If you’re setting up a drone business, or implementing drones at your company, you’ve probably got some questions about drone insurance.
What kinds of insurance exist for drones? Do I really need it? How much does it cost?
It’s crucial — and sometimes required — to take drone insurance into consideration before you can get your drone operation off the ground. Read on to learn more about drone insurance and how you can mitigate potential risk by purchasing it.
Do I Need Drone Insurance?
When setting up any commercial drone operation, insurance is a must. Having too little, or none at all, leaves you open to risk and can make your company vulnerable should an accident occur. You also want to protect your assets. Drone systems aren’t exactly cheap. Having insurance can protect your wallet if you experience a crash, fly away, or mechanical malfunction while flying.
While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t currently require insurance for commercial drone operators in the US, some countries — such as Canada — do. Be sure to research your local, state, and federal regulations regarding insurance before taking to the skies for any commercial operations.
What are the Risks Involved in a Commercial Drone Operation?
There is some potential risk to consider when implementing drones in the workplace. On a job site, there can be dozens — even hundreds — of obstacles ranging from structures to people, and heavy machinery. While following federal regulations and taking proper safety precautions can significantly reduce your chances of an accident, there are no absolutes.
Being aware and accepting that risk is part of of managing a drone program. You’ll need to take the necessary steps to ensure you are doing everything to support a safe environment for the program to thrive. And purchasing insurance is part of the process. Learn more about managing risk in your drone operation here.
What Types of Drone Insurance are Available?
There are two basic types of insurance that you will want to consider: hull and liability insurance.
Hull insurance covers damage to the drone itself. It’s generally separate from liability policies. Hull insurance is important to consider, especially if you’re operating a system with expensive cameras, sensors, or on-board real time kinematic (RTK) GPS units.
Liability insurance covers damage caused to a third party by your drone operations, including bodily injury and property damage. Liability insurance is usually required by companies setting up an in-house operation. Many companies also require service providers to show proof of liability insurance before contracting drone outside services.
How Much Does Drone Insurance Cost?
The cost of your drone insurance plan is going to vary. Just like car insurance, there are several factors that come into play from providers such as:
- The number of drones in your fleet
- The types of drones, cameras, and sensors you’re operating
- The amount of training and experience under your belt
- Maintenance records for your fleet
- Safety procedures taken by your team
Insurance policies can range anywhere from $1,000 a year on the lower end to $10,000 a year on the higher end (per drone). If you’re company has documented safety procedures, training, and a good track record, you may be able to get a better rate on your insurance policy.
How Much Coverage Should I Purchase?
If you’re implementing a drone program at your company, we recommend working with your legal and risk management teams to figure out what types of insurance are required by your company, and industry. Most liability policies range anywhere from $1,000,000-$10,000,000, but some go as high as $100,000,000 or more.
If you’re a drone service provider, your coverage can vary depending on your industry, services, and risk potential. In a recent study of drone service providers (DSPs) using DroneDeploy, we found the typical liability insurance coverage to be $1,000,000 or more. Read the complete report here.
To make the right choice, consider your business, your customer base, and your assets. If you’re serving an industry that is more accident prone, or have customers that have minimum liability insurance requirements to protect their operations, you’ll need to take it into consideration before purchasing coverage.
Can DroneDeploy Help with Insurance?
DroneDeploy provides our customers with access to DroneInsurance.com’s ground and flight liability insurance coverage options through our new integration. You can start by insuring your drones with DroneInsurance.com’s Base Coverage to protect your business around the clock while not in the air, and then add flight liability coverage on demand, only when you need it. Coverage is also available for sensors and ground equipment by visiting DroneInsurance.com. Check out the DroneInsurance.com app in our App Market to get started.*
*Insurance services provided by Acend Insurance Solutions, LLC, through the excess and surplus lines markets. Products not currently available in NY, WV, IL, MN, or KY.
Where to Learn More
- Learn more about minimizing risk through insurance, training, and maintenance in our eBook, Preparing for Takeoff.
- Effectively manage risk in your drone operation with these 7 tips.
- Just getting your drone operation off the ground? Read our lessons learned from helping companies large and small get their drone programs started here.
- Read more about the ways drones are improving safety on the job site here.
- Launching a new drone business? Read our guide to starting a commercial drone business.