chapter  XVII
6 Pages


Insurance against fire, ship\vreck, and other risks of destruction to property fulfils a similar purpose in the industrial economy. Except in a quite secondary way it does not aim at preventing the destruction of such property, but it prevents the loss from falling suddenly in its full force on any owner, by distributing it over a large number of o,vners and over a large period of time. If I live long enough, the chances' are that my house will be burnt down. If I have not insured, I shall suddenly find myself without a roof over my head and with no ability to get one. If I insure, I must content myself with a very slightly inferior house, but I have absolute security against the former terrible predicament. So it is with every sort of business insurance: the sudden total destruction of some important part of my material capital may destroy the whole efficiency of what remains and may suddenly cancel the value of my business ability.