Since the demand for drone photography and video has skyrocketed in the past few years, insurance carriers have been taking note. While there were very few options for drone insurance even five years ago, today there are many options to choose from.
In this article we’ll help you decide if drone insurance is right for your business, and help you choose the right policy from the right provider if it is. Here’s what you’ll learn:
- What is Drone Insurance
- Why All Commercial Drone Operators Need Drone Insurance
- How Much Does Drone Insurance Cost
- Coverage of the Drone Itself (Hull Insurance)
- Factors that Affect the Cost of Drone Insurance
- What to Look for in a Drone Insurance Policy
- Drone Insurance Providers
What is Drone Insurance?
Drone insurance provides UAV or UAS operators protection against accidental injuries or damage inflicted by their drone. Drone insurance primarily covers third party liability claims for small business owners, and more infrequently damage to the drone itself.
While most insurers gear their coverage options toward commercial uses of drones, those that use drones for personal or hobby use can still get coverage. While the use of drones has increased dramatically over the past few years, as of 2017, there are no regulations which require hobby or commercial drone operators to carry liability insurance.
Why All Commercial Drone Operators Need Drone Insurance
Picture this. You’ve taken the time to build a great website for your real estate drone photography business which is now ranking well on Google. You’ve booked gigs with local Realtors who are now promising to recommend your services to their colleagues.
Then, while on a job in the city, you get distracted and crash your drone into powerlines. Your accident causes power loss to hundreds and the debris from your destroyed drone narrowly misses injuring a small child who was watching you work.
Sounds pretty scary right? Bad enough to not only destroy the reputation of your new business, but possibly lead to huge legal bills and maybe even fines or jail time. This is no hypothetical scare story. This actually happened in Los Angeles in 2015.
The simple fact is that even the most skilled professionals in the world occasionally make mistakes, and equipment failure can happen to anyone. If you want to avoid the possibility of hefty legal fees, you need drone insurance.
Expert Tip: Insurance is Necessary Evil for all Commercial Drone Pilots
“At the end of the day, no one really wants to buy insurance. It’s a necessary evil. But when you’re operating what’s essentially a flying lawnmower over property that’s not your own, getting liability coverage feels more justified.”
Some Clients Will Demand it
Even if your chances of having an accident are remote, some clients, particularly large corporate clients in real estate, education, law enforcement, or oil and gas, require any drone pilots they hire to have drone insurance. If you want to work with these kinds of clients, you need drone insurance.
Expert Tip: More Clients are Demanding Drone Insurance
“Clients hiring drone pilots, especially in real estate, are now requiring insurance just as they do for any other type of supplier. Further, we are seeing a marked increase in the requested limit – with many more jobs requiring $2.5mm of liability insurance – as shoots go increasingly up-market.”
— Jay Bregman, Founder of Verifly
Added Benefit: Drone Insurance Can Help Build Your Brand
Since drone insurance is not legally required operate a drone for commercial purposes (yet), you may be tempted to skip the insurance and just dive right in. Even without the glaring financial and legal risks you’re setting yourself up for, you are missing out on a great branding opportunity.
If you had to pick between two drone photography companies who had equally great portfolios, and one proudly claimed to be “Licensed and Insured!” on their website and the other didn’t, who would you choose? If you’re anything like most Realtors or homeowners, you’re going to pick the insured company every time. After all, even though the risk of damage or injury may be small, why risk it?
That means that drone insurance is not only a great way to protect your small business from legal and financial woes, but a great branding opportunity as well.
Read full article here