X-Message-Number: 5222
Date:  Sun, 19 Nov 95 12:24:32 
From: Steve Bridge <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS Insurance companies DO pay

To Cryonet and sci.cryonics
>From Steve Bridge, Alcor Life Extension Foundation
November 18, 1995

In response to:   Message #5201
                  From: Randy <>
                  Newsgroups: sci.cryonics
                  Subject: So do insurance cos really pay up when
                     cryopatients die?
                  Date: 17 Nov 1995 01:44:26 GMT
                  Message-ID: <48gpdq$>

>What I want to know is, what percentage of people who arrange for
>cryopreservation and pay by insurance policy actually have the insurance
>co pay up when they die?
> Knowing insurance companies, I have some serious doubts about

     As president of Alcor, I deal with insurance companies regularly.
While a small number of insurance companies are totally confused by
cryonics and may refuse to *write* insurance in the first place, the
insurance companies that do write the policies are very reliable about
paying on them.  Companies that appear to have no problem with cryonics
insurance include major names such as New York Life, Jefferson National,
and Jackson National, and many smaller companies as well.

     There would be no economic incentive for these companies to refuse to
pay; they would immediately lose all future business from cryonicists.
These large companies already have dozens of cryonics policies in effect
and they view us as great customers (we take out large policies, pay on
them reliably, keep them paid up and in force for decades, and we do
things to make ourselves live longer -- the perfect insurance customers!).
As cryonics grows and thousands or hundreds of thousands of cryonics
policies are sold, these companies want a share of that market.

     There are also legal requirements for the insurance company to pay
us.  Based on insurance law, if the company approves the original
beneficiary and there was no fraud in the application, then the company
MUST pay the beneficiary upon the death of the insured person.  There is
no getting out of that.  The insurance industry operates under strict
regulations and upon careful contracts.  There is nothing "voluntary"
about an insurance company paying a beneficiary.  You may be confusing the
more or less "black and white" rules of life insurance (is he "dead?"
Then pay.)  with the often arcane and arbitrary decisions made by
automobile and health insurance companies.

     In addition, many insured cryonicists start out their policies with a
different beneficiary (spouse or estate, for example) and eventually
switch the beneficiary designation to Alcor or another cryonics
organization.  Secondary beneficiaries do not require insurance company
approval at all, so again this obligates the insurance company to pay.

     If there is fraud discovered within two years after the policy has
been started or if the insured commits suicide within two years, the
insurance company may legitimately refuse to pay the beneficiary.
However, after two years even these restrictions disappear.

     At Alcor we have had two instances where insurers refused to pay,
both on legitimate grounds.  One was a suicide where the policy had been
in force only one year (fortunately he also had back-up funding of a
different type).  The other was in the case of an AIDS patient who had
informed the insurance company that he did not have AIDS or cancer at the
time he applied for the insurance.  He lied about that (we didn't know he
had), which the insurance company discovered upon looking at the medical
records.  Again, his policy had been in effect for only about one year.
In both cases, if the policies had been in effect more than two years, the
companies would have paid.

     For humanitarian reasons, the AIDS patient was kept in suspension by
Alcor.  He was a neuropatient, so the expense hit on Alcor was less than a
whole body; and we had spent the upfront money for suspension costs
already, so there was little to be gained by removing him from suspension.
This patient, however, can look forward to mopping the floors, etc. for a
few years after he's revived.

Steve Bridge
Alcor Life Extension Foundation

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