Skip to content

Grammarflex

Grammarflex logo

The Difference Between “Ensure”, “Insure” and “Assure”

Ensure means "to make something certain to happen". Assure means "to tell someone confidently that something is true". Insure means "to guarantee against loss or harm".

Last updated on February 12th, 2024 at 08:27 pm



“Ensure”, “assure”, and “insure”

Ensure, assure and insure: a trio of verbs that not only sound similar, but are also closely related in meaning. Let’s see how these words work in English, their correct usage, and more.

Are ensure, assure and insure interchangeable?

Assure vs insure vs ensure.

  • Ensure means “to make something certain to happen: The company’s sole concern is to ensure the safety of its employees.
  • Assure means “to tell someone confidently that something is true: She assured him that the car would be ready the next day.”
  • Insure means “to guarantee against loss or harm”, or “to provide or obtain insurance”. Example: The house is insured for two million dollars.

To insure is to “guarantee against loss or harm”, or, specifically, “to cover with insurance”. Ensure and insure are frequently confused with each other, since both words have to do with making a guarantee or making certain of something. The difference is that to insure relates more to things of a financial nature, such as insurance. To ensure is more broadly applicable and just means to make sure or certain of something.

Ensure is to “to make sure, certain, or safe”, but without the financial connotation that insure has in protecting against possible loss. This makes the verb ensure more general in application and use, e.g., ‘Please ensure that the doors are locked when you leave‘.

To assure is to tell someone something with confidence so as to reassure or convince them of that thing (usually so that they don’t worry about it). In fact, assure is synonymous with reassure, or words like convince, persuade, and so on. Assure is not quite about making certain something will happen (which is to ensure), but to inspire confidence in another person of something.

Sentence examples with insure

1. He decided to insure his new car against potential accidents and damages.

2. The business owner knew the importance of insuring the company’s assets to safeguard against unexpected losses.

3. She wanted to insure her valuable art collection to protect it from theft or damage.

4. The insurance company offered a policy that would insure the traveler’s belongings during their vacation.

5. It’s wise to insure your home against natural disasters like floods and earthquakes.

Sentence examples with ensure

1. Please ensure that all doors are locked before leaving the building.

2. The chef took extra care to ensure that each dish was prepared to perfection.

3. The company implemented strict security measures to ensure the safety of its employees.

4. Double-check your work to ensure that there are no errors before submitting the report.

5. The project manager worked tirelessly to ensure that the project was completed on time.

Sentence examples with assure

1. She assured her friend that she would be there to support her during the difficult times.

2. The company’s CEO personally assured the employees that their jobs were secure despite the restructuring.

3. The doctor assured the patient that the procedure was safe and well-tested.

4. The teacher assured the students that there would be no pop quizzes that week.

5. He assured his parents that he would take his studies seriously and improve his grades.

Synonyms of insure

  • underwrite
  • guarantee
  • shield
  • cover
  • assure
  • hedge
  • safeguard
  • warranted

Synonyms of ensure

  • confirm
  • secure
  • guarantee
  • verify
  • check
  • certify
  • corroborate
  • make sure
  • make certain
  • see to it
  • establish
  • set the seal on

Synonyms of assure

  • reassure
  • convince
  • satisfy
  • persuade
  • guarantee
  • pledge to
  • attest to
  • prove to

Origin of insure

Mid-15c., insuren, spelling variant of ensuren “to assure, give formal assurance” (late 14c.), also “make secure, make safe” (c. 1400), from Anglo-French enseurer, Old French ensurer, from en- “make” (see en- (1)) + seur, sur “safe, secure, undoubted” (see sure (adj.)).

Origin of ensure

Late 14c., from Anglo-French enseurer, from en- “make” (see en- (1)) + Old French seur “sure” (see sure); probably influenced by Old French asseurer “assure.” Compare insure. Related: Ensured; ensures; ensuring.

Origin of assure

Late 14c., “reassure, give confidence to; make secure or safe, protect; bind by a pledge, give a promise or pledge (to do something),” from Old French asseurer “to reassure, calm, protect, to render sure” (12c., Modern French assurer), from Vulgar Latin *assecurar, from assimilated form of Latin ad “to” (see ad-) + securus “safe, secure” (see secure (adj.)). Related: Assured; assuring.

Check out other commonly confused words

Sources  

1. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of insure.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/insure. Accessed 13 August, 2023.

2. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of ensure.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/ensure. Accessed 13 August, 2023.

3. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of assure.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/assure. Accessed 13 August, 2023.

Recent Posts

What are literary devices?

10 Common Literary Devices to Know

From ancient epics to modern novels, literary devices play a crucial role in captivating readers’ imaginations and conveying themes, emotions and ideas. In this comprehensive

Labeled or labelled?

Is the Correct Spelling Labeled or Labelled?

Labeled and labelled are different spellings of the same word and action meaning, “to fix a label on something or write information on something”. Labelled