Do You Need Drone Insurance?
Are you a commercial drone operator?
Are you considering hiring a company that uses drones to help with your business or event, like wedding, real estate, or extreme sports photography?
Are you considering buying a drone as a hobby for yourself or as a gift for a family member?
Then you might want to consider drone insurance. The learning curve for new drone pilots is steep. Often, the path to mastering drone flight is littered with busted UAV parts.
Many factors can affect a UAV operator's ability to control the aircraft and could possibly lead to a crash, damages, or injury, including:
Cold temperatures - affects the LiPo battery's functionality and ability to hold a charge
Light poles and power lines
Birds and other animals
Electromagnetic field interference with the UAV-to-handset signal, including interference caused by nearby WiFi routers
Someone throwing something at or shooting at the UAV
If you don't have coverage specifically for the UAV operation, then you could end up paying for property damages, personal injury damages, and attorney's fees out of pocket. Some states are considering legislation that would require insurance coverage for UAV operators, although such insurance is not currently required by the FAA. The video below shows some of the ways things can go wrong during the course of a UAV flight and should be a wake-up call to anyone operating a drone commercially without UAV-specific insurance coverage.
In addition, you should always check the credentials of any commercial drone company before you hire them to make sure they are operating within the law and within the parameters of Part 107 or of their specific FAA 333 exemption and COA (Certificate of Authorization). You can look up the status of a company's FAA Section 333 exemption here, and you can find granted Part 107 waivers here. Contact me for more information about what to look for before you hire a commercial drone operator.
To learn more about drone insurance, check out these links:
South Carolina Department of Insurance info sheet on drone insurance
UAV Coach's Drone Insurance Guide
Global Aero's whitepaper: Unmanned Aviation Risk Management, Accident Prevention & Insurance
DroneLife.com's article: Drone Insurance: On-Demand vs. Annual Policy, Which One Is Right For You?
Verifly - On-Demand Drone Insurance For As Little As $10 Per Hour