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“Assure” vs. “Ensure” vs. “Insure”: What’s the Difference?

Updated on June 21, 2023Grammar
  • To assure someone is to remove someone’s doubts.
  • To ensure something is to make sure it happens—to guarantee it.
  • To insure something or someone is to cover it with an insurance policy.

Some sources note that people use assure, ensure, and insure interchangeably. All three verbs have something to do with “making sure” and are therefore similar, but each of them has a distinct meaning that makes it better suited for some uses than the other two. So they might not be an interchangeable trio so much as they are simply commonly confused words.

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Assure vs. ensure vs. insure: What’s the difference?

The word assure means to tell someone something something positive to remove their doubts. The word ensure means to make certain of something. The word insure means to buy insurance coverage. 

I assure you that, if you insure your apartment, our rental insurance will ensure your possessions will be covered in case of fire.

What does assure mean?

Assure is something you would do to a person or an animal. These beings can have doubts or insecurities you can remove by assuring them, by giving them assurance:

I assure you, we will get to the play on time.

Tom locked the door, assuring Tim that their dog wouldn’t be able to wander out during the night.

In the United Kingdom and other countries of the Commonwealth, the word assurance can also refer to a particular type of insurance:

I’m thinking about taking out a life assurance policy.

What does ensure mean?

When you ensure something, you’re making sure it is going to happen:

I need to study more to ensure I get a passing grade.

He scored thirty-five points last night, ensuring that his team will have a place in the finals.

What does insure mean?

To insure something or someone is to cover it with an insurance policy, a kind of agreement that states that if something happens to someone or something that’s insured, the insurance company will provide compensation:

I don’t want to insure my car, but the law says I have to.

The insurance company said they won’t insure our house against floods.


Sportswear manufacturer BLK’s receivers have moved to assure the company’s customers it will be “business as usual” amid uncertainty among professional sporting outfits.
The Sydney Morning Herald

Beyond the numbers, California’s electric vehicles policies are leading the way by ensuring that low-income communities benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.
The Sacramento Bee

This means drivers, now typically paying around £50 a year to the Treasury when they insure their car, will see it rise to above £60.
The Guardian

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