Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin: New GOWIN.EXE…
The June 2004 disk update will be processed Friday, June 25th and Monday, June 28th.
Disks will be shipped Monday, June 28th. You should have the July Update in your office by Thursday, July 1st. Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your May disks ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed this June 2004 Update. May disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the June edition.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Subscribers who are still receiving disks can save up to $100 per year by switching to updates by Internet. Please read the last part of this bulletin for complete details. Don’t wait for your next invoice to make that change. Compulife will bonus your subscription renewal deadline for switching from disks to internet.
Compulife now offers an opportunity for subscribers to add free months at the point they are paying their next subscription renewal. With this new referred lead program you can double your subscription from one to TWO years while paying just the one year price.
Our constant challenge is how to locate new prospects for that trial offer. We have now developed a program where you can help.
If you refer two agents to take the 30 day free trial (who can then go for the $5 challenge), we will reward you with an additional free month of subscription time. Now that’s “referrals” for a 30 day trial, there is no requirement that they purchase. When Compulife receives your two referrals we will issue you a certificate that can be used when you are paying your next subscription renewal.
For example, let’s assume you have sent in 12 requests for trials, and you have received 6 certificates for 6 free months. When you pay your next one year subscription you simply send Compulife a copy of your certificate(s) and when we send you the next Internet Master Disk it will have your subscription period stretched from 12 to 18 months.
Trial requests must be e-mailed to email@example.com and include:
Subject: Compulife Referral Offer
The names of agents (you are referring)
Each agent’s address, phone number and e-mail address
1. This offer is not available to subscribers who are receiving monthly updates by disks; it is only availabe to subscribers who obtain updates by Internet.
2. Trials must be sent and received by e-mail. Trial requests that require shipment of disks do not qualify.
3. If you are an agency subscriber (standard license) it requires 3 referrals to obain a free month certificate.
4. Compulife reserves the right to impose a maximum of 12 certificates per renewal. If it turns out that we have a subscriber who refers more agents than the maximum, we may elect to accept more than 12 certificates if it turns out that a reasonable number of trial users did in fact purchase our software.
5. Compulife reserves the right to terminate this offer to any subscriber who appears to be simply e-mailing us the phone book. While there is no requirement that your referral purchase our software, the purpose of this program is to introduce our software to those who “might” purchase. If it appears that we are being sent “disinterested” leads, and that the subscriber is not exercising any judgement in selecting the leads that they are providing, the program will be terminated to that subscriber.
Not only will your referrals to Compulife help you by directly lowering your average monthly subscription cost, by adding free months of service to your subscription, this referral program can lead to more overall lower prices by growing our customer base more quickly.
I would personally appreciate your help with this.
from Bob Barney
You need to understand the implication of this changing climate. I will share with you my view as to what I believe is behind this change, and how Compulife intends to respond to that change. More important, I want to emphasize how Compulife subscribers play a KEY role in keeping Compulife as up-to-date as possible.
The second company to change rates and not provide information was ING which owns Reliastar and Reliastar of NY. Essentially this was much the same story although ING did provide the information a week after the change. Initially they indicated they would need to review whether they would continue to do so. Once again, one of our subscribers bailed us out by sending us the new rate card. The new products were manually entered and available two days after they were introduced.
The third company not willing to assist was First Colony Life. The company has a new U/L product with no lapse premiums guaranteed to age 100. A number of our customers have asked for this to be added to our system. Unfortunately First Colony does not publish “rate books” for this product and so there is no way for a subscriber to provide the rate data to Compulife because there is no such data to provide. In May the company asked Compulife to sign a document that they call a “web display agreement”. Compulife cannot sign such an agreement with ANY life insurance company and it is important for Compulife subscribers to understand WHY.
Here is a copy of the disclosure statement. Please read it:
NOTICE – Compulife Comparison Disclosure
The life insurance comparison you have been provided has been prepared using a third party computer program and database of term life insurance pricing information which is sold to the insurance industry by Compulife Software, Inc. Compulife does not sell life insurance and is not owned by, or under the control or influence of, any life insurance company.
Compulife is notifying you that this comparison has NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED by any life insurance company. The comparison should not be interpreted as an “authorized” illustration provided by any particular life insurance company. The information contained in the comparison, which has been prepared by your agent/broker using the Compulife program, is intended for comparison purposes only. You should not view the comparison as a substitute for an “authorized” life company illustration.
Some states have laws that require agents and/or brokers to provide consumers with “authorized” life insurance company illustrations. As an independent third party provider of comparison information, Compulife does not wish to be under the control of any life insurance company. Therefore, Compulife does not seek, nor does it want, life company authorization for our comparison software. For this reason you need to make certain that you obtain a company authorized illustration for any life insurance product that you have decided to purchase. Carefully read the authorized company illustration to make certain that you understand all aspects of the life insurance product that you are buying.
The purpose of a Compulife comparison is to provide you with price comparisons of a number of life insurance products in order to simplify the job of comparing possible alternatives. Obtaining an authorized life company illustration, for each product that appears in a comparison, would make the job of comparison unreasonably difficult. It would discourage agents/brokers from making comparisons, to the detriment of consumers. In the interest of simplicity the attached price comparison does not include all the necessary facts for each life insurance product in the comparison. Please remember, only an authorized life company illustration can provide you with all of the necessary information that you need to make a final decision about purchasing a particular policy.
Information used in this comparison has been taken from the rate cards and rate manuals which life companies routinely publish and distribute to life agents and brokers. To the best of Compulife’s ability we have done everything we can to ensure that the information contained in this comparison is up-to-date and accurate. However, we DO NOT AND CANNOT GUARANTEE ACCURACY. In the event that there is a discrepancy between the information contained in this comparison, and any life company authorized illustration and/or policy, the policy shall govern.
Any consumer who is FIRST to discover and report an error in any of the prices quoted in this comparison is entitled to receive a “finder’s fee” of $50 from Compulife. To receive the $50 please mail a copy of the comparison which contains the error, together with a copy of the life company illustration or policy, together with your name and address, to:
|Compulife Software, Inc.
|Phone: (800) 798-3488
|108 Edgewood Plaza
|Fax: (859) 885-3988
|Nicholasville, KY 40356
Compulife (R) is a registered trademark of Compulife Software, Inc.
The Compulife Disclosure Statement was intended to be a document that you could give to consumers if you wished. You are welcome to do so and if you are a Compulife subscriber, your client is also welcome to take advantage of the $50 reward if they are the first to find and report an error in a product quoted by our software. Compulife makes the same offer to the public at our website www.term4sale.com.
The reason I am drawing your attention to this document is found in the second and third paragraphs which say:
“Compulife is notifying you that this comparison has NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED by any life insurance company.”
“As an independent third party provider of comparison information, Compulife does not wish to be under the control of any life insurance company. Therefore, Compulife does not seek, nor does it want, life company authorization for our comparison software.”
These statements clearly set forth the relationship Compulife has to the industry.
Think carefully about this. A newspaper does not have to enter into an agreement with a politician governing what the newspaper can or cannot report. Obviously a politician should not be allowed to decide what a newspaper can or cannot say which was the point of the First Amendment. Having recognized that, a newspaper has a duty and an obligation to be accurate in its reporting. There are remedies in law if a newspaper fails to correct or retract factual misstatements.
I believe Compulife plays a similar role in the life insurance industry. Compulife provides information to agents and consumers about the prices that insurance companies are charging for products that they offer to the general public. The “price” of a life insurance policy is not proprietary or a trade secret. There is no law which prevents Compulife from publishing that information.
Life companies are NOT responsible for what we do. If Compulife makes a mistake it is Compulife’s mistake. I believe that Compulife is responsible to correct or remove any product from our system that is not being quoted accurately.
Once again, a mistake made by Compulife is NOT a mistake made by a life insurance company.
I suspect this was done to convey to prospective agent customers that there is something “official” about the relationship each of the companies has with that competitor and adds a measure of gravitas to the quotes which that competitor produces.
By contrast, Compulife does not refer to life companies who provide us with information as “partners” and we never would. That is NOT a slight on any company, or on the industry as a whole, it simply underlines the fact that our role is not the same as the life company.
Unfortunately we believe that the characterization of “partner” is leading to a new expectation in the minds of life companies, that they need to take a more pro-active role of oversight to companies like Compulife who market comparison software services and who quote prices for the insurance products that those companies sell.
But those agreements inevitably require that Compulife agree that the rates and product information are the property of the company. As we said earlier, it is Compulife’s long-standing position that the premiums which companies charge for insurance policies are not proprietary and not trade secrets.
Such agreements also contain a clause which says that if the company ever decides to stop providing the information, Compulife will cease quoting the products of the company. Compulife could never agree to that or we would be signing our own death certificate. The truth is that no life insurance company, deep down inside, want its rates compared the way Compulife compares them.
Given that there are no laws governing these matters, there is no basis for a life company to compel Compulife to agree to these things. However, if we were to sign a legal agreement to that affect, then the company has a basis in civil law, due to a breech in agreement, to take action. Therefore, Compulife cannot enter into such agreements because it is a contradiction to our commitment to independence.
We hope that life companies will continue to be of assistance to us. We will continue to do what we can to maintain our complete neutrality. Having said that, it would not be a shock to us if companies become increasingly less helpful. While that represents a challenge for Compulife, it is an old challenge we addressed very early on in our existence.
Ultimately it means we will continue to rely upon our customers to assist us by providing us with the literature and information that they have been given by the life companies.
Our policy in this regard has now been changed.
While Compulife would love to quote the renewal premiums, and while we are prepared to do so, we note that we have received the rate books of some life companies who do not provide information about their renewal premiums in that rate book. We think the renewal premium information is important and should be put in that book. However, if a life company deems it not important to provide renewal premium information with its initial premiums, Compulife fails to see why we should not quote the product. After all, our quote will include the same rate information that the company deemed necessary to put in the rate book.
As a subscriber to Compulife, this means you may see some products in the future which do not display renewal premiums. If that is the case, you can assume that we were not provided that information by the company. You can also assume, as is the case for most renewable term products, that the renewal premiums for that product are equally as horrible as the YRT renewal premiums routinely offered by the majority of life companies.
But then does anyone expect anyone to pay those ridiculously high premiums? It is Compulife’s position that if a consumer needs insurance for longer than the level period that they are considering, that the consumer buy a longer level period product.
For example, no consumer in their right mind should buy a 10 year term policy knowing that they will need coverage for 15 or 20 years. A young family man, with young children, should be buying 30 year term. That is Compulife’s position and it is set forth at our public web site www.term4sale.com.
Therefore, absence of information about renewals should not be taken as a good thing. You can assume the worst, that those renewals are extremely high and not a premium your client should plan to pay.
Once again, we will add the ROP products for these products in the first midmonth update in June.
Make sure if you haven’t already, that you contact Compulife and obtain the latest Internet Engine upgrade. You can call me (Bob Barney) at 800-798-3488.
During May we shipped both CD and floppy and the number of service calls related to doing that dropped dramatically. It would appear that everyone is reading the CD’s fine and that there are no problems associated with that.
Compulife intends to monitor this situation for the next few months and may elect, at some point later this year, to stop providing the Internet Master Disk on floppy, and provide it on CD only. Needless to say, if you believe that represents a problem for you, please contact me (Bob Barney) at (800) 798-3488.
Because we are already phasing out disk updates in favor of Internet updates, there is no reason for Compulife to support a monthly update system using CDs instead of floppy disks.
Therefore, if you don’t want to use monthly update floppy disks, we strongly encourage you to switch to Internet Updates. That alone saves you $100 or more per year which can go toward a high speed internet connection. Please read the end of this bulletin to find out how to switch to Internet Updates.
If you don’t want Internet Updates, and you are getting ready to buy a new computer, MAKE SURE YOU ORDER it with a floppy disk drive. As discussed, this should cost you no more than $20.
QuickerQuoter is a Compulife-like quote system for a single life insurance company and its products. This new product should be attractive to life insurance companies because it is FREE.
That’s FREE as in NO COST!
IMPORTANT: The software is only given to life companies.
Compulife will not distribute this software product to anyone but the life companies. The life company is free to give the program to anyone that they want to give it to.
Compulife only provides this new software to life companies who have been kind enough to assist us with the provision of product, rate and state approval information. If a company is unwilling to help Compulife, QuickerQuoter will not be available to the company.
We hope this will be an added incentive for life companies to help us keep our rates and database up-to-date. That will have obvious benefits for our existing Compulife subscribers.
Companies interested in retaining Compulife for custom software work are welcome to contact Bob Barney at (800) 798-3488. I’ll direct you to the project consultant and programming staff who are in charge of this new service.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we rely on three other web site to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
1. Switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.
Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $100 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our web page www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice “Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc.” Under the section “License Agreements” you will need to select and complete a new License Agreement for the type of license you have. After you have printed the new agreement, please read it, 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 step 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.