What Is an Insurance Carrier?

Car insurance paperwork
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What is an insurance carrier, you ask? Is it you, the person carrying an insurance card? Is it your insurance agent?

Actually, it’s neither of those people. Your insurance carrier is the company that holds your insurance policy. An insurance carrier is not the same as an insurance agent. It is the company to which your insurance payments are sent and the company that pays if you file a covered claim. The carrier employs insurance agents, underwriters, customer service representatives, claims adjusters, and more.

Why Should You Know the Name of Your Insurance Carrier?

If you purchased your policy yourself, or if your policy is through a large national company, you very likely know the name of the company from catchy jingles and television commercials. But even if you purchased a policy from a smaller company, it’s vital to know their name. There are several times when knowing who your car insurance carrier is will certainly come in handy. For instance, when you contact your independent insurance agent and you don’t have their direct contact information, you can speed things up if you know your insurance carrier off the top of your head. It is also handy when you need to contact your insurance carrier’s customer service center. The customer service number can be found on your insurance paperwork. However, it might be faster for you to look it up online (which may also be difficult if you do not know the name of your insurance carrier).

Where Can You Find Their Information?

Sometimes when insurance is not your favorite subject, it is possible to forget who you purchased insurance from. There is more than one way to figure it out.

Know More About Your Carrier Than Its Name

Although you should certainly know the name of the company you bought a car insurance policy from, it is not a bad idea to know more about your car insurance carrier than just its name. Research customer reviews, ask your friends and family about its reputation, and look into their financial backing -- maybe even look up the last few financial annual reports they’ve issued. Knowing more about your insurance carrier before deciding to purchase or renew a policy can save you a lot of hassle when it comes to claims customer service.

Customer Reviews: Every company on the planet has both positive and negative reviews. It is a good idea to look through both the positive and negative reviews and see what comments occur the most. If something negative is repeatedly said by multiple persons, I would take it more seriously than random rants from an anonymous single user.

Friends and Family: Knowing someone who deals directly with an insurance carrier should be able to give you a great recommendation. It helps if the recommendation comes from someone who has dealt with filing a claim before, but the information should help steer you in the right direction either way. 

Financial Backing: Knowing that insurance carrier you have selected is strong financially is very important. A poor rating could mean your claim could not get paid out and obviously that is not good. There are four independent rating agencies, however, they each have their own rating system, so that is something to be aware of when searching the rating. Comparing the ratings from multiple agencies is the only way to get an accurate idea of a carrier's financial status. Check your insurance carrier's rating to ensure you are properly protected.