Unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, more commonly known as drones, are high technology devices used for various purposes. The increasing popularity of drones has enabled many entrepreneurs to use them to their advantage. This is a relatively new business in the whole world as many people are still not very well informed about this latest technology. For those who already are indulged in this business, it is very important to get the drones insured. It looks a relatively new concept, right? Well, yes it is.
It is a very new concept but extremely effective in the coming years. If you have a very successful business with drones then in case of an accident, most of the cost would be saved if it is insured. Getting drone insurance will even help in gaining more clients as some people are reluctant in investing without insurance. With insurance coverage in hand, you will have comfort knowing that you are covered in case of any mishap or loss because UAV technology still has not taken perfection. The first question I’m asked is does every drone need insurance? The answer is a simple no. Not all drones need insurance. If the drones are used as a hobby or are only confined to your home then there is no need to get any insurance.
Currently, there is no requirement to have insurance in the US for recreational use of drones but in Canada, if you are using drones commercially or residentially, you need a $100,000 liability to get covered. Getting insurance helps sell the notion that your business is reputable. To understand everything about drone insurance and liability, we first need to look at some basic questions which people like to ask before getting an insurance policy.
What is Drone Insurance?
Drone insurance works as any regular insurance policy. You can also relate drone insurance with car insurance. The better your performance and training is, the better the policy will be. You will need to pay less for your insurance if your skills are good. For all the pilots who want to become good pilots and safely handle drones it is always a good option to get a good insurance policy. This will bring out the best in you if you want to become a trained and professional drone pilot. Pilots should have operating manuals and maintenance logs so that it becomes easier for them to attain the professional standard. Any kind of guidance would be helpful in achieving the desired goals.
These are some areas where the insurance company would help you in getting insurance:
- Homeland Security
- Fire and Rescue
- Real Estate
- Traffic Patrol and Accident Assistance
- Emergency Response (FEMA)
- Law Enforcement and SWAT
- Corrections Facility Security
- Maritime and Shipping
- Architecture and Construction
- Archaeology and Geology Exploration
- Recreational Parks and Gardens
- Movies and Cinematography
- Media and News
What kind of loss is covered?
Under this category, all losses occurring under commercially used drones are covered.
- Third Party Legitimate Liability
- Advertisement Liability
- Personal injury
- Loss or damage to the UAV or other related equipment
- Manufacturer Product Liability
- Aircraft operator Coverage and non-pilots working on ground
- Premises Liability
- Independent Contractors Liability
- Coverage of Fellow Employee
- Any damage to your rented premises
- Hijacking, Terrorism or War
- Your Property or Office Contents
Cost of Drone Insurance
The next question most commonly asked is:
How much does drone insurance usually cost? Drone insurance policies are divided into two parts:
- Liability which is the damage or claim to third parties
- Hull damage which is the damage to your own UAV
Different companies deal with insurance policies differently. Some companies include hull damage insurance while others do not. Some companies give a 333 exemption while others do not. It depends on the company you are trying to reach for your insurance. Before choosing the best insurance company, you need to talk to some people from different insurance companies to give you an idea about the overall cost of the insurance and what is covered under it. When once you are satisfied with the company’s guidelines, procedures and policies then you need to make the correct move. The common questions that the company could ask you would be:
- Have you maintained a maintenance log?
- Is 50 to 100 hours of flight time have been utilized?
- Do you plan on flying indoors or over water?
- Are you the owner of the drone or have you leased it?
- Are you able to automatically record your flight data?
These questions need to be answered satisfactorily in order to access the company’s drone insurance policy. Very clear and detailed answers would help in attaining the insurance you desire.
Next step will guide you on how to get insurance so that the steps are effectively followed.
How to get insurance?
To get an insurance of your choice, you need to get a quote from different companies. Getting a quote is an easy task by just visiting the company’s website and click the “get quote” button. The website would take you to a form where all the necessary details would be asked and then after filling all those, you will be returned with a quote. The information mostly asked is:
- Your complete name and address
- Specific information regarding your UAV
- The cost of each part of your equipment
- The total time you have flown the device
- The place you would be operating your UAV at
- The amount of training you have acquired
- Any other details related to the equipment and yourself
- Type of coverage whether a liability or hull damage
Once all these details have been entered, a quote would be given stating all the cost you would have to pay for the insurance. If you feel comfortable about the price and policies, it is best to get it done as soon as possible or else you can get a quote from another company.
Can you lose your insurance at anytime?
People often ask are there any chances of losing insurance and the answer to this question is yes. In certain cases, you can most likely lose your insurance. In case of not logging your flights properly and not being able to tell what exactly happened during the accident. This could surely mean ambiguity from your end which could end up in the loss of insurance. Similarly, if you fail to put the correct serial numbers and identification numbers on your drone, this could also result in losing your insurance. Lastly, not having an ethical flight and not reporting any maintenance changes can again cost you your insurance. You need to be very careful when dealing with such scenarios. It is best to keep a track of all your flights, the duration, the place everything needs to be shown. If your flights would be tracked then there would be enough evidence for you to claim an accident.
How to claim?
You should also need to be fully aware of how to file a claim in case of an accident. The claim should be easy to make but first you need to study and understand the insurance company’s guidelines and policies. The policies of the company will tell you that what the company can actually do and what it can not. It would be a good approach to first read everything the company has written on paper. Secondly, you need to report to the correct authorities and refrain from making any statements without letting your insurance company know. The insurance company would be able to assist you if you provide the correct information to them first. You should not leave the device unsupervised at any time. You need to stay with your equipment in case of an accident. These points should be kept in mind when dealing with an accident.
This guide provides a comprehensive approach towards getting drone insurance effectively. As stated earlier, commercially used UAVs need to be insured. It is highly recommended for commercial pilots to get their desired insurance so that they know they are covered in times of accidents. If you are taking this as a hobby and only restrict your drones to your house, then there is no need to get insurance. Your home owner insurance would be enough to let you enjoy flying drones. We have dealt with all the procedures taken to get insurance done. Each and every detail is provided as to how and when you need insurance. It is always better to talk to different companies and look at their different policies and procedures. After accumulating quotations from all companies you have been in talks with, you can always compare their prices and policies.