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The Washtenaw Mutual Fire Ins. Co.

The Washtenaw Mutual Fire Ins. Co. image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
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A special meeting of the ofllcers of the Wasliti n:iv -Mutual Fire Insiu-ancc Coni. pany was beid at the otllce of the coinpauy ou the 15th of December 1Ö70. The object of the meeting was to consuler questions pertal □ log to mutual Insurance, The President of the company, J. Q. Lcland, made ome intioductory remarks concermnj? the questlons to be presented, and the èecretary made the followtng statemeut of facts : We do not tish to be understood as astamlng tu díctate to tliis Honorable body vvhat measures sliall or shall not beadopted fot the conduct of the alVxirs of the Washtonaw Mutual Fire Insurance Company. We only desirc to olfcr some sugestiona coiicerninjr the business of tlie company, and the position which it occupies at the present time. Itlsuseless totall youhow long Lliis comptfny bas been in cxistcnce, or that it now is a Btroug power. Every farmer In Wushteoaw County is consciou that SUch a coinpany exista, and believes it to l)e au organlzatlon wiiicli cannot easily be overllirown. Tlie questioii we have to coaglder is, how eau iiiis power be made more ell'tciive in carrylng out the purposes for wiiicli it w:is created. The BtroDgest iorce is oomparatlvely aseless when noi properlj directed. Tüough the company may be large in the niimbei' of its memben and api tal ; Chough it is sustuined by tlie coudence of the people, vet il its offloera are ot alivc to the püt'ormance of the iluties wliich devolve upon tliem, sthe interests of the company must doffer. In a mutual company the Interests of every memberare personal; all the acts of tliose ivlio manage a I'aiis ure open to criticism. The pros perity or advarelty ot" sucli a companj affecta dlrectly all wbo compose It Man; matual cora paules have i'aileil Blmply be ca use business was nol properiy couducted. We hope tliis camiot be said of the Washíenaw Mutual. Wc venture toeay, coukl he who was the prime mover In orgaulzkig iliis company sec it in its present mammoth proportious, hc woulil not pre dïet its early downl'all. The melhod of insuranqe flrst adopted, was to issue gronping policios; afterwarde mere specitlo policles ui-re made use ot In a mutual com pany i Is esseutial tliat eqnallty of rlghta slumlil be observed in order to preserve harïiiiiny in the management of its aflairs. In the charter ot the cotnpaay is a clansc which reqnires thatevery agreement for nsnrance sball particular)? set forili by scliedule, tr.c property Insored, its locality and value. Tliis is not done by the groupmg policios. Mncli Inconvenlence is experienced In adjastlng tlic claim wlieu a loss :ias occurred on property lnsnred linder a Fouplug policy. ïhey are like au incn0Q8 advertisemeut wc once saw wbich was aade to read severa) ways, but witli this llfference, they have a varylng Blgnlficatlon wliic i corresponda to tlic way in which hey are read. H isa fact wortliy of notico that in i vi iv case of loss sustained on proprty Insurfid byone of these policiee for the ast year and a half the loser aud the ïoard havadlffercd In Interpretlng the polcy except in cases where the loss lias far exoeeded tlie Insurance. It has been tUe aiin of the present Board to lake up pol( i s of tliis clnss and issue in their place it w ones of a speciflc kind. The townshlp commlttee can rendir valuable afcslstance j in tile accotnpllshlug of tliis work. Wliile wc are conseious of tlie peculiar privileges ! whlcti these policies allow, we flrmly be! lleve it vvili be of aovantage to tiiose holding tiicin If tney exchange these for new pódeles. If tliis Is doue, the Insurance on mu li properiy thal is now iusurcd ibove its real valué will he ivduced, mil much tliat is now nnsafe wil! be rendered secure. Thora is a responsibillty resting tipun tlie township coiaimttee whichshcmld beclear ly uuderstood. wnen an application for lusorance la Issned, theouegivlng t ousht to leel that ií cal led apon lo testify he can say wlth a clear consclence tlie Insurance was not too high. Experience has ghowu that it la bel ter to Insare li lildings at a low estímate oud Increáseon tbe personal property. Buildings, ae often di ceptive ín their appearaoce, and oncean jiul.ce bestoftbeir valué alter liaviiig thorougüly examlned tlie way in which tliey are constructed and the state oí' repairs in wliich they ure. When tlie business of Isstting appllcatlons was Hrsi Bssumed by the comralttee men, the Board held that it was proper for eaeh oue of the cotntnltlee to issue ipplications tu those restdlug In adjolulng townshlps. ir iherewasno varluUoa ia tlie estímales of different persaas, we are satisfied that thla wonld be the best inethod. Jiut t is as natural for men to dlfier as it is human to eer, henee we would draw tbe bouudrary linea dlstlnct, and bold t-ach man responsible for the appllcationa In his owd towusliip. 1 ii case the appilcant and the com minee cannot agree, appeal sboold beraade to the Board, and the q,uestioti should he decided by those vvho compose it. In col ectlng assessroents yon are livqucntly met with the assertlon that .insu ranee in the ompany is es ing inite as mucli as it would to keep lusured i a stock compauy l'o all s:ie:i assertlons yon can reply with ïuthority. that it has eost ten dollars for eight years to keep one tlioasand dollars lisnred, i" at the rato of one dollar and ;wenty-flvc cents peryear. In n stock com a:iy it would cosl twenty-six dollars and sixiy six cents, or at the rate of one per cent, fot three years. It is alsocbarged that It is iki-.v cos t Ing much more tlnin 'oruierly to remaln Insured, and conaoquently the affalrs of the company are not jroperly managed. Wc lrankly ulmitthat loMses tor the last two years have been rreater than for the two prevlous yeare. ii the yars i!-") and 'M assessments were .50 per thoosand ; in 18G!) and 70 at $1.06 and $1 5-J, so that for the last wo years the expense has been bat a trifle ;reater than in 1885 snd 'G(i. Thlconly iroves that we cannot properiy judge of' lie expense If we omit to take iuto consideratlou the amonnt of loss We only ask hat jus tice may he done. The recelpts ou lew pollciea nnd addltluns tot W69 and '70 ,vcrc (1,923 To, while in 1865 and '0G they were mucb less. The addltional expenses of '69 anti "70 over '65 aud '66 is fmlj' balmced by the exces of recelpts for those reara. ïgeuts lor stock coinpanies will ell you tboogh II may oost rottier more to usure with theni, they are SO much more Iberal in thelr adjostments tbat Itlscheapcr in tlii: end to Insuro In a stock company, jesides, y our nelghbon will nol, havo the pportunlty to pay otr oíd gradees by ifndcrestlinatlng yonr property. We answer, rou eau hest jttdge of' their liberality by exuniniiiLc the back of one of' their policies, and we have yet to liear or' the company vlilcb j):iy losses without in vestigntlon. ferplexlng questlons are constantiy arisn concern) Dg what property can be in smid as farm property. One 111:111 will apjly for Insarance on a hop house ; he is very rireiiii iboiit Ure in niet, hls building Is al most Ürc proof. Another luis a eider dWI : Ue ris no Hre In the building, and is ispeclally carel'ul not to al luw smoking a round it. A thlrd has a wind-mill constracted for the pnrpose of pnmplng water 'or his stock for hls fainily ose j he has a rrindlng aparatan attached wliich he uses occasioiiiiüy ; his buildings are Sopplled with water tanks so consti-ucted that should a'flre occur 'water could be easily used. We mlghl inaltiply Individual cases of this kind. hut these are luffic'ent lor our purpose. We ask yon to conslder wheth;r property of this kind can bc insnred as farm property, and if it is proper to so 11sure it. Will the risk be any Rreater than on property the company iias already insu red. A petition lias been handed to the Board of Directora, dateel the 4th of October, 1870, requestiiiir that the office of the company be closed three dnys in the week, as its sifrners bellere that the necessary and legitímate business of tbe comjiany could bc done by a persmi of ordimry business capaclty In hall the time now consiimed. This is b queetlon Which is of vital interest to the company, au 1 one whoce proper ])lace to present, wc believe, would have been at tbe annual meeting of this year. lts coming after would lead one fo snppooc that It was eqggeüted by the report of the business of the company glven at that, time. Y ou have already the opinión of the Board of Directora In relation to this qnestlon. your Secrctarv would never have reecivcd a tbonoand dollors for hls serviöes had lie consldered that he gave the company the equivalent of only half hts time. Öf his business capaclty the members of the compny must jndge. The Board shonld never have allowed hini the full aniount prorlded by the charter if they had consldered the business could have been properiy done by a com pel ent man in half the (.me. There are many qoentlons we bave omltted to not'uc, to which we mliilit invite yonr attentlon, hut we will only sny in conelu slon, that vve confldently believe whaisoevcraction you lakc, lt, will bc taken with the best nterests of the company in view and willresult in good. VV. HA.MILTON, Sec'yThe folIowiiiR resolutious wero uuanimously ailoplcd: Hesolced, That the townslilp commlttee be Inatructed to issue applicatious upon the followin;; basis : First class property at three fourths lts cash value. Secoud class property at two thircU lts cash value. Thtrd class property at one-half its cash value. Resototd, That each township committcs in K'vilf! applications for insurance sliall be restrictcd to the township ot' vvhich he is coiniulite man. JBetolved, That the Board of Directora be requested to order au investigation of the dweiling houses lusured In eacli of the townsliips. He.iolvcd, Tliat the Secretary be instructed to keep the oftice open uix days iu the week. Sttohed, That the Board of DifeCiors be aulhorized to revise tlie by laws of the company, and to nmke such new ones as they shall deern aecess&rf. J. G. LELAND.Pres. W. Hamilton, Sec'yAs maoy of our readers, especially those in the rural districts, are members of or interested in the VashtenaV Mutual Fire Insurance Company, we publish for their informatiou and benefit, in tliis issue, the proceedings of a recent meeting of the offleers oi that company. lts ligures and facts are both suggestive and important. Some of our citizens evidontly failcd to read llie receut proclaraation of the Mayor, directing the sidewalks to bc cleaned as provkled by llie city ordinances ; or at least the walks were uot all clcaned after the snow-storm of Wednesday nioruing. The time to pay taxes at a naving of three per cent. - collector's Ices - expires to-morrow. A cali must bc made on the collectors before the close oí business hours. __ The weatber coutinued sovere up to Tuesday, with the mercury uncomfortably near to zero, now above aud now below, since Whlcb tt has been more moderate. On Wednesday inornlng therc was an addition to tliesuow, and capital Slelghlng prevails. The meetings of the State Teachers' and Coiinty Suptrintendents' Assoclationp, held at Ypsilanti tliis week, have been laagely attended, and the proceedingj liavo been of more than usual interest.


Old News
Michigan Argus