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Insurance is a system in which groups of people who have similar chances of suffering a loss transfer their risk of loss to an insurer who pools the risk of many people together. In exchange for payment of premium, the insurer promises to reimburse the person for their covered losses.
It is an agreement between you and your insurer in which you pay the insurance company a certain amount of money and, in return, the company will protect you from major financial losses due to an accident for a given period of time.
Sources: Insurance Information Institute, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Highline Data, LLC and FORTUNE Magazine.
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Information current as of October 2012