Definition of insure in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /inˈSHo͝or/


[with object]
1Arrange for compensation in the event of damage to or loss of (property), or injury to or the death of (someone), in exchange for regular advance payments to a company or government agency: the table should be insured for $2,500 the company had insured itself against a fall of the dollar [no object]: businesses can insure against exchange rate fluctuations
More example sentences
  • The wife shall ensure the property is fully insured for all perils to closing at her expense and for full insurable value.
  • No carrier will insure a high-risk property if a loss of, say, $3 billion would wipe out the company before government aid kicks in.
  • Both insure against loss or damage to gear and set premiums on declared value.
1.1Provide insurance coverage with respect to: subsidiaries set up to insure the risks of a group of companies
More example sentences
  • But either they cover the risks required to be insured against by section 143 and 145 of the Road Traffic Act 1972 and applied by the certificates or they do not.
  • GE is certainly going to suffer a net economic loss if any of their executives or even middle managers drop dead - are you going to keep them from insuring the risk?
  • Well, I mean, you would have to know exactly what he means by insuring the risks.
provide insurance for, indemnify, cover, assure, protect, underwrite;
guarantee, warrant
2 (insure someone against) Secure or protect someone against (a possible contingency): by appeasing Celia they might insure themselves against further misfortune [no object]: such changes could insure against further violence and unrest
More example sentences
  • It may be wildly unlikely, but then a couple of lines on a map changing the route of the pylons is a small premium if it will insure them against such an awful possibility.
  • The article on previous page explains what you are insured against with standard cover.
  • If you are insured against something bad happening to you, like being unemployed, then you will be less prone to prevent it from happening than you would be without the insurance.


There is considerable overlap between the meaning and use of insure and ensure. In both US and British English, the primary meaning of insure is the commercial sense of providing financial compensation in the event of damage to property; ensure is not used at all in this sense. For the more general senses, ensure is more likely to be used, but insure and ensure are often interchangeable, particularly in US English: bail is posted to insure that the defendant appears for trial the system is run to ensure that a good quality of service is maintained.



Pronunciation: /-ˌSHo͝orəˈbilitē/
Example sentences
  • Nervousness over the extent of his insurability means he has been told he will not be getting another playing contract in Scotland.
  • Many organisations did not even report their losses, fearful for their reputations or their insurability.
  • This includes medical information, encompassing conditions such as high blood pressure and obesity, and other information that may affect insurability, such as a reckless driving record or participation in hazardous activities.


Pronunciation: /inˈSHo͝orəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The big question is whether this is really an insurable event.
  • In the meantime, the organization is looking at ways of minimizing risk and helping its members become more insurable through training and education, and the development of safety standards among its members.
  • This does not reflect the modern reality that other far greater catastrophes which are insurable, such as an explosion in a coal mine, may wreak greater havoc, but are not events in respect of which there is a ceiling upon damages.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'assure someone of something'): alteration of ensure.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·sure

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.