EDIT: shminux has found a tool that instantly delivers term life insurance quotes. Most everything I've written below is now irrelevant and can now be ignored.
Here is what seems to be the standard for acquiring insurance (of most kinds, though here I'll be focusing on life insurance):
1. You contact a salesperson (agent) who is incentivized to sell you insurance policies which earn them more money.
2. You provide a basic set of data regarding your health and general medical status.
3. The agent takes this information and <MYSTERIOUS BLACK BOX HERE>, and then sends you the quote.
You don't know how this quote was generated exactly. Presumably actuarial tables were involved at some point. Maybe it was marked up or down based on how confident you sounded to the agent. Or the agent divined the quote based on tea leaves.
And if you want to comparison shop - you'll have to go to other agents, fill out more forms containing the same information over and over. Even getting quotes on different plans _from the same company_ often requires specifically requesting each one through an agent.
This is insane.
If there exists a way to easily get many life insurance quotes at once, please tell me about it. If the general algorithms to generate these plans are well known, please link to a thorough description or implementation so at least people have a means of determining whether or not they're being ripped off.
But if those things truly do not exist - I think we should fix this system.
Crowdsourcing the acquisition and publication of life insurance rates could go a long way towards bringing some transparency to what seems to be a very, very broken marketplace.
So this is what I propose. If we systematically divide up the work of getting quotes, I think we can amass a considerable amount of data fairly quickly.
(This should obviously be of particular interest to would-be test-subject/cryonics-enthusiasts.)
Does this sound feasible? Does this information already exist in a form which renders this data raid unnecessary? Can it be improved?