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 About half of Americans aged 65 to 80 have dental insurance. Sally Pipes, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 The rich and successful Larry, whom his lawyer, Jones (Harry Davenport), calls the best salesman in the industry, has insurance on the brain in place of romance. Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 10 Sep. 2021 Well under 20% of U.S. homeowners have flood insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 3 Sep. 2021 Court filings also say that the family is concerned their case was not taken seriously because Arkansas Children's Hospital might have believed the family did not have insurance, and therefore could not afford the expensive treatment. Lara Farrar, Arkansas Online, 1 Sep. 2021 Residents who have flood insurance from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program can start their claim at Holly Yan, CNN, 1 Sep. 2021 McGrath said that Kelly, who had insurance, did not pay him during his nearly 20 years of serving as his doctor. Victoria Bekiempis, Vulture, 27 Aug. 2021 Only 1% of pets in the U.S. have medical insurance, compared with 30% in Sweden, 25% in the U.K. and 5% in France. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 23 Aug. 2021 Grech is lucky: Her mom has long-term care insurance, providing a cushion for the potentially heavy financial toll. Alicia Diaz, STAT, 16 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Gregory Abel, the 59-year-old lieutenant who oversees Berkshire’s non-insurance operations., 3 May 2021 And Munger explained that Abel, 59, who currently oversees the company’s non-insurance operations, would carry on that spirit. Washington Post, 3 May 2021 The 90-year-old Buffett told CNBC that if anything happened to him, Abel, who currently oversees all of Berkshire's non-insurance companies, would be the one to take the top post. Josh Funk, Star Tribune, 3 May 2021 The figures don’t provide a complete picture of what the CEO and some other executives actually receive from USAA because the reports don’t include compensation from the non-insurance parts of its business. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 5 Mar. 2021 The deal also highlights the work of one of Buffett’s key deputies, Greg Abel, who led the energy business for years and is now chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Energy alongside his role as Berkshire’s vice chairman for all non-insurance businesses. Katherine Chiglinsky, Fortune, 6 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near insurance

insurable value


insurance adjuster

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Statistics for insurance

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insurance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for insurance



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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