Hi, I’m Franz. I wanted to start this blog series off with a little background about me, how I ended up doing this and why I’m actually passionate about insurance (I know, not a lot of people can say that!).

 

First step: business specialist

I started my career in the financial world as a business broker. This mostly involved measuring the value of businesses, and looking for suitable new owners to buy over and improve on the current business model.

In 2010 I was approached, out of the blue, by one of the Big 5 Insurers to work for them as a Financial Advisor, so I decided to build on my experience by moving into this new direction.

It was a tough learning curve initially, with lots of knowledge to be gained and new skills to be mastered – if I do something, I do it well, and my heart just wasn’t all the way in it.  I started wondering whether this career was really for me.

 

Then something happened that changed my perspective

I received a call from a lady who needed help; her husband had passed away at work and the insurance company did not want to pay out the claim!

After meeting with her and wanting to help this lady (it must be noted that they weren’t my clients, I just felt so bad for her), after lots of backwards and forwards with the insurance company, I realised what the problem was: The husband had incorrectly stated his occupation – the work he was doing was significantly more dangerous than the work he or his broker had disclosed to the insurance company…And the claim was therefore invalid. The lady ended up losing her house, and she and the kids needed to move in with Granny and Grandpa.

 

How I could really help people

That’s when I truly saw first hand what a difference insurance can make in people’s lives. When it’s done properly, it’s there to protect and help by providing a financial safety net when things go wrong. This event changed everything for me; I’ll admit that before that I was chasing the numbers and, while often exceeding expectations, it wasn’t very fulfilling on a personal level… but after this event, I had true purpose.

 

Aviation in my blood

I have always been connected to aviation via my pilot friends and numerous family stories told around the braai of my father, uncles and grandfather flying back in the day.

 

Franz with one of his earliest aviation photos

An early aviation photo of Franz

Towards the end of 2012 I started to receive more and more requests from my flying friends to look at their insurance and see what I could do to help.  This is when I realised that there were so many SA pilots who were paying for insurance but had various non-disclosures with their policies which could mean that any future claims wouldn’t get paid.

This I noticed with both professional pilots as well as recreational/GA pilots!

 

So, in 2013, my love for flying and passion for insurance came together and PilotInsure was born.

My mission: get out to as many pilots as possible and make sure that their insurance covers them for all their flying and that there are no issues when there is a claim, which is when you need that insurance the most!

 

Solving a brand new problem

Insurance for a pilot is very specific and has several unique risk profiles; you deserve to have a specialist advisor looking after you who is independent (not tied to any company and can go to the entire market to get the cover best suited for your individual needs).

I love both the aviation and insurance worlds I’ve blended together into a career.  This is more than just a way to make a living for me…I truly believe in what I do.

I want to serve as many people as I can who have a passion for flying. The aviation community is a fraternity, and my aim is to help all aviators be properly covered for all of life’s eventualities.  

 

Happy landings,                                                                                                                                                                                          Franz

Franz Smit of PilotInsure specialises in loss of licence, pilot life cover, dread disease, investment planning, buy and sell agreements, disability and impairment risk cover for pilots.

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