With Ambitions to Expand (and Disrupt Allianz), German Insurer DFV Weighs IPO

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With challenging challenges to insurance giants like Allianz SE, the new Deutsche Familienversicherung AG [DFV] needs 100 million euros ($ 116 million) for new funds to finance the expansion plan. The initial public offering is believed to be the founder and executive chairman of a founder, Stefan Knoll.

“There is an opportunity to grow even further over the next three to five years before the current economic turnaround is weakening and things get a bit more difficult,” Knoll said in an interview. “We look at a number of options, including the IPO, and we aim for a solution until the end of the year.”

Knoll aims to bring customers up to a billion by 2019 to support their sales and marketing efforts.

Focusing solely on health, property and accident insurance in 2017 with sales of only 72 million euros, DFV is still a niche player when compared with 31.7 billion euros reported by Allianz, Europe’s largest insurance company, for these segments last year.

DFV uses artificial intelligence to decide which insurance claims are legitimate and which are not. In partnership with Frankfurt-based startup Minds Medical GmbH, it has developed an algorithm that can read ICD-10-Codes that doctors and hospitals use to categorize bills.

When a dispute arises and people have the capacity to learn from human decisions for further automation, people only take part. This technology also helps the company keep costs under control, keeping staff numbers to a minimum, even as the number of customers increases.

Knoll thought of selling to a larger partner in the past, but transfer negotiations could not produce an action unless the parties agreed on the strategy. He believes that DFV is better on its own rather than part of a resident insurance company.

In his view, business models do not have a radical change of business model in order to have a presumption that he believes he should have digitalization. Knoll has refused to reveal the companies DFV has seen.

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