Quick Guide to WinQuote - U.S.A.
General Information:
The WinQuote term insurance comparison and information service for American consumers is run on the web-based version of the CompeteUS™ Professional Software.  The feature packed CompeteUS™ Professional Software is the most advanced and comprehensive independent multiple company term insurance quotation, comparison and evaluation software.  CompeteUS, subscribed to by consumer minded insurance agents and brokers, sets the standards for this type of software and therefore is also the best choice to run a consumer information site such as this WinQuote site.

[Note: If you are a consumer interest oriented life insurance agent or broker and would like more information on the CompeteUS Professional Software, please click here]

To maximize the benefits that you'll derive from this site, WinQuote is advanced far beyond mere "initial" premium comparisons.  Using the extensive facilities provided by this WinQuote site, you will receive objective information without the sales talk or sales solicitation.  More importantly, you will be better equipped with market and cost information to ask the questions that should be asked before you sign on the dotted line.

In addition to "initial premium period" quotes and comparison surveys, this site also provides you with the following investigative research facilities:

Explanations of the terms used
Enhanced Comparisons
Initial and Renewal Cost Evaluations
Comparisons using your choice of any of the 4 common premium payment modes
Side by Side, detailed "MontAge™" comparisons
Financial Tools
Find Agent/Broker Service
Notice and Disclaimer
Copyright and Trademarks Notice

Help and Explanations of the terms used
Insurance terminology can be confusing to the general public.  Some of the jargon (such as the product specific meaning for "smoker" or "non-smoker", or the product specific "regular", "super regular", "preferred", "super preferred" etc.) that on the surface may appear to be simple can also be confusing for people who have years of experience in the insurance industry.  The reason is simply the lack of standardization that results in situations where the same word may have substantially different definitions among insurance companies and even among the policies sold by the same insurance companies.

In order to avoid confusion with jargon that simply does not have any standardized meaning, this site avoids such jargon.  Instead, this site uses plain language while assigning the software with the task of sorting out the different jargon interpretations that are specific to each product (policy).  For better understanding and accuracy of user input, this WinQuote site provides extensive context sensitive pop-up help and explanation prompts and windows.

The WinQuote input screen provides you with brief explanations of the input items.  Help on the input screen is provided through pop-up windows such as this one.  To view context sensitive help click on the [?] help icons or click on any of the links for the terms used under the heading "Risk"

Context sensitive pop-up help prompts are also provided on the comparison screens and pages.   These pop-up help prompts appear in yellow background rectangles when you move your mouse cursor over various items listed on the comparisons screen.

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Enhanced Comparisons
There isn't much sense in overly optimistic quotations or overly simplistic  "comparisons" of overly simplistic quotations that could end up with frustration and/or disappointment because the input that was provided for was overly simplistic and/or too superficial.   All too many of the term insurance sales sites on the Internet provide only for superficial input in relation to the fundamental, material and crucial aspects of present and/or past smoking and/or tobacco/nicotine consumption.  While quotes and comparisons shown on the Internet should be checked and confirmed with  qualified and licensed insurance agents or brokers (See also "Agent/Broker Referral Service), computer-generated quotes and comparisons rely on the accuracy of the input information.  If the input is superficial, it stands to reason that so will be the resultant quotes and comparisons that are produced.

Rather than take a short-cut through a vague and superficial question such as "Are you a smoker?" or the like, WinQuote treats this fundamental and material aspect with the seriousness that it demands.  Thus, the "tobacco/nicotine" question on this consumer site is very specific and asks whether you have EVER used or consumed any form of tobacco or nicotine.  If you currently smoke or consume tobacco and/or nicotine in any form - or if you have EVER done so in the past - please check off the "Yes" option.

Please check off the "No" option only if you have NEVER smoked or used tobacco or nicotine in any form during your lifetime

If you have EVER smoked or consumed tobacco or nicotine products during your lifetime and therefore checked off the "Yes" option to this question, WinQuote automatically presents a pop-up window with an easy tobacco/nicotine consumption questionnaire.  Please enter the time period since your last (most recent) use or consumption for the applicable forms of tobacco/nicotine.  Then, click on the "Proceed" button in the tobacco/nicotine consumption questionnaire pop-up to accept your input and return to the main input screen..

Why is this so important?  The term insurance offerings by the various companies differ substantially in acceptance requirements (also known as "qualification requirements" or "issue requirements").  For a good number of term insurance offerings, tobacco smokers such as smokers of pipe or cigar may qualify as "non-smokers".  In contrast, other offerings may require no tobacco or nicotine consumption whatsoever for varying minimum periods of time.  Some may require the immediately past 3 or 5 or 10 years of "absolutely no tobacco or nicotine consumption/use" whereas it is not beyond the potential that some may require "no tobacco or nicotine" for the entire duration of the applicant's lifetime.

A simple question such as "Have you smoked or used tobacco during the past 12 months?" may have been acceptable in the 'old days', 20 years ago and may still be applicable to some of the classes of some of the term insurance offerings.  However, such a question is still overly simplistic and too inexact for realistic comparisons of present-day multiple-class (also known by the generic insurance industry descriptor "preferred underwriting") term insurance offerings.

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Initial and Renewal Cost Evaluations
"Initial Period" premiums provide an "initial partial impression" but are not necessarily representative of the actual costs of the policy or of the best value. The fact is that the cheapest "initial premium" is not always the best nor is it always indicative of the best value.  This site, using the advanced WinQuote and CompeteUS software, therefore provides you with the important facilities to view and examine both "initial" and "renewal" costs.

Examination of individual policy renewal costs:
You may instantly examine the year by year detailed renewal costs of any of the policies ("products") shown on a comparison survey at this site by simply clicking on the premium figure shown for the policy on the price comparison survey.

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Comparisons using your choice of any of the 4 common premium payment modes
Premiums for life insurance policies are normally payable at the inception (beginning) of each installment period.  The "installment period" (also known as "premium payment mode" and "premium payment frequency") may be "Annual", "Semi-Annual", "Quarterly" or "Monthly"
- "Annual":  Premiums are payable on the first day of each policy year and payable again at the beginning of each policy year;
- "Semi-Annual":  Premiums are payable on the first day of each half-year (6-months) of the policy;
- "Quarterly":  Premiums are payable on the first day of each quarter (3-months) of the policy;
- "Monthly":  Premiums are payable on the first day of each month of the policy.

The premium calculation methods and factors employed by different insurance companies to arrive at the modal premiums for each of the 4 common premium payment modes may differ.  Thus, the relative cost-ranking order of policy offerings on a comparison survey may differ depending on the premium payment mode that you choose.

In general, though every general rule has its exceptions, the most cost effective premium payment mode is the "Annual" mode whereas the least cost effective mode is the "Monthly".  The CompeteUS™ Professional life insurance comparison software that powers this site provides for research, quotations and comparisons based on any of the 4 premium payment modes.  Therefore, this site also offers this facility and you can choose to compare in any of the 4 common premium payment modes.

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Side by Side, detailed "MontAge™" comparisons
This site also provides you with the facility to examine from 2 to 18 policies ("products") at a time for initial period and renewal costs side by side.  The facility is named "MontAge™" and is activated by clicking on the "MontAge" button that appears at the top and the bottom of the comparison survey page.

To take advantage of "MontAge", run a comparison survey first.  Then, on the comparison survey page, click on the "MontAge" button.  After you click on the "MontAge" button, the comparison survey is re-displayed with check-boxes to the left of each of the listed policies.  Pick an X number of policies (where X is any number of policies from 2 to 18) by checking them off on their check-boxes and then click on the "MontAge" button again.

The side by side "MontAge" comparison is then presented, in year by year detail and showing the modal cost during each year for each of the picked policies ("products").  This facility can be very valuable and allows you, the consumer, to pick the policies that interest you.  You can repeat the "MontAge" examination again and again, picking groups of anywhere from 2 to 18 policies at a time to compare.

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While term policies ("products") can be loosely grouped together into commonly referenced initial level period groupings "10-Year", "20-Year", etc., the key word is "loosely".    There are lesser and major differences among term policies within the same initial level period groupings.

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The "NG" ("Not Guaranteed") Notation:
One of the major key differences among term policies ("products") involves the guarantees of the premium amounts that are to be payable during the initial period.  Some policies guarantee that the premiums during the whole of the initial period will remain level, on a single stated guaranteed schedule (will remain the same as in the first year and are guaranteed not increase beyond the single stated schedule) [see also the D1 Notation discussed below], while other policies do not provide this guarantee for the entire initial premium period.  The latter, perhaps, may be better described as "projected level".   This, by the way, is one of the numerous reasons why initial premium only quotes, surveys and comparative comparisons are insufficient for reasonable decision making and why this site provides year by year renewal cost information.

The notation "NG" (for "Not Guaranteed") is placed in the notations column to identify those polices where the premium is not guaranteed to remain level on a single stated premium schedule during the entire initial premium period.  In other words, the notation "NG" identifies polices where the level premium is PROJECTED but NOT guaranteed to remain level during the entire intial premium period.  It is strongly recommended that you consult with an agent or broker who is equipped with the CompeteUS Professional Software.  It is also strongly recommended that you also request that the agent or broker supply you with an authorized life insurance company illustration that gives further information and descriptions of the guarantees that are provided.

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The "D1" ("Discounted in the first year") Notation
This notation identifies policies where the premium is "Discounted" (lowered) by an amount - or a percentage of the premium - during the first year or few years of the initial period.

The "D1" notation may appear on its own or in conjunction with other notations such as the "NG" notation discussed briefly above.

The "D1" notation indicates that the premiums for later years during the initial level premium period are higher than the "initial" first year premium (or, in other words, higher than the start-off premium costs).

To view the year by year costs of these policies, click on the premium amount for the policy shown in the initial premium cost comparison survey and review the yearly costs.  Alternatively, use the "MontAge" facility described above.  As always, we strongly recommend that you consult with an agent or broker who is equipped with the CompeteUS Professional Software.  For the name and telephone number of consumer minded agents and brokers who subscribe to the CompeteUS Professional Software, click on the "Find Agent/Broker" button located at the top or bottom of the comparison survey pages.

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Financial Tools
As consumers ourselves, we believe that the consumer has the right to full disclosure and has the need to know and to be able to analyze financial propositions.

For this reason, and as an added service, this site includes a number of valuable financial tools.  These tools include:
- Commuted Value: The single payment amount that would be payable in lieu of a series of periodic future payments over a defined period of time;
- Commuted Rate: The rate at which the commuted value of a given number, frequency and timing of future payments is commuted (discounted) to a single lump sum payable immediately.
- Commuted Period:  The period of time during which a given periodic payment would be paid, assuming a commuted rate, payment frequency, timing and lump sum deposit.
- Commuted Income:  The amount of income (periodic payments) that would be derived from a lump sum deposit, assuming a stated return on investment, indexing, frequency and payment periods.
- Present Value:  (Similar to the "Commuted Value")  The amount of money that would be required in advance, in the form of a lump sum, to finance a series of future periodic payments over a specified period of time and assuming a given return on investment.

As a side note, this type of calculation is sometimes mistakenly named - and even paraded - as a "life insurance needs analysis".  The mere calculation of the present value of a series of future payments is NOT an "analysis" but merely just a Present Value calculation.  It should not be viewed as a "life insurance needs analysis".  A proper analysis needs to be detailed and comprehensive.  A proper life insurance portfolio to address your needs, and based on proper planning and periodic reviews, will save you money and will reduce the potential for unpleasant avoidable surprises.

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Agent/Broker Referral Resource
Many term insurance sales sites on the Internet (often self-paraded as "comparison services") mistakenly suggest that the consumer can buy insurance from them (their operators) at prices that are somehow are alleged to be magically lower.  Fact is that the same policy, with the same coverage on the same person for the same period, etc. would cost no more or less if you purchased the coverage on-line, by mail order or in person from a full service agency.

Sales ("marketing") costs are built into the premium that is charged and that you would pay for.  You would be paying those sales or "marketing" charges regardless of whether you buy on-line, by mail order or through a full-service agent or broker.

Actually, there is a good potential that a term insurance policy purchased without full service would cost you more.  For example, as noted earlier, most of the on-line term insurance sales sites fail to deal with current or past tobacco or nicotine consumption adequately.  Such sites could end up selling you a policy that would cost more than it should (for example, a cigar smoker paying a "smoker" rate when (s)he could be eligible for lower special cigar smoker "non-smoker" rates).  Alternatively, such sites could quote "mirage" rates for which you may not qualify and have you end up with a more expensive policy than you would if you bought through a properly equipped and caring agent who invested the effort and time to do the needed research.

It is important to keep in mind that this site is designed to provide the most objective and unbiased consumer information resource on the subject of term insurance on the Internet.  The detail and depth of the facilities on this site are made available to provide you with objective and thorough research resources and also to demonstrate the numerous aspects that need to be examined BEFORE you sign on the dotted line.  Since this site is operated by consumers and not by a direct or indirect insurance sales entity, we don't ask for your name (nor do we want to know your identity).  On the other hand we strongly recommend that you consult with a consumer interest oriented agent or broker who is equipped with the CompeteUS Professional Software.  As noted earlier, this will not cost you more and will more than likely end up saving you money.

No one can guarantee the conduct of another person.  You will need to speak to the listed agents/brokers yourself and determine who you are most comfortable with.  On the other hand, because the CompeteUS software is most attractive to agents and brokers who are knowledgeable and are consumer minded  - and because agents and brokers have to pay to subscribe to the CompeteUS software - an agent or broker who subscribes to the CompeteUS software gives a good indication that (s)he is keen to provide value and service. The CompeteUS software that powers this site provides numerous functions, facilities and resources that go far beyond those on this site.  Although this site provides substantial depth and detail, an agent or broker who subscribes to the CompeteUS software has access to far more product, costs, underwriting and other important information than we can provide here.

To locate a CompeteUS subscriber near you, click on the "Find Broker/Agent" button on the survey page at this site.  The names and telephone numbers of three CompeteUS subscribers near you will be displayed and you are free to call them directly for service.  Also, to let the agent that you call know that you are a careful consumer who demands good service, may we suggest that you let the agent know that he or she was listed at this site.

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The rates and other information used at this sites is compiled from research based on publicly available information, including rate cards, that are routinely published by insurance companies and distributed to agents and brokers and/or published with general public access on the Internet.

To the best of our ability we have done all that we could to check and double check in effort to present the most up-to-date and accurate information.  HOWEVER, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE ACCURACY.

In the event that there may be a discrepancy between the information on this site and/or figures on this site used in comparison surveys, and any illustration or document or policy produced and/or authorized by an insurance company, the insurance company's authorized documents shall apply.  In the event that there may be a discrepancy between the information on this site and/or figures on this site used in comparison surveys, and an insurance policy issued by an insurance company, the policy shall govern.

We do not sell insurance and none of the figures shown on this site are intended to be, nor should be understood to be, a sales illustration or a solicitation of term insurance for sale.  The purpose of this site is to provide objective and unbiased consumer information and this site is operated as a non-profit public service.


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Copyright and Trademarks Notice:
CompuOffice® is a Registered Trademark of CompuOffice Software Inc in Canada.  It is also a Trademark of CompuOffice Software Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions.  CompeteUS™, WinQuote™ and MontAge™ are world-wide trademarks and service marks of CompuOffice Software Inc.
Other Trademarks, Registered Trademarks and Service Marks that may be mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

This site is dedicated to objective, consumer information.  It is not to be used in conjunction with any commercial or "for profit" business or venture.  This site and the entirety of its contents are Copyright (C) CompuOffice Software Inc. and may not be duplicated or copied or transmitted in whole or in part by any commercial entity or for financial gain by any person or entity without the prior expressed written permission of CompuOffice Software Inc.

Permission is granted to consumer advocacy and protection organizations as well as educational institutions to use this site free of charge for consumer education purposes.  For further information and for technical software assistance to consumer organizations and educational institutions to include this service in their respective web sites, please contact CompuOffice Software Inc. 1-888-316-5433.

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