SECTION 7.701. Standards Governing Approval of Corporate Names  

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  • If, after giving consideration to each of the matters enumerated in paragraphs (1)-(8) of this section, the commissioner determines that the proposed name is so similar to that of any other insurance company as to be likely to mislead the public, he shall disapprove the name; otherwise, he shall approve it.

    (1) Mere similarity is not a ground for disapproval, nor is the mere possibility that the similarity may mislead the public. Disapproval must be predicated on a finding that the similarity is likely to mislead the public.

    (2) No misleading similarity will be found because the name contains words which are required by statute.

    (3) Certain words are commonly used in insurance company names to denote strength, stability, geographic region, type of insurer, or some similar concept. Unless such a word is found to be the key or predominant identifying portion of the name, its use may be permitted even though the identical word appears in the name of another insurer.

    (4) A coined word, or a word not commonly used in insurance company names, is generally to be regarded as a predominant or identifying portion of a name. Therefore, the use of such identical words in two or more company names will be not permitted unless it is clearly shown that the likelihood of misleading is eliminated by including other predominant and distinguishing words in the name or names.

    (5) The tendency to mislead is reduced if the similarly named companies are not authorized to insure the same types of risk.

    (6) The tendency to mislead is reduced if the similarly named companies are affiliated through stock ownership or are otherwise under common control and management.

    (7) If offered, evidence that the names under consideration have been concurrently used in other states without having misled the public will be received and considered.

    (8) In cases where trademarks, trade names, copyrights, slogans or unusual plans, policies, or programs have been so used as to identify an insurer, the board or commissioner may consider such trademarks, etc., in conjunction with the official corporate name in determining whether there is a similarity likely to mislead the public.

Source Note: The provisions of this §7.701 adopted to be effective January 1, 1976; amended to be effective April 1, 1983, 8 TexReg 922.