Writing for Business

Dec 17 2009   5:54PM GMT

Ensure or insure?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
A security policy should stipulate requirements for each department to _______ that confidential information and technologies are not compromised.
a. insure
b. ensure

Answer: b

Both insure and ensure mean to make certain of something but insure is most often associated with insurance — taking out a house insurance policy, for example, to protect your financial investment in your property.

There are those who claim the two can be used interchangeably but we think that, since a useful distinction exists, their meanings should be understood differently.

Charles Carlson digs deeper into the ensure vs. insure issue for Grammar Girl.

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