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 : the business of insuring persons or property
b : coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril
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


insurance against theft or damage She has a job in insurance. I work for an insurance company.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Police charged a Houston man, 38, with driving while license invalid, possession of drug paraphernalia and no insurance June 23 in the 3700 block of Friendswood Link Road. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Police: 10-month-old was passenger in high-speed Friendswood chase," 27 June 2019 On Thursday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Harris were the only ones to endorse eliminating private insurance in favor of a government-run system. Joe Garofoli,, "Top takeaways of Democratic debates — Biden a target as field tilts left," 27 June 2019 Money raised over the goal will be placed in an account for anything not covered by the insurance. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "Ahwatukee Children's Theatre burglarized, damaged days before show," 25 June 2019 When a service is provided out-of-network, or is not covered at all, or the person doesn’t have insurance, the patient is supposed to pay this full amount. J.b. Silvers, The Conversation, "Health care price transparency: Fool’s gold, or real money in your pocket?," 24 June 2019 Tennant, who had no insurance on her building or her business, has been in negotiations with the county for more than a year about acquiring her building, one of 10 the county plans to either demolish or modify. Washington Post, "Ellicott City business owner who weathered two major floods will shut her doors," 23 June 2019 Travel-insurance policies cover things like trip interruption, trip delay, and lost baggage. Shannah Compton Game, Outside Online, "The 5 Travel Items That Are Worth Splurging On," 20 June 2019 City officials have said 412 retirees used their insurance for erectile dysfunction drugs in 2017, filling almost 2,000 prescriptions. Dan Horn,, "Cincinnati retirees sue city to keep insurance coverage of Viagra, other medications," 17 June 2019 Andrew Knapp, who had spent the morning working with hitting instructor John Mallee, gave the Phillies some insurance with an RBI single in the eighth, but there was turbulence ahead in the bottom of the inning. Bob Brookover,, "Adam Haseley’s first hit ends Phillies’ strange road trip with a come-from-behind win over Padres," 5 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of insurance


1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1954, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for insurance

Last Updated

3 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for insurance

The first known use of insurance was in 1651

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English Language Learners Definition of insurance

: an agreement in which a person makes regular payments to a company and the company promises to pay money if the person is injured or dies, or to pay money equal to the value of something (such as a house or car) if it is damaged, lost, or stolen
: the amount of money a person regularly pays an insurance company as part of an insurance agreement
: the amount of money that a person receives from an insurance company


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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More from Merriam-Webster on insurance

Spanish Central: Translation of insurance

Nglish: Translation of insurance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insurance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about insurance

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