What is Drone Insurance?
Commercial drone insurance is similar to some other types of liability coverage protecting you from claims of bodily injury or property damage. In addition to liability coverage for damage to the property of others, a drone policy can also cover your drone for physical damage to the drone itself. If your drone is lost or damaged in an accident, the insurance company will cover all damages and costs incurred up to your declared limits.
Insurance companies use detailed underwriting when issuing a drone insurance policy. In many cases, they require the drone pilot to have maintenance logs, operating manuals, a record of parts, and proof of training to indicate that you are a safe flyer. This is done to ensure that your insurer understands the risk to your drone, to other people, to the objects around you, and potential for loss to the insurance company itself.
Keep in mind that the safer and more prepared you are, the higher your chances are of obtaining a drone insurance policy at the most affordable rates.
Why Do I Need Drone Insurance?
Since the concept of using drone for commercial purposes is fairly new, there aren’t any standard rules and regulations when it comes to insuring drones. But in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the main body responsible for regulating the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles since they classify it as an “aircraft”.
For commercial drone use, it is imperative to get coverage to protect your business from liability even if it is not required by the government. There are many risks involved when flying drones, and without the right insurance, your business is exposed to potential liabilities.
Here are some of the most common businesses or industries that might require a drone insurance policy.
Real estate agents including home inspectors
Engineering companies and construction firms
Commercial photographers, videographers, and filmmakers
Emergency response units and damage assessment teams
Fire and rescue operation businesses
Traffic monitoring, media, and news gathering
Agriculture, crop, and related industries
Railroad, highway, and structure maintenance businesses
What Does Drone Insurance Cover?
If you’re conducting business, flying on behalf of your company, or flying for some other kind of non-recreational purpose where another stakeholder might be involved, buying drone insurance is a smart move.
Drone Liability Insurance
Offers protection for damages caused to third parties as a result of drone operation and generally includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage. Most companies and larger businesses require liability insurance before they allow drones to take off on their premises. The same applies to contractors who often lease drone services.
Provides coverage for the damages to the drone or UAV itself. Typically separate from a liability policy, most business owners tend to neglect hull insurance thinking that drones are cheap. But if your drone is equipped with expensive cameras, top-class sensors, and onboard real-time kinematic or RTK GPS units, a hull policy should be a top priority.
While not a popular type of drone insurance, you can certainly insure your payload such as an expensive camera and gimbal system. Also there’s ground equipment, like dedicated ground stations, laptops, tablets, UAV cases, remote controllers, etc. And there may be other considerations like non-owned coverage or personal injury coverage.
What Does Drone Insurance Usually Cost?
Liability insurance can run as little as $5 / hour for $1 million in coverage. You can also pay by the month or year.
And if you’re working with a broker to put together a more comprehensive or custom policy, drone liability insurance can begin to cost up to $600-$800 per year.
Of course, you’ll need a unique quote from an insurance company to know exactly how much you will be covered and what it will cost. Each company structures their policies a little differently. Some include hull insurance, others do not. Do your due diligence and chat with a number of companies before moving forward.
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