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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This week, Virginia's House of Delegates almost unanimously passed a bill preventing insurance companies from charging a co-pay over $30 for a 30-day supply of insulin. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "After years of skyrocketing costs, lawmakers across the US push for caps on life-saving insulin payments," 8 Feb. 2020 The insurance company had not signed a contract for 2020 with the hospital operator, which meant Sequoia and many other Dignity medical facilities around the state would no longer be in Cigna’s network in the new year. Brian Krans,, "In Dignity Health, Cigna spat, patients caught in crossfire," 7 Feb. 2020 That, in turn, would put insurance companies out of business. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "How Democratic presidential candidates want to change your health care," 6 Feb. 2020 State and federal authorities have been notified, and the city is working with their insurance company to assess the full extent of the damage. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hit by a ransomware attack, the City of Racine is operating in the technologic dark ages and may be there all week," 4 Feb. 2020 Some are related to reimbursements to pharmacies by insurance companies and the government. New York Times, "How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk," 31 Jan. 2020 Investigators found 97 pieces of first-class mail, which included mail from insurance companies, the IRS, the Department of Motor Vehicle, bank statements and tax return documents, according to the records. Fox News, "‘Pressured’ postal worker in Virginia hid undelivered mail in storage unit: reports," 31 Jan. 2020 The undelivered items included 97 pieces of first-class mail from agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicle, the Internal Revenue Service and insurance companies. NBC News, "Postal worker filled Virginia storage unit with mail he couldn't 'make time' to deliver, officials say," 30 Jan. 2020 At the time, the St. Louis resident decided not to go to college but landed a job working as a mailroom attendant at an insurance company. Joelle Goldstein,, "Woman Turns 'Broke Black Girl' Finance Facebook Group Into 'Life-Changing' Job and Sisterhood," 24 Jan. 2020

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 1b


1954, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for insurance

Time Traveler

The first known use of insurance was in 1651

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Statistics for insurance

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insurance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for insurance


How to pronounce insurance (audio) How to pronounce insurance (audio)

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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