A sister company to the Austrian registry nic.at is to take over operation of the .versicherung (“insurance”) new generic Top Level Domain the registry announced Thursday. Registrants are required to be involved in the insurance industry.The company, TLD-Box, is taking over as registry backend service provider for the new gTLD from the word go and is now set to become its formal operator. The changeover has no effect on registrars or existing registrants. The acquisition marks the first time the Austrian registry has taken over responsibility for one of the top level domains in ICANN’s new gTLD programme.”Our technology has been involved with .versicherung from the outset, so you could say that the acquisition was a logical next step for us,” explained nic.at and TLD-Box CEO Richard Wein, as he outlined the reasons behind the decision to acquire the TLD from Germany’s dotversicherung-registry GmbH. The latter has now confirmed its intention to withdraw from the domain business completely in the wake of the sale. Since the technical interfaces will remain unchanged, work with partner registrars will continue uninterrupted. The changeover has no material impact on existing domains and current domain prices will stay the same..versicherung is the Austrian registry’s first special interest domain acquisition. The ending is strictly reserved for the insurance industry, something that is checked during the registration process. There are currently more than 2,600 .versicherung domains registered, but numerous desirable premium domains are still up for grabs, as Wein confirmed: “Premium domains such as kfz.versicherung (“car.insurance”) or lebens.versicherung (“life.insurance”) have been held back so far, but we are going to gradually introduce them to the market.”Top addresses like this – as is customary for the new gTLDs – will go on sale or be put up for auction at premium prices. “The core market will be the German-speaking world, and we see strong potential for Austria here,” Wein added.Unlike Austria’s .at ending, the .versicherung TLD is covered by the new gTLD model set by ICANN.”This puts two systems under one roof, which in some respects couldn’t be more different to each other,” Wein said.The key difference is that in the case of .at domains the domain holder is a contractual partner of nic.at and their domain contract runs until it is actively terminated by the holder. By contrast, the new gTLDs have a specific expiry date and have to be extended each year. The domain holder only has a contract with their registrar, rather than with the registry itself.”Naturally enough, registrars are used to working with different systems, so customers won’t notice a thing in most cases,” Wein confirms.In addition to .versicherung, nic.at technology is behind a further eight new gTLDs: .wien, .tirol, .berlin, .hamburg, .voting, .brussels, .vlaanderen and .ikano. The nic.at sister company TLD-Box was founded in 2011 with the aim of providing backend registry services for applicants and operators of TLDs.