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Double Indemnity is a film written in 1944 by a crime novelist, Raymond Chandler, director Billy Wildern, and James M. Cain. It depicts the dramas surrounding a city crime in which a weak, but greedy man, insurance agent Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), is seduced by an evil, cold woman, Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara_Stanwyck), into killing her husband, in order to get his insurance policy worth $50,000 (“Double Indemnity”). Even though the execution goes as planned, Dietrichson and Neff becomes doubtful of each others intentions after their passion cools (Wilder, Chandler, and James, 55). The taking over of the investigation of the death of Dietrichson’s husband by Barton Keyes (Edward Robinson, Neff’s boss, further complicates the plan. Narrated in flashbacks from Neff’s point of view, the movie goes on with merciless determinism, as every character encounters what seems to be their inevitable fate. “Double Indemnity” is indeed a terrific film with excellent directions, as well as innate suspense from every scene.
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Understanding Double Indemnity from the context of a Life Insurance Policy
According to Magee (90-95), Double Indemnity is a provision in life insurance policies that necessitates an extra payment equal to the insurance amount. Double Indemnity doubles the benefit payment for death under an insurance policy in the event that the cause of death is specified, usually an accident. Under the double indemnity clause, an accidental death is not caused by human will or natural causes. For instance, an individual who dies from cancer, or is intentionally killed by another does not suffer from accidental death. However, when a car swerves and hits a person walking on the sidewalk, then the death of that person is accidental, and he therefore stands to bnefit from double indemnity insurance policy.
Double Indemnity is also known as an Accidental Death benefit. The concept came up from the fact that the value of the optional benefit is equivalent to the amount insured, hence the beneficiary of double indemnity policy gets double the insured amount, incase of his or her accidental death. For instance, if a person has a life insurance contract worth, $500,000, and he applies for an Accidental Death benefit, his premium will remain $500,000, if his death is not accidental, provided the other life insurance contract terms are met. However, if the person’s death is caused by an accident, his beneficiaries will receive a total amount of $1,000,000.
There are exceptions stipulated by an insurer regarding the Double Indemnity/ Accidental Death benefit. The Accidental Death claim is not honored in the case where the insured is considered to be liable to the circumstances that led to the cause of the accident for instance, reckless driving, drug use etc. In such cases, the insurer only pays the amount that was initially insured. It is also important to note that the Double Indemnity does not remain for the period of the lifetime of the insured. Insurers take into consideration the fact that accidents are more likely to happen when faculties are not together. This benefit usually expires between the age of 65 and 70 years, based on the type of life insurance one applied for. People with higher occupational risk will find Double Indemnity essential, as a way to cover the funeral expenses and shield their families from hard economic times (Magee 90-95).
When shopping for a life insurance policy, it is important to consider whether adding a Double Indemnity policy to the life insurance policy is important or not. The increasing insurance costs is likely to increase the premium, but it may well be worth it in the long term. Doublle Indemnity is proving to be a more affordable option in the life insurance policy, considering the rising cost of insurance. Alternatively, one can purchase a life insurance policy to cover his accidental death, and a separate accidental death insurance policy, which is usually cost prohibitive for most people. Therefore it is vital that a person compares the costs for each and determines the one that is affordable to him or her.
In certain cases, Double Indemnity of a person is covered by the employer. This usually differs from one company to the other, as well as the extent of coverage. Various policies through the employer provide a payout in the event that an individual is accidentally killed on the job site. Other polices however do not have any limitations to the way a person dies, so long as it is deemed accidental. An understanding of the current policies available can be useful in helping one determine the type of life insurance policy to purchase.
Life insurance policy inclusive of double indemnity is considered less expensive in comparison to getting an accidental death policy and a life insurance policy separately. However, the ultimate decision lies with the cost of the policy, which consequently determines its affordability (Magee 90-95). In conclusion, everybody should consider having life insurance to shield their families financially when they die. A majority of people usually opt for double indemnity or accidental death insurance to guard their households, should they die when still young. This allows the beneficiaries to take care of themselves way before even the social security benefits of the deceased starts taking effect. Effective planning is therefore very important when it comes to life insurance. Through price comparisons, one is able to settle on the most cost effective life insurance policy. In general, Double Indemnity is less expensive than a separate insurance policy plan.
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