The December 2002 disk update will be processed Tuesday, November 26th and Wednesday, November 27th. Disks will be shipped Wednesday, November 27th. You should have the December Update in your office by Monday, December 2nd.
The December 2002 Internet monthly update will be posted to our five monthly update websites on Friday, November 29th.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your October disks ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed this November 2002 Update. October disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the November edition.
I hate to nag about this but please remember that if you are a Compulife subscriber you are entitled to one FREE listing at the www.term4sale.com webite. If you are not listed, "Why Not?" We do not automatically list you, you must ask for the listing. We don't divulge our subscribers identities unless they have given us the go ahead.
We received a lot of calls about listings at the end of October. The October 21, 2002 edition of Newsweek magazine carried an article from Jane Bryant Quinn on the subject of shopping for term life insurance. The article was also picked up by MSNBC. A link to the article is provided at our website www.compulife.com. Click on the webpage "www.term4sale.com - In the News". Links to the Newsweek article and other articles are found at that webpage.
Ms. Quinn's article talked about the importance of shopping for term life insurance and recommended that consumers visit www.term4sale.com. The end of the article also featured a brief comment from Bob Barney, president of Compulife (me). I disagreed with an insurance consultant, Mr. Glenn Daily, who said that rather than buy 20 year term, it was cheaper to buy a 10 year term and then purchase a new 10 year term 10 years later. I responded by pointing out that the reason you are better off buying 20 or 30 year term was that you then guarantee your ongoing right to buy that insurance regardless of a change in your health.
Anyway, the publicity caused a notable increase in hits. Typically the site enjoys about 300 to 500 hits per day, which suddenly increased to 1,500 to 2,000 per day. This produced a sudden rash of panic calls from subscribers who saw the article and realized that they were not listed and that they might be missing out on something. Others called to buy more listings. One subscriber called to say thanks, apparently they had five calls in one afternoon as a result of their listing.
While we certainly don't promise those kinds of results for all who are listed, it is silly not to be listed at www.term4sale.com unless you really, really don't want consumers calling you to buy life insurance.
At the very least, please visit the site and check it out. If you are favorably disposed to it, please ask for your free listing.
After very few problems with this newest version of the Windows program, we have elected to release it one month earlier than planned due to the importance of the new multiple category comparison feature. Having worked with a number of subscribers who have now tried it, I think we have come up with one of the most important and convenient new features since the introduction of our Windows software. Please try this new option and don't miss the the ability to do a multiple product comparison for the same company.
Just Click the "Multiple Categories" button!
When you do a comparison with the new Windows version you will see a new button at the top right hand side of the header in the "Display Product Comparison" window. The button is called "Multiple Categories". Click it.
NOTE: You can also select this option from the category selection list in the top left hand corner of the Display Product Comparison.
Pressing "Multiple Categories" will display the Multiple Categories selection window. Here you need to do two things.
First, check off the categories that you want displayed. For example, you may want to select 10, 15, 20 and 30 year guaranteed term.
Second, you should select the number of results that you want displayed for each category. For example, if you would like the four categories to appear on one page, you might select the 6 lowest results for each category. When the "Compare Now" button is pushed, the 6 lowest priced products for each category will be displayed on screen. Each category group is separated by a light red line which tells you the category for the products that follow in that part of the window.
From these combined comparison results you can file products to Pick 12 the way that you always have, using the right mouse button.
Another way to use the multiple category option would be to have your favorite group of companies selected using the "List or Modify Product Database" option called "Select a Group of Companies to Quote". When you do your 10, 15, 20 and 30 year multiple category comparison, set it to show the lowest 3 products for each category. That will give you a total of 12 product results. Now you can go to the top of the Display Product Comparison window and click on "File", then select "File First 12 Products". That will put those 12 plans into one spreadsheet.
Needless to say, the new feature lends itself well to some creative combinations.
IMPORTANT: If the last comparison you did was a multiple category comparison, and you leave the program and then return, the multiple category comparison will display for whatever new client information that you enter. If you wish to change the category group, or simply want to do a single category comparison, use the category selection menu in the top left hand corner of the window.
We suspect the new format and option will be so popular that many will leave it as their default option.
Another multiple category comparison variation is also available in this new version. When you have a comparison displayed, double left click on any one product to access the "Display Single Product" window. Alternately that same window can be displayed by clicking on "Display a Single Product" on the red Master Menu. That option can also be selected by pressing the F2 function key.
With the single product window displayed, make certain that you have the company that you want. If not, click the down button to the right of the company name and select the company that you want from the list.
With the company that you want now displayed, you can go to "File" or "Options" at the top of the window. Either menu contains the new option "Compare this company's products". When you click on this selection all available products from this company will be displayed in the "Display Product Comparison" window. Each product category is separated by their category title in light red.
As before, you can now use your right mouse button to file products to Pick 12. Alternately you can double click your left button to display that particular product in the single product window.
If you elect to print a multiple category comparison the format is similar to Compulife's traditional single category comparison which we first introduced in our software in 1983. There are two exceptions to the way that the standard single category comparison works.
First, there are no summary pages. Only the product detail pages are printed. This is the format which places 6 products on a page, two products wide by three products tall. If your print format says you want two single product pages, then you will get 2 pages of 12 products for your first category, 2 for your second, etc. If you only specified 6 results in your multiple category comparison, the program will only print a single page showing the 6. If you specified 4 results, you will get a single page showing 4. The maximum number of comparison pages is set by the number of detail pages selected. The maximum is 3 pages which is 18 products per category.
If you have any questions about what the printout will look like, we suggest that you view the "Print Preview" before actually going to the printer.
Compulife has just introduced a new Internet based quotation system for agents. The system is currently being marketed through two of our authorized Internet providers. For full details about the service and fees, please visit the www.compulife.com website. Details are in the September 2002 monthly bulletin.
One of the things that we have been hearing from agencies, who want to provide quotation and comparison services on-line, is that they would also like to have a library of life company applications and forms. One of Compulife's authorized web providers, "Insurance Squared", is anxious to provide that service. Unfortunately initial requests to life companies have met with less than an enthusiastic response. That's where this special offer can help you if you can help Insurance Squared.
We believe that MGA's have more power of persuasion when it comes to this issue. Therefore, if your agency is the first to assist Insurance Squared in obtaining the applications and forms for 6 life companies, your agency will receive a free year of the new Internet comparison service for your agents.
A second agency can also qualify for a free year of service. If the second agency can provide forms for an additional 6 life companies, that agency will also receive a free year of the new Internet comparison service for agents. (NOTE: If the first agency is first to provide 12, it will receive a 2 year free subscription to the on-line system).
A third free year of service will also be awarded to the third agency which can add 6 more unique companies to the forms library. (NOTE: If the first agency is first to provide 18, it will receive a three year free subscription to the on-line agent system. If the second agency is first to provide 12, it will receive a two year free subscription to the on-line agent system).
To qualify Insurance Squared needs more than just the .PDF forms. Insurance Squared needs the forms provided by the Home Office with the understanding that the Home Office will keep Insurance Squared updated with form changes as they occur. Alternately, the Home Office can provide Insurance Squared with access to the life companies forms library, with the understanding that the forms can be downloaded and saved to the Insurance Squared website.
While this may entail some effort by the Home Office, we believe that the benefits are clear for the life company, the agency and the agent. We believe it will take a pro-active MGA to get that message across.
If you would like to see Compulife's new on-line quotation system for agents, give Bob Barney a call at (800) 798-3488. If you would like to discuss providing forms and qualifying, please call Glenn Cooke at Insurance Squared (866) 662-5433.
I have received some calls from subscribers not happy with our technical support. Complaints have also been made with respect to my demeanor on the phone when assisting subscribers with problems.
I would like to apologize if we seem to be rushed or short on the phone. The fact is that we are rushed. Call volume has steadily grown but we have not added new personnel to handle the calls. The reason is quite simple, life agents do not want to pay any more than necessary for their software. We are attempting to keep costs to a bare minimum to ensure that we keep our pricing highly competitive. When personnel are pressed with more to do, and less time to do it in, they get brittle. That includes me. Once again, I apologize.
There are some things you can do to make your call experience more pleasant. Here are some tips which may help:
1. Do not leave the problem too long. Many times when subscribers call they are completely exasperated. They have encountered a problem and spent enormous amounts of time trying to fix it themselves not wanting to bother us. Unfortunately, by the time they call, they are brittle and rather than have a level calm discussion about the problem, the subscriber vents. If you're the third caller to have vented, there is a temptation to vent back. I believe you can help us keep our cool by calling before you get warmed up.
2. Please remember who called who for help. Sometimes subscribers call with a problem but expect us to listen to how they think it can be solved. Remember that no one understands our software better than we do. Also remember that most problems are problems that we have seen before. We don't need you to tell us how to fix the problem, we just need a careful description of the problem.
3. When we ask you to try to do something on your computer, and you don't understand what we are asking you to do, please tell us. Frequently we give a series of instructions to find that the subscriber hasn't completed the first step. They were too embarrassed to tell us they couldn't find a key on their keyboard. Remember, we cannot see what you are doing and you need to tell us what is happening so we can help.
4. Watch your computer screen carefully. Relay to us any messages it gives you. Once again, we cannot see your computer screen and if the computer is saying something, and you don't tell us, we are left to guess or question you. Sometimes, when we are rushed, those questions can sound like an interogation but we are only trying to help.
5. If we seem unwilling to talk about things other than the software problem it's not because we are snobs, it's because we have other customers calling and wanting help. Our mission is to solve your problem and get on to helping the next subscriber. Please forgive us if we rush things along.
Let me conclude by saying that we deeply appreciate each and every subscriber. We have no illusions as to who pays the bills at Compulife; YOU DO. It is our view that the customer is always right, unless they are really really wrong. Please be patient with us as we try to help you and if for any reason you are not happy with any aspect of our service, please call me, Bob Barney at (800) 798-3488. Yes, I really do want to hear from you and I will do what I can to assist you or deal with an unresolved problem.
THANK YOU for your continued support.
1) Multiple options for comparison. For example, now you can do a comparison with waiver of premium OR you can do a comparison with monthly premiums. You can't do both. When this change is completed, you will be able to combine those options.
2) Multiple options for multiple lives. You will be able to run a multiple life comparison and get monthly premiums for individuals and total premiums.
3) Pick 12 will be modified to allow the filing of multiple life quotes reflecting discounts for companies which offer multi-life options. You will be able to print pages showing total premiums for all lives and then subsequent pages for each individual life. Discounts, where available, will be noted. As the Pick 12 features become available they will be posted to our mid-month update site.
4) Pick 12 will allow multiple options. For example you will be able to quote modal premiums together with waiver of premium. Currently, when you click on waiver of premium, the spreadsheet defaults to annual premium. If you switch to another premium mode, the waiver of premium is dropped.
All of the above changes are in progress. They will not be released until they are all completed and tested.
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 relay on three other websites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
Returning Monthly Disk Updates
For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
1. Switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.
Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $80 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our webpage www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc." Under the section "License Agreements", the third license is the "Internet Update Endorsement". Print the endorsement. Once you have it, please read it carefully, especially the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call us and we'll be happy to take you through the procedure. It's easy.
2. Disk Purchase Program
The other 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). Once you do that 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 following year. $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.