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Benefits of Working With An FMO



What are the Benefits of Working with an Insurance FMO

What is an Insurance FMO

A Field Marketing Organization (FMO) (also called an Insurance Marketing Organization (IMO), or Medicare FMO) is a company that offers insurance products, services and support to independent insurance agents or insurance agencies.

Most FMO’s will normally offer services above and beyond insurance products, but the insurance industry services offered will vary by company.

We will review some of the products and services you should look for, as well as important questions to ask, before you start working with an FMO.

Like with any business, having the right agent support team can help supercharge your success. 




Do I Need an Insurance FMO to Get Contracted Through a Carrier?                    

While there are a small handful of carriers that will contract agents directly, the vast majority of name-brand, competitive insurance carriers will require you to work through an FMO to obtain their products.

In general the ability to work directly with the carrier, if available at all, will be challenging as they prefer to contract with agents or agencies that can meet certain profitability objectives.

An FMO can offer contracts to agents that they might not be able to acquire individually. They can do this because of the volume and relationship the FMO has developed with the carriers. This puts an FMO in a unique position to have a quality selection of products to offer agents. 

A good FMO will work consistently to get the best contracts with top companies, and offer them to agents and agencies of all sizes. They should be a pillar of support, helping you maximize your efforts, and allow you to focus on supercharging your business.

Benefits of Working With An Insurance FMO / IMO:


Earn Top Commissions with Additional Support

Some FMO’s will offer full, vested commissions on your sales. You would not get paid any more if you were contracted directly through the carrier, even if it were available. In addition to vested commissions, you may find additional benefits and incentives working with an FMO versus going direct. 

Additional Support may vary from FMO to FMO, so make sure to compare. Usually they will have available tools and resources like: CRM Tools, Quoting & Enrollment Tools, Lead Programs, Marketing Support, Certification Support, AEP Support, and more.

What's the difference between an Independent Agent & Captive Agent                      


An Independent Insurance Agent is not an employee of another agency. They are free to contract with any company they feel is a good fit for their business. They are their own boss, they set their own hours, and choose the products they want to go to market with.

An Independent Agent has more freedom to choose how they do business and will enjoy a higher commission on his contracts.


A Captive Agent works for a company or agency. They are required to take on the products chosen by the company they are employed with. Typically, Captive Agents earn lower commissions than Independent Agents, but receive more support.

Nevertheless, the added support and training they receive will come at the cost of lower commissions. 

Regardless of whether you end up contracting as a Captive or Independent Agent, make sure to fully understand the Release Policy of the FMO you choose.

Open Release Policy                   

Some FMO’s offer an Open Release Policy, meaning: 

If at any time you want to part ways with the FMO, you simply ask for a release, stop working with the company, and still retain your book of business.

There are some good FMO's out there that will offer a straight up release policy with no strings attached. This type of relationship will allow the most flexibility with your business. 

This relationship allows agents to operate like a business and not get locked into something that may not be in their best interest.

Other FMO’s offer limited release options, which may not allow an agent to be released easily, or won’t allow an agent to retain their book of business. This means that the business the agent generates while working with a company, should they decide to leave, may belong to the FMO and NOT the agent.

Note! It is essential to be clear on this point before selecting an FMO! Some FMO's will have strings attached to a release policy that may not be in favor of the agent. 

Make sure to ask about their release policy and understand it completely before contracting with any FMO.

[ Recommended: How to Make an Upline Change ]

Quoting & Enrollment Tools for Insurance Agents

FMOs generally provide agents and brokers access to a CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) approved quoting tool & Enrollment tools.

This will enable you to quote and enroll clients into Medicare Advantage Insurance Plans (Medicare Part C), Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans (Medigap Policies), and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans.

Ask the FMO if their enrollment tools offers full disclosure and is not filtered or hiding carriers from your view. This is important if you want to get a complete view of the market.

CRM Tools for Insurance Agents

FMOs that want to help you compete more effectively will usually offer customer relationship management (CRM) tools to help agents streamline their business process.

This software will help you keep track of your client from first contact through the enrollment process, and offer a calendar and reminder system to ensure you know what you need to do – daily, weekly, and monthly – to help you build your business.

[ Recommended: CRM for Agents ]

Sell Top Tier Insurance Products

FMOs offer a range of products to help you build the perfect portfolio, ensuring you remain competitive in your market space.

A strong FMO will generally offer agents and brokers with a wide range of product options, including regional and national health plan options from brand name insurance companies with highly ranked plans.

Insurance Product and Marketplace Certification

Help getting your required annual sales certification (or re-certification) from AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) and Product training for your contracted carriers in he senior market.

While certification for specific products will be required no matter which FMO you work with, some will offer reduced rates for required AHIP training.

A good FMO will notify you when new certifications are available each year.

[ Recommended: What is AHIP Certification and How do I Get it? ]

Dedicated Support for Insurance Agents

Support for independent insurance agents is essential, and it goes beyond merely handing out marketing materials or aiding in lead generation. A reputable FMO employs a seasoned team that boasts not only extensive knowledge of the industry and its products but also a genuine comprehension of what it means to operate as an agent in the current market.

It's not uncommon for these professionals to have been in the agents' shoes themselves. The firm should connect you with a marketer who views you as both a business owner and a collaborator, with your prosperity at the forefront of their strategy.

The hallmark of an exceptional FMO is the recognition that their triumph is directly linked to the success of the agents they support.

Room for Your Insurance Business to Grow

Prioritize partnering with an FMO that values your contributions and rewards you accordingly. Look for one that elevates your commission rate in tandem with your growing success.

Diligently expanding your business deserves recognition, and the right FMO will offer advanced contract opportunities that match your rising achievements.

Moreover, they should assist in refining your portfolio strategy to amplify your sales potential. For those specializing in Medicare sales, the ideal FMO will guide you in diversifying into life or Annuity products, enhancing your offerings in the Medicare space.

Conversely, if your expertise lies in Annuity or life insurance, an adept FMO can pave the way for you to venture into the Medicare Insurance or Medicare Advantage plan markets, tapping into a customer base ripe for these products.

For both you and your chosen Insurance FMO, fostering business growth should be a mutual goal, underpinning every strategy and support provided.

Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Insurance FMO:

    • How long has the FMO or IMO been in the insurance business?
    • Are you interested in being an Independent  Agent or a Captive Agent?
    • Will the FMO assign you a specific representative or marketer to deal with? 
    • Will the FMO pick up the phone or respond promptly to email when you ask for assistance?
    • Does the FMO have expedited contracting?
    • Does the FMO offer an open release policy?
    • Does the FMO offer online tools to help you operate more efficiently?
    • Does the FMO provide a variety of product lines (i.e., Medicare, Life Insurance, Supplemental, Dental & Vision, etc.)?
    • Does the FMO help to provide reminders for licensing and appointments?
    • Does the FMO help with commission and production audits?
    • Does the FMO offer any form of lead assistance?
    • Is there room for growth in your contracts and commissions?
    • Will you be vested from day 1 in your business and commission?

    [ Open the list as an <Infographic> ]

Final Thought

If your potential FMO offers most, or all of the above, ask if any of your associates are already doing business with them. The best reviews come from people currently working with an FMO, who can share their experience and quickly help you determine if it’s a proper fit.

It’s also a good idea to speak with a rep from the FMO to get an idea what kind of support you will receive, and to get a feel for the attitude of the employee.

Try to get an idea of the turnover rate at the company. A good FMO will usually have a core of experienced marketers that have been there for years.

Even a superhero needs support from time to time. A good FMO can provide that kind of support. Just make sure you do your homework and ensure they have your best interest in mind. 

We hope you find the right partner that will help you supercharge your business!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the function of an FMO in the insurance industry?

An FMO, short for Field Marketing Organization, provides sales and marketing assistance to independent insurance agents. By collaborating with a variety of insurance carriers, FMOs enable agents to present a portfolio of insurance products to their clientele, and have access to tools and support that FMO's provide.


What is an upline in the insurance industry?

In the insurance industry, an upline refers to individuals or agencies that recruit newer agents into their network. These uplines benefit agents by providing support in their sales process, and in return, benefit financially from a small portion of the sales generated by their recruits, known as downlines. 


How do FMOs get paid?

An insurance carrier asks an FMO to sell their products. The FMO works with licensed agents by giving them support in order to help them sell the products they offer. The FMO then earns an override based on what is sold. The override an FMO gets does not affect the Agents compensation in any way. Insurance companies pay the FMO for marketing their products and dealing directly with agents.


What is the difference between FMOs and IMOs?

There is no difference. The terms are often used interchangeably, a Field Marketing Organization (FMO) or an Insurance Marketing Organization (IMO) refers to a company that specializes in offering insurance products, services, and support to independent agents or agencies.


What happens to my earnings if I switch from my current Medicare FMO to a different one or work directly with an insurance company?

If you move to a different FMO or work directly with an insurance company, you'll still get your renewal commissions for the sales you made with your old FMO. This is because your contracts are usually made directly with the insurance company itself. However, if your commissions were paid by the insurance company through your old FMO, what happens next will depend on the agreement you had with that FMO.


 * For Agent use only. Not affiliated with the US government or federal Medicare program.


PSM Brokerage helps Insurance Agents around the country go from Ordinary to Extraordinary. We take pride in providing our agents with high quality senior insurance products and services that will help grow their business, and bring a sense of security and peace of mind to the nation's senior population.



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