Reviewed by Stefan Tirschler
Updated May 26, 2023
in·sured | in-ˈshu̇rd
Definition: A person or other entity covered by insurance.
The insured may submit changes to their policy whenever they wish.
In insurance, the insured is the person or business that is covered by an insurance policy. One policy can (and usually does) cover multiple insureds.
Stanley is a homeowner who lives with his two kids, his wife, and her father. Stanley bought the insurance policy that protects their home, and it’s his name written on the front of the policy. However, his insurance policy extends coverage to Stanley’s partner, his relatives, and his partner’s relatives, as long as they’re living with him in the house.
In this example, Stanley is the named insured: his name specifically appears on the policy. The terms of his home insurance policy extend coverage to the other people living with him: his kids, his wife, and his father-in-law are all considered insureds under his policy, even though the policy doesn’t name them specifically.
Policies of insurance always have a named insured, and sometimes more than one. Plus, insurance policies often extend coverage to people who aren’t actually named on the policy.
Home insurance policies typically cover family members of the named insured if they’re living in the same household. Commonly, children who are living away from home for school are also insured.
Insurance companies often differ slightly in their definition of insured. You’ll be able to find your insurer’s definition somewhere in your policy wordings.
Square One’s definition of an insured includes the named insured, plus:
Now that we’ve defined insured, what’s an insurer?
An insurer is the company that is insuring the insured. Or, less confusingly: the insurer is the company that agrees to cover the insured’s claims under the policy. If the insured makes a claim, the insurer is the one who pays the claim settlement.
Often, the insurer will be the same company that sold the policy, though not always.
If you bought your insurance policy through a broker, that broker is not your insurer. The insurer is the company that underwrites the policy and pays any claims. Your insurer is clearly identified on your policy’s declarations page.
Looking for another insurance definition? Look it up in The Insurance Glossary, home to dozens of easy-to-follow definitions for the most common insurance terms. Or, get an online quote in under 5 minutes and find out how affordable personalized home insurance can be.
About the expert: Stefan Tirschler
Stefan is responsible for underwriting leadership, market expansion, and product research and development for Square One's operations. Stefan has earned his Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional designation, and maintains a level 2 general insurance license in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Stefan is also an Education Committee member and CIP/GIE instructor for the Insurance Institute of Canada.
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