Five Things to Know About Insuring Drones

Five Things to Know About Insuring Drones

As the drone industry continues to evolve, one subject will always be a hot topic: Insurance

How do you get drone insurance? What does it cover? Is it that important?

Questions like these are still being asked by professional drone pilots across the globe, because insuring your drone isn’t exactly like any other type of insurance.

This article focuses on drone insurance in the United States, specifically. These are five of the most important things every drone pilot should know about insuring their drone.

Let’s check them out:

  1. Your Ability to Show Safety and Preparedness Can Get You Better Rates

Here’s something every pilot should want — cheaper rates!

Or, at least, the best rates they can get.

Insurance companies want to see that you are a safe and capable drone pilot. From their perspective, they’re trying to minimize the amount of claims they fulfill.

So it’s in their best interest to 1) approve pilots who show that safety and preparedness is a top priority and 2) to incentivize these people to sign up with their firm and remain safe drone pilots.

It’s not an exact science yet, but here are a few things insurance companies might look

for to determine your preparedness and safety concerns:

  • Do you maintain a flight log? How many total hours have you flown?
  • Have you taken any professional training courses?
  • Are you an FAA-certified pilot?
  • What are your typical flight conditions? For example, do you fly over water often?
  • Do you keep drone maintenance records?
  • Do you have a list of Standard Operating Procedures handy?
  • Do you fly at a safe distance from people and property?
  • Is a spotter employed for your flights?

All of these points may indicate whether you are a risky or safe pilot for a company to insure.

  1. Having Drone Insurance Can Help You Close Clients

An increasing number of clients are requiring the pilots they work with to have drone insurance.

This helps the client remain non-liable for any damages you may cause. It also shows them that you care about flying safely and that an insurance company deemed you safe enough to insure.

All else being equal, a client will choose a pilot who’s insured over one who isn’t.

  1. Know The Difference Between Liability Coverage and Hull Damage

At this point in time, there are two ways to get insured as a drone pilot:

  1. Liability coverage
  2. Hull damage insurance

Both are important and should be considered.

Liability coverage concerns claims to third parties (other people/property). Let’s say you accidentally injure someone with your drone. This insurance helps cover you in that event.

Hull damage concerns damage to your aircraft or loss of the drone entirely. Loss of or damage to your drone can be partially or fully covered by this type of insurance.

As a commercial drone operator, there is always potential for you to injure someone else or damage property, whether it’s your fault or not. So it’s vitally important for you to get liability coverage.

It’s also likely that the camera drone and other equipment you’re operating isn’t cheap, and replacing it would cost you a pretty penny.

Your yearly hull damage insurance premium will most likely be less than the cost of purchasing a new rig, so it’s a cost-effective move for prudent pilots to make.

  1. Get Quotes From Multiple Companies to Find the Best Rate

There still isn’t a standard pricing for drone insurance, as companies are still figuring out this relatively new technology, its pitfalls, and its safety hazards.

As a result, all insurance companies price their coverage differently. Some have different prices for the same type(s) of coverage. Others offer different types of coverage in their packages.

To find the best rate for you, get quotes from multiple insurance companies.

This will allow you to see what rates are being offered for different packages, so you can choose the best one to fit your needs and budget.

  1. It’s Possible to Lose Your Insurance Coverage

I’ll repeat that again:

It IS possible to lose your insurance coverage.

Once you’re insured, don’t assume you’re suddenly free to fly recklessly. Insurance companies can and will pull your insurance coverage if caught.

Here are a few ways to lose your drone insurance coverage:

  • Lack of maintenance records
  • Not registering your drone if it’s required by law
  • Unsafe flying, especially if it’s recorded and posted on the Internet

The number one goal when flying any drone should be safety, whether you’re insured or not.

Over to You

Have you insured your drone? Do you have any insight you would like to share?

Let me know in the comments below.

About the Author

This article was written with the help of Michael Karp. Michael Karp runs Drone Business Marketer, a blog that offers business advice and product recommendations for drone pilots.

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Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.

While the majority of people want an agent involved in their purchase of insurance, many people want to see if they can save money by buying direct from the insurance company. Others want to try a direct quote to make sure the premium they’re now paying through their local agent is fair. If you want a quote for your coverage, click on the competitive quote button on the right side of this page.

Jim operates an insurance agent network called Insurance Partners, aggregating agents in the Midwest for over 25 years. He was National Agent of the Year for Metropolitan in 1993 and Midwest Agent of the Year for Travelers in 2011. He served as a founding board member of the Surplus Lines Association of Minnesota.

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