China’s giant Ping An Insurance Group is suing a California-based wholesale brokerage over its use of the name Ping An.
The Chinese financial services firm is demanding that Ping An Insurance Center (www.pingan-is.com), based in El Monte, Calif., cease using the Ping An name and trademark. Ping An Insurance Group says it is a “world-renowned insurance company and brand with a strong reputation and influence” and alleges that the name, trademark and website of Ping An Insurance Center (PAIC) have “misled or are likely to mislead the public into believing that Ping An Insurance Center (PAIC) is the Group or that its insurance products are related to, affiliated with or endorsed by the Group.”
PAIC is “not related to, affiliated with, endorsed by, or in any way connected to” Ping An Insurance Group or Company of China, Ltd. or its subsidiaries, the Chinese insurer said in a statement.
The Chinese group’s authorized websites are located at http://pingan.cn/ and http://www.pingan/com.
PAIC’s website says it a wholesaler doing business with more than 30 carriers and has licenses in all 50 states, including California. The California licensing page says the firm must use the full name Ping An Insurance Center for any business it conducts in the state. PAIC offers auto, home, health, and commercial/specialty insurance.
According to PAIC’s website, the words Ping An together mean “safety and peace.”
“We choose Ping An as our brand because we wish every one of our customers live happier, healthier and happier lives with safety and peace,” the firm’s website says.
Insurance Journal contacted the California business by phone Friday morning for comment. A man who said he was the owner of the company acknowledged that he was aware of lawsuit, but he declined talk about it or answer any questions.
Ping An Insurance Group Co. of China is its country’s largest insurer by market value and the world’s second-largest insurer by market value behind only Berkshire Hathaway. For the six months ended June, its net profit was 58.10 billion yuan ($8.45 billion), up 34 percent from a year ago, according to its filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The tech-oriented Chinese firm is heavily invested in the Ping An name, having a banking arm named Ping An Bank and a healthcare platform called Ping An’s Good Doctor.
*This story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.