Insure vs. Ensure – How to Distinguish Them

19.07.23 Commonly confused words Time to read: 5min

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When writing an academic paper, it’s possible to come across commonly confused words. These encounters can have an effect on your paper because academic writing necessitates clear and precise communication of arguments. The terms “insure” and “ensure” are frequently confused due to their similar spelling and related meanings. However, they cannot be used interchangeably and it’s important to understand the differences. Discover the differences between “insure” vs. “ensure” now.

Definition of “insure vs. ensure”

Although “insure” and “ensure” differ only by one letter and entail similar meanings, they represent some of the most often confused words in academic writing. “Insure” and “ensure” are two words that aim to provide security or certainty, albeit in different ways. They involve taking action to guarantee a particular result.

Insure

… is a verb that means primarily relates to the concept of insurance or financial protection against risks. It refers to the act of providing or obtaining insurance coverage for an asset, such as a car.

Ensure

… is a verb and focuses on making certain or guaranteeing something will happen or be the case. It is used to indicate the action of ensuring or ensuring the outcome of a particular situation.

To summarize, “insure” relates to insurance and financial protection, while “ensure” focuses on guaranteeing or making certain of something. The main distinction lies in their specific contexts and the areas they are commonly used.

Using the word “insure”

The word “insure” can take on a variety of word forms and be used in different ways, as will be outlined in the following paragraph.

“Insure” as a verb

The word “insure” usually operates as a verb and as such, it can operate as a transitive verb, which means it requires a direct object to complete its meaning. The direct object typically refers to the thing or person being provided with insurance or financial protection. Here are some examples of how it can be used:

Examples

  • They insured their car against theft and accidents.
  • She insured her jewellery for a substantial amount.
  • The company decided to insure its employees’ health.

Tip for using “insure” correctly

Use “insure” when the focus is on obtaining or providing insurance or financial protection against risks. Synonyms for insure compile of “cover”, “indemnify”, “protect”, “safeguard”, and many more.

Examples

Synonyms Examples
Cover The insurance policy insures damage caused by natural disasters.
The insurance policy covers damage caused by natural disasters.
Indemnify The insurance company agreed to insure for the loss of their vehicle.
The insurance company agreed to indemnify for the loss of their vehicle.
Protect They purchased a security system to insure their home from burglaries.
They purchased a security system to protect their home from burglaries.
Safeguard The company implemented security measures to insure data.
The company implemented security measures to safeguard data.

Using the word “ensure”

The word “ensure” can be used in different ways depending on the context, as outlined in the following.

“Ensure” as a verb

The word “ensure” is a verb, which means it can also operate as a transitive verb. In this case, the direct object usually refers to the thing or action that is being made certain or guaranteed. Here are some examples:

Examples

  • The teacher ensured that all the students understood the assignment.
  • He ensured the accuracy of the data by double-chequeing the calculations.
  • We must ensure a safe environment for the event participants.

Tip for using “ensure” correctly

Use “ensure” when the emphasis is on making certain or guaranteeing that something will happen or be the case. Synonyms for ensure are “assure”, “confirm”, “guarantee”, and “secure”.

Examples

Synonyms Examples
Cover The insurance policy insures damage caused by natural disasters.
The insurance policy covers damage caused by natural disasters.
Indemnify The insurance company agreed to insure for the loss of their vehicle.
The insurance company agreed to indemnify for the loss of their vehicle.
Protect They purchased a security system to insure their home from burglaries.
They purchased a security system to protect their home from burglaries.
Safeguard The company implemented security measures to insure data.
The company implemented security measures to safeguard data.

Test yourself!

Practice sheet

Test your understanding of distinguishing “insure” from “ensure” by filling in the blank spaces in the 10 sentences. After completing the task, you may refer to the second tab for the appropriate answers. This will help you confirm your understanding of the distinction between the two words.

  1. The IT implemented security measures to _____ the company’s sensitive data from cyber threats.
  2. She decided to _____ her holiday plans by purchasing travel insurance.
  3. He wanted to _____ his new camera against damage during his travels.
  4. The project manager will _____ that all deadlines are met and deliverables are completed.
  5. It’s essential to _____ your valuables to protect them from potential loss or theft.
  6. The airline company should _____ passengers’ safety by conducting regular maintenance cheques.
  7. They purchased travel insurance to _____ their trip expenses in case of cancellations.
  8. The coach’s primary responsibility is to _____ the team’s success through effective training.
  9. Remember to _____ the accuracy of the data before finalizing the report.
  10. The store offered extended warranties to _____ customer satisfaction.
  1. The IT implemented security measures to ensure the company’s sensitive data from cyber threats.
  2. She decided to insure her holiday plans by purchasing travel insurance.
  3. He wanted to insure his new camera against damage during his travels.
  4. The project manager will ensure that all deadlines are met and deliverables are completed.
  5. It’s essential to insure your valuables to protect them from potential loss or theft.
  6. The airline company should ensure passengers’ safety by conducting regular maintenance cheques.
  7. They purchased travel insurance to insure their trip expenses in case of cancellations.
  8. The coach’s primary responsibility is to ensure the team’s success through effective training.
  9. Remember to ensure the accuracy of the data before finalizing the report.
  10. The store offered extended warranties to ensure customer satisfaction.

FAQs

“Insure” primarily relates to the concept of insurance or financial protection against risks. It involves obtaining or providing insurance coverage for assets or protection against potential loss. On the other hand, “ensure” focuses on making certain or guaranteeing something will happen or be the case. It implies taking steps or measures to ensure a particular outcome.

Think of “insure” as being specifically related to insurance and financial protection. The word “insure” contains the letter “S,” which can remind you of “security” or “safety” in terms of protecting assets or providing coverage against risks.

On the other hand, “ensure” is about making sure or guaranteeing something will happen. The word “ensure” contains the letter “E,” which can remind you of “effort” or “expectation” related to ensuring a particular outcome or result.

“Insure” example:

  • They decided to insure their new car against theft and accidents.

Explanation: Here, “insure” is used to indicate obtaining insurance coverage for the car, protecting it financially in case of theft or accidents.

“Ensure” example:

  • Please ensure that all the windows are closed before leaving the house.

Explanation: In this sentence, “ensure” is used to mean making certain or guaranteeing that the windows are closed before leaving. It emphasizes taking steps to ensure a specific outcome.

The term “insure” primarily refers to the act of obtaining or providing insurance coverage or financial protection against potential risks, losses, or damages. It involves entering into an agreement with an insurance company to receive compensation or reimbursement in the event of specified circumstances.

The term “ensure” refers to making certain or guaranteeing that something will happen or be the case. It implies taking steps or measures to ensure a particular outcome or result. When you ensure something, you are putting in place the necessary actions, precautions, or arrangements to make sure that it happens as intended.

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