FOREIGN INSURER: Definition and Foreign Insurer Policies


The term “foreign insurer” is often describing an insurance company operating in a nation; in which its headquarters or principal business locations do not matter. The phrase is also used in the United States to characterize insurance companies; that is based or domiciled in one state, but sell policies to consumers and businesses in other states. Policyholders who buy insurance from foreign insurers may not always have the same legal safeguards as policyholders; who buy insurance from local insurers.

A foreign insurer can sell life insurance, homes insurance, health insurance, and a wide range of other policies. Many countries have legislation in place to safeguard the rights of insurance policyholders. Some countries’ laws require insurance companies to retain a specific amount of money in highly liquid investments to ensure; that they have adequate cash on hand to cover anticipated insurance claims. In addition, before commencing to advertise insurance goods in a given country or region; insurance companies must normally register with national or regional authorities. Most countries’ regulators have the authority to audit both domestic and foreign insurers.

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If an insurance company refuses or is unable to pay a claim, domestic regulators can typically locate the company; impose different penalties, or even confiscate and liquidate its assets. When a foreign insurer fails to respect a policy, domestic regulators can usually only take action against the firm’s subsidiary; or division that operates inside their jurisdiction. Regulators are unable to collect assets held by an insurance company in its home country. As a result, authorities can take action against a domestic insurer more easily than they can against a foreign insurer.

While a foreign insurer may expose an insured to higher levels of risk than a domestic insurer; a domestic insurer may also have to bear the costs of doing business in the United States. Foreign insurers operating in that market may lose a considerable amount of money if a country implements a public healthcare program; as consumers will no longer need to buy private health insurance. An insurer can more easily influence authorities in its home market by using political pressure; financial campaign contributions than it can in a foreign market.

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What is a Foreign Insurer

A foreign insurer is an insurance company that is located in one state; but which writes policies for clients in other states. While foreign insurers are very common in health insurance, many insurers in the United States do not have permission to sell in a single state due to the concept of “state lines.”

Foreign Insurer Explained by Insuranceopedia

In order to gain access to a bigger market and recruit more clients, insurance companies frequently become foreign insurers. Insurers attempting to operate as foreign insurers, on the other hand, will face greater obstacles because they will be competing with insurers from other countries.

Many policyholders prefer to employ foreign insurers because they often offer policies with better conditions than those given by insurers in their home countries. The ability to purchase insurance coverage from foreign insurers gives policyholders greater options.

Foreign Carrier vs Alien Carrier

With new generations entering the insurance sector and the rise of insurtechs (which sounds like a sci-fi film title), many individuals are finding it difficult to understand industry lingo. Foreign and alien insurers are two phrases that can describe various sorts of insurers, and they cause a lot of misunderstandings. But, seriously, these terms aren’t nearly as difficult as they appear. It all boils down to the location of the insurance company’s headquarters. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at each of the distinct categories and some particular compliance activities that each of them entails.

Foreign Carrier

As mentioned in a recent article about insurance agencies, the term “foreign” refers to an entity that conducts business in one state while residing in another. If your insurance company is based in New York but also writes policies in Pennsylvania, you are classified as a foreign carrier in that state.

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Foreign carriers must show that they are licensed/registered in their home state and provide regulatory history information. Underwriting procedures for regular and surplus lines policies vary. Foreign insurers writing standard coverages seek admission, while surplus lines insurers seek inclusion on the state’s list of acceptable non-admitted insurers.

Alien Carrier

We arrive at the foreign insurer. These are insurance companies that are not based in the United States, its territories, or its possessions. Foreign carriers must go through the same process as domestic carriers, although alien carriers must often present additional proof of financial viability. This usually entails keeping a larger stock fund and establishing a U.S. trust fund for a larger sum.

Regulators distinguish between insurers writing in the admitted and non-admitted markets, much as they do with foreign insurers. All relevant U.S. laws and regulations apply to alien carriers licensed or registered in the United States. Many states don’t have their own lists of alien insurers, instead of relying on the NAIC’s Quarterly Listing of Alien Insurers.

What Is an Alien Insurer?

An alien insurer is a company that offers coverage outside its home country. The relationship between the country of incorporation and the country where a policy is sold determines whether an insurer is considered foreign. Foreign providers are those who sell policies outside their home country.

How Does an Alien Insurer Operate?

Individuals or enterprises would find purchasing insurance from a domestic source excessively expensive. A domestic insurer on a policy acquired in Zurich would be a business based in Switzerland (the largest city in Switzerland). The insurance firm would be regarded as an alien insurer if a person in New York purchased coverage from the same company.

Particular Points to Consider

The insurer must obey the rules and regulations governing insurance procedures in any location where it offers or sells policies, regardless of its location. In the United States, for example, each state has its own set of criteria for foreign insurers operating within its borders.

The NAIC meets three times a year and creates national regulatory guidelines. A quarterly listing of alien insurers who have submitted to the Commission with evidence demonstrating they meet a set of standard requirements for operating in foreign nations is also published by the group.

Alien Insurer vs. Foreign Insurer

A foreign insurer is one that has an agent in a state other than the one where the company is incorporated. This is not the same as an alien insurer, who may be based in another country yet sell coverage in the United States. A foreign insurer is based in the United States but offers insurance in states where it is not domiciled.

Foreign insurers, like alien insurers, must abide by the laws of the jurisdiction in which they issue insurance. Mutual of Omaha, for example, is a Nebraska-based insurance business that sells policies across much of the United States. In the state of Washington, agents selling the company’s policies would be regarded as representatives of a foreign insurer and would be subject to Washington’s regulations rather than Nebraska’s.

Finding an Approved Carrier

While the names relating to the various insurer kinds aren’t quite obvious; the differences between the three types are simple to understand. In others, all insurers appear on the same list, but their origin is clearly map-out. Both insurance experts and customers can access these lists.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a foreign insurance policy?

Foreign Liability Coverage is a specialty policy that covers an insured’s liability for foreign activities arising from a permanent branch office, manufacturing facility, construction project, or other operation in a different country.

What is a foreign insurer quizlet?

Insurer from another country. An insurer that is incorporated in one state but writes business in another. You just finished learning 24 terms!

What are the three types of insurers?

Accident and health insurers, property and casualty insurers, and financial guarantors are the three most common types of insurance firms. Auto, health, homeowners, and life insurance are the most common types of personal insurance plans.

Who is considered the insurer?

As previously stated, “the insurer” is the one who calculates risks, issues insurance policies, and pays claims. On the other hand, the insured is the individual (or people) who are covered by the insurance policy.

What is foreign casualty insurance?

Foreign casualty insurance covers injuries that occur outside the United States and may include coverage for foreign liability, foreign autos, and foreign workers’ compensation. Specialty coverages: These protect against risks that are specific to a certain industry.

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