The April 2001 disk update will be processed Tuesday, March 27th and Wednesday, March 28th. Disks will be shipped Thursday, March 29th. You should have the April Update in your office Monday, April 2nd. The Internet monthly update will be posted some time on Wednesday, March 28th to our three monthly update websites.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "February disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed the March 2001 Update. February disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the March edition.
For those who don't like returning disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
The first is to switch over 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.
Before you switch to updates by Internet we require that you complete a special addendum to the license agreement called the "Internet Update Endorsement". Once you have returned that to us we will send you the "Internet Master Disk". You will need that to be able to process the "MONTHLY.CMP" file that you will be downloading each month.
If you want to switch over to Internet monthly updates, please call our office at (800) 567-8376. Our staff will send you the Internet Update Endorsement. Please read it, particularly the part which has you agreeing that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid- month updates". If you haven't done that before, you can call the office and we'll be happy to talk you through the procedure.
When you switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet, Compulife will adjust your prepaid date, taking into consideration the higher price for disk updates, and how much time you have remaining in your existing disk update subscription.
For example, suppose you paid $249 five months ago, with seven months left in your subscription. At that point you want to switch over to Internet monthly updates. We calculate that you have $145.25 left to your credit. Next we calculate the average monthly cost of the Internet update, which is $199 divided by 12 ($16.58 per month). Dividing $16.58 into $145.25 we get 8 3/4 months which we round up to 9 months. Therefore, we increase your account by two additional months.
In addition, if you had been purchasing disks ($21 per year), you can return all your excess boxes of disks with the Internet Update endorsement. $1.75 per box will be added to the $145.25 for each box that you have returned. In the previous example, assuming you have 5 boxes of disks, you would be entitled to an additional credit of $8.75 for a total of $154. Divided by $16.58 you would get 9.28 months which we round up to 10 (to your advantage). That would be a total 3 month extension to the previous disk subscription.
For the month of March, and only for the month of March, if you switch over from getting monthly updates by disk to getting your monthly updates through the Internet, we will give you one additional month for doing so. This offer ends March 31st. To qualify you must have the Internet Update Endorsement signed and returned to our office by the end of the month. If you want or need a copy of the endorsement, please call our office at (800) 567-8376. We'll fax or mail you the endorsement. Please read it before you sign it.
The second 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). If you do 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 next year. The $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.
It has been a very long process but the programming of the Windows version of Compulife is finally completed for the United States. The last item on the Red Master Menu, that required conversion from the DOS component, was the Interest Adjusted Cost Analysis.
Because both Canadian and U.S. customers use these same elements of the software, it was only sensible that Compulife focus on the parts of the software that benefitted the greatest number of subscribers, that is those part used by both Canadians and Americans. This leaves two areas of the program which now must be converted for our Canadian customers. These are the medical underwriting requirements and the joint-life quotation system.
At this time neither of these features will be made available to our U.S. customers. The reasons are simple.
First, maintanence of the medical underwriting requirements is a very challenging problem. It is difficult to keep this information up-to- date in a timely manner simply because life companies and/or agents do not associate medical underwriting with Compulife, they associate new insurance rates with Compulife. We frequently learn of underwriting requirement changes months after they occur. The whole business is a constant source of frustration and embarrassment. Having said that, please note that the date of the each company's medical requirements is displayed with the requirements, and you should be suspicious of any requirements where the dates are getting old.
Second, Compulife does not quote permanent products in the U.S. The only products quoted are renewable term and the only possible joint- life product we might include is first-to-die term which is NOT sold widely in the U.S. In the opinion of Compulife, it should NOT be sold widely in the U.S. or in Canada. We can only encourage Compulife subscribers to use this information to sell AGAINST these first-to-die term plans.
Consumers are much better off buying individual or multi-life term policies. In the vast majority of cases, first-to-die term does not represent sufficient cost saving to make it a viable choice. The first-to-die restrictions place too many limits on typical single policy benefits and/or options. Consumers can save money by purchasing two individual and competitively priced term plans.
Incidentally, Compulife does believe that first-to-die and last-to-die permanent life insurance can represent a significant savings for specific need scenarios. We do believe the quotation of permanent plans for these situations can be very useful to the consumer.
For those who do not use it, IACA is a spreadsheet which allows you to compare the premiums (and cash values if applicable) between Product 1 and Product 2.
In year one the spreadsheet subtracts the premium for Product 2 from Product 1 showing the difference in premium for the first year. That difference then accumulates interest, less tax, for the balance of that year. At the end of year one the spreadsheet shows the total cost difference.
In the second year the process is repeated. The premium difference in year 2 is added to the balance at the end of year 1, and the new total accumulates interest, less tax, for a second year.
This is the concept upon which "buy term, invest the difference" is based. However, the idea of doing a year by year analysis like this can demonstrate to the consumer that the tax shelter benefit of level premium life insurance can make a level premium policy's true cost much more advantageous over an increasing premium.
You can place products from the Compulife database into IACA by selecting the "File" option from the top of the comparison or single product window. When you click on File, you will see the choice of "File to IACA as Product 1" or "File to IACA as Product 2". Choosing either will send the premium and renewal premiums for the product into the respective number 1 or 2 position in IACA.
In addition to being able to file products from the Compulife database of products, the big advantage of IACA is the fact that you can manually enter one or both of the products into Product 1 or Product 2. For those who use IACA in this way, there are two typical scenarios where this is done.
First, the agent will typically file a term plan into the Product 2 position from the Compulife database. The agent then enters the premiums for his or her favorite permanent plan into product number 1. As I noted earlier, this can be used to demonstrate that a permanent plan, which provides the consumer with a tax deferred use of interest/growth on investment capital, can have a lower net cost than term over a long period of time.
Second, the agent will typically file a term plan into the Product 2 position from the Compulife database. The agent then enters the premiums for an existing insurance policy into product number 1. This can be used to demonstrate the cost advantage of a new plan over an old plan. This is particularly useful if you are comparing an existing 10 year term plan, which is four years old, with a new 20 year term plan. For the first 6 years the 10 year plan may be more cost advantageous, but after that the new 20 year plan may save the consumer a lot of money.
As always, if you can't figure out how to use the feature, call either of our toll-free lines: (800) 567-8376 or (800) 798-3488. We'll be happy to step you through an example.
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.
As we announced and discussed in our last few monthly bulletins, Compulife is expanding and modifying the way that our software manages the various rate categories associated with term products.
One of the changes that we have planned is the ability to switch premium categories, from within an individual product display. While the expanded categories will not be ready for distribution for three to four months, we have decided to implement the new category selection logic from within a single product.
When a single product is displayed, one of the F9 options in DOS was the "R" for regular rates. If you were looking at a preferred rate for a product, and wanted to switch to the corresponding regular rate, you could press the letter R. R was the F9 option for "Regular" or if viewing a regular rate, it was the option for Preferred. This newest version of the DOS comparison program modifies that option. The same option is invoked in Windows by display a single product menu (double clicking on a product in a comparison) then selection options from the top menu line of the Window.
The "R" now stands for R. (R) Rate Categories. This will display a new menu showing all rate categories available for this product. Currently the maximum number of categories is 4. They are:
Any of these categories could be modified by a plus indicator. This could alter the categories to:
Once the new category system has been implemented, this menu will be able to show up to 14 different categories. In addition, where companies use category description labels that are different than the generic terms that Compulife uses, the company's own descriptions will appear. To clarify what generic category Compulife has placed that company category in, the short forms will appear to the right of the category. They are:
WARNING: If you switch product categories between non-smoker and smoker, which this new option permits, and then attempt to file non- smoker products to a Pick 5 which already has smoker products in it, your Pick 5 will automatically delete the previous products filed under the smoking category. The opposite will also occur; you cannot file smoker products into a non-smoker Pick 5 quote.
I recently spoke with Mr. Terry Burt who operates the Budget Life website. Unlike Term4Sale, Terry's website asks prospective insurance buyers for their name, address and phone number advising that an agent will be contacting them. In turn Budget Life sells those leads to their agent/broker customers.
Terry has advised me that their site traffic has been steadily increasing and it has left them with a surplus of leads that their existing customers are not buying. As a result, Budget Life is actively seeking new customers for their lead program.
Terry is making a special offer to Compulife subscribers who have never used the Budget Life service before. You can obtain three free leads with no further obligation.
To take advantage of this offer call Terry's staff at (734) 482-2904. Advise them that you are a Compulife subscriber. Once you have provided your name, address, phone number and e-mail address, you will be e-mailed three free leads with no further obligation to purchase further leads. It is Terry's hope that your success with these qualified leads will result in further business between you and Budget Life.
Please Note: This offer may be withdrawn by Budget Life at any time. If the response from Compulife subscribers is overwhelming, particularly in some parts of the country, Budget Life may need to withdraw the offer for those particular areas of the country. In other words, this is a first come first served program.
Incidentally, Terry's company is one of four authorized Compulife web programmer/providers who can give existing Compulife subscribers customized links to their versions of Compulife's Internet engine. If you are interested in that, remember to discuss that with Budget Life when you call.
You can also call Compulife for the names of the three other web programmer/providers who can give existing Compulife subscribers customized links to their versions of Compulife's Internet engine.
The next step in our software development was discussed in great detail in the November 2000 bulletin. Given that copies of that November bulletin are now available at our www.compulife.com website, we would refer you to the website for full details.
The expanded categories will be a significant modification and improvement to the system. This will permit up to 4 preferred non- smoking categories, 4 non-smoking categories, 3 preferred smoking categories and 3 smoking categories. Each of these categories can be further qualified by being plus or non-plus.
In some cases life companies have adopted premium category titles that label categories in a confusing way. With the changes we will be implementing, we will be able to record and display the company's category labels instead of the standard language that we currently use.
Once again, read the November 2000 bulletin for full details.
Increased usage of our software, together with the introduction of new Windows programs, has placed a significant strain on our toll-free technical support. To summarize, we are handling a lot of calls.
The following are a few suggestions which will make your call to Compulife go much more smoothly.
1. Be patient. If we are handling other calls on other lines, you can wait on hold until the preceding calls are completed or you can ask for someone to call you back. If you decide to wait on hold please hang on, we will get to you. It is a concern to us when people elect to wait on hold, then drop the line with no one in our office knowing how to call them back.
2. Be in front of the computer when you call, and in the Compulife program where you are having a problem or where you have a question. Nothing is more annoying than having a customer begin to ask us a question and when we attempt to guide them to the solution we discover they haven't turned on their computer. We do not have time to wait while your Windows operating system loads.
3. One thing at a time. If you have a problem tell us about it and then do exactly what we ask you to do in attempting to resolve the problem. Discussions about other program features/options should wait until we have completed the problem at hand.
4. Talk to us. We cannot see your computer screen. If you press a button tell us what happened. It is frustrating to tell customers to do something and be left with complete silence on the other end of the line.
5. We're busy. If it appears we are attempting to rush the call; we are. Don't be offended. It's not that we don't like to talk to you, it's just that we have other people waiting for service.
6. If you are calling with what you believe is a rate error, have the client information and product ready. Rate error questions are referred to Compulife president Bob Barney (that's me) and nothing gets me more frustrated than the caller who says, "Your rates for such and such a company are wrong!" If I knew those rates were wrong, or what was wrong, it would have already been fixed. I need a specific example of the problem to follow-up on it. That may take a little more or your time, but if you actually find a rate error, you will be given a free month for your assistance.
Do not assume that the life company software is automatically correct. Frequently agents do not have the latest software versions from their companies. We have had cases where agents are told by their G.A.'s that our software was wrong, only to discover that the G.A. was not aware of a change to the company's rates. All of this underlines that you need to be specific about the client information and the product when you call with a premium/rate question.
To summarize, toll-free technical support exists for one purpose, to help you solve problems or guide you through a function of the program that you do not know how to use. We purposely limit the resources we have for this service knowing that the less people we have providing the service, the less expensive our software can be. Having said that, our toll-free support personnel only service one program, the Compulife Quotation system. We are experts in that software and we are very good at what we do. If you will work with us, we will get your problem resolved, whatever it might be. Please help us to help you.