Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin: New GOWIN.EXE…
The October 2002 Internet monthly update will be posted to our five monthly update websites on Thursday, September 26th.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your “August” disks ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed this September 2002 Update. August disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the September edition.
Remember, we do not automatically list you. You must ask for the listing. We don’t divulge our subscribers identities unless we are given their go ahead.
Compulife’s Internet updating feature, which is built right into our software, makes updating by internet super easy. We’ve seen a big drop in the number of technical support calls needing assistance with monthly updates.
For those of you who still obtain disks each month, and who have your reasons for not switching over to getting updates by Internet, then you must still return your disks each month. Having said that there is a way to eliminate the problem of having to mail back disks and it will also save you money. Go to the end of this bulletin for details.
The new on-line comparison product for agencies is much more like the Compulife program that you now obtain and use on your own computer. It allows the following:
1. Selection and Quotation of Individual Products – This is equivalent to our “Display Single Product” feature in Compulife. You can create a single quote for a single company product showing renewal premiums, renewable to age, convertible to age, etc.
Individual products are displayed by clicking on the premiums in a comparison or by selecting from a company menu.
2. Spreadsheet Analysis – Products are selected from the comparison results and when the “Click Here for a spreadsheet” button is pushed, the browser will display the Pick 12 style spreadsheet. The maximum number of products in the Internet version is 10 and like our software for agents/agencies, will call it Pick 6 if there are only 6. And just like the windows program, you can customize the name of the spreadsheet to whatever you like.
3. Multiple Category Comparison – Due to the limitations of Internet browsers, we needed a way to be able to have you display all the potential products and product categories that you might want to select products from in order to put them into a single spreadsheet.
For example, you might want to have 10, 15 and 20 year products in the same spreadsheet. Therefore, you must be able to select those 10, 15 and 20 year products from a single Internet webpage. We have now introduced an option where you can have 10, 15 and 20 year comparisons, all on the same screen.
This last option worked out so well for the Internet version we are working to introduce it into our Windows program. Read on for more details.
First, the on-line quotation engine will ONLY be available through our “authorized web providers”. Agencies cannot buy this software and simply put it on their own server.
The reason for this is simple. If a powerful, on-line version of Compulife is placed on the Internet, so that ANYONE can use it for free, then why would anyone want to buy Compulife? Compulife would be finished because our business would have no way to generate revenue. This is the problem facing all dot-com businesses, which are falling hard and fast. Compulife hasn’t remained in business for 20 years (20 years in October) because we were giving away software for free.
Having said that, we do get requests from agencies who want an on-line quote system for their agents. To address that we think we have come up with a way to do it which will help them better serve the needs of their agents and brokers who need quotes infrequently.
NOTE: If you have agents and brokers who need quotes frequently, you are better off buying and providing them with our PC based software. Please read on to learn how these two roads converge in our pricing and user fee strategy.
The Compulife on-line comparison system will be priced on a “per use” basis. There are two fees which will apply to that use. The first is the “user fee”, and the second is the “usage fee”. Regardless of what those fees total in any given month, there will always a minimum $50 per month fee to an agency.
Users and usage will be tracked by a user/password system administered by our authorized web providers. The authorized web provider will be the gatekeeper who oversees and administers your agents’ ability to access the system. The webprovider will also be the one who invoices you for the service. Each month you will receive a usage printout or file (like a long distance report) together with your monthly invoice. Compulife will get a copy of that same information, along with a payment from the authorized web provider based upon your use.
IMPORTANT: The retail prices that we are quoting here are discounted to the web provider. They make money on the difference between the retail price and their cost to us. Once again, this software will not be given to agencies unless a third party webprovider is administering the use. Only webproviders marketing our existing Internet engine can qualify to provide this new service.
The first is the option of paying $1 for an individual user’s access for that month.
For example, if you have 100 brokers that you permit access to the quote system, but only 30 of those brokers actually do a quote this month, then the user fee total is $30. Next month, if 25 brokers use the system, 15 from the previous month, and 10 different brokers, then you would pay $25. This monthly user fee is paid only if the broker actually logs into the quote system during that month. If he or she doesn’t log in, there is no user fee.
Alternately, if you think your broker will log in every month, you could pay an annual user fee. If you expect a group of your brokers to log in more frequently, you can avoid the $1 per month for 12 months ($12) by electing to pay an $8 annual user fee. If you pay the $8 fee annually in advance, then the $1 per month fee is waived for that agent. If you have paid the $8 annual fee for each of 20 brokers, then your monthly minimum charge is reduced from $50 per month to $30 per month. If you paid an annual fee of $400 for 50 brokers then there is no minimum monthly fee. Remember, you will still have a usage fee for those brokers’ quotes. Also, if you have more than 50 brokers, you will need to add them to the total cost. The minimum fee is the MINIMUM you pay.
IMPORTANT: If your broker is already a Compulife or Term4Sale – Agent Edition customer, then there is NO USER fee for that agent. You may give that agent access to your on-line quotation system at NO CHARGE. You must still satisfy the minimum monthly fee requirement and the minimum monthly requirement is not reduced if an existing Compulife subscriber is a user of your on-line service.
When your agent has finished entering the client information, they click on a button called “Begin Doing Quotes”. This triggers the 20 cent fee. Clicking on that button launches a second browser window that permits the selection of a category (or multiple categories) which can be compared. From the comparison(s) the agent can select and print individual products or place products into a spreadsheet. If they need to go back and select a different category or categories, there is no additional 20 cent fee.
A NEW 20 cent fee is only incurred if the user closes the product comparison browser window, goes back to the client entry browser window, and then clicks on the “Begin Doing Quotes” button.
Agents already subscribing to Compulife or our Term4Sale agent edition are exempt from you having to pay a 20 cent per quote fee. Therefore, given that the agency can obtain the Term4Sale – Agent Edition of Compulife for as little as $50 per year (for 50 or more systems in a single purchase; $99 for individual purchases), that should be the maximum user and usage cost per agent for the on-line quotation system. An agent who does quotes less frequently than that will cost the agency less. For example, an agent doing quotes an average of 10 times each month should only cost the agency $32 for the year.
REMEMBER: The 20 cent per quote fee is the retail price. Our authorized webproviders have the right to discount those fees based upon volume usage, other software packaging that they offer, etc.
ALSO REMEMBER: If all your agents are Compulife subscribers, and none are required to pay the user or usage fee, there is still a $50 minimum monthly fee that is applicable.
As with our existing Internet quotation software, the webpages and company content can be customized to suit your own needs.
Currently there is already a “Multiple Category” option in Compulife. At one time we called this “Across the Board”. The existing option is once again being renamed and will be called “Cross Category Accumulations”. The new name reflects the fact that the comparisons created using this option are based upon accumulated premiums across different categories. The accumulations options are either accumulated total premiums, present value accumulation or interest adjusted indexes. The results of such a comparison merges all categories into a single “results display” based upon lowest total accumulated cost.
The new option will be quite different and will be called “Multiple Category”. The new option will allow the display of multiple categories on the same comparison screen. For example, if you indicated you want 10, 15 and 20 year comparisons, and the least expensive 25 results for each, the first section of the comparison display will show the 25 lowest priced 10 year plans. The next section of the display will show the 25 lowest priced 15 year plans followed by the next section with the 25 lowest priced 20 year plans.
From there you will be able to right click and build Pick 12 spreadsheets from any of the products in any of the categories on the screen. Alternately you will be able to double click on any product and display that product on screen. We have had some very nice comments from those we have shown our new multiple category option to. We think you are going to like this new feature when it is introduced into the Windows version of Compulife.
NOTE: The new multiple categories will not be in the DOS version.
Look for these new features by October or November.
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 as I write this. They will not be released until they are all completed and tested.
Our current software is working very well and because we would like to enjoy a quiet summer, we have no intention of introducing new software that may require bug repairs or additional technical support. Once we get past the September monthly update, we will start releasing these changes, on a mid-month basis, as they are ready.
In the meantime, we are closely following rate changes in the market and posting them as soon as they become available. Our commitment to you is to get you that new information as quickly as possible.
Two year subscription pricing for those receiving disk updates has been eliminated. This reflects the fact that we would like to see more customers switch over to obtaining updates from Internet. Internet saves us money which we like to pass on to you. We are doing everything we can to be as competitively priced as possible.
Internet updates help us manage costs so well that we have now added a three, four or five year subscription pricing option. Agents or agencies can save $99 per year for each additional year that they purchase when renewing a one year subscription.
For example: A personal use subscription to Compulife is $199, but a second year can be added by paying an additional $100 for a total price of $299. A third year can be added by paying an additional $100 for a total price of $399 for 3 years, $499 for four years, $599 for five years.
The strategy behind the price changes is quite simple. Those who obtain their monthly updates by disk represent the most work and expense for Compulife. By contrast, we do not have to ship or handle disk returns for Internet subscribers.
Further, each year, when we invoice you for your subscription renewal, and have to process your subscription payment, there is substantial administrative work that is entailed. We must invoice you. Frequently our customers move and they do not advise us. We must track them down. When we receive your payment we have to process it. Next we issue you an Internet Master Disk authorizing you to obtain updates for another year. Then many call to ask, “What do I do with this disk?” And of course there are those subscribers who pay late. The Internet Master Disk is not shipped until payment is received and so those who pay late have found that their subscription expired and they can’t get their latest update. At that point the phone starts ringing and there is a mad scramble to get the customer back up and running. Nobody is happy.
Add it up and it’s a lot of time and work not to mention a lot of frustration and expense. When you purchase a two year (or now 3, 4 or 5 year) subscription, we can eliminate all that work and hassle for the additional years that you buy. That saves us money and it enhances our customer relations, retention and satisfaction.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no subscription refunds for early cancellation. Subscriptions may be transferred (resold).
ANOTHER NOTE: We do not automatically invoice 2, 3, 4 or 5 year subscriptions. If you want the option, you must take the initiative when you get your one year renewal invoice. Most don’t read these bulletins, so most miss the opportunity.
All of this adds up to us affording to be able to offer very deep price cuts for 2, 3, 4 and 5 year subscriptions. You want to save money? There it is, go for it.
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.
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.