The 5 W’s of Drone Insurance

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Whenever you're looking to get a complete story on a subject, start with the basics. When it comes to drone insurance, this is how to keep up.

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You’ve just landed a dream operation working and shooting for a great company. You trust your skill and are ready to show your worth. With your equipment ready and your spirits high, you quickly understand that the job is not final until that certificate of insurance gets approved. Certificate of insurance? Seems simple enough - and you’re right, it is. But the truth of the matter is that without a little bit of research and preparation, nothing is simple.

Luckily for you, today’s technology is not only advanced, but also extremely accessible. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, companies across various industries have also been expected to change protocol, software, development, and of course user experience. You may be saying, that’s great, but what does it have anything to do with getting my certificate of insurance approved? Well that is exactly where on-demand drone insurance enters the picture.

The chances of getting hired for a commercial drone job today without insurance is relatively...scratch that...extremely low. Having said that, not having the proper certificate of insurance in place should never be your concern because we've developed our product so that the right drone insurance is at your fingertips. You don't have to go long or far to simply get insured and get going. To benefit from advanced drone insurance, some preliminary research will go a long way, especially when it comes to getting hired for the job. Moreover, it will eliminate the risk of having setbacks when asked to prove your insurance! And as with almost everything in life, no matter what project or mission you take on, considering the 5 W’s will always pay off by giving you a holistic understanding.

Let’s dive right in. It’s important to ask questions that will help you understand:

Who?

  • Who needs drone insurance?

In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration does not require drone insurance for recreational or commercial operations. However, as stated above, in order to get a specific film permit, rent the right equipment, or sign on with a large company, insurance is a must. While insurance is not regulated by law, it is regulated on an individual and state level. This means any drone pilot looking to operate at a commercial level for government offices, production agencies, venues, state parks, etc will almost always be asked to provide proof of drone insurance.

As an individual operator, you are of course aware of the immense benefit and advantages of your unmanned aerial vehicle. For this reason, you should know to never ignore concerns about privacy and safety. If you are providing commercial services, you must insure yourself against potential risks that arise on the job.

  • Who requires drone insurance?

Additional industries that may require drone insurance include:

  • Real estate agents 
  • Engineering companies
  • Construction firms
  • Agricultural related industries 
  • Inspections 
  • Fire and Police Departments
  • Structural maintenance

Each company may have its own individual requirements. Some may request a minimum liability limit of $1,000,000, whereas others will explicitly ask to be listed as additional insured on the policy. Some will only require you hold liability insurance before using your drone on their property while other may require that you also add additional types of coverages before taking off. We’ll touch up about this down below.

  • Who offers drone insurance?

Insurance is a well established industry, but using drones in the workplace is a somewhat recent development - giving up and coming companies the opportunity to get their foot in the door. While many insurance companies incorporate UAV risk into their existing offerings, companies like SkyWatch.AI have dedicated their entire focus on providing drone insurance. Prioritizing and solely offering drone liability and physical damage coverage makes it easy for drone pilots to get the insurance they are looking for, without having to make alterations to other active insurances. 

  • Who can get drone insurance?

Drone insurance is available to both recreational and commercial drone pilots. Whether you are a drone hobbyist simply operating for fun, or a certified Part 107 drone pilot, there is a policy for you. Certified pilots have a little more variety when it comes to drone insurance liability limits. SkyWatch.AI policies above $2,000,000 in liability are for commercial operators exclusively. If you are looking to get an insurance policy with high liability and drone value rates, getting your certification will make it easier for an underwriter to approve your risk.


What?

  • What does drone insurance cover?
  • Third party liability 
  • Personal and bodily injury 
  • Medical expenses 
  • Property damage
  • Physical drone damage 

Drone insurance is similar to other types of liability coverage as it is designed to protect you from claims of bodily injury or property damage.

Aside from the liability coverage for damage to the property of others, drone insurance can also include physical damage to the drone itself, known as hull coverage. If you experience a drone loss or accident, having that hull coverage included on the policy will ensure that you are covered for the damages and repair costs. 

Adding this hull coverage onto your drone insurance policy is optional. A liability policy can stand alone whereas hull coverage can only be incorporated onto a liability plan. Indoor coverage is another important part of your policy to consider. Indoor coverage is not always included directly in the liability plan, and also requires being added on.


  • What does drone insurance cost?

Drone insurance costs vary based on multiple factors, including but not limited to: duration of coverage, area of coverage, liability limit, and drone value. If you are flying by the hour, you can find coverage from as little as $7/hour. $1,000,000 liability monthly policies without hull coverage can be $62/month and increase based on if you want physical damage as well. Of course, flying safely can help you decrease your insurance premium over time.

  • What is the best drone insurance?

With the different drone insurance options, the best one can only be defined by your needs and standards. You want to not one be provided with comprehensive coverage, but you should also focus on having peace of mind. Drone insurance should be simple, without complications, delays, or misleading information. You want to have your policy accessible to you anywhere, anytime - online or through an app. Technological capabilities will help you modify your insurance as you progress, and having a support team to contact will give you that added layer of trust.

Where?

SkyWatch.AI App
  • Where do I buy drone insurance?

You can buy drone insurance without even having to leave the comfort of your home or office. You can purchase a policy directly through an easily navigated online platform, or through your smartphone.

  • Where can I learn more about drone insurance?

As the drone industry continues to unfold, thousands of eager and dedicated drone pilots are creating professional methods of communication.  By joining a drone pilot network - through an online forum, a facebook group, or drone training school, there are always people to ask who have experienced similar situations to you throughout this journey.


When?

  • When do I need drone insurance?

Another added benefit of a dedicated drone liability policy, as opposed to an existing coverage is that you have the freedom to decide when you use it. You never have to worry about having your drone insurance interfere with other policies. You can buy a drone insurance policy by the hour, month or year - making it sync with your workload. Why pay for the coverage when you are not flying?

Why?

  • Why do I need drone insurance?

We decided to save the best for last. Why you need drone insurance has multiple aspects. First things first, peace of mind. Knowing that you have the right coverage will allow you to enhance your operations by focusing solely on your job at hand, knowing you, your clients and equipment are protected from the unexpected. Next up, safety & professionalism. With drone insurance, you are taking an extra precautionary step. Insurance is essential in mitigating risk and showing you have the right policy will give you added leverage with existing and potential clients.

Finally, flexibility. You can be confident that your coverage will be utilized to your benefit. A dedicated drone insurance policy allows you to pay for the coverage you need, as you need it. Any insurance related problems can be taken care of quickly on the go, giving you the freedom to explore your different working options. 


Now that you've answered in detail the 5 Ws, you can shift your focus on how to complete your project. You have the essence behind drone insurance - it's time to make decisions and get insured!


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