What's Happening?

Netstar appoints new GM for insurance markets



South African tracking and stolen vehicle recovery company Netstar has appointed Belinda Felix as its new General Manager for Insurance Markets. Felix replaces insurance industry stalwart Justus van Pletzen, who is pursuing business ventures outside of telematics and insurance.

Felix has 19 years’ experience in short-term insurance, having specialised in the fleet, heavy commercial vehicles, and motor and taxi sectors, for which she led the development of insurance and value-add products, among others.

At Netstar, she will focus on growth and building a sustainable business model in the financial services industry.

“I will work with the stellar team at Netstar to ensure we are at the forefront of telematics in South Africa, in order to provide our clients world-class services,” says Felix. “We also want to ensure our recovery rate continues to be among the best in the market to give insurers and other clients the peace of mind they deserve.”

Says Van Pletzen, “With Belinda’s experience in insurance and the fleet vehicles sector she is the perfect person to take insurance telematics in South Africa to the next level.

“It was an exciting period at Netstar, and I will miss my colleagues and friends dearly, not only at Netstar, but also in the greater insurance industry. I wish the Netstar team all the best and I will always remain their biggest advocate,” Van Pletzen says.

Expansion into other markets

Felix explains that the telematics and recovery industry will see continued expansion into other financial services markets beyond insurance. “There will be a shift in the use of telematics data, which will become crucial in mitigating risks other than theft and hijacking,” she notes.

Netstar has various alternative business solutions aimed at managing individual and pool risks, which can improve client claims experiences and help insurers retain good clients, she explains.

“Telematics is still being underutilised,” says Felix. “In future, the technology can, and will, play a much larger role in the way insurers and partners go about their business, particularly in the way they price products and rate clients,” she concludes.