The Ant and the Grasshopper and home insurance

It looks as if the insured bushfire victims who lost their homes will have to pay rent on temporary shelters provided by the government. They will have to pay from $40 to $100 per week (provided by their insurance policies). This rent will only be charged after a period of three months of living rent free. But those homeowners who were not insured will be bailed out by the government. So what would Aesop and La Fontaine have made of this situation?

I invite you to read the fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper as written by Aesop and then put into verse by Jean de La Fontaine. Here are both versions:-

    The Ants and the Grasshopper by Aesop

The ants were spending a fine winter’s day drying grain collected in the summertime. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him, “Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?’ He replied, “I had not leisure enough. I passed the days in singing.” They then said in derision: “If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter.”

    The Grasshopper And The Ant

    by Jean de La Fontaine

A grasshopper gay
Sang the summer away,
And found herself poor
By the winter’s first roar.
Of meat or of bread,
Not a morsel she had!
So a begging she went,
To her neighbour the ant,
For the loan of some wheat,
Which would serve her to eat,
Till the season came round.
“I will pay you,” she saith,
“On an animal’s faith,
Double weight in the pound
Ere the harvest be bound.”
The ant is a friend
(And here she might mend)
Little giver to lend.
“How spent you the summer?”
Quoth she, looking shame
At the borrowing dame.
“Night and day to each comer
I sang, if you please.”
“You sang! I ‘m at ease;
For ‘t is plain at a glance,
Now, ma’am, you must dance.”

I have to ask what incentive is there for a person to insure his home or even save for a rainy day if he is going to be bailed out financially anyway? Why should the hard workers of the world support those who couldn’t be bothered thinking ahead?

I’m not referring here to the poor who can’t afford homes. They have to be helped in a caring society. There will always be the ill, the disabled and the unable who will rightly depend on social aid.

The people I’m accusing are the grasshoppers of the world who bought a house and did not insure it—those “She’ll be right, mate” types who think that the world owes them. Well, it’s time that the grasshoppers of the world pulled their weight.

I think that if every homeowner insured his home and contents then insurance would be cheaper for all of us. I also think that from now on it should be compulsory, the way that stamp duty is or Third Party Insurance for cars. I bet that those uninsured homeowners had TV sets, went on holidays and even drank and partied occasionally. Had they sacrificed some of those pleasures to protect themselves from disasters, we, who are the ants of the world, would feel more charitable towards them should tragedy strike.

What I’m pleading for is a sense of responsibility. Stop the singing, you grasshoppers and face reality!


One thought on “The Ant and the Grasshopper and home insurance

  1. Aesop? What about the Prodigal son! Sure he was a waster but God still loved him and hence we have to love these people too even when they have a good time at our expense(until the Bushfires which affected everybody badly)


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