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

At 3:54 PM -0500 2/6/06, Rob Tom wrote:
>"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.

Pretty much zip.  Most people on the list seem to want someone else 
to do the work of figuring out how to get insurance companies to 
insure alt. homes.

Chuck, not surprisingly, was one of the few on the list who bothered 
to participate in discussion.

>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.

It's also possible that we could just approach an insurer of our 
choice and say "hey, we have 2,000 people who want *you* to insure 
them.  Please come up with a plan to do so".  I don't think it's been 
tried yet.

>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.

uh.... maybe on average, if we're lucky. 

>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.

Anyone on the list NOT a financial illiterate?  Or better still, IS a 
financial genius, or know one who could A) shoot holes in the idea or 
B) make it happen?

Bill Christensen
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