The August 2001 disk update will be processed Thursday, July 26th and Friday, July 27th. Disks will be shipped Monday, July 30th. You should have the August Update in your office Wednesday, August 1st. The Internet monthly update will be posted some time on Monday, July 30th to our three monthly update websites. A fourth will be added for August.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "June disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed the July 2001 Update. June disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the July edition.
For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
1. Internet Monthly Updates
You can switch over to obtaining monthly updates by Internet. Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $50 per year in subscription fees ($80 per year next year).
If you want to switch over to Internet monthly updates, please call our office at (800) 798-3488. Our staff will send you an agreement called "Internet Update Endorsement". Please read it, particularly the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call the office and we'll be happy to talk 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 next year. The $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.
Last month we announced that your website can now offer Compulife's term comparisons on-line, to your clients, for only $249 per year.
This created a buzz of activity with a number of calls from subscribers eager to take advantage of this very attractive offer. Many thought it sounded to good to be true. To that we simply say, IT'S TRUE.
Compulife has created an Internet compatible version of our software that allows a website to do comparisons on-line. Those who purchase and use Compulife's web comparison software not only have the right to to use it for their own website, they can turn around and use it to set up websites for other agents.
Among those using our Internet engine, Compulife now has four "authorized Compulife web providers". Authorized Compulife web providers are individuals or companies that do NOT sell or distribute insurance. These people don't compete with our customers in the sale of insurance. These authorized providers are eager to talk to you about setting up web comparisons for your website.
One of those authorized providers is offering their service for $249 per year. Another is very similiar in price.
The only condition to these authorized providers setting up sites for agents is that those agents must be Compulife subscribers. Once you are or have become a Compulife subscriber, then the Internet engine can be used on your behalf at NO ADDITIONAL FEES payable to Compulife. What you pay the authorized provider is for services provided by that provider to you. Compulife is already happy to have your PC subscription business and the internet option is simply a value-added benefit to those who are Compulife subscribers.
Note: This offer is made exclusively to subscribers of Compulife. Compulife Lite subscribers do not qualify. Lite subscribers can upgrade to the full Compulife system for the price difference.
Please call Bob Barney at (800) 798-3488 for the names of Compulife web providers.
The flurry of new Internet website activity during June caused us to make some additional enhancements to our Linux and NT Internet comparison engines. Those new improvements include:
1. Annual or Monthly Premium output. Probably the most requested change was to provide monthly premiums. These are now available.
2. Annual or Monthly Premium "title". Allows you to insert the word "annual" or "monthly" into your output text so that the consumer knows what kind of premium they are looking at.
3. Premium category. As Compulife subscribers will know, Compulife has been adding the company's own descriptions for their premium categories. We are using the company's terminology when it is different from our own generic terms. That category information can now be displayed in Internet quotes.
NOTE: The above three options are now incorportated into the www.term4sale.com website. Check it out.
4. Personal information tags (variables) can now be embedded in individual product lines. This won't mean much to most laymen, but it means that if a web programmer wants to have a click through button to another function the variables gathered about the consumer (like his birthdate, sex, etc.) can be passed from the individual product result line.
5. A.M. Best number. It is our hope that A.M. Best will at some point permit a click through link to their website, where the number can be passed to A.M. Best and the current rating informaton for that company displayed. We have been talking to A.M. Best about this idea and we will keep you advised of their response.
There is nothing that technically limits Compulife to adding more features to our Internet software. The limitation is self-imposed, and has to do with how we survive in this "Everything is free on the Internet" fool's paradise.
To review, Compulife earns its living from the fees which agents pay when they buy our PC based software. If a website was created that placed all the features and capabilities of Compulife on the Internet, and that was available for free, why would anyone buy our software? If we did that, our revenue would vanish and there would be no more Compulife. No more Compulife means no more Compulife web comparisons. Simply put, it makes no sense to anyone for Compulife to commit economic suicide.
And you will notice that a lot of dot-coms have been failing fast. A huge number are destined to be out of business in the next two years. They are learning the reality of business, "How do you get for something that you give away?"
Therefore, in our own self-interest (which we happen to believe coincides with your own self-interest) Compulife reserves the most important features of our software for those subscribers who pay us for them.
Further, we have always intended for the web engine to be used as a tool to serve the public and not as a tool to serve agents.
Now that doesn't mean agents can't or don't use that more limited version of the information, because clearly many do. I sometimes get calls from agents asking me a product question having run a quote on www.term4sale.com. I ask if they have Compulife, they say that they get their quotes from Term4Sale. I remind them that Term4Sale says that the information provided is NOT SUFFICIENT to make a decision to purchase a policy. Term4Sale urges consumers to call the three agents listed at the site, who use our more sophisticated software, who will be happy to assist them with any questions they may have.
I then tell the agent that we would be happy to send a copy of our program on a 30 day free trial. Finally, my question to that agent is, "As a consumer would you want to buy from an agent who thinks Term4Sale was sufficient information upon which to make a term purchase?"
Many then want to know why they have to place our program on their computer. They ask, "Why doesn't Compulife simply create an Internet version of the program that the agent uses on-line?"
The day may come when we do that but for now we are very concerned about the problems (beyond our control) that can occur. We are concerned with the idea of our subscribers being forced to depend on Internet in order to RUN their quotations and comparisons. For example:
What if your modem isn't working?
What if the phone lines are busy?
What if your provider's server fails?
What if our provider's server fails?
What if a backhoe cuts a cable?
... and so on.
And if you can't get your quotes, who ya gonna call? That's right, you'll call Compulife. And if it is a major Internet failure you'll be only one of hundreds calling. No thanks. I can't think of a quicker way to ruin our reputation or put our company at risk.
Having said all that, we think the idea of delivering our software by Internet is good. We are hoping that more and more of our customers sign up to get their monthly updates through the web. At this point it costs everyone less than shipping and handling disks.
And even if there is a technical difficulty with the Internet, you can still run what you've already got on your computer until the problem is solved. Remember, once you get a successful download of your MONTHLY.CMP file, and after you have processed it, you are running locally on your own computer. That way, whether you're connected to the Interent or not, you are able to do quotes.
As we have noted in previous bulletins, any agency customers who purchase the Compulife Internet engine are also provided up to 20 copies of Compulife Lite at no additional charge.
Some have called us to say they would like those copies of Compulife for their subscribers, but want full Windows based systems on either a personal use or agency use basis.
We have now decided to allow your agency to mix and match your Internet engine credits toward any additional purchases of Compulife.
When you purchase the engine for the initial fee of $500 plus the annual renewal fee of $1,500 ($2,000 first year total), the $1,500 annual fee can be used as a credit toward the purchase of additional PC based systems. For example, the personal use system costs $140 per year updated through the Internet. You could have 10 of those systems at no additional charge, and the 11th system for $40 per year. In other words, the $1,500 for the Internet engine can be used a second time, to buy PC based software. Alternately, if you are already bulk- buying Compulife from us, and paying more than $1,500 per year over your own subscription, you can get the Internet engine for an initial fee of $500.
And here's another important benefit, you can then go ahead and create a website for any of your agents who are using that PC based software. You do do not owe Compulife any additional money for that privilege.
Effective January 1, 2002 Compulife will stop shipping both Windows and DOS software on our monthly update disks.
IMPORTANT: BOTH Windows and DOS software will continue to be provided as part of the Internet monthly update. If you want to use the DOS software then we encourage you to switch over to Internet monthly updating.
This is just one more incentive for you to switch from getting monthly disk updates to getting Internet monthly updates.
The reason for this change is simple. By going to the Windows-only program on our monthly disk update, we can reduce the total number of monthly disks back to three from four. Less disks means less copy time and less handling expense. Please remember, Compulife is working hard to keep our costs as low as possible, so that we can keep our prices as competitive as possible.
We believe we can eliminate the DOS version of the program from our disk updates because the Windows version of our software is becoming more reliable all the time. Therefore, the need for the extra security of the DOS program, which gives you an alternate way to access the same company/product data files, will be much less important by the end of this year. Once again, the Windows software has been working very well and we are having very few problems with it.
In the May Update Bulletin we advised you that on January 1, 2002 Compulife will increase prices for software which is updated monthly by disk. As longtime subscribers know, we have been lowering our prices for the past 5 years. During that time shipping costs have been increasing.
Now that our monthly updates though the Internet are working quite well, we prefer that our subscribers use that method of obtaining updates. Once again, prices for Internet subscriptions are not changing and we do not expect them to change in the near future. The new prices will be as follows:
|Agency Use||Updates by Disk||Updates by Internet|
|One Year Subscription||$379 ($349 prior to 2002)||$299|
|Two Year Subscription||$659 ($599 prior to 2002)||$499|
|Personal Use||Updates by Disk||Updates by Internet|
|One Year Subscription||$279 ($249 prior to 2002)||$199|
|Two Year Subscription||$459 ($399 prior to 2002)||$299|
|Compulife Lite **||Updates by Disk||Updates by Internet|
|One Year Subscription||$139 (was $99)||$99|
** NOTE re: Lite subscriptions
Sometime this summer Lite monthly updates will be made available through the Internet. Once Compulife makes Lite updates available through the Internet, the price for Lite updates by disk will increase to the above mentioned $139 per year. The $40 additional fee, versus the $90 additional fee for the regular and personal use system, reflects the fact that Lite software is shipped by regular mail as opposed to Priority Post.
Once Compulife's Lite subscriptions are available through the Internet, the above prices for Lite will take immediate affect. Those with a current Lite subscription will continue to receive disks at the old prices. There will be no change in service or price until the Lite subscription renews.
For agency and personal use subscribers who want to continue to receive updates by disk there will be a special standing offer until December 15, 2001. You can "top-up" existing subscriptions at the old price. If you act before December 15, 2001, you can add another one or two years to your subscription at the old prices.
Having said that, we suggest you act now, before the deadline as it is our experience that most people forget there is a deadline and then want Compulife to extend it. In this case, that will not be done.
Here is an example of the top-up opportunity:
If your personal use subscription is paid to May 31, 2002, and you act now you can add one more year for $249 or two more years for $399. If you didn't act by December 15th then you will receive your normal invoice in April 2002 for the new price of $279. You could elect at that time to pay a total of two years for $459.
If you receive that new invoice, at the higher price, don't forget that you can still elect at that time to switch over to Internet monthly updates and save $80 per year. The price for a personal use Internet subscription remains only $199.
Subscribers who are part way through a disk update subscription can switch to Internet and have their existing subscription extended based upon the time left and the price difference. Call Compulife at (800) 798-3488 for more specific information about your account.
Every month we get at least one call (that's an understatement) from a subscriber who says they went to our www.term4sale.com website and the rates at the website were different than those in their Compulife program. 95% of the time it's because we have updated the www.term4sale.com with the latest rate changes and the subscriber has not updated using our mid-month update service found at www.compulife.com.
We again underline the importance of using the mid-month update service. Companies are changing rates faster and faster all the time and so monthly updates are increasingly becoming stale shortly after they are issued.
Regardless of how you are obtaining your monthly updates, you need to carefully monitor our mid-month update service at www.compulife.com. This is a free service.
We recommend that you check in at least once a week to see if there have been important changes. Each change made to the database during the month is itemized, documented and dated in the Mid-month update news.
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.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 have a third website standing at ready with the monthly updates ready. If you cannot obtain your monthly update from either compulife.com or compulife.cc, call our office at (800) 567-8376 and we'll tell you where the third site is.