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Insurance agents are fast to sign contracts and slow to read them. Every carrier defines their release rules and agents agree to abide by those rules. Agents who are unhappy in a relationship often think they can hire an attorney to get them out of their contract. Save your money, because no attorney can help.

The key to moving your contract varies greatly by company.

We’ve put together a chart to help you see the differences in Senior carriers.

Black out periods, dual contracts and period of inactivity all vary. Most carriers require agents to stop writing for 6 months, although this period changes too. Allianz famously had an 18 month period at one time and Anthem didn’t allow agents to move without a release. Both of these companies have changed their rules, so keep in mind that this is never static.

“I have a release from my FMO but the carrier isn’t accepting it, why not?” Some carriers require ALL the upline to sign off, which means that the MGA must agree to a release too. The FMO cannot release alone.

Alternatively, Aetna Medicare Supplement is alone in allowing the downline to release their own downline agents, regardless of the upline. For example, the GA can release all the agents under him, even if the top of the hierarchy (FMO) won’t agree to the release and won’t release him.

Some creative agents have forged releases, been caught, and terminated. If you can’t get a release #1 don’t waste money on a lawyer, #2 don’t forge one and #3 attempt to bargain with the party. When the FMO, SGA or MGA is unwilling to grant a release, it is often because they have recently invested in leads for the agent, put the agent in a retail kiosk, or invested marketing money. I suggest that agents pay back what was invested to secure their release.

An agent who isn’t happy, is not good for the company or the upline and the flip side is true too: agents that are always moving (and there are agents like that) their contract are a waste of time and money for the company and their uplines.

Speaking as a FMO/NMO/NMA, Gordon Marketing and every one of our sister FMO/NMO/NMA honors the wishes of the hierarchy. If an agent under a SGA requests a release from a carrier that requires a written release or 6 months of inactivity (which most carriers do), we first call the SGA. If the SGA declines to release the agent, the FMo will not overrule the SGA.

Yes, technically, the FMO could, but that would be career suicide.

See our release list here and be sure to ask your marketer for the most up to date information as they do change frequently.

Many organizations will release to each other, while other FMOs simple never release.

For those of us who honor “Reciprocal Releases” it is imperative that the agent requesting a release inform the current FMO to whom they wish to move their contract to see if a reciprocal agreement is in place. These agreements are still contingent upon the upline’s agreement. For example, if X and Y always release agents between them but Mary is under a SGA that has spent $3,000 on a new sign for her office. The SGA will refuse to release the agent and the releases between the FMOs can’t come into force.

It is complicated when many levels are involved. Work with your marketer to try to sort out the relationships involved and help you migrate your contract to the team of your choice.

If you have specific questions about a release, please email me sgordon@gordonmarketing.com