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Life insurance or life assurance??

This question on a local financial chat forum caught my eye and seems to us it’s worth clarifying…

Q…

“Does anyone know what the difference is between life insurance and assurance?” “Is assurance better then insurance or is it exactly the same?”

A…

"Insurance" refers to providing cover for an event that might happen, while "assurance" is the provision of cover for an event that is certain to happen. (There is a correct definition of these terms on Wikipedia.)

That's why there is no such thing as accident ‘assurance’ because an accident may or may not happen. It is not ‘assured’.

For life insurance, if you are paying only for a period of time, for example a year at a time or even a 20 year term, then the event of your death is not certain to happen in that timeframe. So, the appropriate name for your cover would be ‘life insurance’.

In some instances, where you have a policy that covers you for your entire life, that would be called ‘life assurance’. But such policies are less popular in NZ and are typically more expensive because they are priced to pay out 100% of the time.

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Life Insurance

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