Difference Between Insurance and Assurance: Meaning & Types

By Okbima 07 Mar 2024


If you want to know what is the difference between insurance and assurance? In the insurance sector, insurance and assurance are often used interchangeably, but they have differences. Insurance refers to a contract that provides financial protection against specified risks, while assurance is a form of insurance that guarantees payment upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as death or disability. 


What is Insurance?

Insurance is a financial arrangement that protects against the risk of a loss. It involves individuals (policyholders) or entities paying a premium to an insurance company in exchange for a promise of financial compensation or coverage in the event of specified events, such as accidents, illnesses, property damage, or other unforeseen events. The insurance company collects the premiums from many policyholders and uses these funds to cover the costs of claims.

  • Policyholder: The individual or entity that purchases an insurance policy.

  • Premium: The amount of money paid by the policyholder to the insurance company at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, annually) to maintain coverage.

  • Insurance Policy: A contract between the policyholder and the insurance company mentioning the terms and conditions of the coverage, including the types of risks covered, the limits of coverage, and any exclusions or conditions.

  • Coverage: The protection or benefits provided by the insurance policy against specified risks. This can include financial compensation for losses, medical expenses, liability claims, or other types of damages.

  • Insurer: The insurance company that issues the policy and assumes the financial risk in exchange for the premiums.

  • Claim: A request made by the policyholder to the insurance company for compensation or coverage due to a covered loss or event.


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Types of Insurance

Insurance is a contractual agreement between an individual or organization and an insurance company in which the insurer agrees to provide financial protection or reimbursement against losses in exchange for premium payments. There are many different types of insurance available to protect against a variety of risks. 

Some common types of insurance include

  • Health Insurance: Health insurance provides coverage for medical expenses and can include services such as doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and preventive care

  • Life Insurance: Life insurance provides a lump-sum payment to beneficiaries in the event of the policyholder's death. This can help provide financial security for loved ones left behind.

  • Auto Insurance: Auto insurance provides coverage for damage to vehicles and liability for injuries or property damage caused by a vehicle accident. It is required in most states.

  • Homeowners Insurance: Homeowners insurance provides coverage for damage to a home and its contents from events such as fire, theft, or natural disasters. It also offers liability coverage if someone gets injured on the premises.

  • Disability Insurance: Disability insurance provides income replacement if an individual is unable to work due to a disability. It helps to cover living expenses and maintain financial stability.

  • Business Insurance: Business insurance provides coverage for a business's property, liability, and employees. It can include protection against damage, theft, legal claims, and employee injuries.

  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance provides coverage for unexpected events that may occur while traveling, such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost luggage, or natural disasters.

  • Pet Insurance: Pet insurance provides coverage for veterinary expenses and medical treatment for pets. It helps to offset the cost of caring for a pet's health.

  • Liability Insurance: Liability insurance protects against claims or lawsuits filed against an individual or organization for damages caused to others. It can include general liability, professional liability, and product liability coverage.


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What is Assurance?

In the insurance sector, assurance refers to the confidence policyholders have that their insurer will fulfill the terms of their policy when a claim is made. Assurance gives peace of mind to individuals, businesses, and organizations that they are protected in times of unforeseen events or emergencies. 

It ensures the trust and reliability customers have in their insurance provider to provide financial assistance when needed. Assurance is essential in maintaining a positive relationship between insurers and policyholders in ensuring that they are covered and supported.


Types of Assurance

Assurance in the insurance sector is an important component that provides policyholders with the confidence that their insurance policies will provide the necessary protection when the need arises. There are various types of assurance in the insurance sector, each offering a unique form of coverage and benefits. 

Common types of assurance in the insurance sector include:

  • Life Assurance: This type of assurance provides financial protection to the policyholder's beneficiaries in the event of the policyholder's death. It typically pays out a lump sum amount to the designated beneficiaries upon the death of the policyholder.

  • Health Assurance: Health assurance provides coverage for medical expenses incurred by the policyholder due to illness or injury. This type of assurance can help cover hospitalization, doctor's visits, prescription medications, and other healthcare-related costs.

  • Property Assurance: Property assurance offers protection for physical assets such as homes, cars, and personal belongings against damage or loss due to events like fire, theft, or natural disasters. It helps policyholders recover financially after such incidents.

  • Business Assurance: This type of assurance is designed to protect businesses from various risks, including property damage, liability, and business interruption. It helps businesses manage financial losses and recover from unforeseen events that affect their operations.

  • Liability Assurance: Liability assurance protects policyholders against legal claims and lawsuits filed by third parties for bodily injury or property damage caused by the policyholder. It covers legal defense costs and compensation payments.

  • Travel Assurance: Travel assurance offers coverage for unexpected events that may occur while traveling, such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost luggage, or flight delays. It provides peace of mind to travelers and helps mitigate financial risks associated with travel.

  • Cyber Assurance: As technology evolves, cyber assurance has become increasingly important to protect individuals and businesses from data breaches, cyber-attacks, and other digital threats. It covers financial losses and legal expenses related to cyber incidents.


What is the Difference Between Insurance and Assurance?

Here is the difference between insurance and assurance based on insurance category, objective, protection against, types of policies, etc.





Insurance Category

General Insurance

Life Insurance

Based On

Principle of indemnity

Principle of certainty


To offer financial restitution for a specific loss caused by incidents such as theft, fire, flood, vandalism, and other similar events.

Financial support is given for a specific circumstance, such as the passing or incapacity of the insured individual.

Protection Against

An anticipated event

A definite event

Types of Policies

Car insurance, bike insurance, property insurance, mobile insurance, health insurance, etc.

Term insurance, life insurance, endowment plans, etc.

Number of Claims Allowed



Claim Payment

Usually, equal to the monetary value of the loss incurred.

A set amount of money is allocated for a particular situation or event.

Policy Renewability

The policy can be renewed upon expiry. The policy term is usually 1 year or more.

Not Available

What is Insured

People or Property

Only People

Nature of Risk Covered

Coverage for uncertain and unpredictable risks, such as accidents, theft, flood, etc.

Coverage for uncertain but predictable risks. Such as death.

Number of insured

Single or multiple, depending on the policy terms



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Why Should You Buy Insurance?

Buying insurance is important for several reasons, as it provides financial protection and helps individuals and businesses manage the risks associated with unforeseen events. 

Some reasons why you should buy insurance:

  • Financial Protection: Insurance offers financial protection against the financial impact of unexpected events. Whether it's a health crisis, property damage, or other covered risks, insurance helps you recover financially.

  • Risk Management: Life is full of uncertainties, and insurance allows you to transfer some of the risks to an insurance company. It helps you manage and minimize potential financial losses, providing a sense of security and stability.

  • Promotes Financial Planning: Insurance encourages financial planning by requiring regular premium payments. This disciplined approach to saving ensures that you have funds available when you need them, helping you plan for the future.

  • Family Protection: Life insurance, in particular, provides financial support to your family in the event of your death. It can cover funeral expenses, replace lost income, and help maintain your family's standard of living.

  • Healthcare Coverage: Health insurance is essential for covering medical expenses, ensuring that you have access to necessary healthcare services without facing additional costs.


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In conclusion, the key difference between insurance and assurance lies in the level of certainty and control over the risk being covered. Insurance typically covers risks that are uncertain and outside of the policyholder's control, while assurance provides coverage for risks that are certain and within the policyholder's control. Are you confused about which is the best insurance for yourself? Don’t worry, talk to “Our Experts” for better guidance.


Life insurance and life assurance offer protection in the event of the policyholder's death. Whole life insurance coverage is for a certain time, life assurance provides coverage for the entire lifetime of the insured individual.

Assurance is a common term found in life insurance policies, as it serves to guarantee that the designated beneficiaries will receive a specified sum upon the policyholder's passing, or that the policyholder will receive a predetermined amount at the policy's maturity, under the terms outlined in the policy.

Both assurance and insurance have distinct purposes. The benefits of your plan will be provided in the form of either insurance or assurance, depending on the type of policy, such as general insurance or life insurance.

The sum insured is the maximum coverage limit provided by your health insurer in exchange for the premiums paid. This amount may not necessarily be fully utilized at once. On the other hand, the sum assured is the guaranteed amount promised to you under a life insurance policy, which is usually paid as a lump sum or as per a pre-agreed schedule between you and the insurer.

Life insurance policies provide financial protection in the form of an assured amount.

Insurance transfers risk to a third party, requires application forms and assessments, pays out for specified risks, and is shorter-term with regular premiums. Assurance provides guaranteed protection, usually requires medical exams, pays out upon death or policy maturity, offers long-term coverage, and often has upfront premiums.

Insurance covers a variety of policy types, including health, motor, home, mobile, and cyber insurance.

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