Are You Covered? Domain Name Insurance for Insurance Companies – .INSURANCE Domain Available Soon

March 25, 2016

How Can the .Insurance Domain Help Our Company?

The <.INSURANCE> generic Top Level Domain (“gTLD”) will be available to eligible members of the insurance industry starting May 3, 2016. The <.INSURANCE> gTLD was announced by fTLD Registry, LLC. (“fTLD”) as a protected, trusted space on the Internet for insurance providers and distributors to increase their presence in the marketplace. <.INSURANCE> will also provide customers with enhanced security controls that exceed most existing and new gTLDs such as <.COM>. All <.INSURANCE> domains must meet strict Security Requirements, and only verified members of the global insurance community will be approved. The addition of this new top level domain opens up real estate on the Internet and provides new marketing and branding opportunities. As such, insurance companies should consider registering <.INSURANCE> domain names as soon as possible.

Are We Eligible?

The following for-profit and not-for-profit businesses or organizations are initially eligible to register <.INSURANCE> domain names:

  1. Insurance companies regulated by a government authority (e.g., licensed, approved, certified);
  2. Licensed insurance agents/agencies, brokers/brokerages or other equivalents (e.g., intermediaries, representatives) regulated by a government authority;
  3. Associations whose members are primarily comprised of entities or individuals identified above in 1. or 2.;
  4. Groups of associations whose members are primarily comprised of associations identified above in 3.;
  5. Service providers that are principally owned by or predominantly supporting regulated entities identified above in 1. or 2. (if approved by the Registry Operator Board of Directors); and
  6. Government regulators of insurance companies, agents/agencies, brokers/brokerages or other equivalents (e.g., intermediaries, representatives), or organizations whose members are primarily comprised of such government regulators (if approved by the Registry Operator Board of Directors).

How Soon Can We Register?

For those entities meeting eligibility requirements above, fTLD has established the following timeline for filing to register <.INSURANCE> domains:

Qualified Pre-Launch: May 3 – 9, 2016
Sunrise Period: May 9 – June 8, 2016
Founders: June 9 – June 14, 2016
General Availability: June 15, 2016 – ongoing

For founding members of fTLD Registry who currently hold validated trademarks in the Trademark Clearinghouse (an information repository used to authenticate and validate trademark registrations), the Qualified Pre-Launch Period starting May 3rd is available. A complete list of the <.INSURANCE> founders can be found here:

The Sunrise Period follows and is reserved for owners of federally registered trademarks who have recorded their trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse and meet fTLD's eligibility requirements. Sunrise applicants may secure a <.INSURANCE> domain matching their federally registered trademark.

Immediately following the Sunrise Period, the <.INSURANCE> founders who have not recorded their registrations with the Trademark Clearinghouse have five (5) days to apply to register <.INSURANCE> domains after which the registration process then opens to the entire insurance industry.

All domains are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis during all registration periods. Since the <.INSURANCE> gTLD will be available internationally, do not rule out the likelihood the <.INSURANCE> domain your company wants also may be desired by another insurance company. The first in line will obtain the domain. Now is the time to be nimble.

What Are Our Next Steps?

If you meet eligibility requirements and hold a federally registered mark, you must record your mark with ICANN’s Trademark Clearinghouse as soon as possible in order to take advantage of the Sunrise Period. Further, all potential <.INSURANCE> applicants should confirm they meet the enhanced security controls. It’s critical you use every available advantage to submit your application as soon as possible since identical <.INSURANCE> domain requests will be determined according to time of filing.

Dykema Can Help.

Dykema’s Insurance Industry Group is already working with our Intellectual Property team to advise our insurance industry clients on their plan of action for the <.INSURANCE> domain name registration opening. Please contact the authors of this alert, Suzanne Alton (312-627-2110) or Eric Fingerhut (202-906-8618), or any of the attorneys in Dykema’s insurance industry group listed to the left with questions or requests for assistance with these issues.

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