What's New at StrateCision
ComboCompare is ready!
Are you selling or thinking of selling hybrid life-LTC plans? As asset-based policies, they answer the "use it or lose it" objection to conventional LTC policies, offering a death benefit and return of premium to policyholders who have not used the LTC benefit. The policyholder retains access to the assets in the plan.
These plans are gaining rapidly in market share, and many agents are finding them an easier sell than the LTC plans they have been selling. Many have contacted us to ask for a comparison program for hybrid plans, and many have helped by testing a beta version.
The program is now ready for use with clients, and can be licensed as an annual subscription. Those who have used our LTC Quote Plus will recognize the user interface and will have little or no learning curve in using ComboCompare. It is easy to use and allows comparing premiums and benefits of the current hybrid plans. However it in no way replaces the illustration programs for the issuers, does not contain the detailed projection of benefits found in their programs and cannot be used in making an application. The results calculated by ComboCompare might differ by several percent from those of the issuer, although in most cases they will be quite close. None of the hybrid insurers have reviewed ComboCompare or authorized its use, and it is strictly a third-party tool for those who understand these limitations.
If you could use such a tool to help your clients choose their best option among combo plans, get in touch and find out if ComboCompare can help your combo sales the way LTC Quote Plus has helped so many agents sell conventional LTC plans.
Web Applications Secured
Do you use LTC WebQuote, WebAdvisor, Consumer Quoter or iPad Quoter? StrateCision's online comparison tools are run within your browser, and some users have asked that communications with these tools be encrypted to safeguard client data. We have now added SSL encryption, for increased security. You can verify this in your browser by the lock that appears in the address box, and by the web address (URL) that begins with https instead of http.
Online quoter for LTCI prospects
If you have seen our Consumer Quoter before, there are some new improvements:
If you don't know about our quotes for consumers, read on:
Many agents have asked us whether our web-based quoting program, LTC WebQuote, can be licensed for use by their clients and prospects. These agents have their own websites, and want to provide an online tool for their prospects to find out what LTC insurance will cost.
Although technically this is not a problem, the regulatory issues in showing consumers actual quotes for specific policies are enormous. Each carrier whose policies are quoted or compared would have to file sample comparisons with states whose residents would see the quotes. Up to now, this has discouraged us from making online consumer quotes available.
However, we now have a way to show prospects the likely cost of a policy with specific benefits, given their age, marital status, and state of residence. Our solution is an easy-to-use web page where the prospect enters this information and chooses desired benefits. The site then searches 10-15 representative policies and finds the premium for the chosen benefits for each policy. It then shows the prospect the lowest, highest, and median premium from the sample, giving them a good idea of the cost for the benefits they want.
If you have a website for your prospects, and would like to embed this quoting tool in it so they can check prices for themselves, give us a call or send email to .
Improved Search in LTC Quote Plus and WebQuoteUsers of the Search option in StrateCision's quoting programs have asked for additional search options, specifically:
If you use our quoting programs but have no idea what Search is about, maybe it's time to check it out. Search gives you a snapshot of the entire LTCI market in your client's state: what are all the policies your client could buy that have the benefits the client is looking for, and how much does each one cost? To get started, click Search, then choose the benefits your client wants and click the binoculars. It's not hard to do, you won't hurt anything, and you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Run LTC Comparisons on your Ipad!
Now you can run StrateCision's LTCI comparisons on your tablet!
StrateCision's LTC Quote Plus and LTC Advisor Plus have long been recognized as the Industry Standards for comparing LTC policies. These programs run on Windows-based computers without an Internet connection, and can be installed on lightweight laptop computers and used anywhere.
However many have asked for a version that will run on smaller more portable devices such as the Ipad and other tablets that can be more easily carried to client meetings. That version is now here!
The Online programs are web-based. and require an Internet connection. Tablets connected via Wi Fi or the cellular network can run the programs and compare policies anywhere a connection is available.
The new programs support touchscreen features such as 2-finger resizing and are particularly convenient to use, allowing you to zoom in on details of the page that you want to share with your client.
If you want to use StrateCision's LTCI comparison tools on your tablet, get in touch. See our contact info on the home page.
Get LTC Quote Online and LTC Advisor Online for your tablet computer and see how easy it is to compare policies using these convenient and user-friendly devices.
Major Enhancement of LTC Advisor Plus!
Comparing policies in LTC Advisor Plus has just become much easier and more useful. The latest update includes a new function called "Key Feature" that greatly simplifies the process of choosing features on which to compare policies.
Subscribers to LTC Advisor and LTC Advisor Plus know that policies can be compared on any or all of over 100 different features and benefits, and that this allows policies to be broken down into bite-size pieces and compared in an apples to apples grid or table. However, finding the features that really differentiate among the policies you are comparing can be labor intensive and time consuming.
Now you can skip the search for features to show and just press the Key Benefits button. This will select only those features that have been labeled "Key" for at least one of the policies you are comparing. Then when you show the comparison grid, press the button "Show Key Features" and the cells containing key features will light up in the highlight color. In a few seconds you have created a meaningful comparison of your policies that calls attention to the relative strengths of each plan.
How are Key Features determined? We studied the policy database to identify
features that are not commonly included in LTC plans, but if included would add value
to a policy.
What if I disagree with the criteria and want to assign my own Key Features? Go to it! You can unKey any feature you don't think is Key, and add ones you do consider Key. You can replace any or all of the Key Feature designations and Advisor Plus will remember your choices and use them in the future instead of the original ones. After all, LTC Advisor Plus is your program to customize and use in ways that work for you.
So if you have been alert enought to already have Advisor Plus, download the updates and start using this powerful new feature. If not, maybe it's time for you to look into the new Industry Standard for comparing LTC policies.
The new LTC Advisor Plus can be ordered by calling us at 781 453 1938, or print out an Order Form and fax it in. If you have a current subscription to LTC Advisor, we will credit the unused part of your subscription toward your purchase of LTC Advisor Plus.
It's time to put this powerful new tool to work for you!
Responding to requests by several agents, we have added an additional financial rating to the 4 already included in LTC Advisor, and also a summary percentile showing the average rating for each carrier. This is calculated by first ranking all LTC carriers according to one rating, with the highest rated carrier at the top of the list and the lowest rated at the bottom. The carriers are then assigned percentiles according to their position on the list, showing what percentage of carriers rank lower for that rating. We then calculate percentiles the same way for each of the other 4 ratings. Then the percentiles for each carrier are averaged over the 5 financial rating systems to get the average percentile for each carrier.
Users familiar with the Comdex rating may recognize this approach. compare Percentile Rating with Comdex
Let us know if you find this new statistic useful (email ). We think it simplifies the comparison of financial stability of LTC carriers considerably.
Looking for a job in Beautiful New England?
As everyone knows, Boston is the home of the world champion Red Sox, the awesome New England Patriots, the Swan Boats, clam chowdah, and most importantly, StrateCision.
StrateCision is recruiting to fill 2-3 jobs at our home office in Needham, MA. If you live in the Land of the Bean and the Cod and are savvy on LTCI and looking for a new venue to express your creativity in this fast-moving field, get in touch. Or if you know someone who meets that description, get them in touch with us.
We need people to answer the phone, talk to customers, explain how our software works (and what to do when it doesn't - a rare event), help abstract new policies, get into marketing and sales, and other things we may not have even thought of yet.
If this sounds like a good opportunity, it is. To find out more, contact us at . Emailing a resume and your thoughts on how you can contribute would be a good start.
New versions of MS Windows
Agents sometimes ask whether our programs work in the latest version of Windows, currently Windows 7. The answer is always Yes, but as Microsoft makes it more difficult to install programs, the process can change slightly..
If you are using Windows 7, the main thing to remember is that LTC Quote Plus and LTC Advisor Plus are downloaded from our website, and then installed by right-clicking the install file and choosing Run as Administrator. If you simply double-click the setup icon, the program will start to install and then probably stop before completing. If this happens, start over by right-clicking and choosing the option described above. You don't have to download the setup file again.
It is also important to keep your Windows up to date, since updates can fix errors in the way that Windows installs programs. This is particularly true with Windows Vista, which initially had many problems installing and running programs.
Some users of LTC Quote Plus have asked to see older policies that are no longer being sold, because they may want to show a client how a policy they hold differs from current plans. Other users prefer that withdrawn policies not appear in the list.
To respond to both preferences, we have added to Quote Plus and LTC WebQuote the option to see withdrawn policies. In Quote Plus in the main window, click Setup. Options, then click Show withdrawn policies. You will then see policies that have been withdrawn in the client's state. These will have a (W) after their name to indicate they are withdrawn. To suppress withdrawn policies, click the option again to uncheck it.
LTC WebQuote users can click the checkbox near the bottom of the Agent page to see withdrawn policies.
Note that not all policies that were ever present in LTC Quote will be shown. However going forward, policies withdrawn after 4/1/06 should continue to be available for an extended period.
We have added online ordering to this site. You can now order new or renewal licenses for LTC Advisor, Quote, and Quote Plus. Click the Order Online link to bring up the order form. Note that this is a secure form, as indicated by the Thawte certificate and the padlock at the bottom right of your browser window. It is therefore safe to enter credit card and other financial information into this form.
For those who are uneasy about ordering over the Internet, you can still download and print the regular paper form by clicking the Order form link. You can fill out and fax or mail this form to us if you are more comfortable with this method. Either way, you get the same great industry standard software, but you'll probably get it a little faster if you use the online order form.
Conference Call Training Sessions
StrateCision occasionally runs training sessions for LTC Advisor and LTC Quote Plus by way of conference calls. These typically last about an hour and are scheduled 2-4 weeks in advance. If you would like to know about these sessions in order to listen in or train your employees, contact us at to learn more.
Using LTC Quote or Quote Plus for Applications
Subscribers are reminded that StrateCision's software tools are third party products, and should not be used to print proposals for application submissions. The carrier's software or approved forms should be used for this purpose.
Can you help get new policies?
Subscribers often ask us to include specific policies not currently in LTC
Advisor or LTC Quote, and these requests are recorded. A policy may not
be included for any of several reasons, including:
Most of these companies are minor players in the LTC marketplace, but sometimes a plan of general interest is not available to us. The information is on file in various state insurance departments, and available to the general public. However StrateCision does not have the resources to go to each of these departments and study the filings.
In these cases our subscribers may be able to get rate tables and other descriptions for us to abstract, and we appreciate this assistance. If you have data on plans not in LTC Advisor or LTC Quote, that you think are of general interest, we'd like to talk to you. Complete confidentiality is assured!
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