Insure vs Ensure – Difference and Comparison

What is Insure?

The word “insure” comes from the lexicon of late Middle English, and it means to come to the agreement that in certain conditions, something will be paid to someone. This term is used by insurance companies that provide different insurance plans to people. They also use this word with their tailored plans, designed for students, parents, and possessors of expensive items like cars.

Insure is grammatically a verb, and in meaning, it has the same connotation as the word “insurance”. When you “insure” something, it means you get it protected by an insurance plan that is based on some terms and conditions. For example, “The company insured my house.” In the aforesaid sentence, it meant that the company agreed to pay me something in case my house gets heavily damaged by accident.

People get themselves and their valuable possessions “insured” in order to protect their future. If they insure themselves, it means that if something happens to them, certain financial and other privileges will be given to their legal heirs by the insuring company. Whenever you get something insured, you are bound to pay a fixed amount in an interval of time to keep the insurance policy running till the amount is repaid to you in multiplied numbers.

What is Ensure?

The word “ensure” is derived from the Old French word “aseurer”, implying “to convince” or “to make sure”. This word can be used in different contexts. It means to show certainty that something will happen, to agree to provide something, and to satisfy that a problem shall not occur. For example, “I shall ensure his presence in the meeting.” In the aforesaid sentence, it means that I agree to bring a person to the meeting.

Ensure it is grammatically a verb, and its meaning can be understood in three possible contexts – as explained above. Statistics show that with the rise of business models around the globe, this word has had major usage in professional and business English in the past few years. Especially in 2019, it was most frequently used on Google.

Some examples of its usage are as follows: “You should ensure that all files are placed on my desk tomorrow” and “You can ensure protection against the impending threat of the virus.”

Difference Between Insure and Ensure

  1. Insure means to get something/someone covered by an insurance policy, whereas “ensure” means to make sure.
  2. Insure is a specific term used by insurance companies, whereas ensure is a more common verb in daily life.
  3. Insure has lesser usage in speech and writing, whereas ensure is used in writing and speech.
  4. The word “insure” offers more meanings in the dictionary, whereas “ensure” has lesser meanings but more frequency of occurrence.
  5. If we consider the historical factor, “insure” is the latest word, whereas “ensure” can be traced back to the Old French root.

Comparison Between Insure and Ensure

Parameters of ComparisonInsureEnsure
MeaningIt means getting something protected by an insurance planIt simply means to make sure something happens, will not happen
Grammatical CategoryIts category is a verb and is mostly intransitiveIts category is a verb and is transitive
UsageInsure has specific and lesser usage in speech and writingEnsure is more frequently used in speech and writing
Semantic ScopeThe semantic scope is apparently largerThe semantic scope of this word is seemingly smaller
EtymologyHistorically, it is a modern wordIt has older roots that go back to the Old French