Do Independent Agents Really Need a Field Marketing Organization (FMO)?

Insurance FMO IMO NMO

In a perfect world, agents would work for themselves and sell insurance directly from the carriers.

Wait, why can’t this be a perfect world?

This week, we decided to play devil’s advocate against ourselves to unpack this loaded question.

Why do independent agents want or need an FMO?

FMOs Are a Necessity

Before we get into the specifics, let’s first talk about how New Horizons came to be.

Insurance companies are actually the ones that invented the FMO (Field Marketing Organization) or IMO (Independent Marketing Organization).

Since insurance carriers have eliminated a sales force, they have no employee that has the knowledge of an FMO. Insurance companies are now largely managed by either lawyers or actuaries, and neither know how to sell anything.  

Before long, the marketing aspect of things was gone. When the insurance carriers realized that agents weren’t just going to pick up their products (and sales were down the toilet), they decided they needed help.

New Horizons started out of necessity.

OK, now on to the good stuff.

Same Commission, Better Perks

When you sign on directly with an insurance carrier (and even that’s debatable), you get the same commission that you’d get with us.

The reason it’s debatable is because very rarely will you actually be signing directly with the company. There’s almost always a middle man of some kind.

So, if you’re making the same commission, why not sign on with someone who can offer way more support along with a ton of other perks?

Training and Support

FMOs also have skin in the game. We don’t make money unless agents are selling policies. Because of that mutual interest, you receive training and support that you wouldn’t get from an insurance carrier.

You may have seen our recent launch of short-term recovery care training:

Or perhaps you took advantage of the suite of door knocking training:

Or maybe you even started using the Client Needs Assessment to double your sales:

Why do we do this? If you aren’t confident in a product, you won’t sell it. If you don’t sell it, New Horizons doesn’t exist. Our goal is to help you gain confidence and knowledge about products so that you are empowered to sell them with conviction.

We also have tons of back-office support. Take Kirk Sarff for instance, who helps agents with backbreaking life insurance and annuity cases.

Top Contracts

If we don’t have great contracts, you won’t sign with us! So, good ole’ Jeff Sams — we like to call him the deals man — works tirelessly to get the highest contracts with the best, most relevant carriers.

It’s impossible to have that kind of bargaining power if you’re a one-man shop against a huge, financial powerhouse.

Application Help

When you have a difficult case, you can call us for help. We can help steer you towards carriers that may accept a certain risk that may be otherwise declined by someone else.

Helping with tough to place business is something we try to do daily.

Your Personal Filter

FMOs also function as a filter of sorts. We don’t want to offer carriers or products that we don’t believe are good for the client.

In fact, we were going to announce a new short-term care provider a few weeks ago, but after studying the contract, we decided it was not the best deal for the client.

Because of our dedication to screening carriers and their products, you won’t end up in a verbal catfight when your client feels like he got ripped off.

Quote Engines

Quote engines are another great tool that FMOs provide. If you sign directly with an insurance carrier, they’re not going to provide a comprehensive quote engine that compares their price against all the other carriers out there. Well, unless it’s Progressive, but we’re talking about Medicare Supplement insurance.

Marketing Materials

You can’t forget about the marketing materials that you get access to. Sure, insurance carriers provide flyers and brochures, but it’s only for their products. You would never get access to marketing materials that are not carrier-specific.

In fact, on many of the pieces we’ve created, we’ve even go so far as to customize it for you, including your contact info, photos, and logo — at no extra cost to you.


Finally, insurance carriers aren’t exactly known for being your friends. And, if we’re being honest, not all FMOs care about being friendly, either. However, New Horizons is focused on being relationship-driven.

We care about you and how you’re progressing, and you aren’t going to get that kind of atmosphere just anywhere.

The bottom line? We need our agents, and our agents need us.

Please leave your comments below, and we’ll catch you in the next post. Good selling!

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