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What's the difference between an insurance carrier and an insurance agency?

I have a local agent and he talks about the "carriers" that he works with. What is the difference?

Apr 15, 2016 Boise, ID

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The Zebra

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The Zebra is an independent insurance advisor and quote comparison site with headquarters in Austin, Texas. Utilizing its real-time quote comparison …

Great question! The word "carrier" in terms of insurance is just a synonym for company. An insurance carrier is the insurance company that covers your vehicle and is listed on your policy (e.g. Allstate, State Farm, etc.). An insurance "agency" is a business that sells insurance coverage through one, or multiple, companies.

When shopping for car insurance, you can buy a policy directly with the carrier or through a local agency, but the company is who actually provides coverage when an accident occurs, not the agent.

In you're situation it sounds like your agent works with multiple carriers (or companies) to provide you with the coverage you have. Keep in mind that if you ever want to compare rates from multiple carriers easily online, you can always use The Zebra.

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