Ensure vs Insure vs Assure | Differences & Sentence Examples

Grammar Rules updated on  February 22, 2024 2 min read

To ensure is to make sure something happens. To insure means to cover something with an insurance policy. To assure is to make someone feel convinced or satisfied.

Ensure, insure, and assure are similar sounding words, but they all have vastly different meanings.

Ensure or insure or assure?

The difference between assure, ensure, and insure will be much clearer after you see them used in a sentence.

Ensure meaning and usage

Ensure (v.): to guarantee that something will happen, such as through action or authority

Examples: Ensure in a sentence
Seasoning your cast-iron cookware after every use ensures that food won’t stick when you’re cooking.
Amahle convinced her son that he would do great on his test, but to ensure success, she made him go to bed early and eat a substantial breakfast.
LeBron James’s long career and elite talent have earned him dozens of awards and ensured he ranks among the top players in NBA history.

Insure meaning and usage

Insure (v.): to guard against risk by covering something or someone through an insurance company—a contract backed by payment or some other transaction

Examples: Insure in a sentence
Companies often recommend their employees get the annual flu shot to insure against unnecessary time off.
My father insured his business’s building and delivery vehicles, so he’d be certain that he would be able to replace them or secure financial compensation if any natural disasters occurred.
My favorite movie star is insured for 50 million dollars.

Assure meaning and usage

Assure (v.): to make yourself or someone else feel confident about something

Examples: Assure in a sentence
Preparing to speak before Congress for the first time, Freya was self-assured about her message but less confident about her oratorical skills.
I assured my grandmother that I was coming over next week.
Rob is assuring Kim that he did not run over her lawn in his car.

These three words are incredibly similar, but it is worth noting that sounding similar doesn't mean that they mean similar things.

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What does it mean to ensure something?

To ensure something is to make sure it happens, such as by taking action or using authority.

Is it insure or ensure success?

The correct phrase is ensure success, meaning to make sure that something is successful. To insure is to take out an insurance policy on something or guarantee it through some other type of transaction, so you can’t insure success—at least not literally.

What is the main difference between insure vs ensure vs assure?

Insure deals with insurance policies, ensure deals with guarantees and absolutes, and assure deals with emotions.

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Hannah Skaggs

Along with Paige Pfeifer

Hannah, a writer and editor since 2017, specializes in clear and concise academic and business writing. She has mentored countless scholars and companies in writing authoritative and engaging content.

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