Konnect Net cuts insurance filing in half

By Helen Twose

Hamish McLachlan. Photo / Supplied
Hamish McLachlan. Photo / Supplied

Health insurance processing times have been slashed thanks to clever technology created by Auckland-based company Konnect Net.

Its IT system links insurers, medical practices and insurance advisers resulting in medical insurance applications being turned around in less than half the time they used to.

Konnect Net director Hamish McLachlan said when the company started in 2008 the focus was on the collection of medical information from doctors, a time-consuming task with each insurer having its own system.

He said it was "all paper-based" and "very complex".

The suite of products developed by the company has now grown from the original SureMed to include SureApp for agents selling insurance and SureClaim for handling claims.

Konnect Net's products link with the existing systems used by insurance advisers and doctors. Even a medical practice still using paper records can be hooked into Konnect Net's system with faxes sent to a secure server and converted to electronic records.

Konnect Net's management of all the issues and anomalies, including privacy, has made it a hit with the industry.

"We got a big chunk of the market on board once we went live to the point now where we have almost all insurers and banks using our services because the proof is it is just that much better," said McLachlan.

The focus for the company is now the Australian market where it has the advantage of an established track record with the New Zealand subsidiaries of the predominantly Australian-owned insurers, said McLachlan.

Konnect Net turned over $8 million last year but McLachlan said the growth off the back of the Australian expansion would boost that to over $12 million this year.

The company is among five finalists in the University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs' Challenge with up to $1 million in growth funding and support up for grabs.

If successful Konnect Net would use the funding to fast-track its plans for Australia.

"We've been testing services in the New Zealand market, bedding them down, understanding the issues in broader markets so the future is about pushing offshore and that's one of the reasons we see the Entrepreneurs' Challenge as being such a great opportunity for us."

Wellington investor Rangatira last week said it had put $3.5 million into Konnect Net with a conditional undertaking to provide a further $2 million in August 2013.

Growth phase
* $8m in revenue set to grow to $12 million this year
* 55 staff could grow to 80 in the next year
* 80 insurance underwriting forms reduced to one easy-to-use system
* 20 day average turnaround for medical information now 7 days

- NZ Herald

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