The November 2001 disk update will be processed Friday, October 26th and Monday, October 29th. Disks will be shipped Tuesday, October 30th. You should have the November Update in your office Thursday, November 1st.
The Internet monthly update will be posted on Friday, October 26th to our four monthly update websites.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "September disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed the November 2001 Update. September disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the October edition.
For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem. Please go to the end of this bulletin for full details.
Your website can now offer real-time term comparisons for only $99 per year. The offer is made exclusively to subscribers of Compulife.
Note: Compulife Lite subscribers do not qualify for this special offer. Lite subscribers can upgrade to the full Compulife system for the price difference.
Compulife does not provide web programming or websites for agents. Compulife has an Internet version of our comparison software that allows a website to do real-time comparisons. Those who have Compulife's Internet comparison software (we call it the Internet engine) have permission to use the engine to set up websites for other agents. As long as that agent is a Compulife subscriber, the Internet engine purchaser can set up a custom website or link at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE from Compulife.
Compulife has 4 "authorized web providers". Authorized web providers do not sell or distribute insurance which means they don't compete with you.
One of these web providers has just dramatically cut the price of their link service to $99 per year.
Note: First time subscribers to that service start by purchasing a 6 month subscription for $99. The initial $99 represents a setup fee of $49.50 plus $49.50 for the first 6 months. Annual renewals are then $99 per year.
Also Note: Compulife subscribers who paid $249 for this service in the past year are not being penalized by this price reduction. Each will automatically be bonused a free year.
Please call Bob Barney at (800) 798-3488 for the name of this Compulife web provider in addition to the names of other authorized web providers. You will want to consider competing offers.
You know that people in the insurance industry are paying attention to your website when agents start complaining to regulators. During August and September we were hit with one complaint to the Texas insurance regulator, and another to the Ontario, Canada regulator.
A copy of the letter from Texas has been sent to our U.S. subscribers this month, together with our response.
If you are listed at term4sale.com for the state of Texas, please pay special attention to the second part of the complaint. Texas was unhappy when they found agents listed under names that varied from the names that they were licensed under in Texas.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure that we have you are listed accurately. If you are not listed accurately, you need to let us know.
To those listed at term4sale.com, who are outside the state of Texas, it would still be a good idea to pay attention and make sure that you're listed as you should be for each respective state. As time goes on, and more and more attention is paid to term4sale.com, your competitors (who are not listed at the site) will be concerned about the competitive threat that they perceive the site represents. Some will complain to regulators about anything that they think they can find wrong.
As a side note, Compulife has decided that each Compulife subscriber will be provided with a free home zip code listing for the year 2002. Consider this a $12 per year reduction in your software subscriptions fees.
Additional zip codes must still be purchased for $1 per month. During the middle of November Compulife will be invoicing for zip code listings renewals and only those buying more than one zip code will receive an invoice for the total number of zip codes they have purchased, minus the free home zip code.
If you are not currently listed at www.term4sale.com, and want to be for 2002, you still need to ask us for your free listing. Compulife will not automatically list each subscriber.
Apart from the agent listing complaint, the good news is that both the U.S. and Canadian regulators couldn't find much to be concerned about. The common concern with both regulators was that we were not showing the full names of life companies in our quotes to consumers. The theory is that this could cause some kind of confusion for consumers.
We responded and made a special effort to include the full company names. The irony and humor was that having expanded some of the company names in our system in September, some of our customers called wondering what happened. The change confused them. Some knew companies by the "short form" company name that companies used, and the full name was not something that agents were as familiar with.
A lot of life companies are increasingly using short form identities that are not the same as their legal life insurance company names. In the past many have preferred that Compulife use the shorter names. While we had attempted to accommodate such requests as best we could possible, these two letters from regulators have put a complete end to publishing anything but the full legal name of the life insurance company.
The moral of the story is that www.term4sale.com is working. The media and consumers are starting to pay attention and traffic is steadily increasing. Simply put, consumers like the site. What's not to like? As some of the more notable dot-com operations continue to move steadily toward demise, we believe term4sale.com has the perfect long- term winning formula. First, term4sale.com offers no obligation term comparisons for consumers from the most complete list of companies in the market. Second, an emphasis on the value and wisdom of buying life insurance from a multi-company life insurance agent/broker who can sell the consumer the same product at the same price. Third, a list of those agents in the consumer's area who are eager to compete for the consumer's insurance business. And finally, all provided by a website that costs little to operate and only spends the money it takes in.
Last month we placed our latest version of the Windows software on the Internet and invited subscribers to try it. Given that we received no calls indicating problems we are now including it for general release this month.
We have made significant improvements to the look of the comparisons and single product printouts. Printouts have actually been improved in three separate parts of the program:
F2 Single Product Printouts
F3 Comparison Printouts
F5 Pick 5/11 Spreadsheet Summary Pages
F3 Comparison Printouts
F5 Pick 5/11 Spreadsheet Summary Pages
Each of these printouts now permits you to use proportional pitch fonts. This makes the printouts much more attractive. A great deal of time and care was spent making sure that columns were properly aligned and that information was placed in the right position on each page.
Having done that we are also pleased to advise that we have now added a "font selection" feature to each of the above printouts. You can select the type of font that you want for comparisons and single products simply by going to the top of the respective window and clicking on "Print Options". Click on "Set Print Font".
Pick 5/11 summary page font selection can now be made from the "Print Style" page located in the "Style Options". The "Style Options" menu item is found in the top line of the Pick 5/11 Window. Once you have chosen "Style Options", then click on "Print Style".
With the Print Style windows displayed, look to the top left corner of the Window. There you will find "Select Item to Change Font". To the right of the current item, click the "down arrow" button to display the entire list of items which you can select fonts for.
At the bottom of the list of items to set font/colors for, you will find a new option called "Summary Page Body". This is where you can select a different font for the body of your summary page.
Fonts are individually selected for each of the above three printouts. For example, you could have an "Arial" font for the single product printouts and a "Times New Roman" font for the comparisons.
The summary page font can be recorded individually for each print style page.
Note: the "Arial" font is the default font if you do not select a different font.
To summarize, font selection is done from the "Print Options" menu choices located at the top of the comparison and single product windows. For the Pick 5/11 summary pages you change the fonts in the the Print Style Window.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While the font window allows you to select the font size, this has no impact on the actual font sizes used for these printouts. The program determines the space available and the maximum font size which can be used (to a pre-set limit which has been established by Compulife).
This new feature will be important as we had been receiving some complaints from customers when they used our previous Windows printouts.
For the sake of expediency, when converting our DOS modules to Windows, we had simply selected "fixed pitch" fonts as the default fonts. With that, we then used the same spacing logic previously embedded in our DOS software. However, not all Windows operating systems have the same range of font sizes for fixed pitch fonts. Because of this, for some systems, things might run off the page or the font size was very tiny. All of this should be resolved with the new improvements.
As we discussed last month, the "Pick 11 Product List" window has two new buttons added. You can highlight a product on the list, and click the "Delete a product" button to delete that single product. You can also, when finished with the filing, click the "Go to pick 5" button to go directly to the "Pick 5/11 Policy Analysis" spreadsheet.
You will notice that the new Windows program loads much more quickly. The reason is that the program forms (screen images) now load only when needed. Before this they all loaded at the start-up of the program and this took time. We think you will find the program is now quicker, and for those concerned, uses less system resources (memory).
With last month's mid-month Internet version of our Windows program in general release, we are now offering you the next version of our Windows program at the mid-month website. This newest beta version of the Compulife program now recognizes and works with the concept of product families.
As we have explained before, the existing Compulife database can require two or three separate product entries to include all the numerous "rate categories" which some products require. The existing Compulife rate entry system allows one product entry to contain up to four rate categories; a maximum of two non-smoking and two smoking categories.
This new enhancement allows us to group multiple product entries into a product family, effectively giving us an unlimited number of categories per product. For those who try it, you will find single product (F2) menus much, much simpler. Further, comparisons use the main name of the product without all the (P+ Super Pfd/R+ Select) type notations which are used to distinguish individual product entries in the system. For more details of the changes, read the mid-month update bulletin when you download the UPDATE3.CMP file.
Once product families are complete the following are next on our list of changes.
a) Pick 12 - We are now moving forward with renovations to our Pick 5/11 which will become Pick 12. The existing "pick5.dat" file, which now contains your selected products, had some limitations attached to it. These prevented us from easily expanding the maximum number of products to 12.
Note: The limit will remain at 11 in DOS due to the printing limitations of fixed pitch fonts.
Pick 12 will eventually allow the filing of multiple life quotes relecting discounts for companies which offer multi-life options. You will be able to print pages showing total premiums for all lives, and then subsequent pages for each individual life. Discounts, where available, will be noted. As the Pick 12 features become available, they will be posted to our mid-month update site.
b) Enhanced Internet Updating - Compulife will be upgrading our Windows software to permit it to automatically search the Internet for both monthly and mid-month updates at our numerous websites. The system will divide our users among our various websites and servers to ensure a moderate traffic level for each server. It will also automatically check for alternate servers when connections fail or where download performance is deemed unacceptable. This will make the process of Internet updating very, very simple.
c) Trials Available by Internet - Compulife is investing some programming time and energy into development of new software that will permit us to ship trials by Internet. Until now a trial user was sent a box of disks and given a serial number. That trial serial number only permitted one installation of the disks. There is also a "time- out" function when the 30 days are over. We did not know how we were going to preserve those limitations, and still permit someone to use our trial for only 30 days.
We have now come up with the solution and we are testing the software now. The concept is relatively simple. When the perspective subscriber calls for their 30 day free trial, a program called "trial.exe" will be shipped to them by e-mail. Once they download the MONTHLY.CMP file from the Internet, TRIAL.EXE will process the MONTHLY.CMP file and let the system be used for 30 days. It will work just as a trial subscription works now.
The TRIAL.EXE that we send out will be personalized for the person in question. The TRIAL.EXE will only work with the current month's MONTHLY.CMP file. Trying to move the TRIAL.EXE to another computer, and downloading the following month's update, will not work. This preserves our security and ensures that a 30 day free trial remains free for only 30 days.
d) To make the process of shipping trials by Internet fully seamless, Compulife is now taking steps to place on the Internet all the documentation that a new user or existing user needs to have. This will include software examples, instructions, applications forms, license agreements, etc. This will be very helpful to new users, but we think it will also help streamline our service and support to our existing users.
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 long-time 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
Lite monthly updates are now available through the Internet. As a result, the price for Lite updates by disk have increased 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.
Those with a current Lite subscription are continuing 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.
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.
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.
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 $50 per year in subscription fees (that will be an $80 per year savings starting January 1, 2002).
To switch to Internet monthly updates, call us at (800) 798-3488. We will send you an agreement called the "Internet Update Endorsement". 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.