Skip to main content

New Drone? What You Need to Know about Insurance

By February 16, 2016 Insurance

DroneDuring the holidays, the Federal Aviation Administration expected drone sales to exceed 1 million. From farmers and photography enthusiasts to builders and law enforcement, more people are using drones every day. They are used for both commercial and personal purposes. One common and important consideration for drone owners, regardless of the reasons for using them, is insurance. With several different types of drones, there are different insurance issues to consider.

What Home Or Renter’s Insurance Covers
When drones fail, they often crash. If a drone owner is lucky, the drone will crash in an empty field and cause minimal damage. However, drones may also crash into homes, cars and even people. As a rule, a homeowner’s policy or renter’s policy covers drone use as a hobby, and a personal auto policy will cover damage to the drone owner’s vehicle in the event of a crash if the owner has comprehensive coverage. For this reason, all drone owners should have a renter’s insurance policy or a homeowner’s insurance policy as well as full auto coverage. To cover the drone for theft or loss, talk to an agent. It is best to name the item specifically.

In the event of the drone crashing into another person’s vehicle or a person, the policy should cover personal liability. However, the policyholder must be at fault and must be considered negligent. It is important to discuss this coverage with an agent to ensure an adequate coverage amount. Consider how much it would cost for a person to be hospitalized for a short period of time in addition to having his or her vehicle or home damaged. Also, it is important to discuss a drone with an agent to be sure about this part of the policy existing. While most policies include it, some may not include it.

FAA Rules For Drone Owners
Since drones are considered aircraft that are remotely piloted, the FAA said that drone owners have the same responsibilities as manned aircraft pilots to fly their drones safely. There are also several rules and regulations set forth by municipalities and states for drone use. To help drone owners and hobbyists stay out of trouble, the FAA released the following flying rules:

– Do not fly a drone higher than 400 feet.
– Avoid flying close to obstacles.
– Stay far away from any manned aircraft in flight.
– Keep the drone within sight range at all times.
– Without first contacting the control tower, never fly a drone within 5 miles of an airport.
– Never fly a drone weighing more than 55 pounds.
– Do not fly a drone near stadiums or people.
– Always use extreme caution when flying a drone.

Federal regulators recently said that drone hobbyists would have to register their aircraft soon. By having owners register their drones, authorities would be able to identify the owners of drones for any purpose. For example, an unauthorized drone flying near an airport could be identified and traced back to the owner. The police could then take action without having to perform a lengthy investigation. Registration would provide a stronger incentive for drone owners across the country to comply with all municipal, state and federal laws, and it would also ensure compliance with carrying the appropriate insurance. To learn more about insuring a drone or to add one to an existing policy, discuss concerns with an agent.