The Insurance Industry is an interesting scheme. You pay me a monthly fee to cover one thing or
another, and when it comes my turn to hold up my end of the deal I do everything I can to avoid
it, I treat you like an enemy, and somehow, with the full force of government behind me, suddenly
discover that our contract is worthless in this particular instance, and I owe you nothing.
I had insurance with—what’s that one with the three circles containing the words, auto, home,
life—that one. I had their sticker proudly displayed on my bumper, they were such good folks. My
parents had been with them for a thousand years. So, one night, while I was sleeping, a slightly
inebriated doctor in a brand new, top of the line Volvo comes flying around the corner and slams
into my old Mazda pick-up truck, which is neatly, legally parked in a marked space on the
opposite corner. I hear the sounds of the accident, and get up to have a look. When I see that
this doctor guy is stumbling around -- either injured or doing an impressive imitation of a drunken
doctor -- I rush down three flights of stairs and cross the street to ask if he is alright.
He puffs up, all full of umbrage and aristocratic condescension. Apparently, I’ve over-stepped
some class boundary by rushing out to see if he was unharmed. He points at my legally parked
truck and asks if it’s mine. While looking at the damage I abstractly say that it is. There's some
damage to the truck, not much. His new Volvo however, is a bit of a mess.
He demands to see my driver’s license.
“I wasn’t driving,” I say.
He DEMANDS to see my driver’s license.
“I wasn’t driving,” I say again.
He DEMANDS my driver’s license a third time. And I just start to walk away. Now, he’s yelling
something like, “Don’t you walk away from here! You’re leaving the scene of an accident!”
It’s like 3 a.m. I've always harbored a profound distaste for idiocy.
I walk back to the man, and as calmly as any man can possibly deliver these words I say, “Listen
to me, you stupid son of a bitch. That truck was legally parked. It’s still legally parked. I was not in
that truck. That truck was not running and I was not driving it. I was upstairs across the street, in
bed, sound asleep. YOU hit MY car with YOUR car. Good night.”
And I left the scene of the accident.
When the policeman rang my doorbell about an hour later I explained those same few facts to
him, but in a somewhat calmer tone.
So, the following day I get a phone call from his insurance company. I explain it to them pretty
much in the same manner I just explained it to you. They send me a form to fill out with diagrams.
I fill out the form and take every opportunity to state my case, on that form. My truck was parked.
It was parked legally. It was not running. I was not in it. I was not even near it. I was across the
street, upstairs on the third floor, in bed, next to whatever woman I happened to be with at the
time, sound asleep. I enclose a little added letter with those facts reiterated.
That’s the amount the insurance companies determined I had contributed to that accident.
I received a letter from MY insurance company saying that I was 10% responsible for that
accident. I was 10% at fault. It was a brief letter, stating only my percentage involvement,
followed by a statement proclaiming that they would pay for my share of the damages this time,
but, I should be aware that any additional claims might lead to a higher rate or cancellation of my
I leave it to you to imagine the nature and tone of the phone conversations that took place with
MY insurance company concerning this 10% bullshit. But that conversation got me nowhere.
So, you know. I dropped auto insurance cold, and for something like 10 or 12 years got along
pretty well without it.
Real American Writin' for Real American Readin'
by HENRY EDWARD FOOL