Insure, Ensure, or Assure?

Have you ever written, “We will do everything in our power to insure that your shipment arrives before Friday”? Was this correct? It’s not incorrect, but there’s a better way to use it.

There are three words that confuse people: insure, ensure, and assure.


INSURE means to protect against loss. Example - I’m going to insure the shipment for $5,000.00.

ENSURE means to make sure, make certain, to guarantee. Example - I will ensure that the shipment arrives by Friday.

ASSURE means to give the person confidence, to inform positively. The object of the verb “assure” should always refer to a person. Example - I assure you, we’ll do all possible to get the shipment there by Friday.

Let’s try using all three in one sentence: I assure you, we’ll do all possible to ensure that the insured shipment arrives on time.

To recap:
INSURE: protect against loss
ENSURE: guarantee, make certain
ASSURE: give confidence

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