With interest rates at rock bottom levels and some politicians in Germany calling for the abolition of private health insurance, now wouldn’t appear to be the best time to enter the industry.
But Ottonova, launched on Wednesday as Germany’s first online private health insurer, is confident that it can shake up a market that it believes has grown sluggish, with traditional insurers slow to digitize.
“We want to become the Tesla of German health insurance,” said Roman-Marcus Rittweger, the Munich-based firm’s chief executive and co-founder. “Look at the auto industry; Tesla is well and truly stirring up the established competition in electric mobility.”
Ottonova is named after the 19th century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, under whom Germany became the first country to introduce a national health insurance system in 1883.