Now that spell-checking is commonplace, spelling has become much easier for everyone. On the other hand, no spell checker can identify incorrect word usage, so it is very useful to know the difference between words which look or sound similar. ‘Insure’, ‘assure’ and ‘ensure’ are three such words. This guide shows you how to use them correctly and avoid mistakes your computer can’t detect for you! First, here is an example using all three words.
Example: Before starting to paint, Dad insured me that he had assured to ensure his new tablet PC.
Example: Before starting to paint, Dad assured me that he had ensured that his new tablet PC was insured.
To ensure means to make sure or make certain of something.
INCORRECT: I told Dad to insure that he did not get paint on his new tablet PC.
CORRECT: I told Dad to ensure that he did not get paint on his new tablet PC.
To assure somebody of something means to earnestly convince them that it is true. Usually, to assure someone of something means to try to set their mind at rest on a matter.
INCORRECT: Dad ensured me that he would not get paint on the brand new tablet PC.
CORRECT: Dad assured me that he would not get paint on the brand new tablet PC.
To insure something means to guarantee it against loss or harm using an insurance policy. To insure your car means that you pay a little money to an insurance company each month, ensuring that if your car is accidentally damaged, the insurance company will pay to have it repaired.
INCORRECT: Before starting to paint, Dad assured his new tablet PC against accidental loss or damage.
CORRECT: Before starting to paint, Dad insured his new tablet PC against accidental loss or damage.