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

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

The data was taken through a system used by insurance agents and brokers. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Hackers accessed records of 75,000 people in government health insurance system breach," 20 Oct. 2018 The Department of Justice on Wednesday approved a $69 billion merger between prescription-drug behemoth CVS and insurance giant Aetna, with some strings attached. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "DOJ approves $69B CVS-Aetna merger as healthcare industry restructures," 11 Oct. 2018 An investigation revealed that Nguyen received nearly $268,000 in insurance payouts over the years, the Star reported. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "'Serial arsonist' gets 74 years for blaze that killed 2 firefighters," 22 Sep. 2018 Raising insurance premiums means making coastal living that much more expensive, and potentially driving people out. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Flood insurance is broken," 20 Sep. 2018 Don’t count on it, said Steve Israel, a Boynton Beach, Fla., insurance agent and past president of the Florida Association of Health Underwriters. Phil Galewitz, Washington Post, "Outrageous Or Overblown? HHS Announces Another Round Of ACA Navigator Funding Cuts," 12 July 2018 In comparison, insurance agents and brokers helped with more than 40 percent of marketplace enrollments last year. Naseem S. Miller,, "Obamacare navigator money cut by 70 percent," 12 July 2018 The mandate was designed to stabilize the health insurance market by encouraging younger and healthier Americans to sign up for insurance, and the repeal could consequently have the opposite effect. Alana Abramson, Time, "Trump Administration Cuts $26 Million in Funds for Organizations that Help People Sign Up For Obamacare," 11 July 2018 Some of his investors were unsophisticated or elderly, placing retirement accounts, pension funds and insurance payouts with Siskey, according to the FBI affidavit. Deon Roberts, charlotteobserver, "Rick Siskey Ponzi victims will finally get paid, as part of a $10 million deal," 11 July 2018

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

4 Dec 2018

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 \

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- \

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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