You may be in a situation where you no longer wish to remain with your current FMO or upline agency. 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 partner. Are you ready to initiate the transfer 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 review 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 do.

This includes knowing what type of contracts you have. For example, one type of contract is called a Licensed-Only Agent (LOA) Contract, where all your commissions are paid to your next-direct upline. Another type of contract is called a Street Agent Contract where you receive your commissions directly from the carrier. Knowing the type of contract will help your future upline take the correct steps to process the transfer. If you are unsure what type of contract you have, call each carrier’s broker support line to get the information you need.

Timing Matters

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 from your upline but don’t hear back or get turned down, it may be in your best interest to fill out a delayed release form. This step starts a countdown clock in the background to be able to move without securing a immediate release from your upline. This can take anywhere from three to six months. 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 (i.e. blackout periods) when releases are unavailable to be requested. This typically occurs during AEP since releases can cause major interruptions for the carriers. During these blackout periods, carriers often want to focus their resources on helping agents with sales and support rather than onboarding and offboarding agents. Some carriers will only allow a hierarchy change once every 12 months. If you have questions about a specific carrier, don’t hesitate to contact our Agent Services Team at

Consider the Implications

Whatever your reasons for leaving your current upline, 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. We offer our agents a variously of resources, including monthly agent trainings, FREE CE-credits, on-site supply pick-up, Medicare Resource Guide, E&O and marketing reimbursement programs, and much more!

Remember the LOA contract mentioned earlier? Here is another reason why you should know what type of contract you have. LOA agents don’t own their business, the next-direct upline does; therefore, if you leave your current upline, that business and renewal commissions stay with them. At Hovis & Associates, new agents are contracted at Street level, which means your business is YOUR business.

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 and won’t accept a release from a FMO letter. If not, you can write your own request and submit it to the proper contact. We suggest keeping the request direct and to the point.

Rejection is a Possibility

Be aware that depending on the situation, your request for a release may be denied or ignored. This is why having our Agent Services Team to work with can help make this transition as smooth and seamless as possible for you!

If you need a release from your current carrier, FMO, or upline agency, contact us with any questions at or 888-613-6196. We are here to walk you through the process and ensure you have everything you need to get transferred to Hovis & Associates.

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