Gotta have it!

Well the official definition of Insurance is: The equitable transfer of the risk of a potential loss from one entity to another in exchange for a premium.

Of course we all know that means you have to pay a premium for insurance and hope you never have to use that insurance for an accident or disaster! It’s a nifty form of gambling on the insurance company’s part, they are betting that you will pay premiums for a long time and never have any reason to have to have them pay for anything. Auto insurance is the most widely used form of insurance with over near 200 million cars insured nationally and in Oregon 3 million of us have it.

That is an amazing amount of money changing hands monthly and yearly and the other day I became one of the people asking for an insurance settlement.

Two weeks ago last Friday as I was backing out of a store parking lot I looked up to see a good size SUV coming directly towards the left front of my car. I blasted my horn but couldn’t completely stop the collision, which appeared to be minor. The driver of the SUV apologized profusely for not seeing me you must have been in my blind spot and gave me her insurance information.

We went on our separate ways and when I got home I dialed the 800 number she gave me only to get a recording that the office was closed until Monday. So was how the journey began.

By Wednesday, I finally made contact with the insurance company who told me they would send a property damage specialist by in two days and asked if I’d had an estimate taken already. I told them I was getting one in the morning and that was that. Then the next day I saw how fast the money we pay for insurance is spent as opposed as to how long it takes to actually get it from the insurance company.

My damage estimate was done in 20 minutes and faxed to the insurance company. By the time I got home the insurance company had called saying their specialist would be there the next day, a day early. Bright and early he was there taking pictures and his estimate was the same as the body shops so he faxed that to the insurance company. He told me he was actually hired by the insurance company and paid a fee plus mileage from Eugene and back to check it out and he was more than happy to agree with the first estimate.

As it stands today my car will have about $600 dollars worth of repairs done on it and the money will be spent at a body shop and for the estimator. Once the money was beginning to flow all the parties involved were more than happy and ready to get going! After all, it is good money for them and the company will be out a small sum compared to what they’ve taken in and they probably will bump up the rates the woman who hit me pays. But what the heck, they just lost one small hand of blackjack but they are going to win a bunch of them over the course of the game!

An amusing side note is that the estimator told me he’d just finished with a new BMW that had over $8,000 dollars worth of damage done to its front. Of that $600 was for the headlight assembly and a whopping $800 for the light bulb, which is an imported high-tech automatic dimming bulb! I’m really glad I have a regular car after hearing that one!

Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!