for July 2019
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
Table Ratings - Further Changes
For the most part we have had few complaints about the new Table Rating quotations. I asked one of the folks who had been very eager for us to add the option, and his response was:
It's working well and makes my job a lot easier.
During June we identified some further items needed in our data storage for table ratings, in order to address some issues that have come up as we have added more companies and products to the table ratings quotes. Those changes have delayed the transition to getting Table Ratings introduced into our web quoting software.
For example, in some cases when you are applying higher table ratings to large premiums, such as the YRT renewals at older ages, or male smoker premiums for limited pay, no lapse UL premiums, you can end up with a situation there the rate per thousand can actually approach or exceed $1,000 per thousand. Clearly no one is going to pay a premiums of $120,000 for a $100,000 life insurance policy. In some cases companies "cap" the rate per thousand and quote that, or they will "cap" the rate and not quote. That needed to be addressed.
We have also identified situations where there are table percentages that are based upon age, where there are different percentages at different ages. We have now designed a storage system and mechanism to address that.
Our goal with all these changes is to make a system that is completely accurate and which is easy to maintain. I know that Compulife makes this stuff look easy, but it is not. Keeping a database like ours up-to-date and accurate requires a lot of work, and so the systems we have under the surface and behind the scenes are designed to make that job as easy as possible. The problem is that time used to develop those systems, means time take from changes to the software you use and it can look like we are not making great progress when we are. You see the fruits of all that when we roll out the new features in the customer software.
Regarding the changes to Table Ratings, I felt it was important to get all those changes into the software before introducing Table Ratings to the Internet Engine. We want to minimize the number of Internet Engine updates we have to introduce in order to make life simpler for engine customers.
Table Ratings - First for Compulife Basic
Before introducing a new Internet Engine with Table Ratings, we will introduce table ratings to Compulife Basic first. This is the web based version of Compulife that lets our subscribers run quotes from any device that has a connection to the Internet. It is also a stand alone version of Compulife that allows a subscriber to have a subscription for only $96 per year, which offers an $84 per year saving over the Windows PC subscription. The Windows PC software includes Compulife Basic for FREE.
Table ratings will be added to the list of health classes and when you click the down button will give you a list that looks like this:
Table 1 (A)
Table 2 (B)
Table 3 (C)
Table 4 (D)
Table 5 (E)
Table 6 (F)
Table 7 (G)
Table 8 (H)
Table 9 (I)
Table 10 (J)
Table 11 (K)
Table 12 (L)
Table 13 (M)
Table 14 (N)
Table 15 (O)
Table 16 (P)
Once the newest Internet Engines (we offer linux and windows server options) are available, adding these additional classes to the client entry screen is the only change that we will have to make to be able to quote table ratings. The new version of our internet engine will know automatically what to do when we pass the new table health class variables, and will automatically go and get the correct quotes for that table. Product comparisons and individual quote pages will be the same.
NOTE: When an individual quote for a table rating is produced, the quote will display Table C Non-Smoker or Table 3 Non-Tobacco, based upon whatever language the company uses to describe smokers/non-smokers and whether they use alpha or numbers to identify their table.
Table Ratings - FREE for Internet Engine
Internet Engine customers will receive the new Table Rating quote option at no charge. The new engines will be made available after we have introduced this for our Compulife Basic customers, and AFTER we have implement the new counter mechanism for the internet engines.
The internet engine customer will have to make a simple change to accommodate the new engine's counter mechanism. If the customer wants to offer Table Ratings for quote, they will need to make a further change to expand the health classes as discussed above. Beyond that, the new internet engine will be a plug and play replacement.
Until now we have had no internal mechanism for keeping track of the volume of quotes being done by any copy of our internet engine. That will change with the next version of the internet engine, which will be creating counters to track use on a "USER" basis, and on a total basis. Counters will be saved on the server running the quotes, and will not be accessible to any third party. Periodically internet engine customers will be asked to provide copies of their counter files as a reporting mechanism which is required by their user license. The files can be downloaded and emailed, Compulife will not need access to the customer's server and the internet engine will NOT be communicating to Compulife in any way.
IMPORTANT: The only thing we will be doing is counting the number of quotes. There will be no information about those quotes included in the counter files. They will tell us how many quotes have been done on a daily and monthly basis, and give us numbers by user for applications of our software that have multiple users.
One example of a multi-user installation of our Internet Engine is the web quote option that we sell for $96 per year. Each of our hundreds of web quote customers are running quotes from the same server and version of our engine. Differences between those quoting options are defined by what is in the "USER" folder for that customer. Each customer has their own control panel which allows them to decide which companies are quoted for their version of the web quotes. That information is stored in their USER folder.
Up until now, we have not had a mechanism to determine how many quotes any one of those users is producing on a daily basis. With the new engine we will be able to do that, and to monitor total quotes per day across all users. This will be important as quote volume will be tied to pricing for our new API option, and once the API option has been rolled out and is available, quote volume pricing will come to the Internet Engine.
Moving on to Finishing API
The work on Table Ratings and Internet Engine counters has delayed completion of the new API option which we have a lot of demand for. Even though the Internet Engine is superior to an API, there are many people asking for an API option and we intend to deliver that service.
The API service will be volume based. Here's a tentative pricing schedule:
1,000 or less quotes per month - $396 per year (includes Compulife Basic)
6,000 or less quotes per month - $780 per year (includes Compulife Personal Use)
30,000 or less quotes per month - $1,200 per year (includes Compulife Standard Use)
All of these prices are less than the current cost of the Internet Engine, which is $1,500 per year (including Compulife Standard Use). The price for the engine will remain the same for customers doing 60,000 or less quotes per month. Any customer doing over 60,000 quotes per month will have the price of the Internet Engine increased to $2,200 per year (in addition to their Standard License of $300).
Some current subscribers to the Internet Engine, who are doing smaller volumes of quotes, will probably want to switch to the new API version of the software because their volume is relatively low and they will save money with the API version of quotes. The API customer will still be able to produce the very same quotes that they are producing now and still be able to fully customize their user interface and quote functions. Instead of delivering pages to the customer's website, the API delivers raw output: company information and premiums. The user takes that data and imbeds it into their web pages and systems.
The other advantage of the API over the Internet Engine is that Compulife will take over the updating of rates and software, which means the user has less maintenance. The downside is that quotes will be coming from our server, and if our server goes down, so do your quotes. Having said that, reliability seems high. We have not had many issues with the web quote option for customers, and so we hope the same is true for the API (I should add that I don't trust the internet).
Those doing over 30,000 quotes per month will need to buy the Internet Engine. First, we don't want their high volume use dragging down our server performance. Second, anyone doing that kind of volume needs to pay for the server that they are running the quoting software from, and depending on volume they can get whatever type of server service they want/need, from shared hosting to stand alone equipment.
Our Current Programming Plans for 2019
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2019/2020:
Add the Table Rating option to the Internet Engine
Upgrade Internet Engine to Introduce Internal Quote Volume Counters (almost done)
Compulife API Web Quote Option
Overhaul Of Current Product Data Files
Introduction of New PC Version: CQS.EXE
Introduction of Compulife Basic Plus (with Pick 12)
Anyone with questions about any of these upcoming projects can call Bob Barney to discuss:
Please don't email me essay questions, just call. If I'm not in, email me your phone number, I'll call you.
These planned objectives will easily consume our programming time during 2019 and into 2020. The good news is that once the product data files have been converted, and we have introduced the new CQS.EXE, and upgraded our internet engine to use the new data files, Compulife will be turning it's full attention to our web based, Compulife Basic software. The long term goal is to have a web based product that does everything our PC based software does.