∞ What beneficiary designation should I use?
Here is our recommended beneficiary designation:
American Cryonics Society, Inc., FEIN 94-2398719, its successors or assigns, a California corporation located at 20370 Town Center Lane #100, Cupertino CA 95014 with mailing address of P.O. Box 1509, Cupertino, CA 95015.
Some insurance agents may suggest that when you apply for the policy you list your estate or a trusted friend or relative as beneficiary. Later the beneficiary may be changed to a trust you set up for cryonics or directly to the American Cryonics Society.
∞ How soon will the life insurance policy take effect?
Most insurance companies cover policy holders from the time the application is signed and given to the agent along with a check. If a medical exam is required as part of the application then this coverage typically starts just as soon as you have completed all medical exam requirements. Insurance agents call this kind of coverage “conditional coverage”. This means that should death occur before the policy is actually written then some or all of the death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary. This lets you enjoy the piece of mind of having insurance in place even though the insurance company has not actually issued your policy. Be sure and check with your insurance agent to determine if conditional coverage is available, and the particulars of this coverage for the policy you apply for.
∞ Should I buy Term Insurance or "Whole Life"?
Term insurance is a very economical form of insurance that provides for a substantial amount of money to be paid to ACS or other beneficiary when you die. There is no "savings aspect" to term insurance, so if you stop paying for insurance you don't get any money back.
Whole Life or "Permanent Insurance" is considerably more expensive, but has a savings element built into the policy. The cost of insurance for whole life will typically remain the same each year, or can be "paid-up" over a given period of time (say 20 years).
Although many agents and financial planners recommend whole life or permanent insurance for uses such as cryonic suspension, it has been our experience that members often get "bogged down" with sorting through such planning and wind up postponing buying insurance, often for many years. We recommend that you purchase a term insurance policy initially. This gets you going, and provides the needed insurance coverage and piece of mind, often at a very low cost. Later you can exchange your term policy for a whole life policy or use other means (such as a combination of term
insurance and an annuity policy) for long-term planning.
The take-home message is: buy a term policy and do it NOW!
∞ What policy “riders” should I request?
A rider is a special attachment to your policy that provides for additional benefits. There are two riders that insurance agents almost always try to sell. One of these we recommend you purchase; we recommend that you do not purchase the other rider.
DO purchase the Accelerated Benefit Rider
This policy rider provides that the insurance company pays you some portion of the death benefit before you die! Sometimes this rider can be added to the policy at no additional cost. This pre-death benefit can provide up to 50% of the death benefit for people with terminal medical conditions to use in any way they want. Some people use this money to seek additional expensive medical treatment, others to make life more enjoyable. Cryonics members may choose to use this money to pay for a “standby team” to be at their bedsides ready to start the suspension process upon legal death.
DO NOT purchase Double Indemnity
The double indemnity rider requires the insurance company to pay double the death benefit if the insured dies by accidental means. Usually, the money one would spend on this rider is better spent on additional life insurance which pays off regardless of the causes of death. The cryonic suspension procedure’s most sophisticated and expensive techniques cannot be used for someone who has died accidentally. Also, many insurance companies will require or encourage the next of kin to order an autopsy as a means of determining that death was indeed accidental. Autopsies are not a good idea for anyone wishing cryonics suspension.
∞ Where can I buy Life Insurance for cryonics purposes?
No insurance companies sell "cryonics insurance." What they sell is life insurance policies (for any legal purpose) where the policy owner (that's you) can name a cryonics organization or cryonics trust as the beneficiary. Any of the hundreds of life insurance companies in the US or other countries can sell you such a policy. When buying term insurance, it pays to shop. Many web-sites or individual insurance agents can do this for you by comparing rates for many insurance companies. If you have an agent that you work with to buy other insurance, you might want to ask for proposals from him or her.
There are dozens of companies that will give you a term insurance quote online. A search through Google, Alta Vista or any good search engine will give you the websites of many of these companies. Keywords: “term insurance”, “life insurance”, or “life quotes”.
This is not a
solicitation for insurance sales. The American Cryonics Society does not,
itself, sell life insurance and any information we provide is not a
recommendation but just to get you started in determining what insurance is best
for you. You should consult with your insurance agent or attorney concerning
any questions you have about insurance.
A final word:
Because cryonics is still fairly new, you may run into companies or agents who are not very familiar with use of insurance for cryonics. Ask them to call us or email us with any questions.
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