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A Deep Dive into that Privacy Policy You’ve Never Read!

Search and Save > Search And Save News  > A Deep Dive into that Privacy Policy You’ve Never Read!

A Deep Dive into that Privacy Policy You’ve Never Read!

A deep dive into the privacy policy you never read that’s harvesting & sharing your client data

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn on April 5th 2023 and is written by Scott Nichols


Good day, My topic today may sound boring, but it is not. It affects about every agent here today in a big way. By our own hectic lives and ignorance, many of us field agents have been taken advantage of in my opinion.

Today, I’m going to explain how many of you are feeding the beast that is consuming your client data. A beast that is then competing directly against you and undermining your business via the “Privacy Policy” you agreed to but never read.


Where is this you ask?


It is in the “free” quoting software and CRM being offered to you by the vast conglomerates taking over our industry. A recent history of our industry shows that in 2019 the major insurance carriers signed National Distribution Partnership agreements with a couple of vast conglomerates interested in buying up our industry.


These vast conglomerates received billions of dollars from venture capital companies and started to buy up FMO’s and more across the USA. It is speculated that most of these buyouts are 1- 3 yr deals, so the fallout to the field agent’s future is uncertain at best in these arrangements.


These conglomerates also have invested in mass media (TV, Radio, Online), Call centers (with the purchase of the largest call center in the USA in Miami, Fl.)


They have launched multiple websites and opened captive agency’s in our neighborhoods.

All of this being direct to consumer marketing in complete competition with the independent field agents they acquired through the FMO buyouts that have taken place.


The markets that have been affected by these actions are under 65 medical, group, Medicare, Life, Annuity, investments, LTC, and other financial products.


Here is a snapshot of what the two largest conglomerates have consumed as per their websites.

·       193 Insurance brokerages and FMO’s

·       24 Wealth and Retirement advisor outlets

·       National data vendors

·       Six direct to consumer call centers

·       Advertising companies

·       Lead companies

·       Consumer Data Companies 

In 2019 , (4 years ago) the largest of these conglomerates boasted 500,000 agents & advisors under its hierarchy. The second largest, had 350,000 reported in 2020.

So 3-4 years ago there were 850,000 agents and advisors under one of these two vast conglomerates

Can you imagine what the number is today? Here is a reality check.

These conglomerates offer you “free” quoting and CRM systems. Either directly through them or via their owned FMO sub-entities. When you use them and enter client data for a quote or enrollment your data is subject to their Privacy Policy use and you agree to it.

This privacy policy is rarely ever read. Today, I will show you what you may have agreed to.

For our example today, let’s look at the privacy policy from the largest of the conglomerates out there. This privacy policy currently affects more than 500,000 agents and advisors.


Personal information we collect:


They collect name, email, postal address, SS#, age, race, marital status, sex / gender (except CA), products / services purchased, interactions with conglomerate owned websites, applications, advertisements

Sources of the information:

Direct , AFFILIATES and SUBSIDIARIES (your FMO) AGENTS (you!) Lead Vendors, and more


Use of personal information:
Provide products and services + marketing, and promotion of products & services offered to the consumer
Sharing of personal information:

“The company may share the personal information of consumers with agents, carriers, service providers”


FMO’s (consumed and not yet consumed) have “private” or “white labeled” quoting and enrollment systems that they offer to you at no cost. 

Here is the privacy policy from the largest of these private label developers that you agree to when using their platform.


What they collect, how you need to check the privacy policy periodically as it will be updated without notice and who they can share your client data with.

It’s not just the big conglomerate systems privacy policy. The FMO private labels need to read carefully too
Who they can sell or transfer the data to:

They say they don’t sell data, but then say they can?


Some agents say, “I don’t use those systems. I use” 

Our Search & Save Medicare system & CRM has gone through many reviews by CMS. 

We have learned much from these interactions with the CMS IT, Marketing, Compliance, and Surveillance departments. 

Here are some important takeaway facts you need to remember. 

·       Medicare only shows what the carrier’s FILE

·       The plan finder IS NOT connected to the carrier servers

·       Medicare can only update information on their site once a carrier FILES updated information with them

·       It is NOT instant. Accuracy anyone?

What can you do?

·       We are NOT independent

·       Most of us are OWNED by one of these vast conglomerates via our FMO connections who sold out to them

·       Our CLIENT DATA is more valuable then our commissions to these entities

·       We MUST protect our CLIENT DATA from them and their use of it

What did we do to combat this?

·       Created an agent built and serviced Medicare system & CRM (Search & Save)to protect data!

·       Connected to the carrier servers for accuracy

·       Connected to the carrier servers for Provider & facility search

·       HIPAA, Soc2, PCI compliant

·       Printouts approved by CMS

·       2700+ agent users and GROWING

·       Mission statement: “provide accuracy, BOB privacy, and security to insurance agents using it.”

·       Our Privacy Policy first line reads: “We will never mine, sell, or share your client data with ANYONE EVER!”

Action steps to start protecting your client data

·       Read the privacy policy on the Medicare system and CRM you are using

·       Disengage from the vast conglomerates and FMO’s

·       Stop using your “FREE” system from the vast conglomerate or FMO

·       Do what you can to get your client data exported out of there

·       Only enroll on the carrier sites                     

·       Consider Search & Save for accuracy, BOB privacy & security


–Scott Nichols

Amber Lutes
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