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The FAA requires drone registration and licensing but not drone insurance. If not needed, should you insure your drone?

According to the FAA, 1.1 million drones were registered in 2019 for recreational purposes. The drone industry is growing, increasing the risk of drone accidents, crashes, and drone damage.

Your drone may not be worth the insurance, but the damage it may cause could be. Accidents happen even to the most diligent pilot. If your drones crash lands on someone’s vehicle, flies into electric lines, or causes personal injury, the financial implication could be devastating.

Drone Insurance for A Hobbyist

Drone-related accidents may or may not be covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy. It depends on how the policyholder interprets your drone’s use and if they are prepared to insure the liability of your drone.

Homeowners Insurance Policy

If a hobbyist crashes or damages, their drone their homeowner insurance policy wording probably covers the drone. The liability portion may cover the injury of a person or property your drone may cause, and it may protect you against unintentional privacy issues. The insurance policy may cover drone theft.   

Auto Insurance

An auto insurance’s optional comprehensive insurance may cover the damage caused to a vehicle if a drone crash-lands on it.

No-Fault Medical Coverage Policy

If your drone accidentally injures a person, the policy may cover no-fault medical coverage. The policy does not cover the medical bills when the policy holder’s drone injures pets and family members of the policyholder.

Check your insurance and its wording regarding the type of coverage it provides. Homeowner insurance policies generally do not cover drones used commercially. 

Questions To Ask About Drone Insurance

  • How does the personal liability coverage of your homeowner’s insurance policy cover your drone?
  • Does it cover claims and damages caused by your drone?
  • How does your insurance company define drones in terms of your policy?
  • What does the insurance policy cover for liability related to medical expenses, property damage, personal injury, and invasion of privacy claims?
  • Does your policy cover your garage, structures, and property if your drone is the cause of the damage?
  • Is there a higher liability limit or umbrella insurance for drones?
  • What are the exclusions for liability coverage?
  • How much are you insured for when the drone damages someone else’s property?
  • How much is your drone insured for?
  • Is drone racing insured or excluded from the policy?

What is UAS Insurance?

From 2015 it has become mandatory to register specific unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). According to the FAA drone is a type of aircraft that makes insurance coverage not always that straightforward.

Aviation insurance falls in two categories: product liability for the service provider and legal liability with physical damage for the drone pilot or drone owner. Liability insurance covers injury to persons and any repair of the damaged property.

Drone pilots could also add coverage for invasion of privacy, crashing someone else’s drone, and war perils like medical expenses, malicious damage, and premises liability.

If you are flying an expensive drone, you may consider coverage against physical damage of the drone. It covers UAS system’s repair costs or the loss of payload, the platform, or ground equipment. Generally, the drones a hobbyist operates won’t require this kind of coverage; it could be cheaper to repair or replace the drone if damaged than paying for this type of insurance coverage.

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