What is the Difference between Assure, Ensure and Insure?

The words assure, ensure, and insure are classic examples of how the most common English words are used in the wrong context. While it is easy to mess up these words, if you understand what they mean and how different they are from each other, it becomes easier to use them correctly. So, let’s get started with understanding the nuances of these words.

What does assure mean?

Assure means making a promise or giving a guarantee to help people overcome fear, anxiety, or insecurity about something. For instance,

The company assured the privacy and security of the customers’ information. 

What does ensure mean?

Ensure means making sure that something will or will not happen as promised. Let us consider the example given above.

The company ensured it has stringent security protocols to protect the customers’ information. 

What does insure mean?

Insure means a formal agreement between an insurance company and an individual to financially protect or safeguard his/her valuable assets. For instance,

I insured my car and house against damages. But the policy does not cover damages due to natural calamities.

How do you use assure, ensure, and insure in academic writing? 

One of the reasons why research papers get rejected is the poor language quality caused due to the wrong choice of words. Therefore, it is crucial to not confuse assure for ensure, or vice versa, in academic writing because it completely changes the meaning of the sentence.

For instance,

Incorrect: The scientists ensured absolute safety to the group receiving the placebo treatment. They assured that the group was physically and mentally healthy to be a part of the study.

Correct: The scientists assured the group that receiving the placebo treatment was absolutely safe. They ensured that the group was physically and mentally healthy to be a part of the study. 

So, now that you know how different assure, ensure, and insure are from each other, even though they sound the same, you can be sure of delivering clear, concise, and impressive writing always!

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