Assure, Ensure, or Insure?

by Craig Shrives

The difference between "Assure," "Ensure," and "Insure"

"Assure," "ensure," and "insure" are easy to confuse because they sound so similar.
  • "Assure" means to promise or to say with confidence.
    • I assure you that I will not be late.
  • "Ensure" is to make certain that something will happen.
    • Keep stirring the fudge to ensure it does not set.
  • "Insure" is to arrange for compensation in the event of damage, loss, injury, or death.
    • It is hard to insure my house since the hurricane.
assure, ensure, or insure?

Assure, Ensure, and Insure

Confusion with "assure," "ensure," and "insure" most commonly occurs with the following terms.

Common terms with "assure":
  • To assure a loved one
  • To assure a customer

Common terms with "ensure":
  • To ensure success
  • To ensure compliance
  • To ensure freedom
  • To ensure job security

Common terms with "insure":
  • To insure a car
  • To insure a phone
  • To insure a building

Assure

The verb "to assure" means to state with confidence. (NB: The noun "assurance" means a belief in ability.)

Example sentences with "assure":
  • Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater. (Physicist Albert Einstein)
  • Students rarely disappoint teachers who assure them in advance that they are doomed to failure. (Philosopher Sidney Hook)

Ensure

The verb "to ensure" means to make sure something will happen (i.e, to guarantee).

Example sentences with "ensure":
  • Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process. (Politician Hillary Clinton)
  • Good wishes alone will not ensure peace. (Chemist Alfred Nobel)

Insure

The verb "to insure" means to issue an insurance policy to provide compensation in the event of theft, loss, damage, or death.

Example sentences with "insure":
  • I own stock, and I also insure my car with Geico. (Baseball player Ernie Banks)
  • Nearly half of American seniors were forced to go without coverage because insurance companies were reluctant to insure them. (Politician John B Larson)

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? How to write "dos and don'ts" who's or whose? List of easily confused words

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