In Expanded Internet Naming Game, Who Will Own .insurance?

Trade groups representing global financial companies have applied to operate the new domain names .insurance and .bank on behalf of the financial services industry. The American Bankers Association (ABA) and The Financial Services Roundtable have applied to operate registries for these prized domain names as Internet organizers look to expand addresses beyond the familiar .com, .org, and .net.

domain names

The organization behind the naming expansion effort, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), revealed who has applied for what it calls new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) names. ICANN said it received 1,930 applications, almost half of them from North America, with Web giants Amazon and Google applying for dozens of domains including .cloud, .buy and .book. The applicants sought to protect names, brands, and product fields ranging from .AAA and .AARP to .hotmail and .mutualfunds to .zip and .zulu.

In the insurance space, some of the firms applying include American International Group for .aig and .chartis; Travelers for .travelers, .travelersinsurance and .redumbrella and Allstate for .allstate and .carinsurance.

ICANN says that the evaluations will be conducted by independent panels that will weigh the technical and financial capabilities of the organizations applying along with the registry services they propose to offer to those wanting to use the new address. ICANN rules call for contested domains to go to auction where more than one party has a legitimate claim. The first new domains are expected to go live in the first half of 2013.

Among the other applications filed in the insurance space are:

  • Aetna for .aetna
  • Allstate Fire and Casualty for .allstate and .carinsurance
  • American Council of Life Insurance for .lifeinsurance
  • American International Group for .aig and .chartis
  • AmicaInsurance for .amica
  • BB&T Corp. for .bbt
  • Farmers Insurance Exchange for .farmers
  • Guardian Life for .guardian and .guardianlife
  • Hartford Fire Insurance Co. for .thehartford
  • MetLife for .metlife
  • Nationwide for .onyourside
  • Northwestern Mutual for .mutual and .northwesternmutual
  • Progressive Casualty for .insurance and .progressive
  • Prudential for .pru and .prudential
  • State Farm Mutual for .statefarm
  • Travelers for .redumbrella and .travelersinsurance and .travelers
  • WellPoint for .anthem

Each application to ICANN costs $185,000—which doesn’t include the sizable start-up or annual costs that an operator would incur.

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

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