About Us

 

How it all began

PilotInsure blends a passion for flying with expertise in insurance. No one else can offer this service independently.

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We have had great success in improving overall value for new clients coming on board whose existing insurance cover was outdated, or had non-disclosure issues with the specific type of flying they were actually covered for.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 uncomplicated. 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 exact needs.

Meet The Team

Franz Smit

Founder and Managing Director

+27 84 979 8632

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 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

New Business Development Manager

+27 73 338 5200

David Le Roux heads up New Business Development 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.

Winandi McGillewie

Marketing Representative

+27 82 680 6617

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.

Ashley Loynes

Marketing and Operations Manager
Ashley is our behind-the-scenes taskmaster who keeps the wheels turning smoothly.

Ashley has been with PilotInsure since its inception and built our very first website back in 2013. You may recognise her smiling face and warm personality from events we’ve attended, where she’s always ready to have a chat and make new friends.

She has served on the board of directors of a local non-profit organisation, 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 working at one of the biggest tourism companies in South Africa, she brings great experience to the team. She is a perpetually keen student and a regular attendee at digital industry events.

Cape Town Office
While the team is predominantly based in Gauteng, we are supported by a great office in Cape Town. Our administrative processing is handled through the Cape Town Netco Risk Management office.

Our Promise to you

Our first priority is always you. We’re here to help you through every step of the way.

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Excellent advice

You’ll find no cookie-cutter approach here, as we believe in each assessing each client’s individual requirements. We go above and beyond to ensure our clients have the best cover to suit their needs and pocket.

Top notch service

We pride ourselves on keeping our clients’ insurance cover relevant over time to make sure they’re never paying for something which is outdated. We make the claim process hassle-free.

World-class options

Our insurance options are on par with the best in the world. We make sure to stay up to date with new trends and products so we can deliver the best to our clients.

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