Insurance app

A Picture of Health

DLDsummer15 Conference Munich – June 22-23, 2015
CEO Roman-Marcus Rittweger wants Ottonova to be the "Tesla of German health insurance." Source: Picture Alliance

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.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.