The advent of new generic top level domains (gTLDs), or what is to the right of the dot in a website name, such as .com, has gained little public attention since the inception of the program to expand suffix choices in 2012.
There was a slight stir as .NYC was released in 2014. Within a year, it became the most sought after geographic string alongside .London, .Paris, .Berlin, and so on.
Business has been slower to get on board with the new gTLDs. But with the arrival of more securitized TLDs such as .bank, which has already become a trusted, verified, easily-identifiable and more secure online space, it’s becoming clear that this new approach to claiming turf on the internet is the way forward.
In June 2016, a new generic TLD, .insurance, will launch, opening fresh web real estate to insurance companies, licensed agents and brokers regulated by government agencies. Operated by fTLD, the same registry that manages .bank, this gTLD will also be a highly secure and complex environment available only to insurance companies and professionals. Additional registry verification for .insurance applicants will be conducted by Symantec, the operator of some of the most secure SSL technology in the world.
As the insurance and financial services industries have observably begun to blend over the last few years, and as the regulatory environment becomes increasingly complex for both, it makes sense that .insurance and .bank should both be seen as a layer of online protection. Several high profile banks such as City National Bank and Horizon Bank have already begun switching their online presence over to .bank; .insurance is likely to draw the same attention from eligible companies. As branded gTLDs operated by others in the insurance sector — such as Aetna, Allstate and Guardian —start to gain attention, the new .insurance TLD could be an alternative for those companies that did not apply for branded suffixes in this round.
While large carriers and agencies are one obvious target for .insurance, the TLD is being marketed to organizations and individuals at all levels of the insurance spectrum, including:
- Independent agencies (Mom & Pop/Main Street storefronts)
- Large agencies representing several carriers
- Captive agencies (that work for one carrier only)
- Claims processors
- Wealth managers and retirement advisors
- Marketplaces and Exchanges
The beauty of the .insurance string is that it works for everyone, from major global insurance companies right down to the smallest independent agencies. And it meanwhile provides a level of security and regulatory scrutiny that is unavailable elsewhere on the web.
Coming tomorrow, Part 2 in this series will dig into the implications of the new .insurance TLD for the industry.