Some people see drones as nothing more than a bit of fun. They are toys and tools that provide people with entertainment and some aerial footage.
The problem with this idea is that it overlooks the development of these drones as large, dangerous pieces that can fall from the sky. This is a heavy piece of machinery with a series of rotors – 4 spinning blades on the fastest quadcopters – that can do some damage.
There are some important areas of insurance coverage to look at here. They include personal injury, property, privacy torts and general liability insurance. Check with your own insurance provider to see if your current policies cover your drone.
The FAA has guidelines in place to stop drone users from getting into too much trouble and ensure that the device is under control. Drones of a certain size can only be flown with the right training and a license. Those operators then need to make sure that they keep the drone in view at all times, without going too far or too high.
Naturally, it is common sense for operators to avoid power lines, buildings and build-up areas. Also, drones cannot be flown over people for safety reasons. This leads nicely to the first of the key reasons for getting drone insurance – personal injury.
Drones And Personal Injury Insurance
The danger of drones is clear in footage of anyone that tries to catch a flying drone in midair. The blade can do a lot of damage. Therefore, users need to be careful not to get too close to people and risk injury. There is also the risk that the device could lose control over crowds in high wind or if the battery fails.
A crash landing onto a bystander could be dangerous. Those that are properly insured have some protection in these circumstances. An injured party could sue those that own the drone or the company involved, even if they hired a pilot for the day.
Drones And Property Insurance
In addition to this potential damage to people, there is potential damage to property. This is true with drones working around buildings in a professional context.
Building contractors, surveyors, and real estate agents all use drones to look at the building from a new angle. They can see damage, energy loss and other potential problems. They can also take impressive photographs.
The problem is that there is too much risk of damage to buildings and windows. An errant drone crashing into a property could do some damage, which is especially problematic when trying to sell someone else’s home.
Drones And Privacy
Privacy is another issue with drone operation that some newcomers tend to forget. There is the chance that they could have a drone flying over the property with cameras attached. This may be unintentional on the flight path, but property owners can see this as intrusive. Pilots are seemingly spying and invading privacy. Privacy insurance protects against this.
Exemptions And Considerations In Drone Insurance Plans
It is also important to remember that there are clauses and exclusions in these liability insurance claims. No operator is free to roam and do what they want with this safety net beneath them. An example of this is the illegal acts exclusion for intentional violations of the law, as opposed to negligent acts.
There are also issues with workers’ compensation insurance. There are many terms and condition here, which just highlight the importance of a good insurance plan for all drones.
The best operators are the ones with full coverage and a sense of reliability.
These issues highlight why it is so important for people to hire drone operators with insurance for their needs, and why drone pilots need coverage. This is true when hiring aerial photographers or aerial surveyors for a project.
Companies and homeowners need to know they have a person they can trust and that safety net if something goes wrong. Also, companies that outsource to drone operators for their project could face action themselves if something goes wrong.
A property owner or injured party will look at the company sending up the drone before the operator regarding compensation. In the end, it is always better to be safe than sorry.