Drone insurance is no different from any other insurance policy. If your drone is lost or damaged, the insurance company will cover the repair or replacement costs – to a certain extent.
Drone insurance providers often require you to have operating manuals, an accurate record of any modifications made to the drone and maintenance logs. Depending on the level of insurance you are taking out you may also need proof of training, qualifications and licences needed to undertake commercial work. The key to any form of insurance is risk, if your drone is well maintained and you are fully licensed this will reduce the risk of any damage made to your drone. Making it easier and cheaper for you to insure your drone.
Depending on the type of commercial work being carried out you may require specialist insurance in order to complete a contract.
For example, you may need Payload Insurance which will insure the item which you may be lifting or any accessories added to your drone in order to complete a specific job.
Ground Equipment Insurance
You may also require ground equipment insurance, this is particularly important to protect against theft or damage if you are operating in a dangerous environment.
Personal Injury insurance may sound like it covers costs associated with physical injury but this actually covers infractions of people’s private lives and personal information. This may be particularly useful when using drones for journalism or recording video in public spaces.
Drone Insurance Costs
Drone insurance typically costs around $700 each year. However, if you are looking to keep costs low you can take out ‘pay as you go’ insurance. This means that you pay around $5-$10 per hour of flight whilst undertaking a commercial job. Specialist drone insurance companies use an app to record your flight. Providing them with a record of your flight times and video evidence of when the drone is damaged. Enabling the insurance company to charge you the correct coverage fees and to also identify what caused any possible damage to your drone. For example, if there is evidence your drone is damaged whilst flying at night then your insurance will be invalidated.
Important Details to Consider
To ensure that you have the right insurance you need to go through the details of what the insurance covers and excludes:
- Areas of operation – over water or land, built-up areas or rural areas, which country you are operating in
- The hours of operation
- Do you need to record the flight
- Does it cover commercial or private use
- Do you need any identifying information applied to the drone
- Length of contract
- Policy excess
- Policy limits
- The reputation of insurance provider
- Which business sectors are you operating in
It may be tempting to take out the first insurance policy that you find but it must also cover your specific needs.
Maintaining Your Insurance Policy
To maintain your drone insurance policy you may be required to provide regular information to the insurance company. This can include your total flying time, records of modifications made to the drone and to undertake regular training. You may also be prevented from flying your drone in certain weather conditions or around other drones.
How to Make a Claim
Before taking on any insurance policy need to know how to make a claim against your insurance provider. You may need a written statement, quotes for any damage repair, witness statements and copies of your maintenance record. It is important that you read the small print before taking on any commercial insurance.