With drones costing and doing more, no one wants to lose hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars from a drone crash. That very scenario happens every day, and unless you have the right type of coverage, you might be left holding the proverbial bag.
That’s the bad news, but not to worry, there may be a very bright silver lining.
We’ve written this guide to help you determine how to get the best insurance at the best price. And guess what, you may already be covered.
The Question – How Much Drone Insurance Do I Need and Where Do I Get It?
We spoke of a silver lining, and here it is, depending on the drone and how you use it, you may already be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. And yes, that would be for damages and possibly liability also. Of course, to be certain of that, always check with your insurance agent, so you’re not caught unaware.
If it turns out you do need additional insurance, we’re going to delve into where and how to get the best drone insurance policy at the best rates.
Do You Need to Buy Extra Drone Insurance?
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re a drone enthusiast and use your drone either for fun, entertainment or possibly to earn a living. It’s amazing how far and vast the industry has become in only a short time. While once adding cameras to a drone was an adventure in itself, it’s now a stable part of the industry with many drone shooting HD or even 4K. Sure, there are still smaller drones given for gifts or bought simply to keep the budget in line, but today many of those great shots you see in movies or commercials are done with drones, albeit expensive ones.
Drone Damage Insurance
Since drones can cost anywhere from $50 to thousands, it’s certainly a legitimate concern to wonder if your drone is covered by home owners, renters or condo policies.
As the expression goes, “the devil is in the details,” so take the time to read your policy completely. In most cases, but depending on the insurer, you may not need to pay anything additional, since a drone would be considered your personal property. That said, if you are using your drone in a professional situation, for hire, then double check.
Drones and the FAA
With regulations, such as those implemented by the FAA in 2015, it’s natural to think about liability and whether or not you’re covered should something happen.
FACT: In 2015 the FAA implemented regulations that required the owners to register their personal use drones.
CAUTION: Since 2015 the regulations concerning drones have been amended, be certain to take the time to review the current regulations.
Does Your Drone Require Liability Insurance?
Based on current regulations and assuming your drone is used for personal enjoyment, no liability insurance is required. That said, following the adage, “better safe than sorry,” having a policy for liability is certainly worth considering, as accidents do happen, no matter how careful you are or how complete the pre-flight.
RECOMMENDATION: While liability insurance is not required, it is recommended as well as damage insurance to protect your investment.
There are multiple insurance options to cover your drone, quadcopter or “Unmanned Aerial System” (UAS), we’ll touch on several in this article.
What Are The Risks When Piloting a Drone, Quadcopter or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)?
Let’s face it, drones are simply a whole lot of fun, they get you outside, usually with a group of friends, you’ll likely get some outstanding shots, and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will be buzzing with your antics. That’s the fun part, but the reality is that drones are much more than simple toys, or a “boys days out,” some are classified as aircraft by the FAA, so you while you can and should have fun, you need to do some planning on the front end. None of that is said to warn you off, rather ensure your safety and avoidance of a terrible day should an accident occur. We mentioned earlier that your homeowner’s policy might cover you, both for damage and personal liability, but you need to check your policy to be sure. Worst case scenario is buying some additional coverage which is a pretty smart move, especially with low-cost insurance options.
What Are The Costs?
The costs are negligible compared to the peace of mind a $100 a year policy can bring. While no one believes they’ll be the ones in an accident, or possibly causing personal injury, it can and does happen. This is a classic case of, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Drone Accidents Can Happen
With all fairness given to the operator, most drone accidents are caused by pilot error. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad pilot, but something happened beyond your control at the moment. For instance, if a pilot doesn’t keep an eye on the battery charge, and should it become drained, the possibility of falling out of the sky is quite real. If you happen to be in a crowded area when that happened, then property damage or personal injury is a possibility.
You’re flying and become caught in electrical power lines. The collision knocks out the power for a block of buildings in a commercial area. While that may sound unlikely, it has happened, and the interruption was not only measured in lost electricity but in lost man hours. The power company had to be called, deadlines were missed due to computer networks going down, it was a spiraling situation, and thankfully, the drone operator was fully covered, and while he faced extreme embarrassment, at least he didn’t face financial ruin.
While the above accident didn’t cause personal injury, an accident in the UK did. An operator lost control of his drone, and it collided with a toddler, slicing his eye. Toddlers screaming, mom’s yelling, ambulances wailing, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Now imagine it had been you, or maybe something much simpler, your drone loses power, crashing into a neighbor’s house or car causing damage, someone has to pay for it. Should that happen, you’ll be very glad to have an insurance policy.
CAUTION: Anything covered in this article is referencing piloting drones for personal use. Should you be using your drone, quadcopter or “Unmanned Aerial System” (UAS) for business purposes, additional insurance would be required. Please check with your insurance agent for viable solutions.
Drone, quadcopter or “Unmanned Aerial System” (UAS) are perhaps one of the greatest recent inventions, certainly one of the most enjoyable. Have fun, but do your due diligence first.