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[in-shoo r-uh ns, -shur-] /ɪnˈʃʊər əns, -ˈʃɜr-/
the act, system, or business of insuring property, life, one's person, etc., against loss or harm arising in specified contingencies, as fire, accident, death, disablement, or the like, in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.
coverage by contract in which one party agrees to indemnify or reimburse another for loss that occurs under the terms of the contract.
the contract itself, set forth in a written or printed agreement or policy.
the amount for which anything is insured.
an insurance premium.
any means of guaranteeing against loss or harm:
Taking vitamin C is viewed as an insurance against catching colds.
of or relating to a score that increases a team's lead and insures that the lead will be held if the opposing team should score once more:
The home run gave the team an insurance run, making the score 7-5.
Origin of insurance
1545-55; insure + -ance
Related forms
noninsurance, noun
preinsurance, noun
proinsurance, adjective
Can be confused
assurance, insurance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for insurance
  • Many issues posing as questions of privacy can turn out to be matters of security, health policy, insurance or self-presentation.
  • Some seek security-three meals a day, clean clothes and a warm bed, health insurance and dental care.
  • Life insurance as a hedge against the volatility in the stock market has growing adherents.
  • insurance companies see danger from extreme weather.
  • Conventional wisdom about travel insurance was that if you can't afford to lose the vacation, insure it.
  • So, the insurance company goes broke, and people that bought the insurance are not protected.
  • But insurance against such an event has already been on the market for three months.
  • When you first obtained your life insurance policies, you felt a need for them.
  • insurance companies want to collect without have to pay out to replace flood-damaged property.
  • If your insurance company isn't working out for you anymore, then definitely consider switching.
British Dictionary definitions for insurance


/ɪnˈʃʊərəns; -ˈʃɔː-/
  1. the act, system, or business of providing financial protection for property, life, health, etc, against specified contingencies, such as death, loss, or damage, and involving payment of regular premiums in return for a policy guaranteeing such protection
  2. the state of having such protection
  3. Also called insurance policy. the policy providing such protection
  4. the pecuniary amount of such protection
  5. the premium payable in return for such protection
  6. (as modifier): insurance agent, insurance broker, insurance company
a means of protecting or safeguarding against risk or injury
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for insurance

1550s, "engagement to marry," a variant of ensurance (see ensure). Commercial sense of "security against loss or death in exchange for payment" is from 1650s. Assurance was the older term for this (late 16c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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