Drones and Insurance


Love it or hate it, the future includes a lot more drones flying through our skies. The FAA projects that 2017 will be the turning point in the commercial adoption of drone technology. Among hobbyists and amateur drone operators, the future is now. Drones can be purchased on eBay or Amazon for under $50. So you or your child may soon be a drone owner. Here are some drone tips and suggestions for your drone and insurance:

  1. For the drone owner, the prevailing source of insurance coverage is through your Homeowner or Renters policy.
  2. The drone itself is Personal Property under your policy but subject to named perils and the deductible (often $500-$1000) is more than the value of the damaged drone.
  3. Liability coverage to damage done by the drone depends on the circumstances of the accident- especially if negligence is involved. If others are injured or the property of others is damaged by the drone, coverage may be found under the liability coverage of your Homeowner, Renters or Umbrella policy.
  4. Coverage for injury to the operator, the operator’s family or pets would have to be addressed through your medical insurance policy.   If the drone falls from the air and damages an auto, coverage could be found under the comprehensive section of the owner’s auto policy (or if identified, more likely the drone operator’s Homeowners or Renters policy).
  5. All drones over .55 pounds need to be registered through the Federal Aviation Agency. Here is the link to more FAA unmanned aircraft information FAA.gov, including registration. The cost starts at $5.00.
  6. A new company, Verifly, offers on-demand insurance for enthusiasts and commercial drone operators at a cost of about $10 per hour.

Note that we at Johnson & Rohan see insurance for the business of drones, for both commercial and consumer enthusiasts as developing rapidly and evolving.   We suggest giving us a call to review your particular coverage before your next drone launch.