When is it appropriate to use assure vs. ensure vs. insure?
Assure: promise, as in I assure you the car is safe to drive.
Ensure: confirm, as in Ensure that you have plenty of gas in the tank before going on a long trip.
Insure: protect with an insurance policy, as in Insure the car before your trip.
To “assure” a person of something is to make him or her confident of it. According to Associated Press style, to “ensure” that something happens is to make certain that it does, and to “insure” is to issue an insurance policy. Other authorities, however, consider “ensure” and “insure” interchangeable. To please conservatives, make the distinction. However, it is worth noting that in older usage these spellings were not clearly distinguished.European “life assurance” companies take the position that all policy-holders are mortal and someone will definitely collect, thus assuring heirs of some income. American companies tend to go with “insurance” for coverage of life as well as of fire, theft, etc.
protected by RegDwighт♦ Nov 6 '12 at 9:45
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