What are the responsibilities of FMO’s and GA’s?
There are many similarities in the roles, functions, and responsibilities of FMO’s and GA’s. Here, we’ll discuss the main points to make it more clear for your understanding.
What is an FMO?
FMO, or Field Marketing Organization, is an organization that is licensed to market, sell, and distribute insurance products directly from carriers. These insurance products include policies for health, life, annuities, and more. FMO’s are the External Distribution Channel (EDC) for the insurance carriers. Insurance carriers count on FMO’s to provide training and support to agents as opposed to working with agents directly. They are the back-office support to agents in the insurance industry, as it is uncommon that an independent agent will obtain direct contract(s) with a carrier.
The main responsibilities of FMO’s are to provide top-level contracts, training, and support to agents and agencies. This training includes; selling techniques, certifications, industry insight, and up-to-date promotions and new product availability. The support FMO’s give to agents varies from organization to organization. While most FMO’s provide tools such as quote engines, printable marketing materials, enrollment applications, and lead generation, some FMO’s provide additional services like website SEO, digital, and social media marketing. Although agents are ultimately held solely accountable for their own words/actions/marketing materials, FMO’s are also responsible for assisting their agents with staying up-to-date with CMS compliancies.
What is a GA?
GA, or General Agent, are insurance agents that may have their own independent agencies, but are sometimes contracted under FMO’s. GA’s are allowed to have their own set of down-line agents, which they provide their own set of training and support to. However, this training and support is less than what an FMO can provide due to the greater number of resources that these larger organizations have.
What are the responsibilities of GA’s?
The main responsibility of the GA is to sell one or more insurance products to the insurance brokers. The insurance brokers then sell the products and policies directly to the consumer. GA’s are usually licensed to sell different types of insurance products, as opposed to just life, health, or annuities; across a range of different insurance carriers. Additional responsibilities for GA’s include supportive services to their brokers. These supportive services include assisting with product knowledge, answering customer/agent questions, filling out applications, and quotes.
How do the responsibilities of FMO’s and GA’s differ?
Although some of the roles and responsibilities of FMO’s have some overlap with that of GA’s, the main difference is how the end product (policy) reaches the consumer. Both GA’s and FMO’s obtain contracts directly from carriers and can sell those products. However, the GA sells the products directly to their Independent Agent or Broker who then sells the policy to the consumer. FMO’s do not usually sell products to other entities, as they are simply hosting the contract for their downline of agents to sell directly to the consumer. FMO’s act more as a marketplace for agents, (GA, or Independent) whereas GA’s act more as insurance wholesalers.