Drone Insurance and What to Look For


Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library

Insurance is a must-have investment to protect you and your drone. The insurance market realizes this and has responded with a variety of options. These things can be overwhelming and confusing, so this article will serve as a pocket guide to help you start your search for the insurance plan that’s right for you. Here’s what you should look for in drone insurance:

A Reputable Insurance Provider: Where can I purchase good drone insurance?

Photo Credit: State Farm, Allstate, Verifly, and SkyWatch

While you’re researching companies and policies, find out if the insurance you're considering has a good reputation. Whenever you make any large purchase, you should look for reviews and comments on the product or service. Even if there are mostly positive comments, try to find some reviews with criticism to cover all your bases and weight the pros and cons of each company.

If you’re a hobbyist, you may be able to reach out to the company that provides you coverage for your home (or a different agency that offers similar services) and discuss adding your drone to a new or preexisting plan that covers your personal property. Last year in another article on drone insurance, we discussed people being covered through their general insurance provider. The research for that article revealed that a common recommendation was to obtain coverage under State Farm's Personal Articles Policy, which covers belongings like bikes, art, jewelry, and collectibles. Allstate has a similar policy called Personal Property Coverage.

Insurance agencies that cater specifically to drones may be more suitable for commercial pilots. For example, Avion Insurance offers full coverage for pilots using their drones recreationally and for business. Commercial drone pilots even have the option of purchasing on-demand insurance with companies like Verifly and SkyWatch.

More companies that offer drone insurance include: AssuredPartners Aerospace, American International Group, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, but there are still even more options out there.

A Policy that Suits Your Needs: What kind of coverage should I buy?

Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library

The coverage you need will depend on how often you fly, how much the drone is worth, where you are, and more. A hobbyist with one drone that they only use at the local park will probably need less coverage than a commercial pilot who owns a fleet and a drone-based business. Coverage that both groups can benefit from though, is Liability Insurance.

When it comes to types of coverage, what you’re likely in the market for is Liability Insurance, which can be the most basic coverage you can get for your drone. Liability Insurance may be all you need to protect yourself from bearing the brunt of the costs you could incur from the average drone incident such as damage to someone else’s property and bodily injury. However, as the name states, Liability Insurance only covers costs that you’re liable for and not the actual damage sustained by the drone. Other types of coverage you may want to consider are Hull Insurance to cover the repair costs for accidental damage, Payload Insurance for the damage of any equipment your drone carries such as special cameras and sensors, and Ground Equipment Insurance for the equipment you use at your ground station.

Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library

A Good Value: How much should I pay for coverage?

Look for rates that fit well into your budget and make sense for the value of your drone. The policy you're considering should be worth the cost, especially when compared to other, similar policies. Ideally, your policy will have a low deductible but enough coverage to fully replace your drone if it’s broken, repair your drone if it’s damaged, pay for damage that your drone causes. Don’t think that you’re stuck with the first rate you’re offered. While you’re shopping around for companies and policies, don’t forget to compare quotes and see if you can negotiate lower rates with your agent. If you’re considering purchasing more than one type of insurance, ask if you can have a bundle discount. Pilots in drone forums who have added their drones to their homeowner’s insurance have reportedly paid less than $100 with companies like State Farm and Allstate.

Regarding prices, the general consensus seems to be that commercial pilots can obtain drone liability insurance for a yearly rate that can range from $500 to $750 per drone depending on a variety of factors. At that range, you can potentially be covered for up to $1,000,000. After that, on-demand insurance is probably the most affordable option. At Verifly, policies start at $10 an hour then rise depending on the coverage you need and where you live. SkyWatch is similar, with base pricing for $1,000,000 On-Demand coverage ranging from $5 to $10.

Coverage for Concerns You May Not Think About Often: What am I forgetting?

Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library

Sometimes there are things that we forget to consider when it comes to buying insurance. While you’re doing your research into policies and talking to agents, keep these questions (and more) in mind:

  • Am I covered if someone else is flying my drone?

  • Am I covered if my drone is stolen?

  • Am I covered if in a different state? a different country?

  • Am I covered if my drone is damaged while I’m traveling?

  • Am I covered if I decide to enter drone competitions?

  • Does my coverage apply to more than one drone?

I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron


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