in·​sur·​ance | \ in-ˈshu̇r-ən(t)s How to pronounce insurance (audio) , -ˈshər- also ˈin-ˌshu̇r-, -ˌshər- How to pronounce insurance (audio) \

Definition of insurance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril
b : the business of insuring persons or property
c : the sum for which something is insured
2 : a means of guaranteeing protection or safety The contract is your insurance against price changes. Frequent hand washing is good insurance against the common cold.
3 gambling : a side bet that a player in blackjack may place when the dealer's first faceup card is an ace

Note: An insurance bet can be up to half of a player's original bet. It wins at 2 to 1 odds if the dealer's cards add up to 21.



Definition of insurance (Entry 2 of 2)

: being a score that adds to a team's lead and makes it impossible for the opposing team to tie the game with its next score an insurance run

Examples of insurance in a Sentence

Noun insurance against theft or damage She has a job in insurance. I work for an insurance company.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Volunteers must be at least 50 years old, a U.S. citizen or legal resident who has applied for citizenship, and have a valid California driver’s license and car insurance. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 May 2022 European governments are also discussing bans on shipping and insurance. New York Times, 13 May 2022 This includes the ability to have a dashboard with not only banking information but also mortgages, savings, pensions, credit, insurance, utilities and more. Sagnik Nandy, Forbes, 13 May 2022 All travelers must purchase COVID-19 insurance, which costs $12 per month. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2022 Housing costs include rent, mortgage payments, utilities, insurance and property taxes. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2022 Those costs would include additional staff to manage the venue, insurance, utilities, maintenance and a monthly rent payment to the city of $2,500. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Tech companies have also been active in the market, surpassing financial-service and insurance companies on new leasing in the past two years, Savills said. Natalie Wong, Fortune, 10 May 2022 In addition to two deaths, the indictment charges that over a period of years, Carman engaged in a cover-up and insurance fraud. Hartford Courant, 10 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Buffett announced last year that vice chairman Greg Abel, who oversees Berkshire's energy, consumer and other non-insurance businesses, will eventually take over as Berkshire CEO. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 30 Apr. 2022 Currently, Abel is responsible for Berkshire’s two largest operating companies, Berkshire Hathaway Energy and BNSF Railroad, as well as an assortment of relatively smaller and successful non-insurance companies. Laura Rittenhouse, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Further, the gradual improvement in the economic conditions will likely boost both the total premiums and the non-insurance revenues. Trefis Team, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Buffett will be joined by Greg Abel, the company's vice chairman of non-insurance operations. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 9 Aug. 2021 All of Berkshire's non-insurance businesses reported $7.25 billion in operating earnings, up from $5.69 billion a year ago. Josh Funk, ajc, 6 Nov. 2021 Here Vice Chairman Greg Abel, who is in charge of the company’s non-insurance businesses, was a breath of fresh air. Robert G. Eccles, Forbes, 5 May 2021 In 2018, Abel was named vice chairman and put in charge of the company's non-insurance businesses. CBS News, 3 May 2021 Abel, who previously led Berkshire’s sprawling energy empire, was picked to oversee all the non-insurance businesses, while Jain ran the insurers. Warren Buffett, Fortune, 3 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insurance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of insurance


1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


1954, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About insurance

Time Traveler for insurance

Time Traveler

The first known use of insurance was in 1651

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Dictionary Entries Near insurance

insurable value


insurance adjuster

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Statistics for insurance

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insurance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for insurance


in·​sur·​ance | \ in-ˈshu̇r-əns How to pronounce insurance (audio) \

Kids Definition of insurance

1 : an agreement by which a person pays a company and the company promises to pay money if the person becomes injured or dies or to pay for the value of property lost or damaged
2 : the amount for which something is insured
3 : the business of insuring persons or property


in·​sur·​ance | \ in-ˈshu̇r-əns, ˈin-ˌshu̇r- How to pronounce insurance (audio) \

Legal Definition of insurance

1 : the action, process, or means of insuring or the state of being insured usually against loss or damage by a contingent event (as death, fire, accident, or sickness)
2a : the business of insuring persons or property
b : coverage by contract whereby for an agreed payment one party agrees to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril
c : the principles and practice of the business of insuring
3 : the sum for which something is insured


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