DISCLAIMER: This information is accurate for clients of HRT Insurance Group, LLC. If you own a drone and are not currently a client of ours, then you should check with your agent to be sure this information is accurate for you.
If someone were to ask my opinion, I would say that the drone industry is perhaps one of the fastest growing industries today. Ranging from less than $100 for a small drone to fly around your yard, all the way up to, and in excess of $1,500 for drones decked out with GPS systems, state-of-the-art cameras, and MUCH more. Whether they are being used for personal pleasure or in a commercial setting, drones are everywhere. In recent months we have received several phone calls in regards to drone insurance for drones on the higher end of the price spectrum. Despite someone’s obvious concern for drone insurance on a drone costing $1,500 or more, it is important for everyone that owns a drone to be aware of how the drone is currently being covered.
Before I go any further, I believe I should state how companies are currently handling drone insurance because how your drone is covered will likely change in the future.
As of January 11th, 2017, insurance companies are not currently offering a policy specifically for “Drone Insurance.” However, I know of at least one company that has already held a meeting that covered strategies on developing specific coverage options for drones.
If you have a homeowners policy or a renters policy, then you are in luck! Currently, drones are being covered as personal property on those policies. If you are unsure how much coverage you have for personal property, be sure to give your agent a call to make sure.
Damage TO the Drone
So, the actual drone itself (the frame, camera, propellers, remote, etc.) will be covered as personal property. However, with the average deductible being a minimum of $500, filing a claim may not be worth it unless your drone is on the higher end of the price spectrum. If you believe the drone is worth the deductible, then you are covered in the event you crash the drone and it is left incapacitated.
Damage that was done BY the drone
If you crash the drone into yourself, or a member of your family, then you are NOT covered. A situation such as this would be covered under your health care policy.
If you crash the drone into someone that is NOT a member of your family and that person suffers from bodily injury, then you will be covered under the liability portion of your homeowners or renters policy. Depending on the severity of the damage done to that individual and the extent of legal action that they may or may not choose to pursue, it is a good idea to know the amount of liability coverage on your current policy.
In regards to the personal property of others, this also would be covered by the liability portion of your homeowner's policy. So, if you crash the drone into another person’s property and cause damage, then your liability coverage will kick in and cover the damages up to the amount of coverage you carry on your policy.
The liability portion of your homeowners or renters policy can also provide coverage and protect you from a lawsuit regarding privacy issues, such as spying on your neighbors unintentionally (if the act was intentional, and it can be proven, then you are NOT covered).
Other Means of Coverage
Clubs and Organizations
With the growing popularity of drones, comes drone clubs and organizations. Many of these clubs or organizations offer a group umbrella policy for members. An umbrella policy is a large blanket of liability coverage that would cover actions that you are liable for when operating your drone. However, this may not be the case for your particular club or organization, so do not assume, but check it out for yourself.
Verifly is a new company that aims to provide you with drone liability coverage that you pay for by the hour, at the touch of a button, from your phone, anytime, anywhere, for any drone under 15 lbs. This could be extremely handy when operating your drone in a crowded area.
Again, if you are not insured with HRT, please check with your agent to make sure this information applies to you and your policy.
Thanks for reading!
- Harrison Horton