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

Some farmers are now thinking about taking insurance payouts rather than planting this season at all, which would affect Corteva. Lauren Silva Laughlin, WSJ, "DowDuPont Started Spin Cycle at Wrong Time," 31 May 2019 Michigan's Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has struck a deal with the state's Republican legislature to lower the state's high auto insurance premiums. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "Michigan's Auto Insurance Premiums, Highest in the Nation, Targeted by Bipartisan Deal," 24 May 2019 Farmers also benefit from billions of dollars annually in federal insurance subsidies. Scott Mcfetridge, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s ‘great patriot’ farmers follow him into a trade war," 20 May 2019 Season 6: Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky gifted insurance agent Roberto Martinez her First Impression Rose before getting engaged to him during the 2010 season finale. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "There's a Wild 'Bachelorette' Fan Theory That Says Hannah Will End Up With Luke P.," 14 May 2019 But individual therapy—which can cost upwards of $200 per session and is rarely covered by insurance—isn’t financially viable for everyone. Melanie Hamlett, Harper's BAZAAR, "Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden," 2 May 2019 The key to avoiding cancellation and change fees on this budget carrier is Trip Flex, the trip insurance policy that costs $8–$20 at booking. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Change Fees 101: Which U.S. Airlines Charge the Most to Book a New Flight," 2 Oct. 2018 The application includes information about company officers, previous experience, equipment, insurance and more. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Concerns raised about contractors sitting on Detroit wrecking board," 9 July 2018 In that case, parties agreed Phoenix would pay $7.2 million to the family of Vanessa Andrade, with the remaining $2.8 million footed by the city's insurance policy. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Phoenix to pay $350K to family of woman found hanging in police van," 6 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

5 Jun 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

Comments on insurance

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