X-Message-Number: 13922
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 21:06:43 EDT
Subject: insurance again

Responding to a suggestion regarding in-house insurance-like funding of 
suspension contracts, Kennita Watson wrote:

>I thought insurance companies could only make money at all because
>there _was_ a large number of people involved.  And why would we
>assess the risks significantly differently than an insurance
>company would?  They have many actuaries with full-time jobs
>assessing risks day in and day out, and setting fees accordingly.
>Do we *have* to reinvent the wheel here?

This was apparently in reference to my note that (a) we might try it first 
with a very small number of members, if we get lawyers' approval; and (b) 
that we would have to assess individual risk.

(a) It's true that insurance companies rely on the safety of large samples in 
caluclating their odds, but my point was different--viz., that if we start 
only with a very small number of members in the experiment, then we can't be 
badly hurt even if they all die immediately. 

(b) Insurance companies assess risk in more than one way. Sometimes they 
require a physician's evaluation of an individual patient; sometimes they 
issue group or goup-like policies that require no evidence of insurability. 
Even when they require physical examinations, they probably use just a few 
standardized criteria, with little flexibililty. We MIGHT be able to do 
better. (As a crude example, not so many years ago insurance companies did 
not even differentiate between smokers and non-smokers.)

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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