What Does insurance carrier mean? Carrier Vs Company Vs Agent

insurance carrier

Insurance carriers are companies offering insurance coverage by employing insurance agents. This is done by creating insurance products and accompanying policies for being marketed to the general public through the agents. The agent has to look after all claims made by the users and set up payment on behalf of the insurance company. The insurance carrier also employs customer service representatives, underwriters, claim adjusters, and more to guarantee a seamless process for the end-users.

The insurance carriers are liable for risk management via insurance contracts. They develop, maintain, sell and fulfill the insurance contracts. Top-notch insurance carriers usually sell multiple forms of insurance like life, health, home, auto, etc. Let us now take a look at some of the basic responsibilities of an insurance carrier:

  • Primarily, the insurance companies have to determine the premiums for different insurance products. This is the amount that has to be paid by users for getting insurance coverage.
  • Payment for the policy might be monthly, half-yearly, or annually. The insurance carrier must determine the payment cycle while preparing the insurance contract and outlining it on the declarations page.
  • Often users are offered temporary coverage until the final policy is approved by the insurance carrier. Details of such temporary protection are devised and regulated by the insurance company.
  • The insurance carrier has to determine the premium price and this is done by gauging the claims history. In the case of auto insurance, young drivers carrying little experience are under obligation to pay a higher premium compared to adults having a clean driving record.
  • Once the claim has been filed, the insurance carrier must process them and make payments as applicable. Claim services are offered for home damage, car accidents, hospital visits, storm damage, and more.
  • Another important area of concern for insurance companies is fraudulent or false claims for which they have to conduct in-depth investigations. Keeping frauds at bay helps in offering reasonably priced premiums that can be afforded by a greater section of people.

How An Insurance Carrier Operates

Though most of us share an excellent rapport with our insurance agent, the financial resources and customer service portal of our insurance carrier will matter the most while filling a claim. The agent will offer constant support and guidance to the general public while scanning through the details but the ultimate call on the amount of coverage to be offered is taken by the insurance carrier. Let us now take a detailed look at how an insurance carrier operates. Once you select between different coverage options, your policy will be sent by the agent to the carrier for underwriting.  It will be their duty to determine the premium payments. We usually contact our agent while filing a claim. But in extreme cases, you can also contact the insurance carrier. If the claim is not submitted directly to the carrier, then the insurance agent will submit the same in your favor. You might require follow-ups and the carrier will coordinate the same for making adjustments to the claim. Information about the carrier can be found in the following places:

  • Declaration page of the contract received from the insurance company where details of your coverage amount, limit, etc. of the policy are printed.
  • Proof of insurance card mailed by the insurance company for confirming your coverage.
  • You can also enquire about your insurance carrier directly from the agent.

Just knowing the name of the insurance carrier is not enough. You need to get some research work done on its financial backing and market reputation. Online reviews can provide you with adequate insights about the same once you scan through the comments left by past users.

Comparison Between Insurance Carrier & Agent

In simple words, insurance agents are like a retail shop whereas insurance carriers are like product manufacturers for the end customer to take their pick from. Let us now take a look at the main difference between the two:

  • When it comes to responsibility, the insurance carrier looks after the pricing, claims, and overall management of different policies. The insurance agents, on the other hand, aids policyholders with their concerns and look after the sale of different products.
  • The entire power for initiating, approving, and making changes to the policy lies with the insurance carrier and not the agency.

While some agencies represent a single carrier, others represent multiple insurance companies. In the case of the latter, the insurance agents can levy maximum importance to the best interest of customers. Exclusive insurance agencies working with a single carrier operate according to the guidelines of the company and often get help from various company representatives. Their main aim is to push specific policies and meet the company’s sales targets. Picking an insurance carrier is easier said than done and this is where the agents come in with their massive subject knowledge. It is imperative to have trust in your agency so that you feel comfortable with the options offered by them.