Be sure: Assure, ensure, or insure

July 14, 2014

Based on a Writing Tip I wrote for my work colleagues… I adapted this succinct advice from an online discussion topic I was privy to.


Assure, ensure, and insure generally all mean ‘to make secure or certain’. However, they are distinguished by their level of specificity:

  • Ensure means ‘to guarantee’ and is the least specific of the three. Example: Installing this new piece of equipment will ensure that our deadlines are met.
  • Assure is more precise; it mostly means ‘to guarantee a person (of something)’. Example: The dispatcher assured me that it had been sent.
  • Insure means ‘to guarantee a person or property against financial loss’. Example: The facility was insured against ‘an act of God’.

In summary:

  • assure relates to people
  • ensure relates to things
  • insure relates to money

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