‘Ensure’ or ‘insure’?

There is considerable overlap between the meaning and use of insure and ensure. In both British and American English the primary meaning of insure is the commercial sense of providing financial compensation in the event of damage to something (e.g. property); ensure is not used at all in this sense.

For the more general senses, ensure is the more usual word, but insure is also sometimes used, particularly in American English, for example:

Bail is posted to insure that the defendant appears for trial.


The system is run to ensure that a good quality of service is maintained.


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Grammar and usage