Is insurance in accounting recognized as an expense or an asset?

Categories: Bookkeeping

is insurance expense an asset

Prepaid insurance is usually considered a current asset, as it becomes converted to cash or used within a fairly short time. But if a prepaid expense is not consumed within the year after payment, it becomes a long-term asset, which is not a very common occurrence. The payment of the insurance expense is similar to money in the bank—as that money is used up, it is withdrawn from the account in each month or accounting period.

  1. It is clear that insurance will not help to avoid accidents, natural disasters, illnesses, but thanks to it, you will be able to cover the losses.
  2. Premiums are normally paid a full year in advance, but in some cases, they may cover more than 12 months.
  3. In this case, the company’s balance sheet may show corresponding charges recorded as expenses.
  4. When it comes to accounting for this expense, it is recorded along with other spendings and costs.
  5. For example, assume ABC Company purchases insurance for the upcoming twelve month period.

The entry above would be repeated every month for 12 months until the balance on the prepaid insurance account is zero. You can get financial benefits if you are disabled due to injury, lost property or it was damaged, etc. This is financial protection for you, your family, or your business from unexpected events. Some insurers prefer that insured parties pay on a prepaid schedule such as auto or medical insurance. If you’re new to accounting, you may wonder how to record discounts allowed. No one is safeguarded from accidents and other unfortunate events that inevitably occur in our lives.

It should be noted that insurance coverage can also be bought to cover production. In this case, the insurance expense becomes a part of the overhead costs. Accordingly, it will be accounted for in the business inventory as payroll accounting basics well as listed under the cost of goods sold. Insurance expense is something you would typically see in the bookkeeping records of a business. We have briefly reviewed what insurance is all about, but about the expense part?

Insurance Expense

The process of recording prepaid expenses only takes place in accrual accounting. If you use cash-basis accounting, you only record transactions when money physically changes hands. Prepaid expenses refers to payments made in advance and part of the amount will become an expense in a future accounting period. A common example is paying a 6-month insurance premium in December that provides coverage from December 1 through May 31. A prepaid expense is an expenditure that a business or individual pays for before using it. When someone purchases prepaid insurance, the contract generally covers a period of time in the future.

is insurance expense an asset

DateAccountNotesDebitCreditX/XX/XXXXExpenseXPrepaid ExpenseXLet’s say you prepay six month’s worth of rent, which adds up to $6,000. When you prepay rent, you record the entire $6,000 as an asset on the balance sheet. The business has paid for the insurance policy for 1 year ahead on May 1st.

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A prepaid expense is carried on an insurance company’s balance sheet as a current asset until it is consumed. That’s because most prepaid assets are consumed within a few months of being recorded. The prepaid amount will be reported on the balance sheet after inventory and could part of an item described as prepaid expenses. As the amount of prepaid insurance expires, the expired portion is moved from the current asset account Prepaid Insurance to the income statement account Insurance Expense. This is usually done at the end of each accounting period through an adjusting entry.

It is primarily the protection of your financial interests in the event of an insured event. It is clear that insurance will not help to avoid accidents, natural disasters, illnesses, but thanks to it, you will be able to cover the losses. Julia Kagan is a financial/consumer journalist and former senior editor, personal finance, of Investopedia. For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. A bookkeeping expert will contact you during business hours to discuss your needs.

As of November 30, none of the $2,400 has expired and the entire $2,400 will be reported as prepaid insurance. Journal entries that recognize expenses related to previously recorded prepaids are called adjusting entries. They do not record new business transactions but simply adjust previously recorded transactions. Adjusting entries for prepaid expenses are necessary to ensure that expenses are recognized in the period in which they are incurred. Instead, they provide value over time—generally over multiple accounting periods.

Companies expend cash on items necessary to run a business, such as utilities, wages, maintenance, office supplies and other items. Journal entries typically follow the same format to record transactions in a company’s general ledger. Double-entry accounting requires both a debit and credit in each expense accounting entry. Since the insurance coverage began immediately, the company’s records should reflect that now it has only 11 months’ worth of insurance coverage, and afterward it would need to purchase it. There will no longer be a cash account because no cash is being exchanged. Instead, the balance equal to one month of insurance coverage ($2,800/12 or $233) is moved to the insurance expense account.

This event is also recorded by the bookkeeper, only now, the insurance policy is the company’s liability and recorded under the insurance payable account. The company would reduce this account by the amount it pays the insurance company, simultaneously crediting its cash account. Now, both the business and the insurance company have obligations before each other. When it comes to accounting for this expense, it is recorded along with other spendings and costs. Accordingly, insurance expense is an outflow of money for something a business has already used.

Meaning and Example of Insurance Expense

Thus, it is first recorded in the accounting books as prepaid insurance. Credit the corresponding account you used to make the payment, like a Cash or Checking account. Expenditures are recorded as prepaid expenses in order to more closely match their recognition as expenses with the periods in which they are actually consumed. This would mean that now the company will deduct this expense from its revenue and it will reduce its final profit. At the same time, its assets are also reduced because the resources were used to have insurance coverage just in case.

Record a prepaid expense in your business financial records and adjust entries as you use the item. A common prepaid expense is the six-month insurance premium that is paid in advance for insurance coverage on a company’s vehicles. The amount paid is often recorded in the current asset account Prepaid Insurance.

If a business were to not use the prepaids concept, their assets would be somewhat understated in the short term, as would their profits. The prepaids concept is not used under the cash basis of accounting, which is commonly used by smaller organizations. The Income Statement is one of a company’s core financial statements that shows their profit and loss over a period of time. Except for trade discounts — which are not recorded in the financial statements, these discounts appear as a credit on the income statement in the Profit and Loss Account.

If the company issues monthly financial statements, its income statement will report Insurance Expense which is one-sixth of the six-month premium. The balance in the account Prepaid Insurance will be the amount that is still prepaid as of the date of the balance sheet. As mentioned above, the premiums or payment is recorded in one accounting period, but the contract isn’t in effect until a future period.