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Double Indemnity


The Signature

By Amir Faress • 12/25/19

Walter, an insurance salesman, has fallen for a married woman, Phyllis, who seeks his assistance in killing her husband after signing him up with a life insurance policy. To carry out the plan, Walter adds an extra signature page to the vehicle insurance policy the husband was about to renew. By signing the document, the husband enrolls in a life insurance policy without realizing it.


This scheme is riddled with problems. For one thing, it entirely hinges on the husband never reading the second document. Although it is a plausible possibility, Walter could not have banked on it. Even if the chances of the husband flipping through the final page were only 20%, it is hard to imagine even the sloppiest of criminals taking that chance.


Phyllis’s husband was a successful businessman, and Walter had reason to expect a person of his acumen to at least take a cursory glance at the important document he was about to sign.


The second problem with this plot point is that it requires the insurance company to believe the second document (the life insurance policy) was signed at a later date, when Walter supposedly went to the husband’s workplace and “closed him.” For this lie to work, the life insurance policy could not have had a date. This, in itself, must have struck the husband as curious and given him cause to eyeball the document. One would think this would have figured prominently in Walter’s planning when devising the plot.   


The third problem is that the scheme requires the insurance company to believe Walter received a check from the husband after going to his workplace. Had anyone at the insurance company looked into this claim, they would have found all sorts of red flags. Is Walter saying he received two checks, one on the night of the actual signing of the documents and one a few days later? This couldn’t be the case because second meeting never actually took place. Given that the late husband cut only one check payable to the insurance company for the amount of the renewal policy (not the life insurance policy, which he did not know about), how could Walter have completed the transaction for the life insurance without payment? Are we to assume the husband never noticed paying for the life insurance? Even if there was a way around this issue (which there isn’t), the check date would clearly show that the transaction did not happen “a few days later.”

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