New Agent Licensing and IMOs
Are you a new agent or looking to join the insurance industry, and wondering exactly just how and where to get started?
In today’s podcast, Bruce and Rachel will help you know how to set up your business, how to get licensed, and what you need to know about joining an insurance IMO or a life insurance FMO, or better yet why you should not join an IMO.
This episode promises to help you unravel the multiple layers of the insurance industry—especially useful if you’re an agent kick-starting your career or a business owner considering your options in the field. We tackle the complex question of whether to join a general agency, an independent marketing organization (IMO), or a field marketing organization (FMO). Get ready to absorb invaluable insights that will help you make your mark in the insurance landscape. So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey together!
Table of Contents
What Happens After New Agent Licensing?
After you get licensed to sell life insurance, you have to get appointed with a life insurance company to write contracts. You can do this through a general agency, or you can choose a more independent route.
The problem is that most newly licensed agents can’t just call up an insurance company and get appointed. The insurance companies won’t agree, because they don’t want someone with no experience selling the product. After all, they don’t know whether this person can write good business, or how they’ll represent the product to clients. It’s safer for insurance companies to appoint new agents through an agency or an organization that can provide training and support.
What is a General Agency?
[05:50] “A general agency is a person or entity that has already had the experience. They get appointed with an insurance company to sell their products, and then you can get appointed under them. And they, supposedly, are going to help you along in the business.”
Often, this general agent or agency is only appointed with one insurance company, although it’s possible for them to be appointed with several companies.
This can be one of the best ways to get into the industry because the agent already has a direct relationship with the insurance company and with you as well. This means they have a more vested interest in your growth and can be a real mentor to you.
What is an IMO?
IMO stands for independent marketing organization and is one kind of organization that you can get appointed to as a new life insurance agent. These are also called field marketing agencies, or FMOs.
These organizations do a lot of marketing in order to get agents, and you often don’t have a direct relationship with the agent at the top. These organizations are less concerned with how you fit into the company culture and may value quantity over quality. This can be an incredibly frustrating way to start your journey if you don’t yet know the ropes.
On the other hand, you might have a lot more freedom to run your business the way you desire. You may also get some training and marketing solutions that can help you get off your feet.
However, it’s known that marketing companies may keep bonuses from the insurance company, and offer less-than-favorable compensation structures for agents. In other words, it’s possible you might get less money per contract through a marketing agency.
After you figure out how you want to get appointed with a life insurance company, you want to think about setting up your business. You don’t necessarily need to set up a business entity, however you do want to set up a different bank account to collect your revenue. It doesn’t have to be a business bank account, it can be a personal account. You want to keep it separate.
This will help you in the long run, especially in tax season. Then, you can pay yourself an income from this account. Remember to set aside funds for taxes, as well.
You’ll also want to ask for an open release policy in your contract with an agency or organization. Otherwise, you can have trouble leaving the agency if they’re not a good fit for you. If there’s no open release, you could be stuck in a company that doesn’t work for you, or you might have to leave and go through a six-month waiting period before you can get reappointed with an insurance company.
- What Are the Benefits of Working with an FMO?
- Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
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