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Difference Between Insurance and Assurance?

Insurance and assurance are both risk management concepts. Read ahead to know the difference between the two before making a decision.

  • Oct 09, 2021

Key takeaways

  • Insurance is a contract where the insurer compensates the insured for damage or losses incurred from natural disasters or any other unforeseen event in exchange for a premium.
  • There are different types of insurance, and each one provides a unique form of protection.
  • Insurance works by pooling resources from a large group of individuals and redistributing the financial risk among them.
  • Assurance is an arrangement in which an insurer pays reimbursement for a specified occurrence, such as death.
  • Assurance is a term used to describe the level of confidence that an individual or organization has in the accuracy and reliability of a particular piece of information.

When planning your finances, insurance, and other protection plans prove to be highly beneficial means to accomplish your goals. However, it is no secret that most applicants and policy buyers find it challenging to understand the different terminologies and technical jargon that are generally used interchangeably with the word insurance. One such word that is used synonymously with insurance is assurance.

In essence, insurance plans cover any loss or damage that an uncertain event may cause, for example, a natural calamity, an accident, fire, theft, etc. So, they work on the ‘if’ and indemnity principle and provide you with the cover after an event happens. However, in an assurance plan, the cover is given to you for an event that is certain to happen. So, it works on that ‘when’ principle or the principle of certainty.

What is Insurance?

Insurance is a contract where the insurer compensates the insured for damage or losses incurred from natural disasters or any other unforeseen event in exchange for a premium. A term insurance policy, for example, guarantees to pay a specified amount if the insured dies during the policy period. The insurance contract will become void if the policyholder survives the policy period, and the insurer does not have to pay anything. There is doubt about the insured event’s occurrence in this situation.

Types of Insurance

Insurance is a means of financial protection against potential future losses or damages. It involves an individual or an entity making regular payments or premiums to an insurance company in exchange for a policy that guarantees financial compensation in case of any unforeseen event.

There are different types of insurance, and each one provides a unique form of protection. Life, health, and property insurance are among the most popular types of insurance.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial protection to the family or beneficiaries of the policyholder in case of his or her untimely death. Term life insurance and whole life insurance are the two primary types of life insurance.

Term life insurance provides coverage for a specific period, typically 10 to 30 years. The policyholder pays premiums during the term, and if he or she dies during that period, the beneficiaries receive a death benefit. Whole life insurance, on the other hand, provides lifelong coverage and builds cash value over time.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for medical expenses incurred due to illness or injury. There are different types of health insurance, including individual health insurance, group health insurance, and government-funded health insurance.

Property Insurance

Property insurance is a type of insurance that provides coverage for damage to or loss of property, such as a home or car. It also covers liability for any injuries or damages caused by the policyholder.

How Does Insurance Works?

Insurance is a way of protecting oneself against financial loss or damage in the event of an unforeseen situation. Insurance works by pooling resources from a large group of individuals and redistributing the financial risk among them. This way, if an individual experiences a loss, the financial burden is spread among the members of the pool.

Insurance providers, also known as insurers, offer policies to individuals and organizations that are designed to protect against specific types of risks. For example, car insurance policies protect against damages and losses caused by accidents or theft, while life insurance policies protect against the loss of income or financial stability due to death or disability.

The cost of insurance is determined by a number of factors, including the level of risk involved, the likelihood of a claim, and the type of coverage being offered. Insurance providers use actuarial tables and statistical data to calculate the probability of claims and the cost of the premiums.

When an individual or organization purchases an insurance policy, they pay a premium to the insurer. This premium is based on the level of coverage they require and the likelihood of a claim. In exchange, the insurer agrees to provide coverage in the event of a loss up to the limit of the policy.

If a loss occurs, the policyholder files a claim with the insurer. The insurer then investigates the claim and, if it is found to be valid, pays out the claim amount to the policyholder. This payout can be in the form of cash, repairs, or replacement of the lost or damaged item.

In some cases, insurers may deny a claim if they determine that it is not covered under the policy or if the policyholder has not met their obligations under the policy. For example, if a policyholder fails to pay their premiums, the insurer may deny a claim.

What are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Insurance?

Insurance is a crucial financial product that offers protection against losses due to unforeseen events such as accidents, illnesses, natural disasters, and death. It provides peace of mind to policyholders and helps them manage financial risks effectively. However, like any other financial product, insurance has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Insurance

Financial Security

The primary advantage of insurance is financial security. In the event of an unforeseen event, such as an accident, illness, or death, insurance provides financial support to the policyholder or their family members. It ensures that they can manage their expenses during difficult times without exhausting their savings or relying on expensive loans.

Risk Management

Insurance helps individuals and businesses manage their financial risks effectively. For instance, businesses can purchase liability insurance to protect themselves against legal claims or property damage. Individuals can purchase health insurance to cover medical expenses and life insurance to provide financial support to their loved ones after their demise.

Tax Benefits

Several insurance policies offer tax benefits. For example, life insurance premiums are tax-deductible up to a certain limit, and health insurance premiums are eligible for tax exemptions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

Disadvantages of Insurance

Costly Premiums

One of the primary disadvantages of insurance is the high cost of premiums. Premiums for insurance policies can be significant and may become a financial burden for individuals or businesses with limited financial resources. Some individuals may choose to forgo insurance to avoid these costs, which can lead to severe financial consequences in the event of an unforeseen event.

Limited Coverage

Most insurance policies have specific coverage limits, which means that they may not cover all the expenses related to an unforeseen event. Policyholders may need to pay out of pocket for some expenses, which can increase their financial burden.


Insurance policies require policyholders to disclose all relevant information accurately. However, some individuals may misrepresent information or hide facts to lower their premiums. This can lead to claim rejections and legal complications.

What is Assurance?

Assurance is an arrangement in which an insurer pays reimbursement for a specified occurrence, such as death. Assurance policies provide continuous coverage until the policyholder’s death. For example, a whole life insurance policy provides financial protection for the rest of the policyholder’s life. Thus, the insured event will undoubtedly occur sooner or later. Aside from term insurance, most life insurance products having an investment component are assurance policies.

Types of Assurance

Assurance is a term used to describe the level of confidence that an individual or organization has in the accuracy and reliability of a particular piece of information, process, or system. It is important to understand that different types of assurance exist and can be applied to different areas of business, such as financial reporting, IT security, and risk management. In this article, we will discuss the various types of assurance that exist and their application.

Internal Assurance

Internal assurance is the process of assessing an organization’s internal controls and procedures to determine if they are effective in managing risks and achieving objectives. Internal assurance may involve conducting internal audits, risk assessments, and reviews of policies and procedures. This type of assurance is important for organizations that are concerned with maintaining a high level of operational efficiency and compliance with regulations.

External Assurance

External assurance is an independent assessment of an organization’s financial reporting or other information by a third-party auditor or consultant. External assurance can provide stakeholders with confidence in the accuracy and completeness of financial information, reducing the risk of fraud, errors, or omissions. The most common form of external assurance is an audit, which typically involves the review of an organization’s financial statements, internal controls, and accounting practices.

Information Assurance

Information assurance is the process of protecting an organization’s information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction. This type of assurance is critical for organizations that rely heavily on technology to store and manage sensitive information. Information assurance includes measures such as firewalls, encryption, intrusion detection, and access controls.

How Does Assurance Works?

Assurance is a term that is commonly used in the insurance industry. It refers to the process of providing a guarantee or a promise to an individual that a specific outcome will occur. Assurance can be provided by a variety of sources, including insurance companies, government agencies, and other organizations.

The primary purpose of assurance is to provide peace of mind to individuals and organizations by guaranteeing that they will be protected against certain risks and hazards. For example, an insurance policy provides assurance to an individual that they will be compensated in the event of an accident or other covered event.

Assurance works by assessing the potential risks that an individual or organization may face and developing strategies to mitigate those risks. This can include developing insurance policies, implementing safety measures, or providing training to individuals.

What are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Assurance?

Assurance is a term used to describe a range of activities that provide assurance of the reliability, accuracy, and completeness of the information. It involves providing an independent opinion, review, or attestation that certain information is accurate and trustworthy. Assurance can be provided by auditors, accountants, IT professionals, and other experts. Like any other approach, there are advantages and disadvantages of assurance that one should consider.

Advantages of Assurance

Improves Reliability

Assurance helps improve the reliability of the information that is being provided by the organization. For example, an external audit helps investors and stakeholders to have confidence in the company’s financial statements.

Reduces Risk

Assurance helps identify risks that an organization faces and provides recommendations to mitigate those risks. It provides assurance to management that they are operating within acceptable levels of risk.

Builds Trust

Assurance provides an independent assessment that helps build trust with stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and investors.

Disadvantages of Assurance


Assurance activities can be costly, especially for small organizations. The cost of hiring external auditors, consultants, or experts can be prohibitive, especially for small organizations with limited resources.

Limited Scope

Assurance activities can have a limited scope and may not provide a complete assessment of an organization’s operations. For example, an external audit may only focus on financial statements and not provide an assessment of the organization’s operations, strategy, or risk management.

The Difference Between Insurance vs Assurance

Although insurance and assurance may have similar sounds when you get a policy, you truly learn the distinction between the two. Let’s examine the differences and similarities between the two of them.

Comparison Factors




It helps to reinstate financial stability during an untoward event.

Pays out the assured sum when the event takes place.

Underlying Principle

Principle of Indemnity

Principle of Certainty


General insurance products includes term insurance, motor insurance, health insurance, liability insurance, etc.

Life insurance (except term insurance) includes whole life assurance, annuity, endowment plans, etc.

Claim payment

Equal to the amount of loss or damage during an accident.

Pre-defined for a particular event.

Number of Claims






Final Thoughts

The purpose of insurance and assurance is different, and so is their usage. For maximum security, having both can help however much of it comes down to the needs that one has and what is suitable for them, which may change with time. Understanding assurance vs insurance can help you better grasp various insurers’ products. It would help to understand the difference between insurance and assurance before choosing the appropriate plan based on your requirements and ambitions.

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- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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