Re: Cryonics and organ donation

Date: Fri Apr 14 2000 - 08:41:23 MDT

In a message dated 4/7/00 10:41:19 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

> >"whole life", insurance company managed investments, are unlikely to
> >generate a "market" return on the investment (due to the conservative
> >strategy of insurance companies and the overhead of the "management"
> >provided by the company). Term life is cheap because of the very low
> >probability that you will die young.
> I know zilch abt all this, but what happens if & when (a) the insurance
> companies realise that medical/genomic/nanomed improvements in healthy
> longevity are adding together into a lifespan revolution (on the face of it
> fees should fall, but...),

Competitive pressure will inevitably cause improvements in human longevity to
impact life insurance premium rates. This OUGHT to be visible across the
data already available (through the 20th century, for instance), although the
analysis would be pretty complex, since you'd have to adjust for factors such
as the growth of the over-all insured population and the increase in
diversity of demographic factors as that population increased. Life
insurance actuaries actually ENJOY doing this sort of thing, though (scary,
isn't it?), so it wouldn't surprise me if there's an article in some
actuarial journal that contains this kind of analysis. (Life insurance
actuaries make your average computer geek seem like a TV talk-show host.)

> (b) potential customer get it, too (they'll
> stopping buying insurance, no?). If the whole customer base for the
> insurance industry collapses around the same time revival becomes
> technically feasible - since both are constrained/enabled by the same
> factors - then the cryo warehouse customers will be shit out of luck right
> when they need it most. No?

I think someone already pointed out the fallacy here: The proceeds of a
cryo-targeted life insurance policy are transferred to the suspension
facility at the time of death, so the long-term viability of insurers is an
issue only up to the time of a client's death. In theory, all CURRENT
policies are fully supported on an insurers balance sheet under CURRENT
mortality assumptions, so increases in longevity actually serve to INCREASE
the solvency of assets backing "in-force" policies, as they are called in the
industry. Understand that the financial viability of life insurers is a
function of the company's general investment strategy and, given the over-all
conservative nature of those strategies, life insurance investment portfolios
do no worse than the general economy (or only a little worse).

Truly radical and swift increases in human longevity might well cause a
decrease in demand for new policies and could conceivably cause a slight
increase in the "lapse rate" of in-force policies, but I would expect that
savings and investment vehicles would evolve to take this into account, such
that would-be suspendees in a post-longevity-breakthrough period would be
able to find suitable substitutes for life insurance.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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