The Collaborative International Dictionary
Insurance \In*sur"ance\, n. [From Insure.]
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.
The premium paid for insuring property or life.
The sum for which life or property is insured.
A guaranty, security, or pledge; assurance. [Obs.]
The most acceptable insurance of the divine protection.
Hence: Any means of assuring against loss; a precaution; as, we always use our seat belts as insurance against injury.
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.
Whole life insurance, or whole of life assurance (in the Commonwealth of Nations), sometimes called "straight life" or "ordinary life," is a life insurance policy which is guaranteed to remain in force for the insured's entire lifetime, provided required premiums are paid, or to the maturity date. As a life insurance policy it represents a contract between the insured and insurer that as long as the contract terms are met, the insurer will pay the death benefit of the policy to the policy's beneficiaries when the insured dies. Because whole life policies are guaranteed to remain in force as long as the required premiums are paid, the premiums are typically much higher than those of term life insurance where the premium is fixed only for a limited term. Whole life premiums are fixed, based on the age of issue, and usually do not increase with age. The insured party normally pays premiums until death, except for limited pay policies which may be paid-up in 10 years, 20 years, or at age 65. Whole life insurance belongs to the cash value category of life insurance, which also includes universal life, variable life, and endowment policies.
Usage examples of "whole life insurance".
Unlike other forms of insurance--including whole life insurance, which is a far more complicated financial instrument--term life policies are fairly homogeneous: one thirty-year, guaranteed policy for $1 million is essentially identical to the next.