Field Marketing Organization (FMO), National Marketing Organization (NMO), General Agency (GA), and an Independent or Insurance Marketing Organization (IMO) are typically interchangeable terms. Some carriers may utilize the term Managing General Agency (MGA) for their highest contract level. The term simply defines that the organization receives the highest level of commission possible from a carrier.
These are organizations typically working with a very large number of agents and agencies. They have been built by recruiting agents to sell a particular carrier’s products. Carriers utilize these agencies to propel agent outreach and lessen the cost of agent administration. A General Agency will have requirements mandated by carriers as to how their organization can distribute these contracts and compliance measures that must be met.
A General Agency allows an agent to make the same or higher amounts of commission, than what will be offered with a contract directly to the carrier. This is possible due to a commission “override” paid directly from the carrier to the GA. This “override” differs by carrier, and some do not pay an override at all. This payment is entirely separate from the agent’s commission payout, however, it is derived from a percentage of monthly premium per each policy. General Agencies are only paid when agents have active policies, which incentivizes these organizations to assist along the way when an agent incurs issues with the carrier or effectuating a policy.
As long as a GA is doing their job of keeping an agent happy and informed about commissions, contracting, and compliance then it is an all-around success for the agent, carrier, and General Agency. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions regarding this topic.