How it all began
PilotInsure blends a passion for flying with expertise in insurance. No one else can offer this service independently to South African pilots.
Franz Smit, the founder behind this innovative insurance solution, would not rest until he had figured out a way to get pilots properly insured for aviation activities and any of life’s eventualities.
This rapidly-growing business is earning its wings by bringing trusted insurance solutions to both commercial and private pilots. PilotInsure won’t stop until we find the best possible products to suit the individualised needs of each pilot. We can bring fresh solutions because we keep ourselves independent and unbiased.
PilotInsure is based in South Africa but we work all over Africa, and have clients currently flying in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North America, and Australia.
We have had great success in improving overall value for new clients coming on board whose existing insurance cover was outdated, or had non-disclosure issues with the specific type of flying they were actually covered for. Following intense research and negotiation with some of the biggest local insurance houses, the average premium has decreased and the benefits on offer have improved substantially.
We also work with international re-assurers and can put cover in place for just about any risk scenario.
Overall, PilotInsure is independent, flexible, and innovative and takes a positive, needs-based approach to getting the best value on the market.
We like to keep insurance simple and believe in full disclosure.
This ensures a happy open relationship and makes the claims process as uncomplicated as possible. As professionals within the industry, we’ll be able to save you money on your insurance package, or offer you better, more insightful products suited to your unique needs.
Meet The Team
Franz Smit is the founder and managing director of PilotInsure.
Franz started his career in the financial world with a successful stretch in business broking, before moving in to financial advisory services in 2010. After noting how his pilot friends and clients were struggling with exclusions or loadings on their insurance policies, he decided to tackle the market for pilots’ long term personal insurance and started focusing exclusively on pilots in 2013. PilotInsure was born and the rest, as they say, is history.
Franz blends immense knowledge of the insurance industry, product options, and variations, relationships built over years and underwriting decision making with a passion for flying and a deep understanding of unique aviation risks. He participates in air races and nav rallies, and can usually be found at an airfield over weekends.
He often gives industry presentations and has been invited to be a guest speaker at a wide range of events, amongst them aviation medical conferences and pilot safety meetings. Franz has also written articles for African Pilot, SA Flyer, Pilot’s Post, as well as been interviewed by Risk Africa magazine for their June 2015 article titled ‘Undercover Pilots’.
Franz has successfully and consistently made new inroads into the aviation and insurance industries when it comes to risk cover for pilots and is a true specialist in insurance for aviators.
David Le Roux is our Key Accounts Manager at PilotInsure.
David has comprehensive experience and training in the insurance field, having come from a successful career in short term aviation insurance. David has structured various international insurance facilities for clients ranging from Africa, the US, Asia and the Middle East. Leveraging those relationships and expertise, he now applies what he knows in the long term insurance field.
David’s motivation lies in helping everyone from the student pilot to the airline transport pilot and everyone in between. Whether you’re a fresh comm instructing on a piper PA-28, or a weekend-warrior general-aviator flying your pride and joy, David knows the ins and outs of your policy. He can quickly identify the gaps and possible pitfalls in your cover and rectify them. PilotInsure, being independent, allows David to utilise the correct insurer to cover your risk.
With a keen understanding of how aviation applies to the risk profile in your personal and business assurance structures, David’s qualifications have given him the quantitative knowledge he needs to succeed; and his experience has given him the qualitative rounding-off to manage any relationship with great ease.
Adele is our in-company taskmaster who keeps the wheels turning smoothly.
Adele is Franz’s right hand (as well as the left hand!). She has been with PilotInsure since the beginning of 2020. She has extensive experience in the insurance industry and is our client care champion. She takes care of client onboarding, administration, compliance, quotes and comparisons, policy updates and reviews, just to mention a few.
Those that have met her, whether it be over email, telephone, or face-to-face will agree that she is exactly the kind of person which suits our financial planning practice’s vision. She is a person with humility, integrity, loyalty, honesty, and good ethics. When you pair this with some excellent client service capabilities, you’ve got a winner!
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Winandi knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a pilot when she grew up.
When her dad went for flying lessons to get his PPL, she would go with him to Swartkop AFB where he was training and sit on the ground and watch, and dream… All she wanted to do was fly, so she had her first flying lesson when she was 15.
In 2008, she did her first solo flight making her one of the youngest to obtain an SPL and fly solo at the age of 16 in South Africa. She could fly a plane before she could drive a car! She went to 43 Air School straight after finishing high school and obtained her CPL at age 19. This is also where she met her husband, Ralph, who now flies for a local domestic airline.
In 2011 she went off to Maun, Botswana as a newly qualified commercial pilot. She flew in the Okavango Delta for 3 years as a bush pilot flying Cessna 206s, Airvans and Caravans. She started flying the King Air 200 doing medivacs and charters in 2014 and was later rated on the Beech 1900 and Beechjet BE40 as a first officer.
In 2016 she joined De Wet Drilling flying their King Air 90, and obtained her Airline Transport Pilot Licence in 2017, before joining the PilotInsure team in 2018 as a marketing representative.
Ashley is our behind-the-scenes wizard who takes care of all things marketing.
Ashley has been with PilotInsure since its inception and built our very first website back in 2013. The PilotInsure brand is her baby which she is proud to have nurtured and built as a prominent and reliable brand amongst the aviation community.
She has served on the board of directors of a local non-profit org, as well as on the national executive committee of a South African NGO. She’s a big-hearted philanthropist and has done substantial work in her spare time to further both humanitarian and animal welfare causes.
She has an honours degree in business from the University of Greenwich (UK), as well as qualifications in both events planning and web analytics. Having started her career at one of the biggest inbound tourism companies in South Africa, she brings great experience and balance to the team.
Our Promise to you
Our first priority is always you. We’re here to help you every step of the way.