IMO Vs FMO Vs MGA Vs GA

Discussion in 'Getting Started Selling Insurance' started by lleaoclark, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. lleaoclark
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    lleaoclark Expert

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    Okay, now that I have posted a few times and so far everyone has been nice I have gotten up the courage to ask maybe a really stupid question. What are the differences between an IMO, FMO, MGA & GA?

    IMO=Insurance Marketing Organization
    FMO=Field Marketing Organization
    MGA=Managing General Agent
    GA=General Agent

    ...and then I suppose there are just agents. So I know what they stand for and that sometimes GAs work for MGAs and MGAs work for FMOs or IMOs who contract with Insurance carriers. But it also seems like sometimes agents just contract directly with the carriers themselves.

    Do agents sometimes work with more than one IMO or GA or whatever for different lines or companies?

    They didn't teach this stuff in the insurance school and it wasn't on the state exam and even after 6 (I think) "interviews" I'm still not clear.

    Thank you!

    Larissa Leao Clark
    :yes:
     
  2. Mark
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    Producer is the ga

    If you have sub agents or recruit agents under you, that makes you a MGA

    MGA1 has 2 to 5 agents
    MGA 2 has 5 to 50 agents
    MGA 3 has 50 to 100 agents..


    IMO has 100 +
    IMO1 has 1000+

    The more you producer or more agents that you have the higher the %.

    You are not captive so you can be with any many different IMO's as you want. BUT... after you sign up with an IMO with a Company, you have to wait either 6 months or get a release letter to go with another IMO with that 1 company.

    Companies dont want you to be direct because they want someone to co sign for your advances.....and it is like the ARMY... The INS company likes to have generals... A food chain so to speak...
     
  3. COInsguy
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    Larissa,

    Agents Can Contract directly with carriers. However most do not do so because to retain commission levels you have production requirements. To have multiple carriers you end up not being able to meet these requirements.

    MGA & FMO don't have much of a difference in my opinion except for how many hands are in the commission cookie jar. GA's are supposed to be your 1 on 1 basically sales manager that works with you and is there to answer all your questions. FMO's & IMO's usually just provide the carrier contracts with no production requirements and some basic training and MGA's usually have some lead programs and other tools available to agents.

    You can contract with multiple GA's etc. as long as you don't sign a contract that makes you "Captive" to one agency. I have contracts with a few IMO's/FMO's for various products that my team uses. However, you don't want to get too spread out and have it become a nightmare to keep track of.

    It's good that you understand those differences, my advice to you Larissa would be to be most concerned with being able to get the support & assistance that is right for how you work & learn. You also want to be able to grow and move up in commission levels and make sure you get everything in writing!

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. YouGotMyMoney
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    LOL...next time qualify that it applies to life insurance.

    With health insurance, it goes agent-ga-mga basically..

    Now it goes at least with UHC.....agent-FMO (MGA)
     
  5. Mark
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    Disclaimer: You Dont Get Ce Credits For This...
     
  6. lleaoclark
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    lleaoclark Expert

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    Okay! Thanks guys. I thought it would be pretty simple to understand. I just never had anyone explain it.

    All this is great. I agree that support and training are probably the most important thing right now. I don't really need money to live. I want to start and learn the right way to set my self up for long term success. That would be easier if I had someone nearby to be able to go to the office and get training in person, but I don't know if that situation will be easy to find with everything else I am now wanting thanks to my "education" here on the forum.

    Lari
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    PS-Mark, I have been to your website a couple of times already and you have so much helpful information that I bookmarked it for future reference. I will probably be calling you in the next few days with questions.

    I live in Arizona & want to work with old people (I love them!). So I guess I'm looking at Medicare type products or Final Expense. I've gotten good feedback on both from different people and some negative feedback on FE as well. I want to at least start selling face to face because I'm afraid my accent will be a problem over the phone (I'm Brazilian). I have maybe 1000-2000 to get started for leads, marketing, etc. but I am worried about spending that all on expensive leads before I am really trained right and have experience. Training is really important to me and I think I will need more than most new agents. Even though I'm a quick learner, all these concepts about insurance are not the same in Brazil, so something that the average American has understood their whole life might not make sense to me. I don't mind someone recruiting me if it ends up that I win and they win in the end.

    oops! don't know how that happened with the double post thing.

    Oh yeah! I forgot to add that maybe long-term I would want to become a MGA, but NOT before I know what I am doing and could actually train someone personally. That is probably AT LEAST a year or two down the road.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  7. GreenSky
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    If you are looking at the life insurance side of this industry, you should go to www.iliaa.org. Nick has a ton of videos on various subjects including how to get started in insurance.

    A few webinars are free and it's only $1 for the first month of membership.

    Rick
     
  8. lleaoclark
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    Yes, thank you. I have been there and will probably be joining.

    :yes:
     
  9. Crabcake Johnny
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    In general, you want to get contracted with a MGA or IMO/FMO and avoid going under a GA. A GA is a middle man and the issue comes in when you deserve more than street level.
     
  10. Mark
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    Thank you. I'm always adding free stuff to www.rosenthalfiles.com
     

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