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
NOT QUITE YET AVAILABLE