Insure vs Ensure vs Assure | Difference, Examples & Quiz

Insure, ensure, and assure are related verbs with different meanings.

  • Insure means ‘protect against loss, damage, or injury’ or ‘provide or obtain insurance on’.
  • Ensure means ‘make certain that something will occur’.
  • Assure means ‘convince’ or ‘give confidence to’.
    Examples: Insure in a sentence Examples: Ensure in a sentence Example: Assure in a sentence
    If you don’t insure your car, you can’t drive it! Another goal will ensure victory. I assure you that I’ll be on my best behaviour.
    Rafi plans to insure his house. To ensure her safety, Mia practises self-defence. Can you assure me that the vault is secure?

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    What does insure mean?

    Insure is a regular verb used to refer to the act of obtaining or providing insurance (i.e., arranged financial compensation in case of loss, damage, or injury). It’s used whether you’re referring to the company providing the insurance or the individual buying it.

    Examples: How to use insure
    Dana wants to insure her bike.

    Although Kevin had insured the painting, the insurance company wouldn’t honour the claim.

    I think insuring your pet is a wise decision.

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    What does ensure mean?

    Ensure is a regular verb meaning ‘guarantee’ or ‘make certain that something will occur’.

    Examples: How to use ensure
    You must ensure that you have a current passport before travelling abroad.

    Before leaving for work, Martin ensured that he had his phone.

    Emma set her alarm for 6 a.m., ensuring she wouldn’t sleep in.

    What does assure mean?

    Assure is a regular verb meaning ‘assuage the doubts of’ or ‘convince’. It’s typically used before a pronoun or the name of a person.

    Examples: How to use assure
    I assure you I didn’t mean any offence.

    The salesman assured Liam that the value of the car would only increase.

    I tried assuring him, but he wouldn’t believe me.

    Note
    In the UK, the noun ‘assurance’ can be used to refer to a specific type of insurance (e.g., ‘Dave pays a low premium on his life assurance policy’).

    Worksheet: Ensure vs insure vs assure

    You can test your understanding of the difference between ‘ensure’, ‘insure’, and ‘assure’ with the worksheet below. Fill in either ‘ensure’, ‘insure’, or ‘assure’ in each sentence.

    1. I never _______ my luggage before travelling.
    2. Not watching TV before bed will _______ you sleep better.
    3. Let me _______ you that you performed well.
    4. If you _______ your house, you will _______ that you receive financial compensation in case of damage.
    5. Can you _______ this won’t happen again? I want you to _______ me.
    1. I never insure my luggage before travelling.
      • ‘Insure’ is a verb used to refer to the act of obtaining or providing insurance.
    1. Not watching TV before bed will ensure you sleep better.
      • ‘Ensure’ is a verb meaning ‘make certain’ or ‘guarantee’.
    1. Let me assure you that you performed well.
      • ‘Assure’ is a verb meaning ‘convince’ or ‘assuage the doubts of’. It’s typically used before a pronoun or the name of a person.
    1. If you insure your house, you will ensure that you receive financial compensation in case of damage.
      • ‘Insure’ refers to the act of obtaining insurance. ‘Ensure’ refers to the act of making certain something occurs.
    1. Can you ensure this won’t happen again? I want you to assure me.
      • In the first instance, ‘ensure’ (meaning ‘make certain’) is correct. In the second instance, ‘assure’ (meaning ‘convince’) is correct.

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    Other interesting language articles

    If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes

    Frequently asked questions

    What is a synonym of ‘ensure’?

    Some synonyms and near synonyms of ensure include:

    • Confirm
    • Guarantee
    • Make certain
    • Make sure
    • Verify
    What is a synonym of ‘assure’?

    Some synonyms and near synonyms of assure include:

    • Convince
    • Persuade
    • Promise
    What does ‘rest assured’ mean?

    Rest assured is an expression meaning ‘you can be certain’ (e.g., ‘Rest assured, I will find your cat’). ‘Assured’ is the adjectival form of the verb assure, meaning ‘convince’ or ‘persuade’.

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    Ryan, E. (2023, March 09). Insure vs Ensure vs Assure | Difference, Examples & Quiz. Scribbr. Retrieved 17 July 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/frequently-confused-words/insure-or-ensure-or-assure/

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    Eoghan Ryan

    Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.