We plan to post the April 2004 Internet monthly update to our five monthly update web sites on March 26th.
The April 2004 disk update will be processed Friday, March 26th and Monday, March 29th.
Disks will be shipped Monday, March 29th. You should have the April Update in your office by Wednesday, March 31st. Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your February disks ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed this March 2004 Update. February disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the March edition.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Subscribers who are receiving disks can save up to $100 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.
The combination of training a new technical support person, together with introducing two significant new changes/products, has made February a very busy month. As a result of the new activity, which we will report to you in the material which follows, we are delaying the release of the driving record and family health history options for the Health Analyzer. We believe that the two new projects, one of which has just been completed, were more important to do first.
We have now added Health Analysis and A.M. Best ratings to the Term4Sale web site. It is our hope that these new improvements will make term4sale.com an even more useful tool for consumers. We think the improvements will make the media pay even more attention to the site and we plan to do some promotion in that regard.
We are very pleased with the way the design and implementation of these new changes has gone. While we did not depart from the simple design of the web pages, they have been "freshened up" and we think you will find the look a little cleaner.
We particularly like the way that we have integrated the Health Analysis into the site. The first entry screen which the client completes is relatively unchanged. This means it is still extremely easy for a consumer to get a simple and fast comparison. This is important. One of the problems that many sites have (in my opinion) is that they ask too many questions before the consumer is looking at results. I think most users of the Internet have relatively short attention spans, particularly with all the various sites that they can surf around and look at. For a site to hold someone's attention important things have to happen quickly without the consumer having to get bogged down in a lot or reading or entry. Term4Sale produces comparisons quick and easy.
Once the comparison screen displays, there is an intriguing new question in the middle of the screen which asks:
When the consumer clicks to go to the Health Analysis questionnaire, the first thing that pops up is the list of 3 Compulife subscribers. That is combined with a very appropriate message that term4sale is made possible by the good folks (like you) who use Compulife.
It is our belief that giving this listing at this point, and crediting our subscribers with making the site possible, will give subscribers much more exposure than they have had prior to this. We expect that many more consumers who visit term4sale will now see the agent listings.
By way of explanation, when we first began designing term4sale in the late 90's, we had hoped to actually have agent names appear in comparisons to ensure that agents received maximum exposure. The reason subscriber names do not appear in comparisons is because we do not want to associate subscribers with lists of companies which they may or may not sell. This can present a legal problem in some states and it is why, when a list of subscribers is displayed, it is never on a comparison where companies and products appear.
We believe that a majority of consumers will use the new health analysis function and because consumers must complete this new health analysis web page in order to have their comparison results refined, a majority will see the subscriber listings.
If you are a Compulife subscriber, and you are not listed at term4sale.com, we strongly recommend that you get listed. All Compulife subscribers are entitled to one free listing but the listing must be requested.
If you are not listed, please call Diane at 800-798-3488 and get that listing now. While we do not expect anyone to receive a lot of calls from consumers, many who receive calls have expressed their happiness with the quality of the insurance prospect. Many Compulife subscribers have made significant sales as a result of term4sale.
Please try out the new improved site. If you find something that you think is complicated or hard to understand, we would like to hear from you because we want the site to be as consumer friendly as possible.
The term comparison technology that powers the term4sale.com web site is available to Compulife subscribers so that they too can have term comparisons on their web sites. And yes, the new features, with the exception of A.M. Best ratings, are now available in the improved engine at no additional charge.
If you are purchasing the term comparison engine directly, please contact me (Bob Barney) at (800) 798-3488 and request the new engine. The good news about the new engine is that it is plug and play compatible with the previous engine. Only if you elect to take advantage of the new features will changes be required.
If you are among the majority of our subscribers who obtain use of the Compulife Internet engine through one of our web providers, please contact your web provider to discuss adding the new features to your web site.
A.M. Best has required Compulife to obtain another license agreement to have A.M. Best ratings at the term4sale.com web site. Cost of that license agreement is over $750 per year.
We have spoken to A.M. Best and have pointed out that we seriously question the need or fairness of requiring that amount of money for each of our subscribers who simply wants to add A.M. Best ratings to their term comparisons on the Internet. After all, most pay an additional fee of only $99 per year to add the term quotes through one of our web providers. $750 seems to be a particularly expensive add- on particularly when consumers can go to ambest.com and get ratings for FREE!
On top of the fact A.M. Best gives ratings away free at its web site, we have also pointed out to A.M. Best that there are a number of existing web sites that do not pay A.M. Best license fees or comply with the A.M. Best requirements for having A.M. Best ratings in their web sites. Please note, the term4sale.com web site is compliant with the A.M. Best license agreement, displaying the Best ratings with the date they were verified, and displaying a Guide to A.M. Best ratings when ratings are clicked on.
Having noted the cost issues to A.M. Best, the company has yet to indicate on what basis they are prepared to allow our subscribers, who use Compulife at their web sites, to offer the A.M. Best ratings in their term comparisons. For that reason the new Internet engine, which is being provided to our Internet engine customers, WILL NOT access the A.M. Best ratings.
Until we hear further from A.M. Best, any of our Internet engine users who want A.M. Best ratings from the engine will need to provide Compulife with a copy of written proof of their agreement with A.M. Best in order to be able to use A.M. Best ratings on their web site. If we receive a copy of that agreement, Compulife will provide you with the version of the engine which accesses the ratings.
We expect that most of our subscribers who use the Internet comparison engine will want to now incorporate the Health Analyzer. This has been structured to allow you to use it in two different ways.
First, you can simply incorporate the health questions in the initial client entry page, and provide the comparison results once the questions are completed.
Second, you can do as Compulife does at term4sale.com. You can ask a small number of questions, display a comparison, then offer to refine the comparison based upon further information.
We strongly recommend you consider using the latter approach. We believe it is important to demonstrate to the consumer that you've got the goods, and then, having proven that you've got the goods, request additional information before telling them move. At that point we think you can also insist that the consumer provide personal contact information and we think that the consumer will be more likely to do so having seen the comparison. We think that will turn more of your visitors into prospects which will net you more insurance sales.
Compulife is embarking upon a new project and an expansion of our company. We are creating a new product called the "Compulife QuickerQuoter" which will be a "single company" quotation software product targeted directly at life insurance companies for distribution to their agents.
Once again, QuickerQuoter will be a Compulife-like quote system for a single life insurance company and its products. What we think will make this new product attractive to life insurance companies is the fact that it will be FREE.
That's FREE as in NO COST.
While the idea of giving free software to life companies may appear crazy, there is method in our madness. First, Compulife will only provide the software to life companies who have been kind enough to assist us with the provision of product, rate, state approval and health class information that we need for our comparison software. If a company is unwilling to help Compulife, QuickerQuoter will not be available to that company.
It is our hope this will be an added incentive for life companies to help us with keeping our rates and database up to date, which has obvious benefits to our subscribers at large.
As Compulife subscribers already know, Compulife produces the fastest quotes in the market. Imagine just how much faster it will quote when it is only comparing the products of just one company. It will be like lightning and quicker than any other quote system out there.
The QuickerQuoter menu will appear just as the Compulife menu does now, but the "Display Single Product" button will be replaced by the "Display Product Comparison" button. After entering in client information, clicking the "Display Product Comparison" will display every product premium, for that single company, in the comparison window. From that single company comparison of all products, agents will be able to double click on any individual result and display the single product window. From there the quote can be printed or e-mailed.
For those who think that would be a great feature to have in Compulife for our regular subscribers, it's been been there for quite some time. You access that feature by picking any individual company from a comparison, going to the "options" at the top of the "Display Single Product" window, and selecting "compare products for this company". Try it, it will give you a good idea what it is that we will be giving to life companies as the default comparison.
QuickerQuoter will be popular because it will be faster and easier to use than any other life company quote software in the market. Even installation and updates will be a dream. The software will come in its own self-extracting SETUP.EXE file which can be provided through the internet, on disk, by e-mail, whatever. When the SETUP.EXE file is run, a folder for the company will be made, the software will be installed and an icon placed on the desktop. The SETUP.EXE file will be less than 2 meg in size, and the installed program less then 5 meg.
First, we think a large number of companies, particularly smaller companies, will be delighted to have access to free software for their agents. Distribution and use of the free software will get the Compulife name better known in the market. IMPORTANT: The software will only be given to life companies. Compulife will not distribute this product to anyone but life companies. Life companies will be free to give it to anyone they want.
Second, we think a number of companies will say, "Heh, we like what you've got, but before we use this we need changes."
Ah yes... changes.
The answer to the question, "Will Compulife customize this software further?" is "Yes". Compulife will be more than happy to develop and customize this software on a time and materials basis.
We think the custom software market for life insurance illustration software has been over priced and that it is in need of some healthy and serious competition. We intend to see that the market gets that competition. What should be highly appealing to life companies considering our services is that we will be charging to MODIFY what is already tried and true software. We will not be building from scratch.
Compulife expects to have "QuickerQuoter" ready for delivery by the end of March or the beginning of April. We will be building and distributing versions of it to those companies who have made the most recent rate changes and who have given copies of their material to Compulife.
Regardless of whether a company further distributes the product, we will be providing it to companies as a "pre-release" way to check rates and quotes in cases where a company gives us rates well in advance of their targeted release dates.
In the meantime, companies interested in retaining Compulife for custom software work are welcome to contact me, Bob Barney, at 800-798-3488. I'll direct you to the project consultant and programming staff who are in charge of this new service.
As a result of these two new projects, one completed (enhanced Internet engine) and one under construction (QuickerQuoter), the Health Analyzer expansion will be delayed until April. It is our hope that sometime in April Compulife will be releasing the expanded version which will add "Driving Record" and "Family History" as areas to be examined. Most of the work has already been completed, we simply need to complete the entry of the data and then run checks to ensure it is performing properly. We hope to make this part of one of the April mid-month updates.
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 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 web site 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 web site 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 $100 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our web page www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc." Under the section "License Agreements" you will need to select and complete a new License Agreement for the type of license you have. After you have printed the new 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.
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.