Drone insurance in the USA has been in high demand. The reason for this is that many individuals are starting to invest in drones and want to have some peace of mind that if something happens, they will be covered. Drone insurance can be a great way for people who own or work with drones to reduce their risks and protect themselves from any financial liability due to a crash or malfunctioning drone. It’s important for anyone looking at getting drone insurance to know what it covers and how much it costs so they don’t get an unwelcome surprise when there’s damage done.
In this article, we are going to explore this topic and provide all of the important facts. Drone pilots will learn everything they need to know including if drone insurance is required by the law, what type of coverage is provided and the average costs of insuring your drone in the US.
Is Drone Insurance Required By Law?
Do you need drone insurance to fly in the USA? According to the FAA, there is no need for drone insurance whether you are flying for commercial or recreational purposes. However, as drone laws are fluid and change quite often as more people start using them and the risks grow higher, this may change in the future.
Even though you do not need drone insurance, the smart option is to get coverage, especially if you are flying for commercial reasons. It will give you peace of mind knowing that you are protected from financial liability, and it also makes good business sense as most companies will not hire a drone pilot if they don’t have some kind of insurance policy.
If you run a drone-related service or are thinking of running one, having an insurance policy not only protects your company against third party claims but it will also make you look professional as a business owner to potential clients.
Also, something to note is that many companies may require you to take out an insurance policy for you to be eligible for any drone-related projects they need doing. So, although it’s not required by law, in the real world, it just makes good business sense to get drone insurance.
Types Of Drone Insurance Coverage
In the US, there are two types of insurance coverage for drones, they are liability and hull insurance. If you own a drone business, you should preferably have both as they provide protection for different things.
Drone Liability Insurance
Also known as public liability insurance, this is a common type of insurance for businesses of any type, and it helps protect against third party claims of things like damage to property, injury and any associated costs that may result from these types of incidents. Also, as most advanced drones now come with HD cameras, you may also unwittingly infringe upon someone’s right to privacy and this may also be costly to your business if they decide to make a claim. If you don’t have liability insurance, these costs could cripple and bankrupt your company, so it is best to purchase drone insurance to protect your business and give you a better at winning contracts. Limits for drone liability coverage starts around $500,000, with some insurance providers like droneinsurance.com providing coverage up to $25,000,000.
Drone Hull Insurance
This is basically an insurance policy that protects your drone should it get damaged, stolen or just stops working. There are a lot of insurance companies that provide drone hull insurance, however, if you have a DJI drone, they have their own insurance policy that will provide protection for your drone(s) in most scenarios.
If the drone is compatible with different types of payloads that is not part of the actual drone, then it may not be protected by just hull insurance. If you are providing services like drone photogrammetry that will require you to install different payloads like a multispectral camera or a LiDAR device, you will want to ensure these as well.
Popular drone insurers that provide liability and hull insurance include Skywatch.ai, Droneinsurance.com, thinmble.com and bwifly.com. You can also consult with drone insurance brokers and get specialist advice for your circumstances and work out an annual insurance policy that suits your particular requirements.
Should You Get Drone Insurance For Recreational Use?
If you own an inexpensive drone, then, I don’t think drones for recreational use is necessary, however, if you are flying a more sophisticated and expensive drone, something like a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, then you might consider getting drone Hull insurance. As I mentioned, DJI offers their own insurance policy which provides comprehensive coverage for your DJI drone. They have 3 types of drone insurance coverage, DJI Care (for older Phantom and Inspire 1 drone), DJI Refresh and DJI Care Enterprise (which provides comprehensive coverage for companies with an entire fleet of DJI drones). It’s also advisable to get liability insurance just in case of any accidents that cause damage to property or harm to a member of the public.
Are Drones Covered On Homeowners Insurance?
If you have homeowners or renter’s insurance, your drone may be covered for recreational use, however, you will need to check with your insurance representative to see what is covered.
How Much Does Drone Insurance Cost In The USA?
How much you pay for your drone insurance will depend on a variety of factors. Insurance providers will need to assess these factors before providing you with a quote. Some of the information that insurance underwriters may require of you include the following:
- If you are a certified drone pilot
- How experienced you are (how many flight hours you have logged)
- If you keep a maintenance log
- The type of work to be carried out.
- The type of drone you are going to be flying.
- If you own the drone.
- An estimated timeframe of the drone project
Each insurer will have its own policies and pricing structure, however, for something like a liability coverage of $1 million, you may be looking at $500-$700 a year.
Of course, you may not want an annual plan and would prefer something more flexible, in this case, there are companies like SkyWatch.ai that provide in-demand insurance for hourly and weekly rates. You will get an instant quote and will not be bound to an annual contract.
For hull insurance or protection for just the drone, you can look at what DJI charges for their Refresh care package as a guide, for example, if you have a DJI Air 2S, it will cost $99 for one year on their Care Refresh package.
As this is a business investment, you should look for the best coverage that will protect you from many angles and not just look for the cheapest option. So, if you are unsure of what kind of insurance you require, you should seek the counsel of specialists in this area like a drone insurance broker.
Drones are a relatively new technology and the rules regarding their operations are still being worked out. Currently, US drone Laws does not require you to purchase drone insurance even if you are flying for commercial purposes. However, it’s in your best interest to be proactive about protecting yourself and your company from any third-party claims that may arise from using drones. We recommend getting drone insurance as soon as possible if you plan on using drones for commercial purposes