May 14, 2015

Insurances

A local health system is using a word in a way I have never before encountered. Butler Health System has been advertising on television that it accepts most “insurances.” “Insurances” is also used on Butler’s Web site (see circled text below; click for a larger view):

Butler Health System Web site home page

The meaning of “Insurances We Accept” is clear, but I think that most native speakers of American English would write “Insurance We Accept” or “Insurance Plans We Accept.”

“Insurance” can refer to a particular policy (“My car insurance is very good.”), but it can also mean coverage by some insurance plan (“All clients have insurance.”). Because of this, I see no reason ever to use the plural of “insurance,” and I think it should be considered nonstandard usage. Perhaps usage is different within the insurance industry; I don’t know about that. Has anyone else encountered “insurances” in speech or writing?

Update: A Google search turned up many other uses of “insurances,” all of which are on Web sites of medical institutions.

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