Definition of insurance in English:


Line breaks: in¦sur|ance
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈʃʊər(ə)ns


[mass noun]
  • 1An arrangement by which a company or the state undertakes to provide a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for payment of a specified premium: many new borrowers take out insurance against unemployment or sickness
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    • Group health insurance in large companies protects the individual with costly conditions by including him with the less costly.
    • Identity theft is becoming so widespread in the UK that many companies now offer insurance to protect against falling victim to this increasingly common type of fraud.
    • The need for adequate protection through insurance is also on the rise.
    assurance, indemnity, indemnification, (financial) protection, security, surety, cover
  • 1.1The business of providing insurance: Howard is in insurance
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    • Mr Quinn, whose businesses include insurance and investment, is no stranger to big deals.
    • He grew up in a modest home in Pittsburgh, where his father, Louis Jr., first worked in the family locksmith business and later in insurance.
    • I've worked in a lot of businesses - insurance, clothing, construction materials, automobiles, telecom.
  • 1.2Money paid for insurance: my insurance has gone up
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    • Lawyers fees, taxes and insurance must all be paid.
    • He said increased overheads such as insurance, rents and service charges have resulted in some shops becoming unviable.
    • Take a look at your expenses over the last year to get an idea of annual expenses, such as taxes, insurance and subscription services.
  • 1.3Money paid out as compensation under an insurance policy: when will I be able to collect the insurance?
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    • He stands accused of setting fire to the store to collect insurance on the building and its contents.
    • The murders took place to collect insurance on slaves who were sick and dying and therefore would not, on reaching land, become marketable commodities.
    • Why not just burn the kitchen down when I light the stove so I can collect insurance and spend it all on college tuition?
  • 2A thing providing protection against a possible eventuality: jackets were hung on the back of their chairs, insurance against an encounter with air-conditioning [count noun]: a marquee was hired as an insurance against the weather
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    • The additional altitude would give us a bit of insurance against a possible explosive mid-air meeting with one of our friends.
    • It was designed not as a gambling arena, it was designed as insurance against the possibility you will not have enough savings.
    • My husband's just had a phone call from the bank trying to sell him Card Protection insurance.
    protection, defence, safeguard, safety measure, shelter, security, precaution, provision, preventive measure, immunity; guarantee, warranty
    informal backstop


late Middle English (originally as ensurance in the sense 'ensuring, assurance, a guarantee'): from Old French enseurance, from enseurer (see ensure). sense 1 dates from the mid 17th century.


There is a technical distinction between insurance and assurance in the context of life insurance: see assurance (usage).

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