We plan to post the November 2003 Internet monthly update to our five monthly update websites on Tuesday, October 28th.
The November 2003 disk update will be processed Tuesday, October 28th and Wednesday, October 29th.
Disks will be shipped Wednesday, October 29th. You should have the November Update in your office by Friday, October 31st. Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your September disks ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed this October 2003 Update. September disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the October edition.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Subscribers who are receiving disks can save up to $80 per year by switching to updates by Internet. Please read the last part of this bulletin for complete details. Don't wait for your next subscription invoice to make the change. Compulife will bonus your subscription renewal deadline for switching from disks to internet.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: For disk update subscribers renewing after January 1, 2004 the annual subscription price for receiving monthly updates by disk will be $20 per year higher. Prices for internet updates will be unchanged, and will be $100 per year less.
This month we announced some important changes to our software in the U.S. and pointed out to our U.S. subscribers that those changes would not be made to our DOS program. As we explained to them, one reason that we have not been moving the DOS software forward is due to the complete absence of demand for DOS programs. While a number of our existing subscribers use the DOS software and love it, they are the ONLY people who want to use our DOS software.
Having the DOS program available has proven to be a negative when first introducing Compulife to potential new customers. We have ceased providing DOS software to trial users and do not make reference to it. Many who saw anything that looked like DOS immediately concluded that our software was antiquated and out-of-date. There are even those who have pointed to the existence of our DOS version as proof that our software is not modern and up-to-date. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth but sometimes perception wins out over reality.
Having noted that, we are doing everything we can to preserve our system compatibility with our current DOS software. However, some changes are being made to the Windows version and NOT to the DOS version.
All regular customers of Compulife have BOTH DOS and Windows versions of Compulife already on their computers. Therefore, if you need to run an ROP quote you can fire up the Windows version of Compulife and use that. If you don't know how to run the Windows version call us at 800-567-8376 or 800-798-3488 and we'll help you to get started. There are also tutorials on our www.compulife.com website under the last option: "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc."
We think the Windows version is what you need to be using anyway. For the past 5 years our Windows software has gotten the vast majority of our development attention and it is now the far more powerful version of our software. It is only our commitment to the wishes of existing software customers that keeps us from just bringing the DOS product to an end at this point. Once again, if you are using the DOS version you are missing out on important features and capabilities. Eventually, the DOS version will cease to exist; but not yet.
Compulife is no longer offering Compulife Lite for sale. The product has been removed from our applications to purchase. This leaves the "Term4Sale - Agent Edition" as the low-cost product alternative for those on a budget.
Effective November 1st, those of you who have been receiving Compulife Lite by disk will begin to receive the full Compulife program on disks. This is a free upgrade until the end of your Compulife Lite subscription, but if you wish to renew and receive disks you will need to pay the higher disk edition prices.
Compulife Lite subscribers are receiving a special letter explaining some very attractive upgrade options. If you are a Compulife Lite subscriber, and have missed seeing that letter, contact us immediately at 800-798-3488.
Disk edition prices have been increased by $20 per year for new customers. As previously announced, the new prices are not effective until January 1st for existing subscribers.
We hope that most subscribers will take advantage of the significant discounts offered to those who obtain updates by Internet.
We have added a new feature to our windows version of the software that will allow you to manually enter and quote a single product with a Table Rating added.
We have always resisted having Table Ratings in our software because not all companies use the same tables and not all companies will agree what table should be used for any given substandard case. Because our software is NOT a crystal ball or Miss Cleo, it always seemed silly to have a Table Rating comparison because there is no way to know how two different companies will respond to the same case and so it is relatively impossible to generate a meaningful comparison.
Having said that, we have heard from some subscribers who indicated that they would like to have the ability to add a rating to an individual product quote.
The new "Table Rating" option allows you to select the Table Rating option from a single product display. Once you do so, it allows you to enter the percentage associated with that rating (20%, 40%, 15%, 30%, etc.). You will also need to know whether the rating applies to the premium or to the rate per thousand. The program will also ask for the name of the table rating, (1, 2, 3, A, B, C, etc.). Once all that has been entered, and the OK button pressed, the individual product quotation will be recalculated and re-displayed with the extra premium included. A footnote appears at the bottom of the single product quote and we are working to add that comment to the Pick 12 summary page. Once recalculated, you will be able to print, PDF or file the quote to the Pick 12 Policy Analysis.
After you leave or change the product/company in the single product display, the system will reset the option to NOT having the table rating turned on.
When you leave the program, or attempt to use the table rating option for another product, the program will remember the percentage and table rating name that you used for the last product.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT CALL COMPULIFE ASKING WHAT THE TABLE RATING IS!!!
I was assured by agents who lobbied for this option that THEY WOULD KNOW THE PERCENTAGES and all that they needed from Compulife was a way to enter those percentages and have the quotation modified. That is what we have done.
Following the introduction of the feature I was contacted by one U.S. subscriber who could not match a Prudential quote. He told me that the quote was for Table B and that the percentages were 25% per table. I couldn't match the quote either. I called Pru to learn that Pru's percentages for table ratings are:
The subscriber assured me, after learning what the percentages actually were, that there was no way that any agent would know this stuff and it would all end up being a big problem for Compulife. We hope not, but clearly he was not happy.
I then pointed out that this was the reason why Compulife had AVOIDED ADDING TABLE RATINGS for years. We then talked about the fact that no two companies are likely to treat the case the same way, that this would all be confusing to agents, etc., etc., etc.
This is the slippery slope that we end up with when agents talk us into options that we had originally suspected and argued would be much more complicated than the agent initially tells us they are.
Worst of all is that what is sufficient for one customer proves NOT to be sufficient for another. Of course you would think that if an option was not sufficient, the unhappy subscriber would simply avoid using the option that they hadn't previously had anyway; but it is never that simple. It seems that in the mind of some subscribers having an option that is not precisely what they would like is worse than having no option at all.
Upon further consideration I believe that it is a reasonable option to have a way for you to enter factors and quote a table rating to match the company's premium for that client. The ability to generate a substandard quote from Compulife, despite the fussing that you might need to do to match the company's quoted premium, is still a useful option.
Those who choose to use this option must remember that THEY ARE ON THEIR OWN. Compulife does not want to get into the business of trying to track each company's table rating factors or methodologies. Just collecting the data would prove to be a problem and trying to keep changes up-to-date would be a nightmare.
For example, you would think that getting life company health criteria for preferred plus and preferred classes would be simple. Even so we still have a significant number of companies who have not provided that data and some have said that they are not sure if they want us to have that information at all. Think about it, this is the same health criteria data that companies publish in the rate cards and literature that they distribute to agents. Even so, some companies have indicated they're not sure we should have it.
Given that, good luck on gathering data about substandard table ratings!
Therefore, if you are not familiar with the particulars of a specific company's table ratings, percentages, methodology, etc., DO NOT USE THE TABLE RATING OPTION in Compulife. We recommend that you stick to that company's own software to quote substandard cases.
For those who use Windows XP and do not use the Windows Classic menus some of the Compulife windows were somewhat tight and unbalanced. We have made changes to some of our fixed window sizes to better accommodate XP and we like the changes. If you are a Windows XP user, let us know if you think there is anything we have overlooked.
Further, we have changed the program so that it defaults to displaying the Enter Client Information window on start up. With this new function we believe that the ideal location of the Enter Client Information window is to the right of the Red Master Menu. The October monthly update of Compulife now forces the window to that position on start up. If you move it somewhere else, it will move back on the next startup. This is temporary to ensure that all subscribers get a look at it the way we think it works best. The first midmonth update of the program in October will introduce a revision that will permit you to move the Enter Client Information window back to wherever you want, and that position will be remembered on the next start up.
For most people this change will eliminate having to click to open the Enter Client Information window then click again to close the client window in order to display the Red Master Menu. In days gone by, when some customers were running 640 X 480 resolution (older laptops) and tiny monitors, there wasn't enough room on the screen to hold both menus side-by-side. For most subscribers that is no longer an issue.
On the other hand, if you do use the low resolution settings for your computer (do yourself a favor and buy a bigger monitor) you will need to click and drag the Enter Client Information window back to where you can see the whole thing on your screen. You will then have to close it to see the Red Master Menu.
We have also added a "Compare Now (F3)" button on the Enter Client information window. This is in the bottom right corner of the window and lets you run a comparison without having to be at the Red Master Menu. You can do that now by pressing the F3 function key but some people like to point and click and the new button allows that.
Of course if you keep the Enter Client Information window open, and position to the right of the Red Master menu, you can also choose the comparison option or any other option you want from the Red Master menu without having to first close the client entry window.
We have also changed the highlight color on the Red Master Menu to red from white. This displays much better on laptops, where the white can sometimes be washed out on the background button color which is a light gray.
It should be noted that there will be a further enhancement to the refile option that is not yet functional. If you use the Health Analyzer, the program will re-file the least expensive premium rate class for the product, which is available based upon the health criteria that you entered.
To go with that coming option will be a "Health Class Report" which will explain what classes were rejected by the program and the reasons why they were rejected. If the health criteria for that product was not provided by the company, the system will still pick the lowest premium available for the class selected. The health analysis report will indicate that health analysis was not performed for that company/product.
In July we introduced a new version of our program which offers a number of the new options that we had been promising. With that completed we are now moving forward with implementation of our multi- life quotes for up to 5 people.
Progress on that improvements was slowed by the introduction of new comparison categories for our U.S. subscribers. With that completed, work again will re-focus on the 5 life comparison.
Some companies permit a discount for husband and wife when they buy policies at the same time, while others do it also for business partners. Many that allow the discount for business partners will allow the discount for more than 2 partners and so the multi-life comparison button for non-spouse will eventually ask how many clients to do the comparison for and give the total premiums for that group. You will be able to file that group of 2, 3, 4 or 5 individuals into the Pick 12.
Once this function is completed our multi-life option will be wrapped.
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our websites. Our main website is:
However, we keep another completely separate website, on a completely different server, in a completely different country, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we also update to compulife.us or compulife.cc. If one website goes down, for whatever reason, the other is ready to serve you. That includes both monthly and mid-month updates.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we rely on three other websites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
1. Switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.
Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $80 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our webpage www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc." Under the section "License Agreements", the third license is the "Internet Update Endorsement". Print the endorsement. Once you have it, please read it carefully, 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 take you through the procedure. It's easy.
2. Disk Purchase Program
The other way to avoid returning the disks and the disk box each month is to pre-purchase them for $21 per year ($1.75 per month). Once you do that you can keep them for future reference, throw them away or return them for a credit (once each year) when you are invoiced for the following year. $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.