My samples for these Monday Mistakes practically fall from the sky. They show up in my email inbox, on food packaging, and in my mailbox. This week’s Monday’s Mistake is courtesy of a sales letter I received.

Do you think the legal department wrote this? It has a mistake, which I’m sure you’ll see, but it is also convoluted—which is a mistake in my mind, because our goal is clear communication, especially when trying to sell something!

Here it is:

In the event of a covered accidental loss of life, this coverage, when combined with your current policy, will increase your death benefit to a total of $750,000. An affordable price that may help provide those you love with additional funds at a difficult time. (45 words)

Obviously, the mistake is the incomplete sentence caused by the period before the words “An affordable,” right? A comma would have worked there, but a period most definitely does not.

But it’s also written in a confusing way. I took a stab at writing it for clarity and got:

Should an accident cause your death while you have regular life insurance with our company, this extra yet affordable coverage will increase your benefit to $750,000—providing your loved ones with additional funds at a difficult time. (37 words)

My rewrite is only eight words shorter, but I think it is more direct and easier to understand. Plus it doesn’t have the punctuation mistake! What do you think?

Sharon Ernst is a retired freelance copywriter now on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes.