for May 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 Have Been Released In The U.S.
The new windows program with the Table Ratings quoting option was released to our U.S. subscribers during April. As expected, once it was placed into general release for everyone, some further bugs turned up. That led to a scramble to clean things up. I would underline that that is why we were trying to convince subscribers to try the pre-release version of the program with the hope that we could get it as bug free as possible once it went to general release.
NOTE: It would be fairly easy to add Table Ratings in Canada but to date we have had no life insurance company provide us with their information about table ratings, and no agents/subscribers who have expressed interest in the option. Obviously our workload would be less if we do not have table ratings in Canada, and so we will leave it up to our customers to decide if they want it or not.
The rest of this bulletin is the same as published for our U.S. customers.
Table Ratings is a new big button on the Red Menu. It is the 4th button down and appears just below Display Product Comparison.
For all intents and purposes Table Ratings is another comparison option except that once the Table Ratings comparison window appears, there is a new button in the top right corner of the Windows called "Select Table Rating" (displayed in red letters). When you click that button you can select from a menu of the available tables. Once you click on a table the comparison will re-display the comparison results with that table included in the premium. Below the Select Table Rating button is the current table (displayed in blue letters).
Table ratings use the same client information as the regular comparison.
The products from a table rating comparison can be filed to pick 12 and different tables (and non-tables) can be mixed in the same Pick 12 quote. You could put a standard premium next to a Table 2, next to a Table C, etc. for different companies or the same company.
TIP: If you plan to put the regular/standard rates of a company next to the table ratings of the same or another company make sure that that you select "Regular" as the health category on the client screen. If you change the health category on the client screen, part way through a Pick 12 filing process, the system will assume it is a new quote and automatically delete what you previously had placed into the Pick 12 spreadsheet.
If you double click on a product in the table ratings comparison that product will be displayed in an individual product window. In the single product display, to the far right of the line on which the face amount appears, there is another "Table Rating" button below which appears the current table rating. If you then wish to change the table rating for that individual product, you can click the button and select a new table rated premium for the menu that appears.
At this point the table ratings option has been out there for over a week without any calls about bugs or issues. We apologize for the early bugs but it is important to note that after more than 30 years of development there are a lot of options and combinations of options that are now in our software. No one customer uses all the options in the software and some customers have some pretty creative combinations of things that they do. What that means is that there is no way for us to test every possible option or combination when we release a new program. All we can do is test the main quoting functions, make sure that they are behaving, and then wait to hear if anyone runs into trouble.
When you tackle a giant modification like Table Ratings it means that our programmer has been into a lot of different nooks and crannies of the software that could disturb things that had previously worked fine.
In this version we added something else to complicate the mix. We introduced the program using the newest compiler from our software language supplier. That itself necessitated some additional changes to computer source code to make the software compatible with the new compiler, and to ensure it worked properly.
Unfortunately, when we went to general release we ran into a bug that was particularly difficult as we could not replicate it on our own computer. A handful of customers had an error screen display where it should not have. After much fussing about we discovered that if we compiled our source code with the old compiler that program worked fine for everyone. However, if it was compiled with the new compiler it did not work fine and the handful of customers had the problem. Once again, this only affected a few customers and most of those seemed to be running Windows 7. Note, some customers don't know which version of Windows they are running.
For the time being we have gone back to the old compiler (same source code) and we will wait a few months before trying the new compiler again.
Expanding Products and Categories
As discussed last month, we have been focusing on adding more products and categories to the Table Rating database. Protective was the first company to provide us with no lapse UL rate tables for their table ratings which is why they are the first to show up there. American General / US Life's term products have now been added. Those took some extra effort in order to quote accurately. AIG has a peculiar and unique calculation scheme which we have not encountered with other companies (I am not referring to the Special rates used as the basis for the calculation). Fortunately the design of our table ratings quote system is dynamic enough to handle such situations and the quotes for AIG are very accurate.
All of that to say that we know there are a lot of companies and their products missing, but the reason is we do not have the information necessary to be able to quote their products. What we need from the company (and documented in writing from the company) is:
Does the company use letters or numbers to identify their tables?
Which tables does the company offer? (not all have all tables)
What percentage is used to calculate each table? (not all have the same percentages)
What basic rates do the table percentages apply to? (not all use their standard rates for tables)
For no lapse UL, we generally need rate tables and not percentages.
At first glance this may seem like a short list of things that we need but we still need them and we need them from the companies in writing. Sorry, but verbal tips are not enough. We will also want the company to give us a couple of sample quotes so we can make sure our quotes match.
If there is a product that you need added, let us know by emailing us at:
We will forward your request to our contact with the respective company and let them know that you want (and that we want) their products in the table rating option that is now available in our software.
Table Ratings For Internet Engine
As we have previously announced we have no intention in the short term of adding table ratings to our internet software. However, for those subscribers who purchase our internet engine, and who want to use the "data" that we have accumulated and will be maintaining for our table rating quotes, we can tell you how to create a table rating quote system that will use that data.
Included in the monthly update is an important file that you can use in order to do table rated quotes. The name of the file is TABLE.TXT. TABLE.TXT contains all the percentages for the available tables for any given product code in the table rating product database. Because it is a TXT file, you can easily view it with any TXT document program such as "notepad" on your computer.
IMPORTANT: This does NOT apply to those using the Windows PC software.
In order to proceed with table ratings internet engine users will need an update to the latest version of our internet engine. The current engine does not provide you with the "policy fee" used in the calculation of premiums. The new engine will give you the policy fee, the name of the variable being Policy_Fee_Copyright_Compulife.
NOTE: Given the "scraping" that has been going on, where our internet engines have been attacked in order to scrape quotes from our software, new "variables" that we add will have the phrase "_Copyright_Compulife" added to the variable name. When the future version of our Internet Engine is introduced, the one that works with the new data structure that we will be introducing sometime next year, ALL current variable names will have "_Copyright_Compulife" added to them. This will mean some additional work for our customers who implement that new engine (next year) but it will be a simple find and replace in the source code and should not take all that long to update.
With the new engine that provides the policy fee, together will the table.txt file, we can then explain how to setup the software to do table ratings in web quotes. It will require some programming on your end but once it is done all the product data entry and changes will be done for you and maintained by Compulife. For those currently doing table ratings with our engine, where they have been doing some of this on their own, it should make your life much, much simpler.
Counter Mechanism Being Added To Internet Engine
While we are doing surgery on the Internet Engine we will be also moving ahead with the new "counter" system that we are installing into the internet quoting software. This counter technology will keep track of the number of quotes the internet engine software is doing on a daily and monthly basis.
When completed, we will first introduce this new internet engine to our own websites: "term4sale", "Compulife Basic" and "Compulife Web Quotes". It will give us the total number of quotes being done daily and monthly for the entire system, and for each "user" associated with that system.
IMPORTANT: Information about individual quotes will NOT be recorded.
We currently have NO mechanism in our software that reports individual quotes being produced and we have no intention of introducing any such mechanism.
The new counter system will be a text file system where the text file containing the count information can only be manually retrieved by the customer. Periodically we will ask customers to do so and to send that file to Compulife. Each Internet Engine user has signed an agreement where they have a reporting duty if they provide access to our engine to sub-users. The new counter file(s) will make that reporting much, much easier. All customers will need to do is retrieve the counter file and email it to Compulife.
Once it is working well, and the new API quoting option has been introduced, we expect to be changing our internet quoting pricing and the pricing will be based upon volume of quotes. Once again, those price changes will not occur until after the counters are working, and the new API option has been introduced.
NOTE: To ensure that no one "fudges" the counter file content, there is a proprietary checksum value that is written to the file by the engine. If anyone edits the file after it has been modified by the engine we will know. If the file is modified during it's course of use, there will be mechanisms to deal with that.
Once again, that new engine with the new counter file will not be introduced to our customers until it has been thoroughly tested on our own web sites to ensure that there are no issues with it.
Our Current Programming Plans for 2019
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2019/2020:
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: (888) 798-3488. 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.