X-Message-Number: 10953
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 19:35:37 -0800
From: Jim Yount - Chief Operating Officer <>
Subject: The Upside of Living Forever (in response to "The downside of

In #10947 Daniel Crevier raises the question of insurance companies that
may not pay "death benefits" if people are considered as "alive" when they
are in a state of suspended animation.

There is a related question, often raised, which concerns itself with the
people now in suspension.  If these folks are revived, will the insurance
companies ask that the "death benefit" the companies paid out way back
when, be returned to the insurance companies?

The answer to that question is pretty clear.  The contract of insurance was
based upon 1998 mortality tables and the definition of death in 1998.  That
contract was satisfied, and can not be revisited.

However, let's suppose the insurance companies, through some stretch of the
imagination, decide to litigate such cases (this would apply to Daniel's
"dream" as well).  Let's further suppose that they go to court and find
Judges near-sighted enough to agree that since people in suspension are
alive, death benefits need be paid back.  The insurance companies will have
litigated themselves into the loss of huge sums of money.

Why?  Because the other side of the "insurance contract" is the "annuity
contract" and policy "living benefits".  If the person did not really die,
then any accumulation account (within the policy) would belong to the
insured.  This could amount to many millions of dollars.  Any accumulation
up to the insured's age 100 (for most policies) would be tax-free to the
recipient, maybe even ALL proceeds would be tax free.

Now suppose you have a 1998 insurance contract and you hear from the
insurance company that they consider you as "living" when you go into
suspended animation.  The annuity benefits your insurance policy guarantee
are based upon 1998 mortality tables.  This means that you will be paid a
lifetime monthly stipend whenever you choose to "annuitize" your insurance
contract.  The older you are when you choose this option, the higher will
be the payments.  This is because the insurance company does not expect a
100 year old to live nearly as long as a 50 year old.

So you leave instructions that you be reanimated at age 100.  Upon
reanimation you fill out the forms to start drawing your annuity payments,
and you again deanimate.  Alternatively, you make the American Cryonics
Society ("ACS") owner of your policy and your cold sleep need not even be
disturbed.  ACS will demand that annuity payments start on your 100th

Given that scenario, how anxious do you think the insurance companies are
going to be to insist that people in cryonic suspension (or suspended
animation) are really "alive?"

The point is that the insurance companies can't have it both ways.  They
can't insist that you (and people now frozen) are "alive" when it comes to
their obligation to pay off death benefits, but "dead" as to their
obligation to pay annuity and other "living" benefits.

Long life,

Jim Yount

American Cryonics Society                 (650)254-2001
                      FAX (650)967-4444
P.O. Box 1509
Cupertino, CA 95015

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