Drones have become increasingly popular items to have, with sales of drones in the UK have risen dramatically in recent years. However, as drone sales have soared, so have drone-related incidents. It was reported by the Civil Aviation Authority than in 2016 there were over 70 reported drone incidents. It may not sound like a considerable amount, but this is up from just 6 in 2014. This rise has also had implications for regulations on drones and therefore an impact on insurance policies.
If you have a drone, you will want to make sure that it is insured in the event that you lose it or it gets accidentally damaged. By taking out drone insurance you can make sure that it is covered should the worst case scenario occur.
What is drone insurance?
There are different drone insurance policy covers available and this is partly dependent on the reason as to why you own a drone. For example, if it is for commercial purposes, or the drone has a weight of more than 20kg then you are required by law to purchase public liability insurance, as stated by the Civil Aviation Authority who govern the flight of drones across the UK. If you do not have this type of insurance you will not be able to apply for your Permission for Commercial Operation certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority. If you do fly without this permission you could receive a heavy fine. In addition, it is important to remember that the weight of your drone will determine the level of liability coverage that you must hold by law.
However, it should be noted that new government legislation will make it a requirement for any drone over 250g to be registered in the UK. Experts predict that this could mean that in the near future, it will also become compulsory to have public liability insurance for these smaller drones too.
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance is something all drone owner should take into consideration. Drones are capable of doing a lot of damage to property or to people if they crash. Accidents can and do happen even if you are flying in a safe manner and you could find yourself facing a hefty legal claim against you.
Hobby drone insurance
Even if you aren’t required by law to have insurance as it weighs less than 20kg, it is worth looking at hobby drone insurance. This type of drone insurance cover works in a similar way to public liability insurance. The insurance helps to cover you if for legal liability (for example because the drone has damaged property or it has caused the injury of a third-party). It also covers replacement of a hobby drone, which is extremely worthwhile considering given the fact the average hobby drone can cost anything upwards from £5,000. This type of insurance also covers you for the loss of the hobby drone or if it becomes damaged and unusable.
What is included?
Whilst exact cover will be dependent on the insurance provider, it will usually include:
- Cover if you damage third party property
- Legal liability if you injure another person
- Cover for acts of sabotage
- Paying for compensation
- Replacement of drones in the event of an accident
- If you are sued for privacy issues (this particularly pertains to hobby drone insurance)
Things to consider for commercial (public liability) drone insurance
Whilst you should make it a top priority with regards to what is included in drone insurance there here are also lots of other considerations you’ll need to take into account for commercial purposes, for example:
- Will the drone by flying in an area that would be deemed a ‘hazardous’ location? This could be in a city, where you may be prone to cause more damage to others if an incident occurs, meaning your insurance premium may be higher.
- Will you be flying the drone in a country other than in the UK? This is an important thing to consider as it is most likely that you will need a specialist type of commercial drone insurance. Especially if it is in a country that the UK Foreign Office has advised travel against.
- Will you need supporting equipment? If you do, it is important that this is included in your commercial drone policy.
What are the benefits of drone insurance?
There are a number of advantages to having drone insurance. For example:
- It can help to give you peace of mind, as things can so easily go wrong with drones making taking out cover a worthwhile thing to do.
- It can help to save you a considerable amount of money in the long-run as replacement drones can be extremely expensive without having drone insurance in place.
- Legal fees can also be very high when it comes to drone incidents, which drone insurance can help support you with. This is because it is not only personal injury and damage to property you could be sued for, it could also be for breaching data protection acts too if the drone is fitted with a camera.
- Legal claims when it comes to drone can become very complex in the event of an incident and so having insurance will ensure you have the right level of support and expertise in place.
- You may not be necessarily covered by a home insurance policy to replace a drone due to the fact the cost of drones can run into thousands of pounds. Or, it may be the case that the drone is only included in your home insurance policy if it was stolen or damaged on the property itself. Most home insurance policies will not cover drones if anything happens to the item outside of the property that is insured.
How can I apply for drone insurance?
The aim of this article is to expand your knowledge on the different types of drone insurance available and what it can do for you and to demonstrate the importance of taking out this type of policy cover for your business. You can find companies specialising in drone insurance here on TechRound.