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Buying Drone Insurance for the First Time? Here are Some Tips

buying drone insurance guide

It is highly recommended that anyone flying a drone for commercial purposes get drone insurance.

At this point in time, it may not be legally mandated to have it, but drone insurance can give you peace of mind, protect your investment, and protect you legally if something happens.

Remember, a flyaway phenomenon cannot be avoided even with the most trained drone pilot.

1. Familiarize yourself with the different types of drone insurance coverage

Hull insurance

This type of insurance covers the damage to the actual drone. Some commercial UAVs that cost less don’t need to be covered by hull insurance since a number of insurance holders will still be liable for a deductible.

The purpose of hull insurance is for the business to protect itself from any uneventful financial loss as a result of physical damage obtained to the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Do keep in mind that a drone bought in the early months of 2015 for $1,000.00 will have a different market value in 2019; thus, failure to keep up with the declining value of your UAV may result to problems surrounding your claims process, insurance carrier, and overpayment for the insurance coverage. In some cases, your insurance service provider will simply adjust your UAV’s value to the current market price.

Liability insurance

This type of insurance covers the damage done by your drone. Typically, you’ll get coverage of $500,000.00. Note that some commercial clients choose not to work with drone pilots who are not carrying a large liability policy. In fact, some clients would expect their drone pilots to at least have $3 million worth of liability insurance.

Payload coverage

Your payload coverage would depend on the type of UAV you are operating. Your payload coverage is one of the most feasible among the types of drone insurance coverage. This can cover damages caused to your cameras and equipment. The only difference between payload coverage and a hull insurance coverage is that payload coverage focuses on payload equipment.

2. Figure out how to reduce your insurance coverage rates

DJI Mavic

Image by StockSnap 

Here are some tips you can use to reduce your insurance rates:

Get multiple quotes

Finding a good insurance provider can be tricky since not all insurance policies are equally made. Shopping around and getting multiple quotes can help you compare and contrast a greater number of available insurance coverage. You will eventually find the one that falls under your budget and that is suited well with your needs.

Maintain a flight logbook

You can keep your insurance coverage rates low by simply maintaining a flight logbook; this will protect yourself as a drone pilot. In addition, logging in your flights can be used as proof for fleet maintenance. Furthermore, it can also protect you in the event that someone accuses your drone of doing something or being somewhere it shouldn’t.

Implement training standards

It is crucial that a drone pilot should have their Part 107 license to be able to operate drones commercially. In addition, it is also important that you take courses such as the Unmanned Safety Institute’s Program. This is a program that will help drone pilots stay up-to-date with their drone knowledge.

Have a safety checklist before and after your flights

It is essential that every drone pilot should develop a standard operating procedure (SOP) so that it can help in outlining the different issues, such as the weather, the drone’s airworthiness, and any interaction made between different drone pilots, that may affect drone operators.

3. Familiarize yourself with the reasons your insurance provider may drop you

It is possible that you might get dropped by your insurance provider. It is important to know and understand the exclusions of your insurance provider. According to some research and as a result of asking around, here are some I’ve heard about:

  • Failure to register your serial number.
  • Failure to put the necessary identification numbers on your drone.
  • Failure to log all of your battery cycles, propeller changes, and maintenance changes.
  • Failure to maintain a flight logbook.
  • The practice of unethical flight.

4. Properly evaluate drone insurance providers

DJI Phantom

Image by ajcespedes

Indeed, it can be an overwhelming task to find the right drone insurance provider for you. What you need is a company that has money to cover your claims whenever you need it.

Based on my experience in aerial photography and videography, here are some of the things you should look out for when shopping for a drone insurance policy:

Financial stability

You need to look at the financial stability of a company to ensure that they are financially capable of covering your claims. Furthermore, this will save you from so much trouble in the event of a drone accident.

Customer service ratings

The customer service ratings are one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a product or service; shopping for an insurance provider is no different.

Price

Lastly, a company that provides the best price is your best bet when it comes to your insurance policy. Do research and get multiple quotes.

5. Speak to a number of insurance providers on how they put together an insurance coverage application for the underwriter

DJI Phantom
Image by StockSnap

Diligence should be your number one trait when shopping for an insurance policy.

Nonetheless, here are some of the questions I have rounded up for you. This can serve as your checklist in order to land the best available insurance policy.

Drone Insurance Checklist

  • Are you operating indoors?
  • Are you flying over water?
  • Do you automatically record your flight data in a logbook?
  • Do you own or lease your equipment?
  • Do you have an FAA license as a commercial drone pilot? (If not, here is an in-depth guide)
  • Do you make it a habit to log at least 100 hours of your flight time?
  • Do you have a logbook for all your drone maintenance changes?
  • What marketing materials do you use?
  • Have you completed some form of drone pilot training?

While shopping for your drone insurance policy can be intimidating and overwhelming, it is not impossible to land the best one that is suitable to your drone needs. Furthermore, every insurance service provider has the right to drop your coverage, which is why it is important to familiarize yourself with their exclusions.

Special thanks to QuinceMedia for the cover image. Follow @quincemedia on Instagram.

About The Author

Flying my DJI Phantom - square

 

Mark Sheehan started My Drone Authority to share his knowledge and help people get the most out of this amazing hobby and profession. Follow My Drone Authority on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

SEE ALSO – A Beginner’s Guide to Drone Photography


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