Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dead Peasants' Insurance

The term 'dead peasants' insurance' is a derisory way of referring to company owned life insurance: a policy or group of policies in which the employer company is the beneficiary on a life insurance policy that is taken on an employee, sometimes without the employee's knowledge or consent.  In usual practice, this kind of policy is taken on key employees whose untimely death may cause a financial loss to the company.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate-owned_life_insurance

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/insurance/12/corporate-owned-life-insurance.asp

But not always.  Some employees may take out policies on lower-level employees such as sales associates and janitors.  This raises some ticklish issues.  For one it seems ghoulish in concept.  And it is similar to the story told by Nikolai Gogol in Dead Souls.  And what if the company holding the policy needed to rapidly increase its operating capital?  Might it be tempted to make redundant those extra employees with extreme prejudice?

Here's a possible scenario.  East Coast Polytechnic Institute took out employer's owned life insurance policies on its professors; and for a nominal fee, also took out policies on the grad students.  However, the professors were not recycling at a satisfying rate; and many were too valuable to meet with untimely "accidents."  Anyway, being a professor is not exactly a hazardous job, unlike being a police officer or fire person or mental hospital worker.  But grad students came cheap; or at least it was the conclusion that the Comptroller had: after all, they were bought cheaply.

So the Comptroller got in touch with some heavies from New Jersey, and made a deal to cull out the herd, so to speak.  The capo sent Guido over to the Poly and that evening he made his first hit.  It was Karin, wearing a lace overlay peasant corset to surprise her sugar daddy who was coming over for a relaxing evening and expected the serf to be up!

Sugar Daddy got an unexpected surprise!  The local police could not account for the rise in seemingly professional hits that seemed to be targeting seekers of advanced degrees.  Previously, they simply had ulcer problems.

When the police investigated, they concluded that the hapless grad student was a working girl who was the victim of some sex maniac!

On another occasion, Guido revisited to kill off some chemistry lab technician.  In his case, he seeded the site with drug paraphernalia and the means to concoct more.  The innocent student was besmirched and that this set up his being viewed as a gang-related killing.

It was hard to account for the homicides of teaching assistants and junior professors.  This was attributed to anger over low grades; and D- and F- students were looked into.

And so on.  Guido was extremely creative with the others; and this crime wave was viewed as the local campus being located in an increasingly dangerous zone.

[I made up this story.  However, some 215 companies did have policies on lower-level employees.  There was even a case where a policy owner on an employee contracted someone to kill that person to collect on the dead peasant policy.

http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2011/07/30/story-reynoldsburg-murder-for-hire.html

Young woman wearing a cute peasant dress.


14 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

life insurance on employees...probably a better payoff than the lottery, even without guido's assistance.

Linda Kay said...

Yikes! That's an interesting approach to insuring the business. The possibilities are endless, right? By the way, I love your picture of the peasant girl.

Anonymous said...

Baby Doll, this is too far out to be believable.

Mike said...

AT&T started doing this 25 years or more ago. They sent out form to sign that would allow them to take out a policy on every employee in the company. The policies would be in effect forever.

I tossed my form in the trash.

Cloudia said...

Glad I'm worthless dead!


ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
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Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

The companies will get it, one way or nother.

Deena said...

This sort of policy should be illegal. An interesting scenario you paint.

Anemone said...

I love your illustrations! The peasant dress is so charming and graceful.

Big Sky Heidi said...

It would seem to be a money making way with low payoffs on a large scale. I think almost all companies would get this kind of insurance only for key, hard to replace, workers.

MarkD60 said...

I'd wouldn't be surprised by anything this morning.

Bilbo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bilbo said...

I'm reminded of the classic "Wizard of Id" cartoon in which an insurance salesman is presented to the king, who wants to know what this "life insurance" thing is. "Think of it as a wagering game, your majesty," the salesman says, "We bet that you will live long enough to give us more money than you will ever hope to get back from us." The king asks, "Well, what happens if I die young?" The salesman replies, "You win!"

Meredith said...

The Wizard got it right with regard to life insurance. Still, I would be pissed if an employer was making money off of my demise.

beach lad said...

what a great story - and potentially scary.

is there not some sort of onus that the company must be able to demonstrate the degree of loss that they may incur??? - i can understand it is a good policy for executive employees where the company could lose a lot of money, but for un-skilled people it shouldn't be allowed.