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Re: GSBN:SB Mutal Assurance Fund (was re: Our Home)

I recently learned that American Family Insurance was offering coverage for
straw-bale structures...and there is also a rumor floating that State Farm
may be open once again to coverage - but this is a rumor!

The idea of a SB Mutual Assurance Fund (SBMAF) is worth pursuing for
emergencies such as Chuck's and others, however, as RT notes there are many
legal and financial complications to be explored. I'm willing to put in some
time on this as it's important.

I also think it's very important for all of us to continue to educate and
help loss control personnel and others in the insurance industry understand
more about straw-bale and natural building for structures and to gain their
support and conquer their fears about  building methods and materials they
do not understand. We have talked about a packet of information that could
be prepared and made available to everyone - and maybe we should push
forward to get this done. I'd be glad to continue to work with associations
and individuals to assemble and prepare the materials and help get it
printed and packaged. Might be necessary to charge a nominal fee to cover
costs, however.

Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
The Last Straw journal
GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161

on 2.6.2006 2:54 PM, Rob Tom at archilogic@...:

> "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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