Why UAV insurance?
Almost everything is insured. Our lives, our homes, our vehicles and many more things we value. The proliferation of drones, especially among citizens, has led to the need to add drones to the list of insured items. If you do business and earn money with drones, it is wise to insure your drone(s). Even if you don’t make money and plan to make money in the future, it’s also a good idea to get insurance. This way you avoid having to pay out of pocket if an accident happens.
Insuring drones would also be good for your business. Your customers feel safe and want to do business with you. This would both retain your customers and help bring in new customers.
We all know that the applications of using drones have greatly increased from the original military use. Now people are using drones for both commercial and individual purposes. In the near future, you will regularly see drones flying above you. With the increase in the number of drones, accidents are inevitable. They can crash into a building, into another drone or even worse, into an airplane. Even now, pilots have reported about 25 drone near misses. If this is the rate now, imagine what the future rates will be?
Additionally, with the stealth nature of drones, many people may get offended if your drone hovers over their home or their office. They could then file a lawsuit for invasion of privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union has even called for regulations on the use of drones to prevent society from becoming a “surveillance society.” If this is the level of concern now, imagine what it will be in the future.
Types of UAV Insurance:
As of now, if you are not a commercial drone user, homeowner insurance would suffice. The catch, however, is that the drone must be flown over your own property and/or away from the public.
If you are a commercial drone user, no matter how large your operations, you need to insure your UAVs.
The amount of the insurance depends on the use and the country in which the insurance is taken out.
Taking out drone insurance is not that easy. You must prove that you take drone use seriously. You must prove that you have some expertise in flying drones. This could include copies of user manuals, purchase and sale data of drones and drone parts, and also training certificates.
Most insurance companies only insure drones for the following operations:
· Emergency assistance
· Environmental evaluation and monitoring
· Gathering knowledge and information
· Law enforcement
· Movies and documentaries
· Shipping and Maritime
· Site security and monitoring
· Traffic patrol and assistance
· Transportation maintenance
Type of accidents covered:
The following are the accidents currently covered by various UAV insurance policies:
· Loss of drone
Partial or full damage to drone
· Personal damage
Drone insurance is basically split into two parts: liability and hull damage. In the liability type, these are the damages claimed by third parties, while hull damage is the damage related to your own drone. Generally, the insurance policy for liability goes up to $1 million, while for hull damage it can go up to $1500 per year. These are general quotes and specifics may vary from company to company and from drone to drone. Some companies only offer liability insurance, others for hull damage, and some for both.
Insurance Brokers Requirements:
Insurance brokers also have some requirements. In general, they need the number of flight hours of the drone. Flight hours should normally be between 50 and 100. The drone owners are also required in some cases to hold the FAA 333 exemption. FAA 333 exemption is a certificate issued by the Secretary of Transportation to operate in the National Airspace System. The insurance brokers also want to know if the drone is owned or leased. They are curious whether the drone can automatically save the flight data etc. Finally, they want to know what areas the drone has flown and will fly in the future. They also check the website and not least want to know if any kind of training or certifications have been taken regarding drones.
When taking out, first determine which company you want to go with. For this you have to request quotes from different companies. And to get a quote from a company, you need to go to their website and fill out the quote form. The form will ask several questions regarding the owner information, type of coverage and cost of equipment, operational locations and number of hours flown, levels of training and number of previous accidents etc. Once the form is completed, the respective company will reply back with the quote. Once you have multiple quotes from multiple companies, you can make a better judgment and apply to the company of your choice.
Below is the list of some of the insurance companies dealing with drones. The list does not include all companies and may not be the best, but they are sufficient:
· Air Park
Avalon Risk Management
· Driessen Assuadeurs
· Insurance agency Harpenau
Sutton James Incorporated
· Unmanned risk management
So this was a humble attempt to educate you on how to insure your drone. In a nutshell, those who just want to fly over their home or away from the public and for recreational purposes do not need to purchase any form of drone insurance, as homeowners insurance will suffice. Those using UAVs for commercial purposes really need to insure their drones and should consider insuring their drones now. Who knows, with the passage of time, perhaps the laws related to drone insurance will become much clearer and uniform in the insurance industry.