[syn: indemnity, insurance]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Insurance \In*sur"ance\, n. [From Insure.]
1. The act of insuring, or assuring, against loss or damage
by a contingent event; a contract whereby, for a
stipulated consideration, called premium, one party
undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss
by certain specified risks. Cf. Assurance, n., 6.
Note: The person who undertakes to pay in case of loss is
termed the insurer; the danger against which he
undertakes, the risk; the person protected, the
insured; the sum which he pays for the protection, the
premium; and the contract itself, when reduced to form,
the policy. --Johnson's Cyc.
2. The premium paid for insuring property or life.
3. The sum for which life or property is insured.
4. A guaranty, security, or pledge; assurance. [Obs.]
The most acceptable insurance of the divine
5. Hence: Any means of assuring against loss; a precaution;
as, we always use our seat belts as insurance against
Accident insurance, insurance against pecuniary loss by
reason of accident to the person.
Endowment insurance or Endowment assurance, a combination
of life insurance and investment such that if the person
upon whose life a risk is taken dies before a certain
specified time the insurance becomes due at once, and if
he survives, it becomes due at the time specified. Also
called whole life insurance.
Fire insurance. See under Fire.
Insurance broker, a broker or agent who effects insurance.
Insurance company, a company or corporation whose business
it is to insure against loss, damage, or death.
Insurance policy, a certificate of insurance; the document
containing the contract made by an insurance company with
a person whose property or life is insured.
Life insurance. See under Life.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: promise of reimbursement in the case of loss; paid to
people or companies so concerned about hazards that they
have made prepayments to an insurance company
2: written contract or certificate of insurance; "you should
have read the small print on your policy" [syn: policy,
insurance policy, insurance]
3: protection against future loss [syn: indemnity,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
73 Moby Thesaurus words for "insurance":
accident insurance, actuary, annuity, assurance,
aviation insurance, bail bond, bond, business life insurance,
casualty insurance, certificate of insurance, court bond, cover,
credit insurance, credit life insurance, deductible,
endowment insurance, family maintenance policy, fidelity bond,
fidelity insurance, flood insurance, forearming, forehandedness,
foresight, foresightedness, forethought, forethoughtfulness,
fraternal insurance, government insurance, guarantee, guaranty,
health insurance, indemnification, indemnity,
industrial life insurance, insurance agent, insurance broker,
insurance company, insurance man, insurance policy, interinsurance,
liability insurance, license bond, limited payment insurance,
major medical insurance, malpractice insurance, marine insurance,
measures, mutual company, ocean marine insurance, permit bond,
policy, precaution, precautions, precautiousness,
preventive measure, protection, providence, provision,
robbery insurance, safeguard, security, social security, steps,
steps and measures, stock company, stocks and bonds, surety,
term insurance, theft insurance, tie, underwriter, warrant,
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
INSURANCE, contracts. It is defined to be a contract of indemnity from loss
or damage arising upon an uncertain event. 1 Marsh. Ins. 104. It is more
fully defined to be a contract by which one of the parties, called the
insurer, binds himself to the other, called the insured, to pay him a sum of
money, or otherwise indemnify him in case of the happening of a fortuitous
event, provided for in a general or special manner in the contract, in
consideration of a premium which the latter pays, or binds himself to pay
him. Pardess. part 3, t. 8, n. 588; 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1174.
2. The instrument by which the contract is made is denominated a
policy; the events or causes to be insured against, risks or perils; and the
thing insured, the subject or insurable interest.
3. Marine insurance relates to property and risks at sea; insurance of
property on shore against fire, is called fire insurance; and the various
contracts in such cases, are fire policies. Insurance of the lives of
individuals are called insurances on lives. Vide Double Insurance; Re-
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
INSURANCE, MARINE, contracts. Marine insurance is a contract whereby one
party, for a stipulated premium, undertakes to indemnify the other against
certain perils or sea risks, to which his ship, freight, or cargo, or some
of them may be exposed, during a certain voyage, or a fixed period of time.
3 Kent, Com. 203; Boulay-Paty, Dr. Commercial, t. 10.
2. This contract is usually reduced to writing; the instrument is
called a policy of insurance. (q. v.)
3. All persons, whether natives, citizens, or aliens, may be insured,
with the exception of alien enemies.
4. The insurance may be of goods on a certain ship, or without naming
any, as upon goods on board any ship or ships. The subject insured must be
an insurable legal interest.
5. The contract requires the most perfect good faith; if the insured
make false representations to the insurer, in order to procure his insurance
upon better terms, it will avoid the contract, though the loss arose from a
cause unconnected with the misrepresentation, or the concealment happened
through mistake, neglect, or accident, without any fraudulent intention.
Vide Kent, Com. Lecture, 48; Marsh. Ins. c. 4; Pardessus, Dr. Com. part 4,
t. 5, n. 756, et seq.; Boulay-Paty, Dr. Com. t. 10.
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
INSURANCE, n. An ingenious modern game of chance in which the player
is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating
the man who keeps the table.
INSURANCE AGENT: My dear sir, that is a fine house -- pray let me
HOUSE OWNER: With pleasure. Please make the annual premium so
low that by the time when, according to the tables of your
actuary, it will probably be destroyed by fire I will have
paid you considerably less than the face of the policy.
INSURANCE AGENT: O dear, no -- we could not afford to do that.
We must fix the premium so that you will have paid more.
HOUSE OWNER: How, then, can _I_ afford _that_?
INSURANCE AGENT: Why, your house may burn down at any time.
There was Smith's house, for example, which --
HOUSE OWNER: Spare me -- there were Brown's house, on the
contrary, and Jones's house, and Robinson's house, which --
INSURANCE AGENT: Spare _me_!
HOUSE OWNER: Let us understand each other. You want me to pay
you money on the supposition that something will occur
previously to the time set by yourself for its occurrence. In
other words, you expect me to bet that my house will not last
so long as you say that it will probably last.
INSURANCE AGENT: But if your house burns without insurance it
will be a total loss.
HOUSE OWNER: Beg your pardon -- by your own actuary's tables I
shall probably have saved, when it burns, all the premiums I
would otherwise have paid to you -- amounting to more than the
face of the policy they would have bought. But suppose it to
burn, uninsured, before the time upon which your figures are
based. If I could not afford that, how could you if it were
INSURANCE AGENT: O, we should make ourselves whole from our
luckier ventures with other clients. Virtually, they pay your
HOUSE OWNER: And virtually, then, don't I help to pay their
losses? Are not their houses as likely as mine to burn before
they have paid you as much as you must pay them? The case
stands this way: you expect to take more money from your
clients than you pay to them, do you not?
INSURANCE AGENT: Certainly; if we did not --
HOUSE OWNER: I would not trust you with my money. Very well
then. If it is _certain_, with reference to the whole body of
your clients, that they lose money on you it is _probable_,
with reference to any one of them, that _he_ will. It is
these individual probabilities that make the aggregate
INSURANCE AGENT: I will not deny it -- but look at the figures in
this pamph --
HOUSE OWNER: Heaven forbid!
INSURANCE AGENT: You spoke of saving the premiums which you would
otherwise pay to me. Will you not be more likely to squander
them? We offer you an incentive to thrift.
HOUSE OWNER: The willingness of A to take care of B's money is
not peculiar to insurance, but as a charitable institution you
command esteem. Deign to accept its expression from a