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27. May 2019

Ottonova introduces himself | Interview with Jesko Kannenberg

ottonova, based in Munich, has been an official member of InsurLab Germany since the beginning of April. That makes us very happy. In an interview, Jesko Kannenberg reveals how ottonova was founded, what sets it apart from large insurance companies, how they envisage working with InsurLab Germany and what challenges and goals there are to meet

How did ottonova come about? What is your founding history?
We founded ottonova with the aim of establishing a health insurance company that would support policyholders at the level of technical possibilities and their life reality and expectations. The mere fact that there were no new private health insurance companies for 17 years before us shows that the industry has not seized many opportunities for a long time, such as technical and medical advances.
We offer our customers an insurance offer that helps them immediately and without detours. It was important to us that our tariffs and support services should not only be based on the classic insurance perspective. Every day, we all deal with digital products that set standards in terms of usability and customer focus. Why shouldn't these advantages also apply to dealing with insurance? We want to avoid paperwork, long waiting times and opaque structures - and use technological advances to create a customer experience that sets new standards.

How exactly is your business model structured?
The customer is our unconditional focus. What are his needs and how can we meet them? In addition to high-performance insurance rates, we also develop digital service offerings in our app to make our customers happy. Every single employee works continuously to increase the satisfaction of every single insured person at ottonova - our benchmark for success. Another pillar of our work is the dialogue with our customers. With regular feedback, we constantly work on our services and processes to provide even better service every day. It is important to us that our customers are insured with ottonova on a long-term basis and are satisfied throughout. Just recently, for example, we improved our supplementary dental rates and the associated services, and immediately afterwards Stiftung Warentest voted us the test winner. And with regard to the number of new contracts, we can already see that we are also convincing in terms of facts. That makes us very happy.

Why did you decide to go into private insurance when there are already so many strong, established market players? What do you do better?
Unlike large insurance companies, which are trapped in their outdated IT systems, we can do everything from scratch using the latest technology. We use open source technologies and develop stable and highly scalable systems. This enables us to offer new solutions within the shortest possible time, for which other private insurers need much more time because their structures provide for longer change cycles. It is precisely this speed that our customers love. Thanks to our lean processes, for example, we can guarantee a lightning-fast reimbursement of invoices via the ottonova App - instead of waiting several weeks or months, we often do this in one or two days.

InsurLab Germany is all about cooperation and collaboration in the insurance industry. How would you like to get involved?
We firmly believe that we can only revolutionize the digital transformation in the German healthcare system if we do this together. We are therefore all the more pleased that we can contribute our technological approaches for lean IT processes or automated procedures to the initiative and further develop them with our member companies. In this area, we are contributing the necessary know-how from our Global Scale Solutions joint venture, which is working intensively on new structures.

What do you expect from the membership of InsurLab Germany?
Although we have only been on board with InsurLab for a short time, we are already enthusiastic about the dynamic and openness that prevails here. We are very excited about the exchange with the insurance companies for the insurance of the future as well as with the other start-ups to not only talk about digitization, but actually live it.

What challenges and goals will accompany you in 2019?
The year is all about market coverage. We want to inform even more potential customers about the advantages of ottonova through new distribution channels and cooperations and prove that the combination of insurance and digitisation is a step towards customer advantage. At the same time, of course, we will also continue to develop our digital services and ecosystems - we are currently working on direct pharmacy billing and an even simpler appointment service for our customers to arrange appointments with doctors.

Where do you see the insurance industry in 2030?
In the future, even more technology trends from industry will find their way into the healthcare industry and improve the care of insured persons. The topics of data and data processes alone already offer us a tremendous amount of potential to better understand customers and treat them more individually. From big data to artificial intelligence to blockchain - I am confident that the insurance industry will also benefit from these innovative technologies in the medium term. Here, however, it is important that the political framework conditions are quickly improved so that not only people, but also their insurance companies, can be successful in the future.

Further information of ottonova can be found under the following link

Jesko Kannenberg

Jesko David Kannenberg is member of the Management Board of ottonova Holding AG, responsible for Sales and Marketing. He looks back on around 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. Most recently, the multi-channel expert was Managing Director of Asstel, the direct insurer of Gothaer, which was renamed Gothaer Beratung und Vertriebsservices GmbH in 2018. He previously worked for Debeka and holds an MBA in Leadership & Management.

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