Assure vs Ensure vs Insure: How to Use These Words Correctly

Discover the key differences between assure vs ensure vs insure.

Homophones are words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings. Assure, ensure and insure are examples of homophones often cited as confusing words.

Assure means to make certain or remove doubt. Ensure is a guarantee that something will occur. Insure refers to an insurance policy for an event that may or may not happen.

Using ensure and insure correctly will help your writing become clearer and more accurate. So, in this short article, we examine how you can use these common homophones. We’ll also cover how to use assure, which isn’t a homophone but is often used incorrectly.

Best Grammar Checker
Grammarly
$3̶0̶ $15

Grammarly is a top spelling, grammar and plagiarism checker. It'll help you find and fix errors fast, and it works everywhere. It's trusted by millions of writers for a reason.


Exclusive 50% Cyber Monday Discount. Get Grammarly for $15 per month. Only available until December 4th

Become a Writer Today is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What Does Ensure Mean?

To ensure means to make sure something is going to happen. It is a promise that a future event will occur.

How Do You Use The Word Ensure?

Here are some examples for using the word ensure:

  • Passing this exam will ensure a passing grade in this class.
  • The gymnast’s perfect 10 ensured her the all-around gold medal.
  • Writing every day ensures you will increase your weekly word count.
  • I must act to ensure the survival of my business.
  • The politician says she’ll ensure everyone gets free healthcare.

What Does Insure Mean?

Insure means to protect something using an insurance policy. This event may or may not happen.

How Do You Use Insure?

Here are some examples for using the word insure:

  • I insure myself before going on a long-haul holiday.
  • My car was insured against the damage caused by the crash, so I was able to get it repaired.
  • My insurance company refuses to insure my house against flood damage.
  • I insured my writer’s den in case of fire.

Both insure and insurance start with the same letter. This can help writers keep the difference in the words straight in their minds. This definition is a little simplistic, however. According to Merriam-Webster, insure is correct in all instances relating to finance and insurance. Thus, in some instances insure is not directly connected to insurance but is still correct, such as:

  • The end-of-the-year sales insured the company against unwanted bankruptcy.
  • A new product line insured the company against a loss this quarter.

Clearly, there is a big difference between ensuring and insuring, especially when talking about insurance. Make certain to use insure in instances involving finance and insurance every time.

Is Insure a Real Word?

Insure is a real word, but it is used only in specific instances when referring to insurance or financial scenarios. Outside of insurance, you would likely use ensure instead.

What Does Assure Mean?

Assure means to emotionally support someone who is having doubts, fear or insecurity. Assure is not a homophone with ensure and insure, but it is commonly mixed up with them. In fact, assure, ensure and insure are three words that trip up writers.

How Do You Use Assure?

Here are some examples for using the word assure:

  • I assure you, we will get through this challenging time.
  • The locked door assured Rob that his dog would not get out while he was at work.
  • I assure the voters we’ll remove any doubt about what to expect from our next budget.
  • She assured the voters of her credentials for president.
  • He assured the shareholders that the business was financially sound.

Assure has more of an emotional connotation than ensure or insure.

The Final Word on Ensure Vs Insure Vs Assure

Now that you understand the difference between assure, ensure and insure, you are better equipped to use these words correctly. Still, it’s easy when you’re writing, to choose the wrong word.

First, review your writing, looking for homophones like these that commonly mess you up. If you know that ensure vs. insure is a problem for you, make an effort to seek them out. Read through your writing and highlight all instances of these words, then double-check that you’re using them properly according to the rules and definitions above.

Second, use grammar tools to help. Grammarly is a good one, even if English isn’t your native language. This tool, which is available as either a free or paid version depending on your needs, will point out grammar errors, including mixed-up homophones like ensure and insure. Here’s an example:

Grammarly caught the problem and provided the correct substitution. It works whether you write in British or American english. Learning to use homophones correctly is critical for strong, clear writing. By checking writing with a grammar checker, you can avoid common grammar errors like this and present better writing to readers.

Best Grammar Checker
Grammarly
$3̶0̶ $15

Grammarly is a top spelling, grammar and plagiarism checker. It'll help you find and fix errors fast, and it works everywhere. It's trusted by millions of writers for a reason.


Exclusive 50% Cyber Monday Discount. Get Grammarly for $15 per month. Only available until December 4th

Become a Writer Today is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Join over 15,000 writers today

Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.

Powered by ConvertKit

Author

  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.