X-Message-Number: 10972
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 18:11:44 -0800
From: Jim Yount - Chief Operating Officer <>
Subject: Insurance and future "no death" claims

In answer to Daniel Crevier (#10963):

The life insurance industry is one of the most heavily regulated businesses
in the country.  Insurance contracts are paid off, not just in accordance
with the contract specifications, but also as required and interpreted by
case law, statute law, state insurance regulatory agencies, and insurance
company standards and practices.   The insurance companies that write the
contracts are big and rich and powerful and can protect themselves quite
well.  Therefore, most regulations are to protect the consumer.  There is
an assumption that, when in doubt, any contract provision is to be
interpreted in favor of the consumer.

An insurance company uses a mortality table to determine reasonably charged
for premiums based on that table, then submits the contract to the various
state insurance departments for approval.  When approved, it then sells the
policy within the states, subject to enforcement of its contract by the
state(s) (as well as by lawyers for the insured).

Besides the expectation that the consumer will be protected, there is also
the assumption that there will be some "reasonableness" in interpreting
contract provisions.

Daniel Crevier wrote:

<<" If the "death" of a cryonicist is not permanent, then he or she is not
truly dead, in whatever year the contract was signed.>>

Let's assume the contract was entered into in 1950.  The insured died in
1998 having made premiums payments since 1950.  $100,000 was paid to ACS
(or other cryonics organization).  This patient is "reanimated" in 2050.

The insurance company takes the insured (or ACS) to court to demand that
the $100,000 plus interest be returned, on the basis that the insured is
not really dead, but just had the appearance of death.

In my previous post I made the point that insurance companies would not
want to win such cases because this creates case law which would make it
difficult to impossible for them to deny annuity contract payments (unfair
to the insurance companies) based on the same assumptions.

There is also a legal question as to whether a third-party beneficiary of
the contract (ACS) can be required to return money it received in good
faith.  Not being a lawyer, that's a question I am not qualified to answer.

Apart from that, think of the burden the insurance company faces:

1.  It must prove the person it is suing is the same person who was insured
in 1950.  Was there major organ replacement (maybe everything but the
brain)?  Someone dies in 1998 and donates a heart: can the insurance
company claim the insured is still alive because his heart is still alive?
For the person being sued in 2050: did his soul go to heaven, or
reincarnate, and the person being sued is a new soul in (somewhat) the same
body?  Who has to pay back the money to the insurance company?  The person
with the new heart?  The reincarnated soul?  The person with some brain
material renimated?  The uploaded personality?

2.  Then it must satisfy the court that the person didn't "die" and was
then brought back to life, but was never really dead.  (If the person
"died" then the contract was satisfied).

3.  Then it must show why the person before the court is not being
discriminated against by this interpretation of the contract.  The insured
met the same criteria of death that people not undergoing cryonic
suspension had to meet.

The insurance company also *benefited* by its receipt of insurance premiums
in accordance with established medical practices of 1950-1998.  The
contract it presented to the state insurance commissioners for approval was
based upon the benefit-obligation assumptions of 1950-1998 and approved
accordingly.  Had it presented the additional information that it expected
anyone who was dead in 1998, suspended, then reanimated, to have to pay
back the death benefit, the plan would not have been approved.  For the
insurance companies to  ask for additional benefits based upon the
abilities of 2050 medical science is unfair and discriminatory.

4.   The insurance company must also show why, by its behavior, it did not
forfeit the rights to bring this suit.  If it thought the insured was still
alive, did the company act accordingly?  Did it continue to send premium
notices to the insured?  Did it contest in court (at the time of death) the
apparent death of the insured?

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

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