Common Confusion: Assure, Ensure & Insure

Insurance

Insurance (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

The verbs assure, ensure and insure have the same general meaning–to make certain or more secure–but but are used in very different contexts.

  • Assure is something you do to a person or people to ease doubt or anxiety. Example: When we left the neighborhood, my wife assured me I closed the garage door.
  • Ensure is something you do to guarantee the security of an event or condition. Example: Our boss wants to continue trimming costs this quarter to ensure we meet our yearly profit projections.
  • Insure can be done to a person or thing to limit financial liability and loss. It’s most commonly used in terms of insurance. Example: The event space requires that we hire a fully-insured catering company.
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