The first installment of this essay introduced the topic of the forthcoming, industry specific generic top level domains (gTLDs) — including the domain name suffix .insurance — due for release on the internet on June 15, 2016.
I wrote about how .insurance will not only help centralize insurance-related internet addresses, it will denote an online environment that enjoys a higher level of security. As insurance is a more technologically complex field than many others, let me now describe how .insurance will work.
Who can apply for a .insurance domain name?
The new gTLD .insurance will be a secure environment, providing some levels of online industry security that do not necessarily exist today.
Run by the registry fTLD — the same registry that manages .bank — the technical infrastructure of the new domain space is expected to be one of the most secure in the world. Applicants will undergo pre-vetting to ensure that they are legitimately tied to the insurance industry regardless of whether they are agents, actuaries, claims processors, adjustors, insurance exchanges or comparison sites.
The levels of pre-verification and authentication are understandably complex to ensure that only businesses genuinely involved in insurance are able to apply. Organizations will need to meet strict criteria to secure a .insurance domain is regulated by a government authority.
The .insurance gTLD will require agencies carrying the domain to be compliant when it comes to requirements such as licensing and renewal of licenses of agents and claims adjustors along with continuing education and customer disclosures. Levels of ongoing verification will continue to be in place long after the initial registration period.
The .insurance domain versus .brand or .com
In the several years since new TLDs started rolling out on the internet, some big carriers such as Aetna, Allstate and State Farm have purchased their own .brand domains (.aetna, .allstate, .statefarm).
However, the window for applying for and running a .brand website has long since passed. These companies mentioned above applied back in 2012.