What is it? Why do you need it? How do you get it?
Why do I need drone insurance?
Operating a drone commercially (if you’re not flying down the park for fun, it is most likely a commercial operation) imposes strict liability on both the pilot and owner of the drone jointly and severally. What this means is, as a pilot or owner of a drone, once the aircraft is flying you could lose your personal assets, such as your house, if you cause bodily injury or property damage to third parties and don’t have the correct insurance.
When an accident occurs resulting in a claim, you’ll have a claims specialist and lawyers who are familiar with the aviation regulatory environment helping you navigate a difficult period for any business.
In addition to liability cover, it is also worth considering insurance for your drone and payload equipment.
How to cover my drone equipment?
Hull and Equipment Liability provides cover for accidental loss or damage to your RPAS. This includes cover whilst the drone and equipment is in transit by road.
An RPAS is made up of;
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)
- Payload (cameras, sensors fitted to the RPA)
- Ground equipment/Remote Pilot Station (RPS)
How to cover my drone business?
Aviation Business Liability protects you for the legal liability in connection with your RPAS business operations on the ground.
This section also includes an extension called ’Privacy Liability’. This protects the insured for claims against an invasion of privacy that may be contained in an advertisement, broadcast or telecast.
It is important to review the limitations of cover and exclusion as this extension of coverage on drone policies various significantly.
Any additional specialist liability covers above and beyond a standard public liability would require an insurance broker to review your exposure.
Join your national drone association.
Many countries around the world have national drone associations that provide an incredible platform for networking and industry connection.
In Australia we have the AAUS (Australian Association for Unmanned Systems). As a member of the association, discounts are available for insurance.
What type of drone insurance policy should I get?
There is a wide variety of options currently in the market however it is important to be confident in the underlying service you are purchasing. Operating a drone commercially is an aviation risk operating in an aviation legal environment. An aviation insurance policy provides specific coverage for drones. Most policies will provide an option for insuring your assets (drone and payloads), otherwise known as hull cover, and third-party liability.
A few different options are available. Traditional insurance is paid annually (whether you use the drone or not) and usage based insurance is paid by the minute (when flying).
If interested, Bask Aerospace can introduce you to our partner company Precision Autonomy who provides a Usage Based Insurance backed by QBE.
How to cover my drone liability?
Aviation third party liability covers third party property damage and bodily injury caused by a drone accident.
Aviation third party liability binds to the drone itself unlike general public liability which is for the entire business. Most general public liability policies will exclude any aviation related activity.
What do I do if I have an accident and need to make a claim?
It’s important to consider the following five steps should you have an accident;
- Most importantly, if required, call 000.
- At a minimum record the following at the time of the accident:
- What happened?
- Were there any witnesses? (Get their details)
- Was anyone or anything hurt?
- Was anything damaged?
- What drone?
- What payload?
- Who was flying?
- Report the accident to CASA.
- Report the accident to the ATSB.
- Contact your insurance company or insurance broker and;
- Provide initial recorded information and ask if they require any additional detail.
- Some additional detail you may require includes:
- Proof of ownership documentation.
- Licence number and Operator Certificate.
- Area approvals or any other special operational exemptions.