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Update News for September 2009
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 bulletin.
This month we have been busy with changes to the U.S. side of our software so the balance of this bulletin is just giving you a run down on what we have been doing there.
We continue to be busy getting our Internet Engine ready to permits us to set up individual, personalized web quoting system for those with online PDA's such as Blackberrys, Iphones, Smartphones, etc. We talk about that later in this bulletin. We are also getting close to rolling our some significant enhancements for those using our online quoting system, and we'll have some big new on that next month.
The number of products in our limited pay, no lapse UL categories continues to grow. During August we were able to add Midland National and North American to that list.
A number of subscribers and prospective subscribers are looking to Compulife for no lapse UL quotes and we think that that is a good thing. Even so, it is important to keep in mind that there are differences between the no lapse UL products that we quote and the term products that we quote.
One difference is that for many no lapse UL products we do not have the ability to quote premium modes other than annual. By contrast to term products, where the company has a simple modal factor conversion such as .09 times the annual premium, many no lapse UL products have factors that vary based upon age, sex, smoking, amount of insurance, etc.
The only way to quote modal premiums for these UL products would be to store monthly premium rates per thousand, separately from and in addition to, annual premium rates per thousand. At this time Compulife only has the ability to store annual rates per thousand and until our overhaul/conversion is done, we will not be able to add monthly tables to deal with the no lapse UL products that require separate tables for monthly premiums.
One of the changes that we did make, to improve the situation, is to allow comparison results to be displayed with both annual and modal premiums. We recommend you use this new option particularly for comparing no lapse UL products.
Here is how you show both annual and monthly premiums: After you click on the comparison button, go to "options" at the top of the "Display Product Comparison" window, and select "Annual&Monthly". This will give two columns of premiums, the first will be the annual and the second will be monthly. If a modal factor is not available, due to the fact that there is no simple modal factor, the monthly premiums will display "N/A". At that point, if you need the monthly premiums for that product, you will need to go to the company's own illustration software and produce an authorized illustration.
NOTE: If you want to keep the annual and monthly comparison as your default display, you need to go back to the "options" at the top of the "Display Product Comparison" window. On the option list, a little more than one third of the way down, you will find "Retain As Default Premium Mode". Click on that option to place a check mark next to it. Once that option is checked, the last modal choice you last made is remembered when you do your next comparison.
This brings up the second area that you need to keep in mind when doing no lapse comparisons in Compulife. When Compulife compares no lapse UL products, our premium quotes are approximations of the actual no lapse premiums being offered by each respective company. Unlike term insurance, where a company publishes rates cards and books with predetermined tables of rates, most life companies do not do the same thing for Universal Life. Premiums are generated on the fly by the company's illustration software, and for the most part those premiums are not being calculated from predetermined tables.
Having said that, there are premium patterns which we can analyze. We are able, in most cases, to come up with tables of rates that represent (fairly closely) what the companies are quoting. In most cases life companies are providing to Compulife spreadsheets populated with premium results for all ages, sexes and categories, for many of the more popular face amounts. From those spreadsheets we analyze and re-engineer the premium values to determine patterns that let us extrapolate premium rates.
While our software can store premium rates to 6 percentage points, that still may not be sufficient to nail the company premium exactly. Therefore, when we cannot quote the exact same value, we round premium rates upward to ensure that our quotation of the premium is slightly higher. This means that once you and your client wish to give more serious consideration to a particular company/UL product found in Compulife, you need to run and produce an authorized life company illustration from the life company's software. The company illustration is the ONLY SOURCE of precise and accurate information for that no lapse UL product.
It is important to consider a Compulife no lapse UL comparison a snap shot of the market. Its purpose is to help you and your client quickly identify candidates for your client's no lapse UL needs. No final decision should be based solely on our comparisons of quotations.
Once again, and this is really, really important, you should find that IN ALL CASES our quotations are very close to those provided by the company, or a tick higher. IN NO CASE should you find the premium that Compulife is quoting LOWER. We would urge you to immediately contact us if you encounter ANY CASE where the premium quoted in Compulife turns out be be lower than that produced in a life company's authorized illustration.
Last month we told you that we have had recent discussions with some who think that we should be quoting "to age 100" and/or "to age 105" premiums. We invited those who wanted such categories to contact us and let us know; not many have. If you want to add your voice to the wee small chorus (currently more like a barbershop quartet), then email Bob Barney at:
But you will need to do more than that. We need at least three companies to provide us with the rates for these categories that you want. So after sending us an email, make sure you put in a call to your favorite no lapse UL companies and let them know that they need to provide premium and/or rate tables to Compulife.
You have my undertaking that if we get sufficient demand, and the rates for three companies, we will add the new categories.
And while you are at it, I (Bob Barney) would consider it a personal favor if you could ask those same companies for no lapse UL premiums for level coverage and premiums to age 65, 70 and 75. Subscribers who are successful in convincing a life company to provide UL premiums or rates for the to age 65, 70 and 75 categories will receive a 25% discount coupon for use against their next annual subscription to Compulife. Keep in mind that we know companies can produce no lapse quotes for these scenarios, but to date no companies have provided premiums and/or rates so we can add them to our software.
For some time Compulife has had a PDA/phone service running at:
If you have a PDA/phone that can surf the web, we would encourage you to check it out.
We continue to work on some significant improvements to this existing service that will allow you to enhance and personalize the on-line service. That personalized version of the service will be FREE and part of your subscription to Compulife.
Once the new upgraded service is available, the above link will cease offering quotes and will offer an application form that lets you apply to have your FREE personalized PDA/phone version created just for you. Once you complete that brief application, Compulife will click a button in our database which will email you a link for your new PDA/phone quote system.
The difference between the generic service that is currently available, and the new service that is coming, is that the new PDA/phone service will be personalized for each subscriber. You will have one web address that is your web address for doing quotes (your personal use - it is NOT intended to be a web site that you let other people use). The web pages and quote format are being specifically designed for the "small screen" of your PDA/phone.
You will also have a second web address that will let you select the companies that you want to include in your quotes.
Some new features will also be available with the improved new service. One of the feature we think you will really like is the ability to quote annual and monthly premiums at the same time.
Once again, your personal PDA/phone web address will be for your use ONLY. Functions in the software will report to us if multiple users are hitting your PDA/phone web page. If it is determined that such is the case, then your site will be disconnected,. Needless to say, if we do google searches and find links to these web sites, that will also cause them to be taken down.
If you want a public web site, that anyone can use, then you need to purchase our internet engine or talk to one of our authorized web providers which can add quotes to you web site for as little as $99 per year. Those are the options we have provided for public web quoting and you can also set up PDA web quotes for multiple agents using those options.
Once the on-line, personalized PDA version of the software is up and running, the many improvements to the web engine, such as showing annual premium and monthly premiums at the same time, will be available in the web based software that is used for public web quoting. We have also added some new features for web quoting that we think you will like.
Once that is complete, those changes, together with our new categories, will be made available in the coming upgrade to our web software. Once that software has been implemented at www.term4sale.com, we will be making it available as a FREE upgrade to our current internet engine subscribers and to our authorized web providers.
The upgrade will be available with new documentation that highlights the changes and improvements and how they can be integrated into current web sites. We will let our Internet engine subscribers know when that is ready.
Once our work on the web engines and PDA/Phone software is complete, we will be turning our attention to some important maintenance work that is needed to the data entry systems. Those programs have not been updated for quite some time, and some need to be converted to take advantage of the newer programming compilers that we have been using for the Windows software that we already distribute to you. Our goal is to make it easier to program future software, which will ensure that we can roll out changes and improvements more efficiently.
Further, having reviewed where we are heading over the next few years, and the changes that we would like to be able to make in the future, we have decided to stop and do a much more extensive overhaul than simply changing our data entry software. We have determine that we would also like to implement a better data storage structure that will make maintenance easier on both a data entry basis, as well as a programming basis.
To achieve our goals in this regard, we will be spending a fair bit of time reviewing our new data storage needs, and then building conversion software that will convert our existing data files into our new data file structure. Once we have done that, we will then introducing new comparison software that does exactly what it does now, but which derives its results from the new data structure. In other words, you will end up with a new program that does exactly what the old program did/does.
Once this first stage is completed, we will have both old program and old data, with new program and new data. Moving forward we will use the old data entry systems to maintain the old version, then converting old data to the new data forms for general distribution.
The next stage is to create the new data entry systems that talk to the new data format. Once we are satisfied that the new data entry system give us everything that we have now, we will then switch to the new data structure alone. We will only do this once we have thoroughly tested the new software to ensure it gives us no problems in maintaining the date. This may take several months. As far as the part you use, by the time we make that transition, you will have been using the new software for several months.
The point of sharing this with you is that the process will be quite lengthy and so from this fall throughout most of 2009, you will not be seeing many changes and improvements to the software that you use, even though the underlying foundation will be going through a massive change. Once the foundation has been reconstructed, and all the tools to work on the foundation have been built, the program will be in a position to make some substantial moves forward.
Think of it as transplant surgery, where you need to keep the patient alive and well, at the same time as you are swapping out the organs.