Used in error to mean to make certain of something of something by taking necessary precautions. I vote for #1, exclusively. It makes me crazy when people talk about how some process or some such thing insures some result. I think that the only thing that insures something is an insurance policy, and even that only insures that somebody gets paid when the barn burns down or some such thing and even that assumes that the insurance company will actually live up to the terms of the policy and pay up. Oh, well, maybe it's just me utilizing my editorial privilege and ranting on and on and on in unnecessarily complex sentences. See also ensure and utilize.
Origin of Insure
Recorded since c.1440, as a variant of Middle English ensuren (from Anglo-Norman enseurer, itself from en- "make" + Old French seür "sure", probably influenced by Old French asseürer "to assure"); took on its particular sense of "make safe against loss by payment of premiums" in 1635, replacing assure.
Middle English ensuren to assure from Old French enseurer possibly variant of assurer assure
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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