Prepaid Insurance: Definition, Asset or Expense, Journal Entry, Example

As the policy is consumed from month to month, the policy’s value for those months will be recorded as a credit, and the entries in the two columns will eventually cancel out or total zero. Whether you’re new to F&A or an experienced professional, sometimes you need a refresher on common finance and accounting terms and their definitions. BlackLine’s glossary provides descriptions for industry words and phrases, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to additional resources.

  • In this section, we will delve into the classification of prepaid insurance as either a current asset or a noncurrent asset on a balance sheet.
  • Let’s say a delivery company takes out some commercial auto insurance for its fleet of cars.
  • The path from traditional to modern accounting is different for every organization.
  • Advancements and the use of software in making the balance sheet have however made assets, liabilities, and equity all presented on one page with assets appearing first.

Therefore, it should be recorded as a prepaid expense and allocated to expenses over the full 12 months. It is considered a prepaid asset, which is a way to express these present value of annuity due benefits in accounting terms. Increase accuracy and efficiency across your account reconciliation process and produce timely and accurate financial statements.

Why Is Prepaid Insurance Considered a Debit in the Asset Account?

To learn more about insurance accounting and the treatment of prepaid expenses, visit Insurance Intellect. They offer valuable resources and insights into insurance industry practices and regulations. When paying for prepaid insurance, the initial record is a debit to the “Prepaid Insurance” account, a current asset. Prepaid insurance is an essential component of an entity’s balance sheet, where it is recorded as a current or non-current asset. It represents a financial safety net, providing financial security, protecting valuable assets, and mitigating potential risks.

  • Thus, the prepaid insurance payment will be recorded as an asset on the company’s balance sheet.
  • The revenue cycle refers to the entirety of a company’s ordering process from the time an order is placed until an invoice is paid and settled.
  • ABC Company will initially book the full $120,000 as a debit to prepaid insurance, an asset on the balance sheet, and a credit to cash.

As we discussed earlier, prepaid insurance is recorded as a current asset on the balance sheet. However, as time passes and the coverage comes into effect, it needs to be moved from an asset to the expense side of the balance sheet. This is where amortization and adjusting journal entries come into play. Prepaid insurance falls within the category of current assets, but what sets it apart from noncurrent assets? Current assets are those that are expected to be converted into cash or used up within a year or the normal operating cycle of a business, whichever is longer. They are crucial for day-to-day operations and include cash, accounts receivable, and inventory.

These entries ensure that the financial statements accurately reflect the insurance coverage that has been utilized during a specific period. By making these adjustments, insurance companies can match the expenses with the periods to which they are related, providing a more accurate representation of their financial position. In conclusion, while prepaid insurance is typically categorized as a current asset, there are situations where it may be considered a long-term asset.

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A small company has an insurance contract under which the total premium of $48,000 must be paid in advance for 12 months of coverage under a general liability insurance policy. In this example, the journal entry’s initial expense would be recorded as a debit to Prepaid Expenses and a credit to Cash. As time passes and the coverage period progresses, the prepaid insurance is gradually recognized as an expense on the income statement. This recognition is done systematically over the duration of the insurance policy, typically on a monthly or quarterly basis.


Prepaid insurance offers cost-efficiency and budget control by eliminating regular monthly premium payments. To learn more about insurance accounting and the classification of prepaid insurance, visit Insurance Intellect. This payment represents a prepaid expense, but its classification as an asset might surprise you. Another important characteristic of assets is their ability to generate future economic benefits. This means that assets are expected to contribute to an entity’s ability to generate cash flows or provide other financial advantages in the future. For example, rental property can generate rental income, while investments can appreciate in value.

The concept aligns with investments, underscoring how prepaid insurance transcends mere risk mitigation and serves as a dynamic financial instrument that offers both protection and potential rewards. By recognizing these advantages, businesses can optimize their financial standing while simultaneously ensuring the continuity of their insurance coverage. Prepaid insurance is recorded as a current asset until it is consumed, and then it is moved to the expense side of the balance sheet.

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For instance, an insurance company might offer a 10% or 5% discount to clients who pay for a year or six months subscription. The lump sum payment serves as a means of increasing the working capital of the insurance company and a strategy for customer retention. Furthermore, some insurance companies may charge a cancellation fee when a client chooses to cancel their subscription and discontinue using the insurance company’s services. At the end of twelve months, the asset account would show a balance of zero for the insurance premium and a total of $12,000 in the insurance expense account. It would be entered into the general ledger as a debit of $12,000 to the asset account and a credit for the same amount to the cash account. For example, if a business had purchased six months of insurance and decided to cancel the policy after two months, it could redeem the value of the four remaining unused months of coverage.

In business, a prepaid expense is recorded as an asset on the balance sheet that results from a business making advance payments for goods or services to be received in the future. Prepaid insurance is recorded in the general ledger as a prepaid asset under current assets. A current asset is a financial resource that can be easily liquidated, or converted to cash, in a year or less. In contrast, a non-current or fixed asset, like real estate, cannot be easily liquidated in a year or less. Prepaid insurance refers to advance payments made by individuals and businesses for upcoming insurance coverage, recorded as assets until utilized. The functioning mechanism of prepaid insurance entails a process by which individuals or businesses pay insurance premiums in advance, setting the stage for coverage in the future.

Journal entries that recognize expenses related to previously recorded prepaid expenses are called adjusting entries. They do not record new business transactions but simply adjust previously recorded transactions. Adjusting entries for prepaid expenses is necessary to ensure that expenses are recognized in the period in which they are incurred.

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