Storebrand has applied to the Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission for a licence to establish a company specialising in health insurance in association with the German company DKV (Deutsche Krankenversicherung AG). The company is to be named Storebrand Helseforsikring AS, and Storebrand will have a 50% ownership stake. Assuming approval from the authorities, the new health insurance company will begin operations in the second half of 1998.
By co-operating with Deutsche Krankenversicherung AG, Storebrand gains access to the best health insurance expertise available in Europe. DKV is Europe`s largest and leading company in the field of private health insurance and is active in a number of countries. In 1996, the company`s premium income from health insurance totalled about NOK 20 billion.
Health insurance offered by Storebrand up to now has provided the insured with a cash payment in the case of sickness. The new products from Storebrand Helseforsikring will cover the customer`s expenses for treatment instead, and at the same time the customer will be offered assistance in finding the best and quickest treatment available in each case.
Sales of private health insurance are increasing in most European countries - including Scandinavia. Two major Nordic insurance companies have already started to sell health insurance in Norway, and Storebrand wants to meet this development. Initially, Storebrand and DKV will establish operations in Norway, but believe that it will be natural gradually to consider the whole of Scandinavia as a market for Storebrand Helseforsikring. The company will operate from Oslo.
Comprehensive market surveys in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark clearly show that a large part of the population wants to be able to pay for a private supplement to the public health services by taking out health insurance. Health insurance makes the growing range of private health services available to people in general, and not only to those people who are in a particularly good financial situation.
Since 1995, Storebrand has offered health insurance on the Norwegian market in addition to traditional personal insurance. Since 1995, more than 15,000 people have bought insurance cover that provides a cash payment in the case of critical or serious illnesses and surgical operations. Storebrand and DKV consider the public health service to a mainstay of the Nordic welfare states. Private health insurance does not replace these public schemes. Private health insurance is a service to those who want more freedom of choice and who are willing to pay so such extra security out of their own pocket.