurance that we might take care of it
ourselves through a Co-operative-type set-up.

For instance, there are currently just under 900 subscribers to the
SB-r-us listserver.
Add in the members of the REPP SB List who aren't also subscribed to the
sister list SB-r-us and I wouldn't be surprised if there are at least 1000
SB listmembers in total.

I don't think that I would be too far off-base to suggest that every one
of those subscribers has at least $1000 sitting in some
low-interest-bearing thing like a bank savings account, govt bonds or term
deposits etc. earning minimal, single-digit interest annually.

Now what if we were to all pool that excess cash into a SB Mutal Assurance
Fund (SBMAF)that could be used for emergencies like Chuck's situation
where everything that his family once had, is now gone.

That'd be a chunk of change in the neighbourhood of $1 million and even a
financial illiterate such as I knows that invested wisely, could easily
earn doubt-digit % annual returns that would provide the shareholders the
same interest income that the banks or bonds would provide so that they
need not lose that income and the balance of the earnings could be
re-invested to increase the assets of the SBMAF.

The SBMAF could be adminstered by an elected board etc. and all that legal
stuff to ensure that everything is well-managed and on the up-and-up.

Then in the event of a catastrophe such as Chuck's, where there is no
insurance, money could be provided to help the victim get over the initial
hump ... food, clothing etc and perhaps later on, enough to buy the
materials to erect a new house shell, hopefully with volunteer labour in
the form of work parties etc., proved that the house is of a reasonbly
modest size. The materials for the basic shell (ie without interior
finishing) would easily be in the 5 digits, anywhere in North America so
theoretically the fund would be able to deal with 10 or more incidents in
a given calendar year if the fund is "fully charged".

Repayment would of course be required, with terms that are the same as
with any traditional bank since it is not a charity.

But other items should be looked after by the SBMAF as well, like having a
"SWAT" team that can provide all the necessary support in situations like
Chuck's... like clothing, food and temp shelter if necessary and later on,
work parties for the raising of a new shell, just like any good neighbour
would do.

I know that in theory, the thing should work and could be up and running
as quickly as tomorrow if desired, given the existence of electronic
moneytools like Paypal.

The only thing I'm not sure about are the legalities and tax implications
of such a fund.

=== * ===
Rob Tom
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
<ArchiLogic at chaffyahoo dot ca>
(winnow the chaff  from my edress in your reply)

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