Insurance carrier is another way of saying, insurance company.
Insurance companies or insurance carriers are divided into two major product groups:
Property and Casualty
Life and Health
The Property and Casualty insurance companies typically provide insurance products ranging from general liability and workers compensation to homeowners and personal auto while the life and health carriers provide...well, life and health insurance products. You'll also find that insurance companies are classed as Mutual or Stock companies. Historically a mutual insurance company is one that is owned by its policyholders while a stock company is owned by its stockholders, who may or may not be policyholders. We could go on and on about insurance carriers but I'll just give you a little background information on insurance companies, what they are and how they work.
Standard insurance companies are those who provide "normal" insurance for the general population. You'll find these insurance carriers specialize in property insurance, homeowners and auto and business insurance. You'll know them by their advertisements ranging from billboards to tv and radio commercials. Their market is the regular guy and gal out there making their way in the world. Most insurance policies purchased from these companies are very similar in coverage and contract content. So the term standard insurance company means an insurance company who provides a homogenous product to a great number of buyers.
Excess and Surplus Lines insurance companies are those who provide insurance coverage for those kind of risks the standard insurance companies do not want to cover. You'll find these insurers are mostly non-admitted insurance carriers, those who are not licensed within the states where they provide coverage. This allows these types of carriers to be more flexible in pricing and accepting different kinds of risk.
Workers compensation insurance is provided through both the standard and excess and surplus market place depending on the risk factors and exposures generated from the type of work being performed by the policyholder. So remember when it comes to workers comp there are many sources available to secure proper coverage.