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§ 2. Every company so formed shall choose of their number,
Directors. not less than five or more than nine directors, to manage the affairs of such company,who shall hold their office for one year and until others are elected, and such directors shall choose one of their number president and one as secretary.
$ 3. The directors of such company shall file their articles of association together with a copy of their by-laws and the names of the officers of such company, in the clerk's office of the town in which the office of such company is located, and shall keep a record of their proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose, together with the names of all persons insured, and the amount each person is insured, which record shall be open for the inspection of all the members of such company, from the hours of nine o'clock A. M. to four o'clock P. M. of each secular day, the established holidays excepted.
§ 4. The directors of such company may issue policies, signed Policies. by their president and secretary, agreeing in the name of such company to pay all damages which may be sustained by fire or lightning, for a term not exceeding five years by the holders of such policies, not exceeding the sum named in the policy, and which shall not exceed the sum of three thousand dollars in any one risk, excepting upon detached buildings upon farms, upon which such risks shall not exceed five thousand dollars. [As modified by Laws of 1867, chap. 441, § 1, and amended by Laws of 1873, chap. 561, $ 1, and by Laws of 1874, chap. 560, $ 1, The amending acts make the same applicable to all town insurance companies heretoforc formed or organized thereunder.] $ 5. Every person so insured shall give his undertaking, bear- Under
takings. ing even date with the policy so issued to him, binding himself, his heirs and assigns, to pay his pro rata share to the company of all losses by fire which may be sustained by any member thereof; and every such undertaking shall within thirty days after the execution thereof be filed by the secretary of such company in the office of the clerk of the town in which the office of said company is located, and shall remain permanently on file in such office, except when required to be produced in court as evidence. He shall also at the time of effecting insurance pay such percentage in cash, and such reasonable sum for a policy as may be required by the rules or by-laws of the company. [As amended by Laws of 1860, chap. I53,8 1.] ,
8 6. Every member of such company, holding a policy not exLosses, how ascer- pired or vitiated, who may sustain loss thereunder, shall immedi
ately notify the president, or in his absence the secretary thereof, who shall forthwith convene the directors of such company, whose duty it shall be when so convened to appoint a committee of not less than three nor more than five members of such company, to ascertain the amount of such loss, which, if agreed to by the loser and directors, shall be paid to the said loser as in this act provided. But in case of the inability or failure of the said parties to so agree, or in case the said directors for any cause shall dispute the liability of said company, the said loser or claimant, upon ten days' notice thereof to the president of such company, may appeal to the county judge of the county in which the office of said company is located, and said county judge shall appoint three disinterested persons as referees, who shall have full authority to issue subpænas, administer oaths to witnesses, examine them under oath, and to fully investigate and determine all matters in dispute. Said referees, or any two of them, in case they cannot all agree, shall make their decision in writing to the president of such company, or in his absence the secretary thereof, within sixty days after their appointment, unless upon good cause shown the time has been extended by the county judge making such appointment or his successor in office, which decision shall be final. The said referees shall each be allowed the sum of three dollars per day for every day's service so rendered, and the witnesses the same fees allowed by law to witnesses in the supreme court, which expenses shall be paid by the claimant unless the decision of said referees shall be more favorable to him than the amount which the said directors were willing to allow him, in which case they shall be paid by the company. [As amended by Laws of 1878, chap. 412, $ 1.]
§ 7. The companies formed under the provisions of this act property.
may classify the property insured therein at the time of issuing policies thereon under different rates corresponding as nearly as may be to the greater or less risk from fire and loss, which
may attach to each several building insured. Whenever the amount of any loss shall have been ascertained, which exceeds in amount the cash funds of the company the president shall convene the directors of said company who shall make an assessment upon all the property insured, to the amount for which each several piece of property is insured, taken in connection with the rate of premium under which it may have been classified.
$ 8. It shall be the duty of the president, whenever such assessment shall have been completed, to immediately notify every per-president. son composing such company, by letter sent to his usual post-office address, of the amount of such loss, and the sum due from him as his share thereof, and of the time when and to whom such payment is to be made; but such time shall not be less than sixty nor more than ninety days from the date of such notice, and every person designated to receive such money may demand and receive two per cent in addition to the amount due on each assessment as aforesaid, for his fees in receiving and paying over such money. $ 9. Suits at law may be brought against any member of such
law, company who shall neglect or refuse to pay any assessment made upon them by the provisions of this act, and the directors of any company so formed who shall willfully refuse or neglect to perform the duties imposed upon them by the foregoing sections of this act shall be liable in their individual capacity to the person sustaining such loss.
§ 10. No company formed under this act shall insure any prop- that may be erty out of the limits of the town or towns comprised in the for- insured. mation of the company, nor shall they insure any property other than detached dwellings and their contents, farm buildings and their contents, and such stores, hotels, churches, school-houses and other public buildings, together with their contents, as the directors of any company formed under this act shall deem proper, provided such store, hotel, church, school-house or public building shall be at least one hundred feet from any other building, nor shall they insure any property within the limits of any incorporated city in this State.
All acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed. [As amended by Laws of 1858, chap. 285, $ 2; Laws of 1872, chap. 235, § 1, and by Laws of 1873, chap. 561, § 2.] 8 11. The directors of each company so formed, shall be chosen
Directors, by ballot at the annual meeting thereof, which shall be held on Chosen. the first Tuesday of January in each year, and every person insured shall have one vote for each two hundred and fifty dollars which he may be insured, but no person shall be allowed to vote by proxy at such elections.
(See Laws of 1866, chap. 828, § 1, post, p. 145, which modifies this section.) $ 12. It shall be the duty of the secretary of every company as aforesaid, to prepare a statement showing the condition of such com- statement. pany on the day preceding their annual meeting, which statement
shall contain the amount of property insured, the number of policies. issued and to whom, and the amount insured by each policy, and all other matters pertaining to the interests of such company, which statement shall be filed in the office of the town clerk in which said company may be located, on or before the fifteenth day of January in each year, and which statement shall also be read to the members of said company at their annual meeting.
(See Laws of 1866, chap. 828, § 1, post, p. 145, which modifies this section.) With $ 13. Any member of such company with the consent of the drawals.
majority of parties insured may withdraw therefrom at any time by giving notice in writing to the president, or in his absence, to the secretary thereof, and paying his share of all claims then existing against said company except that no such withdrawal shall be allowed as to any insurance on property which shall have been damaged or destroyed by fire, and on which the company shall have paid to the insured damages for the loss sustained; but in such case and to the extent of such insurance, the insured shall remain a member of the company and be liable to be assessed for its losses or expenses on the amount so insured during the term of such insurance. And the directors, or a majority of them, shall have power, subject however to the foregoing exceptions, to annul any policy by giving notice in writing to that effect to the holder thereof, [As amended by Laws 1861, chap. 80, $ 1.]
$ 14. Non-residents of any town in this State owning property Non-resibecomway therein, may become members of any company founded under
this act and shall be entitled to all rights and privileges appertaining thereto, except that it shall not be lawful for any such non. resident to become a director in said company unless he bę at the time of such membership a resident of a town adjoining the town in which said company has been formed under the provisions of this act.
$ 15. The company so formed may adopt such by-laws for its By-laws.
regulation as are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act,
and may therein prescribe the compensation of its officers. Duration of
§ 16. No company formed under this act shall continue for a existence of companies. longer period than thirty years,
(See Laws of 1881, chap. 305, post, p. 159.)
L. 1862, Chap. 347 -An Act to repeal chapter seven hun
dred and thirty-nine of the Laws of eighteen hundred and fifty-seven and chapter two hundred and eightyfive of the Laws of eighteen hundred and fifty-eight in relation to town insurance companies.
PASSED April 19, 1862. SECTION I. Chapter seven hundred and thirty-nine of the Repeal of Laws of eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, and chapter two hun- 1857 and ch. dred and eighty-five of the Laws of eighteen hundred and fifty- 1858, except eight, relating to town insurance companies, are hereby repealed ; ing com
panies. but nothing in this act contained shall affect any company or companies heretofore formed or organized under said chapters or either of them, or any rights acquired by such company or companies by virtue of such organization or organizations.
L. 1866, Chap. 828 – An Act in relation to such com
panies or organizations, as have been formed under the act entitled “ An Act to authorize the formation of town insurance companies,” passed April seventeen, ghteen hundred and fifty-seven.
PASSED April 27, 1866. SECTION 1. The directors of any company or organization Directors, formed under the act entitled “An act to authorize the formation when of town insurance companies," passed April seventeenth, eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, shall be chosen by ballot at the annual meeting thereof, which shall be held on the second Tuesday in January in each year, and every person insured shall have one vote for each two hundred and fifty dollars which he may be insured, but no person shall be allowed to vote by proxy at such election. It shall be the duty of the secretary of every company as aforesaid, to prepare a statement showing the condition of such to prepare company on the day preceding their annual meeting, which statement shall contain the amount of property insured, the number of policies issued and to whom, and the amount insured by each policy and all other matters pertaining to the interests of such company, which statement shall be filed in the office of the town clerk in which such company may be located, on or before the twenty-fifth day of January in each year, and which statement shall also be read to the members of said company at their annual meeting