What Is an Insurance Carrier? A Look at the Types of Carriers and What They Do

Susan Kelly

Feb 18, 2024

An insurance carrier is an insurance company or institution that offers insurance coverage, primarily to the general public. In many jurisdictions, this type of company can offer its products and services directly to individuals and firms and issue policies. In other cases, a carrier does not sell its policies but instead underwrites them issued by a separate sales agent or broker.

This guide is the ultimate insurance carrier guide on how you can find the best carriers out there. It includes information on what types of companies exist and what they do to help you get started with this big decision!

A. Getting Started - Insurance Carrier

There are two types of companies: those that operate independently, and the other are broker companies. Now, brokers sell their products and policies online or through phone sales. On the other hand, companies that work with broker firms will mainly sell policies online or through phone sales but are limited to this type of business model only. If you are searching for health insurance, it is best to work with a broker since these companies are all about this type of insurance product and what they offer.

B. Types of Insurance Carriers

When it comes to insurance carriers, there are two types:

Individual – the type of company that provides insurance to individuals and firms. These companies or institutions offer numerous products for individuals and business entities, including health insurance, life insurance, workers compensation, disability coverage, group health, and auto coverage. Individual carriers are further classified as follows: A stock company offers a variety of product types and not just one product in particular. On the other hand, a hybrid is a company that provides only one specific product type. It can sell various products specific to only one type (i.e., individual health insurance).

Another classification is based on the size of the company. These companies can be classified as small and large. A small company offers only a few products, having not many employees to do so. On the other hand, a large company offers a variety of products and has many options. It provides services to individuals, small firms, and big enterprises.

A third classification is dependent on whether they are authorized or unauthorized to sell their own policies or offer their services directly to clients or customers. An authorized carrier is a carrier that works with broker firms while not directly selling policies to customers. In contrast, an unauthorized one directly sells policies to consumers and individuals on its own platform or website.

C. Benefits of Working with Insurance Carrier

The benefits of having an insurance carrier are not unlike working with any other company. You get paid for the services provided and are also given a certain time to review your contract. In addition, if you have a claim, the carrier has a specific time limit based on which it pays out part of what it owes you. Also, you will have to provide proof about any claim before the carrier can pay out anything, plus some additional time. Another benefit is that you will be assured that these companies will be reliable when it comes to maintaining their policies and products on time and accurately evaluating claims, both pre and post-disposition.

D. Brands and Product Offering

Various companies in the market offer these services, including all types of carriers, since they were created to serve different needs. For example, a large company will be able to provide you with a wide array of products when it comes to health insurance, life insurance, and disability coverage, among others. However, on the other hand, an individual carrier will only be able to offer individuals a smaller number of products because they do not have as many capacities as other companies.

E. Types of Insurance Carriers

These insurance carriers are available in the market, and you can choose from them. You can find out about the various products they offer and their services to the general public based on what they have to offer and not just your own needs alone. This way, you will be able to know more about these companies before you work with them and make an informed decision. As a result, you will see if they are suitable for your business or not anytime soon.


Companies use insurance companies to protect against financial loss due to events that might impact the future, such as natural disasters, fires, car accidents, theft, or death benefits for employees who cannot work due to accidents or illness. They also meet various regulatory requirements, including the Insurance Services Office (ISO) standards.

Some independent agents may represent any of these companies, but they must be licensed by a state department and have a license number displayed on their business cards or stationery material. It is also illegal to display these license numbers on internet sites as they are considered private information that should not be publicly displayed.

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