Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we are reimagining an old, inefficient paradigm, so naturally there are questions:
How much does it cost? Can I join at any age? Is this life insurance?

This FAQ answers these questions, and more.

Because LifeShare is not an insurance company, there are no fixed monthly costs or premiums. Your only financial responsibility is to make a mutual-aid contribution upon the death of a fellow community member. How much you pay depends on your end-of-life payout selection. If you would like your family to receive $100,000 upon your passing, you will make a $14 contribution when another community member passes away. If you select the $250,000 payout, you will pay $32 per death. Based on projections, we estimate less than one payment per month.

When you join LifeShare, you’re not buying coverage in the traditional sense. You are joining a community of peers who have committed to making payments to your family upon your passing. Your family will be entitled to receive a one-time, tax-free payout of either $100,000 or $250,000, based on your selection when you join. We expect to make all payouts within 48 hours of death verification.

Because the community funds these payouts, and not an insurance company, the most we are offering at this time is $250,000. We recognize $250,000 may not be enough for some families, but remember, LifeShare is an emergency safety net to provide families critical financial resources upon the member’s passing. It is not a replacement for a multi-million dollar life insurance policy. But, as the community grows in the future, we will be able to offer larger payouts.

Yes, you should definitely still purchase a comprehensive life insurance policy after you join the LifeShare community. LifeShare provides critical financial resources to help families in the difficult weeks and months immediately following the passing of a parent. It does not replace the need for appropriate levels of a insurance which will protect their family for many years in the future.

If you already have life insurance, that’s great! But you should absolutely still join LifeShare so you can participate in supporting the community and making mutual-aid contributions in the event of another member’s death. Our goal is take a measured, proactive approach to community support, rather than waiting for the death of a member and then running a frantic campaign after the fact. And we also offer the opportunity to sponsor other members.

The minimum number of people required to support a single community is approximately 7000 members. Once a community exceeds 8,000 – 10,000 members, a new community will open. New communities will be based on actuarial analysis, using age and geographical data. As stated, with a mortality rate of 1 death per 1000 per year, we expect 7 – 10 mutual-aid contributions per year, per community.

The estimate is based on a community size of 7000 – 10,000 members, and actuarial projections of 1 death per thousand members a year.

This takes two factors into consideration:

  1. The maximum age to receive a payout is 65 years old.
  2. All members must complete a health questionnaire and would be precluded from joining if they suffer from any life-threatening, pre-existing illness (such as cancer and heart disease).

You will never pay for more than two deaths per month. In other words, the maximum a $100,000 selection will pay is $28, and a $250,000 selection will pay is $64. In the highly unlikely event there are more than two deaths in a single month, additional funds may be collected in subsequent months until the total payout amount is reached.

Aside for pre-existing, life-threatening or terminal illnesses, there are no health restrictions to joining the community (examples: Malignant cancer, Cardiovascular disease, ALS, etc.). Individuals who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness within the past five years will not be permitted to join the community. Failing to report such a diagnosis or condition may invalidate a payout upon our review.

You can remain in the community and receive a payout until the age of 65. Beyond that, you are encouraged to continue participating in the community by making mutual aid contributions, but will not be eligible to receive a payout upon your death.

Yes. Families that cannot afford the membership fee and mutual-aid contribution can request to be sponsored upon enrollment. Likewise, charitable members may offer to sponsor others upon enrollment, covering their mutual-aid responsibility. When a sponsor joins, LifeShare will match them with a sponsorship applicant, and add them to the community.

LifeShare is classified as a 501c(8) non-profit “Fraternal Beneficiary Society.” Since members receive the financial security of being in the community, their mutual-aid payments are not tax deductible. However, as noted, these payments are considered tzedakah. The $25 annual membership fee funds the operations of the business.

Yes! Members can offer to enroll their children or other dependents for whom they would want to receive an end-of-life payout in the event of one of their deaths. The member would cover the membership and mutual-aid contributions for their child or dependent. This is a wonderful gift of life and further protects your loved ones and the community at large.

No. There is no need to take an exam or provide medical documentation, aside from answering a very brief health questionnaire. 

No, LifeShare is not classified as an insurance company and, therefore, does not require special licensing. A few key factors that differentiate LifeShare from insurance companies include:

  1. Payment Structure: Unlike insurance companies that collect fixed premiums regardless of claims, LifeShare members only make contributions when a fellow peer passes away. The funds are immediately transferred to the family of the deceased.

     

  2. Risk Sharing: LifeShare does not assume the risk of loss individually. Instead, the risk is shared by all members of the community.

     

  3. Sponsorship Opportunity: LifeShare offers a unique feature allowing peers to request sponsorship. This means that individuals who are unable to afford the mutual-aid contribution can still join the community. Sponsors voluntarily cover the responsibility of the sponsored members, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all.
LifeShare differs from other community funds in 2 key areas:
  1. PAYMENT ELIGIBILITY. 
    • These “Orphan Funds” have strict financial and eligibility criteria. End-of-life payouts are determined by a rabbinical board. If the board determines the family has sufficient financial means (such as an existing life insurance policy, “Go Fund Me” campaign, or other financial resources), they may receive a reduced payment, or no payout at all. Members of these funds can contribute for years or decades, but may not be eligible to receive a payout upon their death. 
    • LifeShare does not scrutinize its members’ financial situation; paying members of the community at the time of death are eligible to receive a payout, no questions asked.

  2. DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS.
    • Upon the death of a member, even after the rabbinic board approves a payout, these funds DO NOT IMMEDIATELY get transferred to the family for crucial life expenses. They are invested until the orphan comes of age and requests the funds (typically for a wedding or to purchase an apartment), which can be a decade or more in the future. 
    • LifeShare immediately transfers the funds directly to the deceased’s family, thereby providing immediate financial relief at the time of death.

Yes. From the inception of the LifeShare, we have worked closely with actuaries, attorneys, financial professionals and insurance agents to determine mortality rates, the model’s financial viability, and potential risks. We will continue to consult with them as the program and communities grow.