You may be in a situation where you no longer wish to remain with your current FMO or upline agency. This could be for a variety of reasons. If you are looking to relocate to a new FMO or agency, it’s important to be aware that cutting ties is not as simple as merely walking away. To make this change, you must request a release before you can move on to your next endeavor. Ready to initiate the process with your FMO or agency? Here’s what you need to do:
Understand Your Current Contracts
Before requesting a release, it’s essential to understand what you’ve agreed to in your current contracts. Whether with an FMO, upline agency, or carrier, terms will be laid out in your agreement regarding what you need to do to secure a release. Understanding your contracts helps you know what is expected of you and what your carrier, upline agency, or FMO has agreed to cover.
With carriers, you will find that there is an immediate release request as well as a delayed release option. If you request an immediate release but don’t hear back, it may be in your best interest to fill out a delayed release form. If your current FMO responds after initiating a delayed release, you can submit the release letter, which will supersede the requested delayed transfer.
There are certain times during the year when releases are unavailable to be requested. This is typical during AEP since releases can sometimes be a major interruption to your daily responsibilities. During these blackout periods, carriers often want to focus their resources on helping agents with sales and support rather than onboarding and offboarding agents. Many carriers will allow a hierarchy change once every 12 months. If you have questions about a specific carrier, don’t hesitate to contact our Plan Advisors team at email@example.com.
Consider the Implications
Whatever your reasons for leaving your current carrier, make sure you’re aware of the aftermath for your business. Whether you’re leaving a carrier or your FMO, you may be receiving resources and support that you don’t fully recognize until it’s gone. So be sure you have everything you need to succeed once you’ve moved on to your next venture.
If you have other agents you’re partnered with, it’s also important to consider your downline. For example, is the release you’re requesting just for yourself or your entire downline? Make sure you have these types of questions answered before submitting a release.
Submit a Request
When filling out your request for release, check to see if your FMO has a form template that you can use. Many carriers have a carrier-specific release form they require (some won’t accept a release on an FMO letter). If not, you can write your own request and submit it to the proper contact(s). Simply make sure your request is direct and to the point.
Rejection is a Possibility
Be aware that depending on the situation, your request may be denied. This is often due to financial reasons. For instance, if an FMO invests thousands of dollars into an agency to help them market themselves, but ultimately that agency never sells any plans, they may not release that agent. There are options for FMOs to make agreements with other FMOs to recoup costs incurred by an agent, but that is less common.
If you need a release from your current carrier, FMO, or upline agency, contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to walk you through the process and ensure you have everything you need to get approved!