Is Suspended Animation Worth It for Cryonicists

Is Suspended Animation Worth it For Cryonicists?

Regardless of which cryonics organization you join you’re bound to hear the name Suspended Animation (SA). SA is a biotechnology company that offers recovery services and specialized care for terminal cryonicists. Basically, if you know you’re about to die SA will fly a team to your bedside to wait for your deanimation. Afterward, they take critical action to cool and stabilize your body for transport to your cryonics facility. Since SA is partnered with the two biggest cryonics companies, there’s a good chance you’ll be offered their services. But is Suspended Animation worth it?

Is Suspended Animation Worth It?

In my latest post I talked about cryonics life insurance, but I didn’t talk about why I wanted to upgrade. The truth is, I reached out to my agent shortly after my daughter’s birth to ask about policies to cover her cryonics contract. At that time, I was advised that I was a bit underfunded at $120,000. In short, I had enough coverage for cryopreservation with Cryonics Institute but may not have enough coverage for all of Suspended Animation’s services.

At first I worried because I wanted to make sure everything goes smoothly in the event of my untimely deanimation. For the best chance at successful cryopreservation it’s a good idea not to have hiccups in your documents when you need them most! That means you should make sure you have enough coverage for the services you need. Technically, I had enough coverage for the services I signed up for, but I misinterpreted what my agent said.

When he said I was a bit underfunded, he was talking about the cost of Private Air Ambulance which is an add-on service Suspended Animation offers. With this service SA will arrange to have you transported to your cryonics facility by a private aircraft at a cost of $12,000 to $41,000. This is in addition to the $30,000 for Standby Services and the other $30,000 for SA’s Transport Fee .

Private Air Ambulance costs an ADDITIONAL $12,000 to $41,000 over the $60,000 total needed for Suspended Animation’s basic services.

But like I said earlier, I misinterpreted what my agent said. So I assumed I was underfunded by about $20,000 for all of SA’s services. As a result I reviewed our contracts and thought about our individual situation and needs.

Important Considerations About Suspended Animation

I spent a lot of time talking it over with my wife and doing research. What follows is the thought process I went through along with my findings and ultimately our answer to the question, is “Suspended Animation worth it?”

1. Personal Life Situation

I’m 33 years old and my wife is 31. Our daughter is 2 years old. We live 11 hours from Cryonics Institute (which I consider easy driving distance) and we have our own Ziegler case as well as a standby kit, both of which we purchased from CI. We are fit freaks and nutrition nuts and we take great care of our bodies. So it seems rather unlikely that we will find ourselves in a terminal situation anytime in the near future. That isn’t to say it’s impossible, but unlikely based on our situation.

What’s more likely is accidental death. You know, getting run off the road, or hit by a stray golf ball, that sort of thing. SA still provides services in the event of unexpected sudden death, but those services, despite your insurance coverage, are not the same as the services rendered when you are in a terminal state.

Suspended Animation does NOT render the same services for unexpected death as they would for a terminal patient.

Originally I thought that in the event of unexpected deanimation, SA would fly a team out to recover my body. This had me worried about the time lapse between when my remains would be discovered and the time it takes for someone to notify SA, prep a team and have them flown to my location. Turns out I didn’t need to worry about that because SA only deploys their team for terminal patients!

2. Suspended Animation Does NOT Deploy for Non-Terminal Patients

That’s an important consideration, because when 23 year old me signed up for SA’s services, it was under a misunderstanding that they would be there for me if something happened. But that’s not quite the case. In reality, what happens if you die unexpectedly is that SA will try to contact local funeral directors to arrange for them to handle the paperwork, prep your body and transport you to your cryonics facility.

If you die unexpectedly SA works with LOCAL Funeral Directors to arrange for pickup and transport of your body.

While this does seem more efficient than waiting for their team to fly out to your location, it still requires waiting on SA to make contact with local funeral directors, so there’s still a time lapse. There’s also the time lapse between when a funeral director makes contact with your body to the time transportation is arranged to the time you reach your destination.

3. Cryonics Institute Offers a Local Help Rider

One question the issue of waiting on SA to contact funeral directors brought up is why not just make arrangements myself? Wouldn’t it be easier and faster to go find a funeral director who is willing to work with me in advance?

Not only can I meet funeral directors and find one I like, but Cryonics Institute offers a Local Help Rider for this specific purpose.

From CI’s Local Help Rider

“In consideration of a Cryopreservation Fee above the $35,000 minimum required for a Lifetime Member, the Patient requests, and CI agrees, that CI shall assume responsibility for payment of a funeral director for local services and transportation of the Patient’s body to CI, within the limits of the personnel and financial resources available to CI, as determined in CI’s sole good faith judgment. The responsibility for arranging for the services of the funeral director and for shipment shall remain with the Patient and his or her next of kin.

With my original $120,000 of coverage, $80,000 of which was designated to CI, I had more than enough coverage for the $35,000 cryopreservation with plenty left over for CI’s Local Help Rider Assistance.

In theory, you can team up with a local funeral director in advance and have them work with CI to transport your body if you die. Afterward, CI will pay them assuming you have enough coverage in your policy.

So What Do You Need Suspended Animation For?

For starters, if there’s even a chance you’ll be terminal in the future, then they’re a valuable service that can help you arrange the most effective transportation to your cryonics provider with the least amount of cellular damage after you deanimate.

They’re also valuable if you live far away from your cryonics provider, especially if you don’t want to deal with funeral directors yourself.

Add to that the fact that SA has established professional procedures for working with funeral directors and other medical professionals to streamline the process.

To ensure your cryopreservation goes as well as it possibly can, it makes sense to secure SA’s services even though you might not need them and even though in some instances it may be faster to transport you without them.

And What About Private Air Ambulance?

With this service SA will arrange for your body to be transported to your cryonics provider by a private aircraft. Otherwise you will be transported by the next commercially available aircraft that has space for you.

Either way you’ll be flying to your destination. That said, Private Air Ambulance is an opportunity to speed up the process, and ensure there is space for you; however, it comes at a cost.

Suspended Animation’s basic Standby and Transport services alone are $60,000.

To add Private Air Ambulance services you need to have enough coverage for the private aircraft at the time of transport. According to SA’s Schedule of Fees Document (CI Version), this will cost between $12,000 and $41,000 which means if you opt for this service you should ensure you have enough coverage for the $41,000 price with some left over just in case.

So Is Suspended Animation Worth it?

Although it is feasibly possible that I could (and I do intend to) work with local funeral directors in advance, I do think SA is a valuable resource if you’re serious about having the most effective cryopreservation possible.

In some instances you may be able to have your body transported to your cryonics provider faster than SA can offer. That will be a personal decision for you to work out between yourself and the people who might be involved.

Likewise, if you live within a couple of miles of your cryonics provider, then SA may not be worth the cost for you, since you could use the extra money for other purposes and arrangements.

Here’s What I Ultimately Decided to Do

When I upgraded my life insurance the other day I changed my original policy to make CI the 100% beneficiary so all $120,000 will go to them if I die (which should be plenty for the Local Help Rider).

Then I set up a separate Term Life policy for $500,000. This policy covers Suspended Animation’s services plus Private Air Ambulance and is upgradeable after a year so it can become a more permanent policy.

While I wasn’t sure if Suspended Animation was worth it at first, I feel confident that I made the right choice in keeping their services covered. Even if they aren’t directly transporting me, they still have the training, experience, and protocols in place to be a huge help in my darkest hour. For that reason alone I kept Suspended Animation’s services active and added the option for Private Air Ambulance as well.

Spread the love