Insurance Field Marketing Organization and Independent Marketing Organization Basics!
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When you are in the insurance business, it is understandable if you want to be as independent as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always a very attainable goal for the captive agent or financial planner. Very few insurance providers will allow you to work without a Field Marketing Organization or an independent marketing organization.
Working with an insurance Field Marketing Organization and insurance Independent Marketing Organizations is almost a given in the insurance world today, and that is not a bad thing. While everyone would like to be completely independent, there are services that FMO's and IMO's provide that can make your life and career substantially easier.
It's a heck of a lot better than working under a general agent who is working from home and not providing you with the extra help and resources you need to build your business. I did that once. My GA was a nice guy, but all he did was take my applications and submit them for me. Big deal!
When you work with insurance FMO's and IMO's, you will receive services including in-house underwriting, advanced planning services, quotes, exams, APS ordering and other help. So, at least you are gaining some advantages while working with them.
If you were to try to work directly with providers, you would find it very difficult, if not impossible to keep all the contracts necessary, maintain good comp levels, and generate all of the business that you would need for it all to make sense at the end of the day.
Furthermore, the percentage of payout is often better when working through an Field Marketing Organization or IMO, so it makes sense to work with them. Finally, it is difficult for a single agent to do the kind of business that is needed to get overrides needed that you would get through being a brokerage general agent or managing general agent.
Of course, not all FMO's and Independent Marketing Organization's are created equally. Many FMO's do not provide the kind of marketing, training or support that they are supposed to, and you will want to be pretty picky when it comes to associating yourself with one for that reason.
A lot of agents believe that they can depend on their Field Marketing Organization or Independent Marketing Organization for lead generation, which is a bit of an iffy proposition. Sometimes, you will get good leads from FMO's and IMO's, but other times, you will get poor leads or none at all. Most experienced agents will tell you that it is always best not to rely on others for leads if you can possibly avoid it, and any extra help you get from your Field Marketing Organization or Independent Marketing Organization will just be a nice surprise.
Working in insurance these days is hard as an independent agent, but there is nothing wrong with working with an FMO or IMO. Like anything else in business, there are pros and cons to going it alone or working with these types of groups, but it is definitely getting more and more difficult to be truly independent.
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