for July 2018
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
Reviews - I Am Asking For Your Help
I am being prospected by a review company called "Trust Pilot" and I am VERY reluctant to get involved. Anyone who wants to discuss that with me further, is welcome to give me a call.
On the other hand, discussions with Trust Pilot brought this to my attention:
You will see that there are two out of three reviews which have 1 out of 5 stars. Along with the single star, there are some very nasty and untrue comments. I think the source of these two comments is pretty clear:
Jeff R is a former U.S. customer who has a direct link and vested interest in a competing U.S. product.
The second one star review is from someone with "no name" but is a verified Linkedin reviewer. I believe that this comment gave it away:
Stealing insurance leads is plain evil.
That tells me the source of this comment was connected to the people we recently took to U.S. court.
Anyway, this is all spilled milk under the bridge.
What I would like is for you to consider adding your own review and comments to the list. Would you do that for me?
Version 8 to Version 9
Sometime in July Compulife will introduce a change to the Canadian version of our software which takes us from Version 8 to Version 9 data. The version 9 data will not work with the version 8 program, and the new version 9 program will not work with version 8 data. For the vast majority of subscribers this will be a seamless change. We made this change in the U.S. on June 25th and it went smoothly.
If you are using the PC version of Compulife, Compulife Basic or the Web Quote option, ignore all this because the change will be automatic and there is nothing for you to do.
The only people who have anything to do will be the buyers of the Compulife Internet Engine - which is the $1,200 per year option. Those folks will be sent emails alerting them to the exact date the change will take place, and giving them a link to the copy of the new Version 9 engine(s).
The change was imposed in order to force all internet engine customers to update their internet engines because some U.S. companies had rolled out changes to calculation procedures which required programming changes, not merely changes to our data files. The update was to ensure that all engines have those changes so that premiums quote accuarately. The same update is being forced on the Canadian customers because we want the same generation of program file used in both markets.
Bridled PC Quote Results
In April Compulife introduced new comparison volume limits (quota) to our PC software. We did not announce the change, we quietly introduced it in order to see who might be affected by the quota limits. In fact only a handful of U.S. customers hit the limits and it has been well over a month since the change was made.
So you know, the daily comparison volume limits are:
Standard License: 200
Personal Use License: 100
If you are using the PC software, and exceed the daily volume limit, the software will pop a little box and ask you for a PIN number. If you get that, you will need to contact Compulife to get the PIN number to reset your comparison count to zero and to start the count over.
A PIN number works for a given day and each time the quota is hit, entering the PIN will reset the counter.
NOTE: The PIN number works only for the day the PIN was issued.
If you call for a PIN we will ask you to explain what it was you were doing that caused you to hit the limit. Normal customers, using our software in a normal way, never exceed those quota volumes and so it has been interesting to hear from the handful who hit the limit why it was that they were running so many quotes in a single day.
Of the handful of U.S. customers who asked for PIN numbers most were life insurance companies. What we learned was that these enterprising life insurance companies had written programs that were automatically running our program in order to batch process a large number of quotes at a single time. It was precisely for that reason that we put the new limits into the PC software. We need to guard against this kind of automated running of our PC software. We had no idea who might be doing it but the limits turned up those folks pretty quickly.
Our main reason for doing this was to prevent the kind of quote scraping that occurred on the term4sale.com website in September 2016, where over 800,000 quotes were taken in a 3 day period. That information was then placed into a different database that was in turn being given away to agents for free; all without compensation to Compulife. Shockingly, the court did not find this conduct unlawful; I remain completely bewildered. What the court demonstrated is that copyright laws of the United States do not protect Compulife and as a result Compulife has been put into the position of having to take steps to protect ourselves from this unacceptable behavior.
We are sorry to have to complicate customers' lives but the situation is what it is. One thing you can be certain of: Compulife is not a charity. Compulife does not exist so that someone else can fill their pockets from the fruits of our labor without paying us for our hard work.
Anyway, we knew the PC software was vulnerable to this sort of exploitation and it was important to shut that barn door before that proverbial horse got loose. That barn door is now closed and locked.
Having explained why we did what we did, we do understand why life insurance companies want to obtain large volumes of quotes, in order to do competitive analysis of the market. To address that need we have been working toward a solution and it is very close to completion.
If you are a life insurance company, and would like to try this new product for FREE for the month of July, please contact Compulife by email:
Compulife Batch Analyzer
To address the analytical demand for information, and as we have previously announced, Compulife will be introducing the "Compulife Batch Analyzer" (CBA). The Batch Analyzer will effectively have the bridle (quota) removed. More important the CBA will provide a very easy way to process hundreds or thousands of quotes and have those results transferred into a spreadsheet. The process will be much, much faster than writing automated software to run Compulife's PC software (which we don't want anyone doing) and to then capture those quotes. It will also be much faster than running batches of quotes through a web version of our software.
We originally told you that the Batch Analyzer would be delayed while we continued to build our new API option.
Fortunately, for potential Batch Analyzer customers, our programmer needed a mental break from the API project (it's a big project) and started work on the Batch Analyzer. He is making quick progress and a "beta" version of the batch analyzer will be available very early in July. We are testing the CBA now and it is working quite well. A few more changes and it will be ready for you to review.
In the first midmonth update in July, the "Compulife Batch Analyzer" will show up as a new option on the Compulife Red Menu but that option will be unavailable (grayed out) for anyone who has not purchased that option.
If you are a life insurance company, and would like to try the Beta version FREE for the month of July, please contact Compulife by email:
Not everyone will be able to purchase the Compulife Batch Analyzer. CBA will be targeted at life insurance companies who want access to our quotes for competitive pricing analysis. The Batch Analyzer will permit a life insurance company to batch process multiple quotes for hundreds and thousands of multiple scenarios on a Windows PC computer and will then have those results exported to a CSV spreadsheet format.
For companies that have been doing this manually, CBA will save a huge amount of time. For life companies not currently able to do this it will provide an important new way to quickly profile the positions of your products in the market, where you define the "market" that you are focussed upon.
The Batch Analyzer will be available as an option to life insurance companies who:
1. Have a Standard License Subscription to Compulife
2. Provide Compulife with their rate information
3. Sign a CBA agreement guaranteeing CBA output will not be given to third parties
Once again, if you are a life company and want to have a look at this, you can do so FREE for the month of July. Just send your request to Compulife by email:
Beginning August 1st the Batch Analyzer will have a two tier pricing structure.
1. A one month use - $960
2. A one year use - $1,920
The single month subscription allows life insurance company unlimited use during that particular month (full month; if someone buys in the middle of August it will work to the end of September). The second tier will be an annual subscription that allows unlimited use during the entire year. If you plan to use it once a year or less frequently, then the one month subscription makes sense; you buy it when you need it. If you plan to use it more than once a year you will want the one year subscription.
The Batch Analyzer will be an option to the Compulife Windows PC program and will run from the Red Menu. The option appears as a button on that menu. It will only work if you have an Analyzer subscription.
Certain parameters for the Analyzer will work in conjunction with the PC software. For example, if you want to batch analyze a particular group of companies, you will set up that group using the "Manage Product Database" functions in the PC software. If you want the quotes done for California, then you will set that up using the "Enter Client Information"; the same would apply to the A.M. Best ratings filter.
Users of the Analyzer can do test runs of these fundamental parameters by using the PC program to run individual comparisons. Once the user thinks they have the composition properly defined for a given individual scenario, the user would go into the Batch Analyzer which allows them to set up the additional batch values.
For example, if the user wants the batch anaysis run for multiple ages, they will set the lowest and highest age, and then indicate the step value between those ages. If they want the quotes done for multiple face amounts, they will enter the number of different face amounts and then the values for each of those face amounts.
Once all the individual and batch parameters have been set, the user simply clicks the "Execute Survey" button. The system will quickly (and I mean super fast) produce hundreds or thousands of quotes and export those results to a spreadsheet. I was taken back at how fast this goes.
In addition to the Batch Analyzer software itself, Compulife will be provide the option of one special update for Batch Analyzer customers. Those that buy the single month version will be entitled to a special midmonth-like update file which will let the life insurance company preview a tentative rate change and compare those non-released product premiums with their existing products and with the products of other companies in our database. Of course this assumes that the company has provided those unreleased rates to Compulife. Typically, when given such rates, Compulife enters those and provides a company with a pre-release version of our software to test, something we will continue to do. This is more than that. If the comapny wants, we will enter and release back to the company a special update which can be used with the general release PC software. Only that company will received that special midmonth update. Once processed, that updated information can then be accessed by the Batch Analyzer.
Once again, that special preview update will ONLY go to that company and will not be provided to anyone else. Compulife treats all pre-release information provided by life insurance companies as "top secret" and it is never provided to third parties until moved into general release by the company.
Customers who buy the annual version of the Batch Analyzer will be entitled to two such updates annually. Such preview updates beyond the two will be available but there will be a cost for the update. Prices for that will be announced later, but we estimate they will be $360 each (only if you need more than two).
Compulife Basic (Mobile)
The mobile version of Compulife, which we call "Compulife Basic" has been upgraded in the U.S. to some of the new improvements we talked about a couple of months ago. The Canadian version will be upgraded sometime in July. The upgrade provides the following new features:
1. The ability to enter any face amount, not just select a limited number of face amounts from a list. This is quite similar to what we offer our subscribers in the PC software and we think is a big change that will make Compulife Basic much better for all users. The face amount can also be entered on the results page, and a quote redisplayed with that new face amount.
2. The ability to enter an age, not just a birthdate. Again, and as you can with the PC version of Compulife, you may simply want to enter an age versus putting in a birthdate. You can now do that.
3. You can now set minimum A.M. Best ratings and have quote results filtered.
All of these changes and improvements have been batch processed to ALL U.S. customers and they are/were a free upgrade. Canadian customers will follow in July.
That's the good news. The bad news is that some subscribers have asked us to make changes to their default forms in the past, and those changes will be lost when we do this update. If, after having received that update, you find your defaults changed, and you want that fixed, simply email us:
Give us a link to your "Compulife Basic" account, and tell us what you want your defaults set to.
Compulife Basic Plus
The next upgrade we are planning for Compulife Basic is to enable the ability to create spreadsheets. That will be a free upgrade for Compulife PC subcribers, who get Compulife Basic for FREE with their PC subscription. However, those agents who buy Compulife Basic and not the PC version, will need to upgrade to Compulife Basic Plus in order to get that new feature. Once it is introduced, Compulife Basic Plus will be $120 per year instead of $96 per year. Compulife Basic will continue to be available at $96 per year, but we do not see any further enhancements to that version's current set of features.
Most agents buying Compulife Basic ONLY want the web quote option to Compulife, and so they buy Basic to save money. Further, they don't care about participating at Term4sale. Term4sale participation requires the minimum purchase of a Windows PC, agent edition of the software.
Frankly, the PC version for only an additional $53 per year. I think that should be a "no brainer" but...
Beyond the spreadsheet, our goal for Compulife Basic Plus will be to move that version of the program closer and closer to providing customers with all the same features and functions that are found in our Windows software. Our objective in the future is that you will be able to get a web version of Compulife, or a PC version of Compulife, and both will do the same thing. By that point, there will be no difference in cost, PC or web.