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Release Rules

How To Get A Release

What Are Your Rights?
How Long Will It Take?
Why Isn’t It Easier To Move?

Getting contracted is easy, but moving contracts can be hard. ?

Click here for a summary of release rules for Medicare carriers

Every company handles it differently. The industry standard to move your contract is go 6 months without selling a policy for that company. If you have a downline, this means that neither you nor any of your agents can write any business for 6 months. One submitted case and the whole upline is unable to move.

Gordon Marketing will not pursue a release for you.

We start working when you come to us able to contract. If you need a release, that is up to you to request. It usually takes a call or email to your upline. Some FMOs have a strict No Release Policy and others are easy to work with. Your marketer can help advise you. 

In general, if your FMO has recently invested in you, it is bad form to request a release until he has either been refunded the investment or you have sold some business. For example, if he has recently purchased leads, put you in a Walmart store, paid for your E&O or helped you with signage, advertising or seminars, he is unlikely to give you a release. He might, but it would be unusual.

Many FMOs will release upon request if the agent is direct to the FMO. However, if you are under a GA, MGA, or SGA, then we can safely say that every FMO in the nation will defer to your upline. If your SGA refuses to release you, it would be almost impossible to find an FMO who would overrule your upline. That is professional suicide. FMOs must respect hierarchies and in that regard our hands are tied in granting releases.

One carrier allows the SGA or MGA to release their downline agent without the consent of the FMO. 

If you are moving FMOs just to get a higher contract: Beware of the Bait and Switch. Most carriers have production requirements to move your contract us. Some unscrupulous marketers may promise you a higher contract, but it will eventually get lowered by the carrier for not meeting those production requirements. You are then with that FMO at the same level you would have been at your honest FMO…and often the new FMO won’t release you. This happens a lot, and you can avoid being seduced by the promise of a higher contract by calling the carrier and asking what the production levels are to get and keep those contracts.

We pride ourselves on being transparent about commissions. 

The ultimate betrayal in insurance is finding out that you are a solicitor without a vested contract when you thought your contract was vested. If you are being paid by your upline, and not the carrier, you are almost (but not always) on a solicitor contract. This means you don’t own your book of business. Unless you have a separate employment contract with your agency to pay you renewals, when you are released from this contract, you leave without any renewals! 

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Anthem, UHC, Humana and Aetna Medicare Supplement allow agents to email an Intent To Move to start the clock running on the 6 months window. This allows agents to continue to write with their current upline while the 6 months period is satisfied. A release will always allow you to move immediately (except for blackout periods).

A few carriers allow dual appointments. This mean you never have to ask for a release to move. Just sign a new contract and get a new agent number.

A few MAPD carriers have set black out dates (usually 10/1-12/31 during AEP. This prevents agents from moving contracts even if they have a release.

Agents often hire an attorney to try to get a release. This is a waste of money. Once you sign a contract, you are bound by those terms. Every insurance contract is different and most agents never read their contracts. If your relationship with your upline sours, look to your contract first.