If you’re wondering what exactly an fmo is and why you should join one, you’ve come to the right place! we’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for to help you determine if you should join an fmo and how you can benefit from doing so.
listen to this article
Reading: What is an insurance fmo
what is an insurance fmo?
A field marketing organization (FMO) is a business that supports independent insurance agents in their sales and customer retention efforts. fmos provides an additional level of agent support through excellent customer service and state-of-the-art resources and tools.
how does joining an fmo help me as an insurance agent?
extensive medicare support services at no cost
wondering how to join an fmo? the first is the first! Some FMOs don’t charge a fee for their services, and Ritter Insurance Marketing is one of them! There is no charge or obligation to associate with us. Simply sign up for ritter (which is also free)! By doing so, you’ll have access to all of our exclusive tools and resources that will enhance your engagement with your customers. learn more below to see if ritter is the best fmo option for you.
more than medicare
Of course, we can’t speak for all medicare fmos, but here at ritter, we’re about more than medicare. Beyond offering a wide range of health and life products, we have knowledgeable and energetic support staff ready to help you through every step of the sales process.
ritter partners with many preferred health and life insurance companies, so the plans your customers want are likely to be affordable. our account specialists know your target market and will tell you about the best carriers to partner with or new and competitive products you could benefit from selling. In addition, our operator representatives can help you with topics such as training, certifications, and completing registrations. support with ordering sales and marketing supplies and assistance with commission inquiries are also benefits available to you!
online hiring assistance
another advantage of partnering with an fmo is hiring assistance! Completing the contract for any carrier can be confusing. you have to find the paperwork, fill it out correctly, and know where to send it. Fortunately, most fmos offer hiring assistance to help take the stress and confusion out of this process.
At ritter, we use pre-filled contracts and links are sent directly to your email. our licensing representatives will work with you to make sure your paperwork is complete the first time you submit it. then, they put it in the right hands at the carrier, so processing is as quick as possible.
opportunities to generate medicare leads
cooperative or leadership opportunities are incentives that some fmos may offer to agents. ritter, specifically, offers both! You can learn more about our marketing and incentive programs here. we want to help you be a big seller and expand your book business.
with ritter co-op, we split costs up to 50 percent with qualified agents! this benefit allows you to stay on budget while posting great marketing materials to generate leads.
access to exclusive technology
many fmos produce technology that agents can benefit from by spending less time preparing and organizing and more time making connections with customers.
See also: Do I Need GAP Insurance in CA? | Cost-U-Less Insurance
ritter has a number of tools for agents to use to help them reach their sales goals with ease, such as the medicare quoting engine. This system allows you to quote multiple plans from multiple carriers simultaneously for faster rate generation. its user-friendly platform was developed with three initiatives in mind: efficiency, speed and intelligence! And since the data in the quote engine is updated monthly, you can be sure that the information you provide to your clients is accurate!
medicareful is another premium tool exclusive to ritter! This CMS-approved consumer-facing quoting engine enables agents to collect electronic appointment scopes and enroll clients directly online. There is no financial commitment to creating a site, just the benefit of marketing with your own personal URL for easy lead generation. Creating your own Medicare site is quick and easy and will greatly benefit your sales process!
We also launched our ritter platform, which was developed exclusively for ritter-registered agents. Revamped with our agents in mind, the platform gives agents easier-to-use features and easy access to tools that improve the way they do business. our comprehensive agent panel does it all, providing information about your customers, contracts, enrollments, downlines, and commissions, just to name a few! If it’s important to your insurance business, you can track it on the Ritter platform. You can also try the Drug Cost Estimator tool, which allows you to easily enter and save prescription drug lists for each customer and run a quote directly from the data collected in your shared customer record. use our task tool to conveniently cross off to-dos and keep your day running smoothly.
Behind our website and tools, Ritter Insurance Marketing is backed by a friendly, knowledgeable staff whose primary mission is to help you succeed. we constantly develop programs and resources to be the best insurance fmo in the industry. ritter has over 200 team members spread across the country. We are headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, and have branch offices in Nampa, ID; by the bay, new york; omaha, ne; and Scottsdale, Az. our team is committed to helping independent insurance agents succeed, during the aep and throughout the year.
stay up to date with the latest insurance news
several fmos have blogs and podcasts to convey important information within the market. These topics can include compliance updates, new products, helpful tips throughout the year for selling insurance, and much more. In addition, FMOS will often notify you of market changes, such as the availability of a new carrier in your state, lower product rates, or expansion of a network or service area.
at ritter, we have the agent survival guide blog, which is updated frequently with informative articles on a variety of insurance topics geared towards the goal of agent success. We also offer the Agent Survival Guide podcast, which you can listen to on the go! We know his time is precious, so we offer versatile ways to keep up with the latest news.
Another way we distribute information to agents is through webinars. Our CEO, Craig Ritter, annually presents his State of the Market for Seniors, including news on Medicare regulation, enrollment statistics, and trends within the industry.
what does a medicare fmo do?
Traditional fmos recruit agents to hire a new carrier, and the relationship ends there. On the contrary, the major medicare fmo insurance companies realize that the association is much more than contracts.
fmos that view their agent relationships as true partnerships are driven to provide tools and services to help them with all aspects of their business, including contracts, marketing dollars, commissions, education, technology, and administrative support.
many fmos spend the majority of their resources recruiting new agents, but few focus on helping their existing agents grow their businesses and reward their partnership.
Fmos that believe in partnering with their agents are more likely to devote most of their resources to supporting existing agents and less to recruiting new ones. why? because fmos doesn’t make money if agents don’t! When choosing a Medicare fmo, agents should look for one that spends 75 percent of its resources providing its agents with sales tools and services and 25 percent recruiting new agents.
frequently asked questions about medicare fmos
To give you a better understanding of what fmos does for your agents, here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions agents have about working with fmos.
p: how would a fmo describe the relationship between her and her agents?
a: is an association. An FMO’s existence depends on its agents, so you need to provide more than a contract to an agent for it to be a true partnership. an fmo doesn’t succeed unless the agent succeeds, so the agent is really the top priority.
Q: If I use an fmo, will my commissions be reduced?
a: no, fmos uses a hierarchy system that allows them to offer the same level of commission to general agents that they would receive directly from the carrier. The commissions you would get with an FMO are the same as you get without one. but with an fmo, you also get a full support staff and various other benefits.
p: did I hear advantages?
See also: Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage | III
r: yes! fmos offers additional value that you might not get from a carrier. For example, Ritter Insurance Marketing) offers online recruiting, Medicareful.com, the Agent Survival Guide, one-on-one support, supplies, and cooperative marketing dollars. We also offer the exclusive Ritter platform, as mentioned above, to help you keep track of your customer data. You can even use Ritter Docs to view our Operator Pages, Certification Center and more! you must log in to ritterim.com to view ritter documents and use the ritter platform.
Q: Do I have to assign my commissions to a fmo if I go through them?
a: In most cases, you would contract directly with the carrier and be paid through them. there are some situations where an fmo would want you to assign your commissions to them (for example, if they provided you with an office, contacts, or appointments).
Q: What happens to my commissions if I choose to leave my current medicare fmo and go through another medicare fmo or directly through a provider?
a: Since most contracts are between you and the carrier, you will continue to receive renewal fees from the company you issued through the old fmo. if you were contracted with a carrier that pays its commissions through the fmo, the contract between you and the fmo would end and your renewal commissions would be paid to you.
p: how does an fmo make money?
a: FMOs are compensated by the carrier above the general agent level to perform a variety of functions in the service of that carrier, including recruiting, training, paying commissions, processing and submitting applications, etc.
How are insurance marketing organizations different?
When it comes to the insurance industry, there are a lot of acronyms! there’s fmo, imo, nmo, mga, and ga, just to name a few.
fmo stands for field marketing organization, which is very similar to an independent marketing organization (imo). fmos provides independent agents with benefits and resources and helps them win contracts with carriers to sell plans. Ritter Insurance Marketing is considered an FMO. IMOs also offer this, but FMOS generally focuses more on the health insurance industry, while IMOs may focus on life insurance. However, this is not always the case. Additionally, FMOS tends to be larger than IMOs and pays more in commissions. nmo stands for national marketing offices, which is a generic term for both fmos and imos.
you can refer to our post, fmo vs. imo vs. nmo vs. mga vs. ga: what’s the difference?, for more complete information on the similarities and differences of each.
do you want to join a fmo? read this first!
fmos can offer agents paramount support and helpful benefits to help them stand out in the insurance industry. consider the following when trying to decide which fmo is right for you and to see if ritter is a good fit.
contracts and releases
When it comes to operators, you need options. ritter works with carriers across the country to give your portfolio a wide variety of plans. Also note that before joining an FMO, you must obtain a written statement from your uplines or refrain from doing business for six months. most agents choose the former, as the latter is not always realistic for full-time agents. ritter has an open posting policy for agents. To learn how it works, check out our post Ready to Join an FMO? 10 things to consider.
meet the requirements of the centers of medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a crucial part of being an insurance agent. Make sure your FMO places a strong emphasis on helping you stay compliant during the AEP and throughout the year. ritter offers supreme advice and support when it comes to compliance. We’ve even created Medicareful, a free CMS-approved website where agents can source leads and help their clients find a plan that’s right for them. You can even enroll your clients in a plan directly with Medicare.
affinity companies and cooperatives
fmos can help you promote yourself through affinity associations. Affinity partnerships with places like pharmacies or hospitals can go a long way in helping agents generate leads. Co-ops are also a great way to get leads! ritter offers both national and local co-ops as we are the top of the hierarchy for most major prescription drug plan and medicare advantage companies.
● ● ●
There are independent agents who “do it themselves,” but having an extra level of support can make all the difference. By partnering with an FMO, an entire organization is by your side eager to help you through your sales process while you’re in the field. you will be able to put all your focus on your clients and help them choose the right plans to achieve the best possible outcome. sign up for ritter to get started today!
Editor’s Note: Some of the content in this article was derived from earlier pieces of the Agent Survival Guide, which have been written by various authors.
See also: What Does Reddit Say Is the Cheapest Way to Get Car Insurance?