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The insurer is the party in an insurance contract that promises to pay compensation. The insurer is an entity, usually an insurance company, that underwrites the insured risk.

By contrast, the insured is a person or organization whose life, health or property is covered by an insurance policy. The insured's loss results in the insurer's obligation to pay the proceeds of the insurance policy.

An insurance policy is the insurance contract that describes the conditions and circumstances under which the insurer will indemnify the insured or other named beneficiaries. The person or organization purchasing the insurance is known as the policyholder. The policyholder and the insured are often, but not necessarily, the same person, as insurance coverage can include an insured who does not purchase insurance.

[Last updated in June of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]