Drones have become increasingly common in recent years. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that the total number of drones that are now registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has topped one million. About 878,000 of these registrations are made by hobbyists, while about 122,000 come from public, commercial, and other drone users.
Regardless, if you fly a drone in your own background for fun, or if you have made a career from flying these unmanned aerial vehicles, it is important to be aware of certain risks you may face. Those who use drones for business purposes should be especially cautious of the potential liabilities that could occur under a number of circumstances. To help minimize these risks and their financial repercussions, many drone owners protect their interests with a drone insurance policy.
What Is Drone Insurance?
Similar to car insurance, drone insurance provides drone owners with financial protection in the event of third-party claims of property damage or injuries. Even if you have great control over your drone, accidents can occur at any time. You could get distracted and lose control of your drone unexpectedly, it could veer off course and into a crowd, or it could malfunction and fall. If it lands on a person or someone’s property, you could be responsible for any damages that occur.
If you live in the U.S., you are not legally required by the Federal Aviation Administration to purchase drone insurance, regardless if the drone is being used for recreational or commercial purposes. However, there are certain states that have specific requirements for aircrafts. Despite these facts, many drone users choose to purchase a policy anyways. Why? Because drone insurance is an inexpensive way to protect yourself against the unexpected. It can also provide you with peace of mind each time you prepare your drone to fly. If you use a drone for business purposes, just think of drone insurance as another essential business policy.
Drone Insurance Coverage
Flying drones can be a fun and fulfilling pastime. However, they are also unpredictable and should be treated as such. The right insurance policies can help keep you protected against the possibility of bodily injuries and property damage. There are four main types of drone insurance available. These include aviation liability insurance, personal & advertising insurance, hull coverage insurance, and medical payments insurance.
Types Of Drone Insurance Policies
Aviation Liability Insurance
Like most types of liability insurance, aviation liability insurance protects in the same way standard car insurance would. This means that your policy will protect against third-party claims of injury or property damage. For example, if you should accidentally crash your drone into someone’s vehicle. Like most policies, there are different levels of coverage available to meet your needs and budget. Most limits start around $500,000 and go up as high as $10,000,000 or more.
Personal & Advertising Insurance
With personal and advertising insurance, you remain protected against damage and losses that occur as a result of slander, libel, defamation, or violation of privacy rights. In terms of drone coverage, this type of policy may be useful if you fly over private property and take photographs. If you are sued by the property owner for a violation of privacy, you would be protected from the person’s claim.
Hull Coverage Insurance
Hull coverage is what covers the actual drone. If your drone should require repair or replacement in the case of a total loss, your hull insurance would cover these expenses. A policy may also cover any associated legal and labor costs, salvage charges, and costs for any collision defense and possible attacks.
Medical Payments Insurance
If someone becomes injured due to your drone, you could be found responsible and forced to pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars or more in medical costs. With a medical payments insurance policy, these hospital expenses would be covered.
How Much Does It Cost?
Like all insurance policies, the exact amount that you will pay for your drone insurance will depend on the insurance company you choose, the policies you pick, and the amount of coverage you need. If you opt for an on-demand provider, you could pay as little as $5 per hour for up to $1 million in coverage. For a custom or comprehensive insurance plan, you can expect to pay an average of $600 to $800 per year. You can choose to pay your insurance by the month or year.
Speak To An Experienced Drone Insurance Broker
Today, drones are being used for all types of functions, from disaster preparedness to delivering pizzas. No matter how you use your drone, it is important to protect yourself against potential liabilities that could occur anytime you fly your drone. For more information about drone insurance or to inquire about a policy, contact the experienced drone insurance brokers at the Offices of JMG Insurance Agency.