If your getting ready for your big day, I’m sure you know that drone cinematography has become one of today’s leading wedding trends. Drones can capture memorable moments from a unique view in a way that no ordinary camera can. While the ability to capture a wedding event with a drone is truly extraordinary, the risks are not inevitable…
In October 2016, at a wedding in California, a guest lost her eye after she was struck by the wedding photographer’s drone. Not only did the woman suffer from a life changing injury, she then learned that her health insurance, the wedding venue's insurance, and the photographer's insurance did not cover cases like hers. While the guest’s insurance did provide commercial general liability, it failed to protect against bodily injuries caused by “any aircrafts”. Despite her efforts to claim that the injury was not caused by an aircraft, and rather a piece of equipment, a court ruled that her insurance would not be responsible for covering this incident.
You can find more information regarding the case discussed here.
Why this is important for both the pilot and the couple:
When we think of weddings, we think of happiness, joy and celebration. Tragedies like this take away from the true beauty that should be experienced at such events - and unfortunately, cases like this happen more often than we think.
Those who don't use drones for professional purposes tend to think that drones are ‘expensive toys’ or ‘equipment’. They forget to go the extra mile and consider providing insurance for them. Many assume that their homeowner’s insurance policies will cover drone accidents. However, as mentioned in the accident above, this is not always true. If you are a pilot, you know how valuable expensive your drone and its equipment is. When using a drone for professional purposes, pilots will greatly benefit from purchasing drone insurance.
Had the drone photographer at the wedding obtained the relevant drone insurance before using the drone for work, the guest would have been insured. It is a shame for the drone community to be looked down upon when necessary measures can be taken.
What should pilots and couples do/pay attention to before the wedding?
- When choosing a photographer, the couple and/or wedding planner should hire a pilot that is experienced and part-107 certified. Having a professional pilot, with the right training and validation is crucial for such an important day. (Note: most of the time, it is even required!)
- Find out what the venue requires. The venue itself may have certain rules and regulations that your pilot will need to abide.
- Make sure the pilot has insurance! Getting on-demand insurance with the necessary hull coverage and liability limit is easily accessible through the SkyWatch.AI app. In the event of any accident, we guarantee to have your back. Once a policy is purchased, the certificate of insurance can be emailed directly to the venue for approval.
Once the pilot has the right policy, he/she should:
- Add the venue as an additional insured. This means that the venue itself is covered under the pilot's plan.
- Plan the flight right. The pilot needs to know the ins and outs of the venue before the wedding event in order to avoid obstacles and hazards. If it is venue is outdoors, trees or power lines could be potential risks.
- Know the necessary flying angles. Before flying, knowing what angles in which it is safe to fly will be the best way to keep a safe distance from the wedding guests. The drone should not become the center of attention, and since it is rather noisy, it its best to film from a distance.
- Check the weather and prepare accordingly.
- Look into purchasing an on-demand policy. Here are some facts that will give you a better understanding about what insurance you should be considering.
*These recommendations are all easily accessible through the SkyWatch.AI App*
SkyWatch.Ai is committed to ensuring that commercial drones are used in the safest way possible. While no one can assure that drones will never lead to injuries, SkyWatch.AI can promise drone owners one thing for sure - safe, flexible, and affordable on-demand drone insurance. By acquiring a coverage policy via SkyWatch.AI, drone pilots, and especially wedding photographers, can rest assured knowing that in the unfortunate event of a bodily accident to them or others, everyone will have full coverage.
We are proud to provide coverage for professional and experienced pilots such as Michael Jensen. Michael has been in the aerial photography business for 15 years, and he has a wealth of knowledge on drone use for weddings. Based in Sacramento, Michael owns a premier wedding and event video production company. Watch the video below to learn from his professional expertise about wedding photography.
In order to properly avoid dangerous wedding accidents, we encourage drone lovers and professionals to review their insurance policies and understand the implications of not having drone insurance. If you want to hire a drone photographer or videographer for your wedding, it is in your best interest to make sure beforehand that they know the importance of being properly insured. SkyWatch.AI wants to help promote the benefits of the drone industry, and by ensuring that pilots get meaningful coverage, we believe we can efficiently do so!