X-Message-Number: 645
From:  (Ben Best)
Date: 9 Feb 92 (14:15)
Subject: insurance for cryonics


    I had applications for insurance for cryonics rejected by
Financial Life and Metropolitan Life -- and was told that London
Life and Canada Life would likewise refuse an application. A hostile
article in ON THE RISK (an insurance underwriter's magazine), which
raised the question of insurable interest (and also claimed that
people applying for cryonics policies are those who expect to die soon),
was given as the reason. (I wrote a pro-cryonics article which was
subsequently published in ON THE RISK.) New York Life explicitly
acknowledges the acceptance of cryonics policies in its administrative
policy (so I was told by Arthur McCombs), and Transamerica knowingly
accepts cryonics policies.

   It seems to me that if the question of insurable interest is to be
raised, it is in the application period, not at the time the policy is
being paid-off. The insurance company grants the policy with full
knowledge of who the owner or beneficiary of the policy is -- so
they should be held responsible. I especially think they would have
a hard time not paying-off after the policy had been in effect more
than the two-year contestibility period (even suicide is paid-for
after two years).

    The whole question of "insurable interest" arose in the early
days of the insurance industry when certain people were taking-out
policies on the lives of famous people or others they didn't even
know personally -- as a form of gambling. The prohibition of such
policies has nothing to do with policies that name a beneficiary
to be a charity like a hospital, orphanage, etc. The line between
these two types of policies can become blurred -- especially if there
is an implication that a person is being induced to name a beneficiary
who is not a relative -- for non-charitable purposes.

     In practice, however, I think a number of people have already
used insurance for cryonic suspensions without any complications. Jerry
Leaf comes immediately to mind, but I'm sure there must be others.

                      -- Ben Best ()
Canada Remote Systems.  Toronto, Ontario
NorthAmeriNet Host

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