Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin. We would encourage you to read on.
Compulife would like to take this opportunity to wish all our subscribers a very happy 2006. We are really looking forward to 2006 as we plan to roll out a number of new products, functions and features which we think will make this a more profitable year for both our subscribers and us.
2006 is Compulife's 24th year in business and we are extremely grateful to all who have made our operation successful. Clearly we wouldn't have got here without you and we hope our relationship remains mutually profitable for years to come.
Thank you and God Bless You throughout 2006.
Recently one of Compulife's authorized web providers, Insurance Squared, introduced a couple of new services for agents. One is a traffic generator called "Insurance Webring" and the other is a message board where agents can exchange ideas and comment on relevant topics. The message board and information about the Insurance Webring can be found at:
Prior to this, the owner of Insurance Squared (Glenn Cooke) ran a message board for actuaries. The actuarial message board became very popular and Glenn eventually sold that board to an employee placement organization that was involved in job placement for actuaries.
I raise the point to say that Glenn has a significant amount of expertise in making a message board work and work well. The software technology he is using at the message board is great. I would encourage you to check it out.
NOTE: Glenn Cooke and the board moderator Chris Funnell are both Canadians and the message board contains a section specifically directed at issues related to Canadian life insurance brokers.
I have decided that I will cut back on some of my commentary in Compulife bulletins and ratchet up my participation on this new board. I will also attempt to address issues related to Compulife's customers, but which would add more content to bulletins and possibly obscure the fundamental issues related to our software product. To summarize, I will try to cut back in bulletins, and those who want to read more commentary from me, can do so at:
I suggest going to that web page and adding it to your favorites. More important, I would encourage you to join and participate. Membership on the board is FREE.
Here is an incentive for you to join the message board. Each Compulife subscriber who joins the message board will be permitted to take $10 (U.S.) off the price of an SD card and adapter. The normal price for a 32 meg SD card and adapter is $35 (U.S. includes shipping). If you join the new message board (it's FREE membership) you can purchase the card and adapter for $25 (U.S. includes shipping).
To repeat, join:
and provide Compulife with your userID for that message board (NOT your password) and you can purchase an SD card and adapter for only $25 (U.S.).
And here's a little something more. If you buy a Palm at the same time, we'll let you add that to the order for no additional shipping charge. In other words, you could get the card, adapter and a Grade B Palm for a total of $124 (U.S.).
And if you own a Windows Mobile device, and don't have the card or adapter, then you will still want to grab the $25 (U.S.) deal. Compulife will roll out our Windows Mobile software in January. Progress on the new software has gone well with only a few things left to tidy up.
The software for the Windows Mobile PDA is updated exactly the same way as the Palm. In fact both are updated to the same card, at the same time, using the same option in Compulife.
One adapter, one card, one process, two different PDAs.
The Windows Mobile edition will require Windows Mobile 2003 or newer (Windows recently introduced Windows Mobile 5). Compulife's Windows Mobile software will NOT work on devices running Mobile 2002 or older. If you have a device that is Windows Mobile 2002 you may be able to upgrade the device to Windows Mobile 2003.
For example, I purchased a pair of Siemens SX56 PDA phones that came with Windows Mobile 2002. While Siemens at one time had a Mobile 2003 upgrade for that model, they no longer do. After a search on ebay I located someone who had kept copies of the upgrade and was offering it together with an unlock solution for the phone. We were able to upgrade the phones and they now run Windows Mobile 2003 just fine.
If you have a PDA using Windows Mobile 2002, and want to upgrade it and can't find the upgrade that you need, give me (Bob Barney) a call at (888) 798-3488. I will check the web and see what I can find for you.
If you don't yet have a PDA, and are wondering which device is better, I would encourage you to begin with the used Palm. Some may argue that the Palm is the older operating system but that's because Palm has been around longer. In that regard Palm has a more dependable operating system and their programs are time tested.
The big reason to buy a Palm as your first PDA is because they are CHEAP and easy to use. Second hand units are in plentiful supply and Compulife can buy them and turn them around for $99 (U.S.) to $129 (U.S.).
While you can find Windows Mobile devices for similar prices, the other problem with those devices is that the manufacturers keep on introducing and replacing older devices with new devices whose parts are not interchangeable with older devices. This means parts and repairs are more expensive. Basically a Windows Mobile product is a throw away device. The Palm Tungsten E's that Compulife is selling are in great supply and parts/repairs are relatively simple. That's why we like the Tungsten E and think it is a great starting system.
Regardless of which system you are thinking about buying, the GOOD NEWS is that the same card works in either system.
To reiterate, when you update the SD card with Compulife, you will be able to take that card and stick it into either a Palm or Windows Mobile device and the same card will run in either system. The program file used by either system is different, but both programs will be on the same card.
Therefore, if you want to shop for a PDA, we recommend you get the SD card and adapter from Compulife. If you don't have it, get it this month because we are knocking $10 (U.S.) off the normal price.
Once again, you can get the card and adapter for $25 (U.S.) by joining:
Membership at the American Insurance Broker message board is FREE.
If you are considering the purchase of a phone PDA, there is a much closer race between Palm and Windows mobile devices. Palm's offering is the Treo 650. Siemens seems to be one of the more popular Windows Mobile alternatives (at least in the U.S.). The Siemens SX66 is more expensive than the Treo and many find it larger and clumsier. By comparison, the Treo has a smaller screen but it is very bright and clear.
Later in 2006 Palm will roll out a Treo with Windows Mobile 5. I suspect this will be very popular. In fact it will be interesting to see which the public goes for: a Treo running Palm software or a Treo running Windows Mobile.
In the meantime, I personally think that Phone PDAs are too expensive. The better strategy at this time is to have a separate phone and a separate PDA. Total cost for two devices is less. I would keep my powder dry and wait for phone PDAs to get cheaper; they will.
Having said that, I confessed earlier that I own a Siemens SX56 which is the earlier version of the Siemen SX66. The newer SX66 has a slide out keyboard whereas the SX56 doesn't. The SX66 supports blue tooth, the SX56 doesn't. Having noted that both are the same size and weight. In that regard I gave one of the SX56's to my wife and she gave it back after a week. The phone is large and heavy and she didn't like it. She went back to her old Motorola which is much smaller and lighter. I personally use the SX56 and don't mind either the size or weight but I suspect I am in a minority. I think most people want the smaller devices which is why most people I have talked to, have bought the Treo 650 instead of the Siemens.
Once again, at this time a phone PDA is an expensive alternative. On a side note, the reason I went with the phone/PDA is because I bought it (new) for under $85 (U.S.). SX56's are yesterday's model and as I pointed out before, come with Windows Mobile 2002 which is not as good as Mobile 2003. Fortunately I know how to unlock and upgrade the phone to Mobile 2003, so the phone PDA was about the same price as a PDA.
If you sit down with your phone provider today, I suspect you will come away with a Treo running the Palm software. But you could save a lot of money by waiting, using a more standard cell phone and using a separate Palm tungsten E. In a year you will be able to toss out the Tungsten E (or sell it back to Compulife) and upgrade to a Treo phone at much lower prices. If you do go for the Treo, look into the extended warranty carefully. Once again, being a newer model, parts will be harder to find and more expensive.
Compulife is not selling PDA phones simply because we think you need to get your phone from your cell phone company. That way, if you have problems, you are dealing with one provider.
Remember what I said before. The SD card and updating procedure is identical regardless of whether you are updating for a Palm or a Windows Mobile PDA.
So before you go shopping for a phone PDA make sure you get the card and adapter from Compulife and then you can try out the comparison software in both devices.
Our next objective is to further advance the functions and features of the PDA software. We want to add a single company look up function to the bottom of the screen. Instead of just the "compare now" button, there will be a second button called "quote product".
When you click on that button a list of companies will appear. When you locate the company you want, and click on it, a list of the products for that company will appear. When you click on the product, the single product display will appear. This will be the same screen that appears when you click on a product in the comparison results.
Once that feature is working we will enhance the single product display to give you more buttons which will let you display more options. One of the buttons will be to see renewal premiums. Another button will display a list of health categories and related premiums. Another button will display the various premium modes.
Once the above mentioned functions are complete, Compulife will turn its attention to introducing a variation of our PDA software called QuickerQuoter. QuickerQuoter is a single company quote system that we are providing to life companies for FREE.
When we first rolled out the Windows version of QuickerQuoter there wasn't a lot of interest because most companies already have Windows quote software and most have already made substantial investments in that software.
We expect there will be a lot more interest in QuickerQuoter once it includes a PDA version because most companies do not have PDA quote software. Their option will be to make a significant investment to develop that software or they can use the FREE PDA software that Compulife will provide.
Is there a catch for life companies to get that software? There is.
Compulife will only provide the new PDA QuickerQuoter programs to life companies who are helpful in providing assistance to Compulife. While this includes things like providing rate tables and information about products, we are requesting one more area that a company must be willing to assist Compulife with in order to obtain the PDA software. If a life company wants the new free PDA software, Compulife requires that the company be willing to provide current copies of their PDF forms to our authorized web providers.
One of the things Internet users of Compulife has been asking us for is a forms library. One of Compulife's authorized web providers has already taken the time and trouble to set up a database in which to store those forms. The problem has been that many companies have been unwilling to provide the forms. We believe the opportunity to obtain free PDA software for their agents will be the incentive needed to break the impasse.
The new form library will be available to any Compulife subscriber who is obtaining the Compulife internet quote engine through the authorized web provider. Adding the Compulife quote engine to your web site is only $99 (U.S.) per year.
We have already e-mailed a number of the life companies with information about the new QuickerQuoter program and have advised those companies that the first companies in with forms will be first companies to receive the new PDA software. Currently we have 4 companies who have expressed interest in the PDA software.
If you want more information about the forms library or the Quickerquoter PDA software, give me (Bob Barney) a call at (888) 798- 3488.
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our web sites. Our main web site is:
However, we keep three other completely separate web sites, on three completely different servers, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we are also updating to compulife.ca, compulife.us and compulife.cc. If one web site goes down, for whatever reason, either of the other three are ready to serve you.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we rely on three other web sites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
We plan to post the February 2006 Internet monthly update to our six monthly update web sites on Tuesday, January 31, 2006.
The disk update will be processed Tuesday, January 31st and the disks will be shipped on that day. You should have the disk update by Thursday, February 2nd.
If you are receiving monthly updates by disk, make sure you return your previous months updates.
Also note, for those receiving updates by disks, that you must switch over to Internet updates by the end of December 2006. Disk service will not be offered for January 2007 and following.
But we would encourage you to not wait until December 2006 to make the change because not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, it costs much less to get updates by Internet.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our web page www.compulife.com and select the second menu choice "Application/License Agreements" Under the section "Application / License Agreements" you will need to select and complete a new License Agreement for the type of license that you have. Indicate on the application form, under "payment option", that this is a "CHANGE". After you have printed the new application agreement, please read it, especially the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call us and we'll be happy to step you through the procedure. It's easy.