for August 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
Compulife Basic - Are You Using It?
Every subscriber to Compulife - EVERY subscriber - has the ability to have and use Compulife Basic. Compulife Basic is the bare minimum subscription requirement for ANY subscriber wanting to add a web quote option to their website. While Compulife Basic is NOT the web quoting product that you add to a website, a subscriber must purchase Compulife Basic as the minimum subscription to Compulife in order to buy the web quote option.
If you have a computer, phone or tablet that does NOT have a Windows operating system, then Compulife Basic is the alternative that will work for you providing that you have a browser and an internet connection.
If you are a Windows PC subscriber to Compulife, and most subscribers are, then Compulife Basic will also be a FREE option that you can have.
Eventually we will roll out an enhanced version of Compulife Basic Plus and when we do that will also be a FREE upgrade for our Windows customers. Our long term goal is to have a web based tool as powerful as our Windows product, and both products will be available to Windows subscribers. Until then, the Windows PC version of Compulife remains our most powerful quoting tool for agents.
Apart from our Windows software - Compulife does NOT do apps. At one time we had a Palm Pilot ap (before people called such program "apps") but what we learned from that experience is that operating systems, particularly on throw away hand-held technology, come and go. It is one thing to produce apps that millions of people can use, it's another thing to produce apps that only hundreds of people can use. The life insurance quoting market remains a "niche" market and it is a huge challenge to deliver high quality, low cost software to a customer base that is measured in hundreds and a few thousands. You can't stay in business 37 years (this is our 37th year) producing products that only a few use.
Fortunately, with the expansion of the web, and the availability of low cost devices that can talk to the web, and with a fairly uniform foundation of browser capability, Compulife Basic has been a successful way for us to deliver quotes to those small devices. Anyone can use Compulife Basic and it is the same software for everyone.
So if you have an iphone, or an Android phone, or an ipad, or a linux tablet, or a whatever, you can probably run Compulife Basic on it. If you aren't taking advantage of Compulife Basic you should because you already have that option as a Compulife subscriber. If you need us to send you your email with links to your Compulife Basic and the Compulife Basic control panel, just email us at:
Table Ratings - Compulife Basic
During July, in the U.S., we began testing the new Table Ratings quote option for Compulife's Internet Engine using the Compulife Basic platform. The version of our internet engine we use for Compulife Basic does things that the Internet Engine we sell to third parties does not do. Once the Table Rating function is working in that version, it will already be ready for the version of the Internet Engine that we offer for sale.
As an example of the differences, the Compulife Basic product allows an agent/user to click on any individual product in a comparison result and get an individual product quote complete with renewal premiums. The internet engine that we sell to third parties does not offer the option to drill into such individual quotes and renewals.
Another change eventually coming to Compulife Basic will be the ability to create "Pick 12" spreadsheets where you pick the products in that spreadsheet (as you can in the Windows PC software). That next major feature for Compulife Basic will be offered in a Compulife Basic product that will be called Compulife Basic Plus. Compulife Basic Plus will be offered at a higher price than Compulife Basic ($96 per year). Basic Plus will probably be a $104 per year product. Once again, that capability will not be made available in the Internet Engine that we sell to third parties.
As we move forward the version of the engine that we use for our Compulife Basic customers will do more and more.
Having said that, we will be providing our Internet Engine customers with the ability to do the new Table Rating quotes. That option will be available later in August once we have upgraded our Compulife Basic customers to the new Table Ratings quote feature.
As I said, we are doing testing now and need to make a few more minor changes to get the Table Ratings for Compulife Basic wrapped up. Once we are satisfied that it is doing everything as we want it to do, we will then modify all our subscribers' versions of Compulife Basic to add the Table Ratings.
Once upgraded in the U.S., the client entry screen for Compulife Basic will not look different. What we will be doing is expanding the list of health classes so that when you click the down button you will get 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)
Table Ratings - FREE for Internet Engine
The programming for Table Ratings is ready to go for Canadian customers, but we do not have ANY Canadian companies that have supplied us with information about how they calculate their Table Ratings. Once we do, the option will be added.
In the U.S., 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 you will have to make to be able to quote table ratings using our engine. 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. In fact our test software is already doing that. Product comparisons and individual quote pages will look the same. Quotes will simply be labeled with the health class or table rating that is being quoted.
NOTE: When a quote for a table rating is produced, the quote will display something like Table C Non-Smoker or Table 3 Non-Tobacco, based upon whatever language the company uses to describe the relevant table for their smokers/non-smokers and whether they use alpha or numbers to identify their table.
When we upgrade your copy of Compulife Basic to the Table Ratings, you'll have that also.
Once again, there will be no additional cost for this upgrade. As a Compulife subcriber, we want you to know that we are working to deliver you more and more capability for the ongoing service fees that you pay us. We do not take your business for granted and appreciate those who continue to support our operation.
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 implemented the new counter mechanism for the internet engines.
Internet Engine Counters
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.