Grammar Common Spelling Mistakes 2022-10-12 00:00

Insure vs Ensure vs Assure: How to Use Each Correctly

Insure vs ensure title

Insure, ensure, and assure are three common words in the English language that are easy to confuse. They all have similar meanings related to the idea of making something safe or secure, but they’re not interchangeable.

To make matters worse, insure and ensure also sound alike. How can you tell which is the correct word?

This article will explain the difference between insure vs ensure vs assure and help you remember which spelling to use in your writing.

  1. Insure vs Ensure vs Assure Definitions
  2. Insure vs Ensure
  3. Assure vs Ensure
  4. Examples of Insure vs Ensure vs Assure Used in Sentences
  5. Remembering the Difference Between Insure vs Ensure vs Assure

Insure vs Ensure vs Assure Definitions

What’s the difference between insure, ensure, and assure? Does it matter if you mix them up?

Let’s start with the definition of each word.

Insure vs assure vs ensure difference

Insure: Definition and Meaning

The word insure refers to protecting yourself from something bad happening.

When you make regular payments to an insurance company, for example, you’re insured against specific types of claims, such as damage to or loss of property (like your car or house). To insure someone means to give insurance coverage for property or persons.

You can also use the broader meaning of insure when you're talking about protecting someone against a contingency. For example, you might say, “Keeping their father happy would insure themselves against his quick temper.”

Ensure: Definition and Meaning

The word ensure is far more common than insure. It means “to make certain,” “to guarantee,” or “make sure” something does or does not happen. If you’re trying to say “make sure,” the spelling you should use is ensure.

For example, you might say, “You need to ensure you’ll have enough food for everyone invited to your party.”

Assure: Definition and Meaning

Assure also carries the basic idea of “to make sure or certain,” but it has a more specific meaning.

To assure someone means to give them confidence or remove their doubts. It’s the verb form of the word “assurance.”

Generally speaking, you assure a person. For example, you might say, “I assured my sister there was no monster under the bed.”

Insure vs Ensure

The definitions of insure and ensure are quite similar.

Broadly speaking, each word means “to make sure of something.” But there are important differences in how each word is used in a sentence.

The general definitions for insure vs. ensure are as follows:

  • Insure: to take out an insurance policy (on a car, house, etc.)
  • Ensure: to make sure or guarantee that something happens

Follow this rule of thumb for how to use insure and ensure in a sentence:

  • You insure a car
  • You ensure success

Insuring vs Ensuring

Insuring and ensuring are the present participle forms of insure and ensure.

The same rules hold true for distinguishing between these two words. Insuring means “taking out an insurance policy,” and ensuring means “making sure.”

Assure vs Ensure

Now let’s look at the difference between ensure and assure. Here are the general definitions:

  • Ensure: to make sure or guarantee that something happens
  • Assure: to convince someone that something is true

Follow this rule of thumb for how to use ensure and assure in a sentence:

  • You ensure success
  • You assure a person

Examples of Insure vs Ensure vs Assure Used in Sentences

The best way to remember the spelling of a word is to see it used in action.

Using Insure in a Sentence

Let’s start with some examples of insure in a sentence:

  • Mark and Mary want to insure their home against hurricane damage.
  • Even if you are a renter, it’s a good idea to insure your apartment against theft and natural disasters.
  • Andi and Alexis got insured after they spoke to their local broker.

Using Ensure in a Sentence

Now let’s look at some examples of how to use ensure in a sentence:

  • These communication strategies will ensure a productive team meeting.
  • Ensure your safety when exercising by stretching.
  • The food truck and live band at the party ensured that everyone had a good time.

Using Assure in a Sentence

Finally, here are some examples of how to use assure in a sentence:

  • We assure you, this offer is our best deal of the season.
  • They assured Max they were doing everything they could to find his missing luggage.
  • I felt nervous about the procedure, but my doctor assured me that everything would be fine.

Remembering the Difference Between Insure vs Ensure vs Assure

One way to remember the difference between these three words is to use the following rule of thumb:

  • You insure a car
  • You ensure success
  • You assure a person

A nifty way to use insure correctly is to analyze the context of your sentence and see if it has anything to do with the concept of insurance. If your meaning is “protection against something bad happening,” then use insure.

A neat trick for spelling ensure right every time is to remember “guarantee” has two es.

To remember the meaning of assure, you can think about the word “reassure.” Another trick is that if someone feels anxiety, they may need to be assured. Both anxiety and assure begin with a.

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If these spellings confuse you, rest assured, you’re not alone. ProWritingAid’s Grammar Checker can help you ensure you’re using the right spelling in your own writing and insure against reader confusion.

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