Online bank N26 launches into insurance and faces giants like Allianz

German online bank N26 has launched an insurance service.

N26

LONDON – German digital bank N26 is embarking on insurance.

The Berlin-based fintech announced Thursday that it was launching insurance policies for smartphones in partnership with the local start-up Simplesurance.

Plans start from $ 6 – around $ 7.18 – per month, based on the original value of the customer’s phone. Users will be able to purchase coverage, manage their plans, and file claims for damages such as water damage and theft.

“When it comes to insurance, customers still have to deal with complex and outdated administrative processes and formalities today,” said Valentin Stalf, co-CEO and founder of N26.

“The space has long been ripe for disruption and we now offer a single digital solution for our customers’ insurance needs. “

For now, the feature will only be available in Germany. But N26, which was last valued at $ 3.5 billion, said it plans to roll out the product to more countries in Europe and expand it to include other types of insurance. such as home, life and travel.

Founded in 2013, N26 is one of the largest so-called “neobanks” in Europe, a term referring to the wave of new banking players trying to disrupt incumbents with app-only checking accounts. Its competitors include Chime, Revolut and Monzo.

Although N26 already has paid subscription accounts that bundle travel and smartphone insurance, this is the first time the company has offered such a product to all of its users, and poses a challenge for established providers such as Allianz and Axa.

It can provide the loss-making business with a new way to generate income from its users. N26 says it will take a small slice from each client referred to its insurance partners. Last year the company lost 110 million euros, down slightly from a loss of 165 million euros in 2019.

Maximilian Tayenthal, who runs N26 alongside Stalf as co-CEO, told CNBC in January that the company is considering making its first acquisition, with the aim of expanding its offering to include potential new services such as investments.

N26’s entry into the insurance market comes as investors pump hundreds of millions of dollars into digital insurance start-ups. British online insurer Zego recently raised $ 150 million at a valuation of $ 1.1 billion, while its German counterpart Wefox is would have looking for an investment of $ 250 million at a valuation of $ 2 billion.


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David A. Albanese

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