Whether you’re thinking about specializing in annuities or adding them to your list of available options, you can look forward to a rewarding career that involves helping others obtain financial security for their retirement years. But before you get started, remember that the independent marketing organization (IMO) you choose can make or break you. When searching for the right annuity IMO, here are three important things to consider.
Or, if you’re eager to get started, contact our team at Good Life Insurance Associates to learn more about our products and services!
1. IMO vs FMO: Which One Is Better for Annuities?
First, it’s important to understand what an IMO is and how it differs from other support organizations when it comes to selling annuities.
An FMO is a field marketing organization; they serve as groups that hold licenses to re-sell insurance products in most states across the country. These top-level licenses allow them to enable independent agents to sell the products they have a license for. FMOs typically have contracts directly with the carriers themselves and offer independent agents great commissions and tools because of this.
An IMO stands for independent marketing organization. They are very similar to an FMO in that they have the same contracts with insurance carriers. Additionally, they also provide support in areas such as marketing, lead generation, quote generation, and more.
Some believe that FMOs focus more on products in the health insurance sector more than anything else, while IMOs are centered around life insurance. That’s not necessarily the case, though. Essentially, there isn’t much of a difference between an FMO and an IMO in terms of the services they provide to independent annuity agents.
2. Consider what Products the Company Carries
The next thing to consider is what type of annuities an IMO carries and whether those are a good fit for the products you want to offer your customers.
There are four main types of annuities–immediate, deferred, fixed, and variable.
- An immediate annuity is designed to provide beneficiaries with an immediate lifetime payout that’s guaranteed. This plan is often selected by people who want to secure lifetime income, and they sacrifice the ability to draw down that money in a lump sum to pay for an emergency.
- A deferred annuity provides either monthly payments or a guaranteed income. The monthly, or lump sum, premium payments are invested by the insurer in either an index, variable or fixed growth fund, which can grow the principal of the plan over time. People don’t pay taxes on this money until they withdraw it, much like traditional 401(k)s and IRAs.
- A fixed annuity provides the covered with a fixed interest rate that’s guaranteed on their investment. A guarantee period will be set at the beginning of the plan. When the contract ends, it can either be renewed, transferred into another retirement account, or annuitized.
- A variable annuity allows money to be invested into other accounts, much like you can do with a 401(k). In addition, it provides a lifetime income that’s guaranteed. This type of annuity provides the greatest potential for long-term growth but comes with some risks.
3. Good vs Shady IMOs: What to Look For
Before you partner with an IMO, it’s important to select a reputable one that has your best interests in mind–and that of your clients, too. After all, how you present yourself to your clients goes a long way in determining how successful your business is. The quality of the IMO you select can make or break your reputation.
So, how do you tell whether an IMO is reputable or not? First, see how long they’ve been in business. If they are new, it may not be worth the chance, even if they are promising you the world.
Next, see if they have any current clients they can refer you to so you can get a handle on what someone else thinks about them. This can be a great way to get an honest review of the IMO.
Another great tip is to check which insurance carriers they offer products for. If they list some of the main insurance carriers, then it’s more likely that they are a legitimate IMO and not a scam.
Finally, get a sense of how well they treat you during the get-to-know-you phase. You should get the sincere feeling that the people who work for the IMO care about you and your business as an independent agent.
Remember that they are there to work for you, and not the other way around. You should feel comfortable with the services they are providing you in addition to how they are treating you.
Trust the Professionals at GLIA to Be Your Annuity IMO Partner
When you’re choosing an annuity IMO, there are many different things to consider. By following the three tips above, you’ll be well on your way to discovering which IMO would be the best fit for your needs as an independent insurance agent.
At GLIA, we offer Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuity (MYGA), Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA), Deferred Income Annuity (DIA), Hybrid Annuity w/ LTC, and more. We have been supporting independent insurance agents just like you for years now, and our team of dedicated professionals and the success and growth of our agents is top-of-mind at all times.
To learn more about our products and services, contact us today! We can’t wait to help you with this exciting new chapter in your career.