Pay for Cryonics with Life Insurance

How to Pay for Cryonics with Life Insurance

You’re interested in cryonics, so you may know you can pay for cryonics with life insurance. But what kind of policy do you need, how much coverage should you get, and how much will it cost?

These are all questions I had ten years ago when I first signed up. Back then I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I was too naive to waste time on research.

By the grace of Zeus I managed to secure coverage. But now 10 years have passed and I’m not totally sure my policy meets my needs. So I’m in review mode, prepping to upgrade my (and my family’s) coverage and thought you might benefit from my research.

How to Pay for Cryonics with Life Insurance

Let’s start with the basics. To pay for cryonics with life insurance you need a life insurance policy. A life insurance policy is an insurance policy that pays a specified amount (benefit) to a beneficiary (person or organization chosen by you) upon your legal death. We’ll talk about types of policies in a minute. For now just know you need one.

That means you need to take the following steps:

Steps to Get Cryonics Life Insurance

Step 1 – Contact a life insurance agent

Step 2 – Describe what you want to accomplish with your policy

Step 3 – Discuss the types of policies available

Step 4 – Decide on a policy(ies)

Step 5 – Give a blood and urine sample

Step 6 – Finalize the policy

That’s the general process you go through to secure a life insurance policy. Depending on your age, career, health and other risk factors, there may be one or more additional steps involved (it’s also possible there could be less steps involved).

Types of Life Insurance Policies

Before we go any further, please know that I am not an insurance expert nor a financial planner. As I understand it there are two core types of policies cryonicists use to fund their cryopreservation. The first is a Universal (permanent) Life policy and the second is a Term (not permanent) Life policy.

Universal Life (UL)

My original cryonics contract with Cryonics Institute and also coverage for Suspended Animation’s services was secured through a Universal Life policy through KCLife.

A UL policy is a permanent policy that, according to KCLife.com offers the following benefits:

Pay for Cryonics with Insurance
With a Universal Life policy you pay a monthly fee based on factors such as your age, health, gender and the amount of coverage you choose. A portion of your monthly payment goes toward the savings portion of your account. This is your “cash value.”

You earn interest on the cash value in your policy which is credited to your account each month at a specific interest rate and adds to your total cash value.

Your coverage with this policy can be increased or decreased at anytime as long as you remain insurable. That means you can control your monthly premium up or down as needed.

Since the account accumulates cash, you may have an opportunity to cash out at some point in the future if needed.

Finally, KCLife mentions that there are many “Riders” (policy add-ons) which can be added to this policy to customize your plan.

Indexed Universal Life (IUL)

Within the Universal Life group is a second option which I’m currently considering, the Indexed Universal Life policy.

Unlike the UL policy which accumulates interest based on the cash value of your account, an Indexed Universal Life policy is tied to an indexed market such as the S&P500 and accumulates cash based on market increases.

Pay for Cryonics with Life Insurance
You still enjoy most of the same benefits as the UL policy, but you have the potential for higher returns in cash accumulation depending on how the market performs.

As far as I understand, this means you could experience slower accumulation if the market performs poorly, but there is also a minimum guaranteed rate so you are protected against loss. However, there is also a gains cap which means you may only be able to gain so much from market increases.

With this option you still pay a monthly premium and it may be somewhat higher than the cost for a UL policy on a month-by-month basis.

Also, this policy offers tax-free gains, so that might be something worth considering.

Term Life Policy (TL)

If you’re strapped for cash, then the term life option could be useful for you. Term life insures you for a specified period of time, for a fixed premium.

With Term Life there is no cash value accumulation. But the costs are significantly lower than with UL or IUL policies and you may only pay a single premium annually.

Pay for Cryonics with Life Insurance
Term Life can also be upgraded (within a certain time period) to become a Universal type policy if you choose.

Say you purchase $500,000 of Term insurance, and next year you decide you want a $100,000 IUL policy. In this case you could upgrade $100,000 of the $500,000 TL policy to become an IUL policy.

This would bring your TL policy to $400,000 of coverage and would decrease your TL premium, but would add a monthly premium for the $100,000 IUL portion. Make sense?

One of the biggest disadvantages of this policy is that it ends at maturation (at the end of the time period) and you would need to re-qualify for coverage to get another policy. The downside is that if your health degrades during that time, or you become uninsurable, then you have no way to pay for cryonics with life insurance!

On the upside, if you deanimate during the coverage term then you have a massive policy standing by to fund your cryopreservation, standby services, and other things like private air ambulance as well as benefits for your family.

Other Types of Life Insurance Policies

The policies I’ve mentioned so far are only the policies I either have, or am currently considering. There are other policies such as Whole Life Policies and Variable Universal Life policies which you may want to consider.

A Whole Life Policy gives you the benefit of a fixed-premium for your whole life. The downside might be that the premium is much higher because it is fixed.

With a Variable Universal Life Policy your account is like a mutual fund and takes advantage of the market similar to the IUL policy, except this policy doesn’t have capped gains which means you might accrue higher cash value. On the other hand, this type of policy can also lead to greater losses, and may have higher premiums because the investment portion of the account is actively managed.

As a reminder, I am NOT a financial planner or insurance expert. Please do your own additional research after reading this page to make sure you find the policy plan that makes the most sense for you.

How Much Cryonics Life Insurance Coverage Do You Need?

To get the most accurate information you should contact your individual provider as the costs for their services may change due to inflation or to new technologies and advanced procedures. Below is information from the websites of Cryonics Institute, Alcor and Suspended Animation for reference.

Cryonics Institute

Human Cryopreservation with CI currently costs one of two amounts depending on your membership option:

Cryonics Institute

  • Lifetime Member = $28,000 (once)
  • Annual Member = $35,000 (once)

Please note that as of this writing CI Lifetime Membership is a one-time fee of $1,250 while Annual Membership costs $120 per year. In any given year you can upgrade to Lifetime Membership minus the cost of your current Annual Payment ($1,130). If you are married then your spouse can then upgrade to Lifetime Membership at half-price and minor children are granted free Lifetime Membership (with your LM purchase).

Alcor

The following information is based on the Costs page on the Alcor website.

Cryopreservation Options:

Alcor

  • Whole Body = $200,000
  • Neurocryopreservation = $80,000

The amounts above represent only the minimums for Alcor cryopreservation. Please see Alcor’s Costs page for additional details about membership and other fees.

Suspended Animation

Suspended Animation offers services for cryonicists who are either terminal with advanced notification of impending deanimation (death), or who have already deanimated. Suspended Animation will deploy a team to your location to standby for your deanimation at which time they will prepare your body and transport it to your cryonics provider’s facilities.

Please note that if you were to deanimate unexpectedly (such as in a car accident) then even with coverage S/A would not deploy a team to your location, but would instead work with local funeral directors to arrange for postmortem care and transportation.

The numbers below are based on the CI/SA Schedule of Fees document here. These numbers may differ for agreements between other organizations and Suspended Animation.

Standby Insurance:

Suspended Animation

  • Basic Standby (Pre-Mortem) = $30,000
  • Transportation (Post-Mortem = $30,000
  • Private Air Ambulance = $12,000 – $42,000

Other Considerations on the “How Much Coverage” Question

Both cryopreservation and standby and transport costs may increase in the future due to inflation or to advancements in procedures, training, technology, medicines etc. For this reason, it is typically recommended that you purchase more coverage than the minimums.

For example, an Annual CI Member who wants to take advantage of Suspended Animation should have at least $35,000 coverage for cryopreservation, another $60,000 for Standby/Transportation, and preferably another $20,000 to $100,000 or more for unexpected price increases and or associated costs. Therefore, while the minimum policy should be at least $95,000, it would be wise to have a policy of at least $120,000 to give yourself $25,000 of leeway to account for other costs or inflation. If you can afford it, more is usually better (in my personal opinion).

How Much Does Cryonics Life Insurance Cost?

Again, this varies based on a bunch of factors. Mainly your age, health, gender, and coverage amounts. That said, I’ll give you a breakdown of costs based on my current coverage and quoted coverage.

Universal Life Cost

My UL policy started when I was 23 years old. I purchased $120,000 of coverage. I am a male and I maintained top health and fitness standards at the time. On average my monthly premium has been between $30-35/month.

  • $120,000 = $35/mo

Indexed Universal Life Cost

For an additional IUL policy in 2020 at 33 years of age (still male) I was quoted two numbers:

  • $100,000 = $63/mo
  • $150,000 = $94/mo

I was also estimated the following for my family members with this policy:

Wife (31 Years Old)

  • $100,000 = $58/mo
  • $150,000 = $84/mo

If you want to know why hers is lower, it’s because gender matters when it comes to life insurance because women tend to outlive men. Plus, she’s a year younger than me.

Daughter (2 Years Old)

  • $150,000 = $36/mo
  • $200,000 = $48/mo

Also, minor children aren’t required to do the blood and urine sample so that’s a plus!

Term Life Cost

For an additional 20 year TL policy in 2020 at 33 years of age (still male) I was quoted the following:

  • $250,000 = $222/yr ($18.5/mo)
  • $500,000 = $365/yr ($30.4/mo)

How to Structure Your Life Insurance for Cryonics

In my original contract for $120,000 I set 67% of the benefits to cover cryopreservation, another 25% to cover Suspended Animation’s services, and finally 8% remainder to my estate. However, in review I don’t think this is optimal (which is why I’m updating my setup).

To give yourself the most protection (in my opinion) you should have separate policies for each service. This way if your financial situation changes, then you might decrease or end a policy such as your coverage for Private Air Ambulance in order to lower your monthly payments without getting rid of your policy that covers the most important factor, your cryopreservation.

In my case, I should have a policy which is only for cryopreservation. This policy should be owned by the cryonics provider (Cryonics Institute for me) to give them the most legal authority over it.

A second policy should be used to fund Suspended Animation’s services as well as Private Air Ambulance if you choose that option.

How I Plan to Structure My Cryonics Insurance

My plan is to update my existing UL policy so that it is owned by Cryonics Institute and 100% of the benefits go to Cryonics Institute.

Next, I plan to add a $500,000 Term policy to cover Suspended Animation’s services, with a plan to upgrade at least $100,000 within the next year to an IUL policy.

This way I end up with two cash accumulation policies – one completely dedicated to Cryonics Institute, another dedicated to Suspended Animation, and a third policy (the TL policy) which can support my family in the event of my untimely deanimation.

I will add a $200,000 policy for my daughter, and will review my wife’s policy to see if we need to make any adjustments.

SPECIAL NOTE: Benefits from one policy can be used toward another person’s policy in some instances. For example, if my daughter deanimated, then it is possible that I could apply the remaining amount after cryopreservation services to my wife’s or my own cryopreservation.

Who Can Sell You Cryonics Life Insurance Coverage?

As far as I’m aware, any qualified Life Insurance professional or business can sell you the coverage you need. The key is to make sure the policy is owned by your cryonics provider and that the cryonics (or other service) provider is also the beneficiary of the policy.

As far as I’m aware, any qualified Life Insurance professional or business can sell you the coverage you need.

In the past (and currently) Rudi Hoffman was and is my life insurance agent. He is an outspoken cryonicist and financial planner and a generally pleasant person to work with. Plus, he specializes in Life Insurance for cryonicists, so that’s a bonus!

If you want to explore other options you can contact your cryonics provider and ask for referrals since they work with insurance agents regularly to secure the proper coverage.

Can Military Members Use SGLI to Cover Cryonics?

YES! And I know this from experience because my ORIGINAL original cryonics funding was through SGLI while I was serving in the United States Army. It takes a few weeks to make it happen, and you’ll need to get with your legal or S1 office (depending on your branch).

Be patient as you explain what you want to accomplish. Let them know that you want your cryonics provider to be the beneficiary of your policy. Also be prepared for some eyebrow raising, jokes at your expense, and questions like, “why would you want to freeze your body when you die?”

With a little gritting of your teeth you’ll get through it and you’ll be funded for free (minus your military investment of time, effort, energy etc.).

Also, while you’re at it you may want to ask your legal department about filling out an Advanced Directive and Living Will which can indicate your desire to be cryopreserved. This is a bit off topic, but it is another important way to help ensure your wishes are known and respected.

Is It Best to Pay for Cryonics with Life Insurance?

Personally, I don’t think so. I’d much prefer to be paid up front. Unfortunately, like myself, most people don’t have a cool $28,000 lying around that they’re ready to drop on cryopreservation pre-payment. That said, if you do have it, then I think it’s a wise decision to make.

In the future I intend to aim for pre-payment to avoid any complications which might arise as a result of dealing with insurance. For instance, what if an insurance company tried to find a reason not to pay? That would be bad considering time is of the essence when it comes to your cellular death and your chances of future continued existence.

So Should You Pay for Cryonics with Life Insurance?

If it’s the only way you’ve got to pay for cryonics, then DEFINITELY DO IT! If you can afford to pre-pay, even better. For now go with a life insurance policy. Get yourself covered and funded.

Even if you have to start with a Term policy because that’s all you can afford, DO IT. Later you can work on improving the situation by upgrading to something more permanent like a Universal Life policy or an Indexed Universal Life policy or even by saving up the cash to pay in full.

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