May 5, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
Early registration for the “cyber-safe” .insurance domain name opened on Wednesday via Instra Corporation, the corporate domain name retailer subsidiary of London, United Kingdom-based CentralNic plc.
The protected domain space for the insurance industry “promises enhanced security for tens of thousands of insurance companies around the world, providing they can clear the authentication process that shows they are qualified and regulated members of the global insurance community,” Instra said in a press release on Wednesday.
The .insurance initiative follows the success of the .bank domain, launched in 2015, which has already seen the majority of banks in the United States and more than 500 banks in Europe apply.
At a consumer level, the .insurance development will help protect insurance customers from fake insurance websites designed for data theft, Instra reported, as .insurance domains must meet strict security requirements. For example, there is “multi-factor authentication” and “strong encryption to ensure security of communication over the Internet.”
“It enhances consumers’ confidence in their digital relationship with insurers, whether in the life, health, motor, home and contents or pensions sectors,” the release added.
The price for a .insurance domain starts at US$900 – higher than typical consumer domains, “reflecting the additional security features built around registrations, but clearly this cost is small for insurers and brokers,” the release said, adding that “the total cost of .insurance implementation may be dwarfed by savings from reduced data breaches and other forms of cybercrime.” An insurance company’s application through an approved registrar takes only a “few days to reach an indicative acceptance,” Instra reported.
“Insurance companies are prime targets for cybercrime, given the richness of personal data they hold on behalf of their policyholders or members,” said Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic plc, in the release. “The cyber risk which insurers have been involved in underwriting on behalf of corporate clients is now affecting their own organizations. As the insurance industry increasingly goes digital, tackling domain name vulnerabilities will significantly reduce the chances of online data theft. Consumers will learn quickly to trust web addresses ending with .insurance, as only a genuine insurance organization can use a .insurance domain.”
Early movers may pre-register for their domains now, Instra said, with certain trademark holders able to take advantage of a special ‘sunrise period’ during which they may be guaranteed their desired .insurance domains. These are available through Instra domain name, with worldwide account managers and customer service teams poised to assist applicants through the authentication process.
Founders and endorsers of the initiative include Insurance Europe, Swiss Re, Unum, American Insurance Association, Prudential Insurance Company of America, Financial Services Roundtable and the Global Federation of Insurance Associations.