Drone insurance is no longer a fringe idea. Any serious UAV operator now considers it a necessity.
Part 107 regulations don’t require you to have coverage, but doing so helps you to handle any unexpected circumstances much better, and increases your chances of landing gigs
Drone insurance was at first shunned by the big traditional insurers, who assumed it would remain a small niche segment. But most of them now offer drone insurance policies.
Commercial insurance policies for drones such as the DJI Phantom 4 ranges from $500-$750 per year. Actual costs are subject to various factors.
What Factors Determine Drone Insurance Cost?
As the UAVs keep growing from a hobbyist’s obsession to a mature industry, it’s becoming easier to determine insurance costs. These are influenced by factors such as:
Cost of the Drone
Commercial drones tend to be more expensive than those operated by enthusiasts. You’ll be more willing to insure a $3,000 DJI Inspire 2 than a $200 MJX Bugs 2W. For peace of mind, you might still need liability insurance even if the drone is cheap.
Flying a drone, especially in unfamiliar territory, presents various challenges. You could stray into restricted zones, or crash into people and property.
Although manufacturers such as DJI are constantly innovating to avoid such mishaps, they cannot be avoided completely. Having drone insurance shields you from being sued afterward.
Before contracting commercial drone operators, most companies require them to have some form of drone insurance. This contractual obligation makes work smoother for both parties because no one’s worried about potential liabilities.
Experience and Skill
Some insurers will ask for evidence of your competence and use it to determine insurance cost. Other than your drone license, they’ll review your past flight logs. The safer your record is, the more likely you’ll pay lower rates.
Types of Insurance Coverage
Depending on your drone and the industry you’re in, you’ll need one or more of the following:
It’s the most important as well as the most costly form of drone insurance. It covers potential injuries to the general public or damage to property.
Since it’s impossible to determine how much loss an accident might cause accurately, liability insurance is offered in limits.
For instance, liability coverage of $100,000 will cover injuries and property damage up to a maximum of that amount. In that sense, the higher your liability limit, the higher the premiums you’ll pay.
Liability insurance costs between $600 and $1000 per year for a $1,000,000 limit.
Accidental Damage Insurance
This policy covers the actual drone and its various accessories. If it’s your main source of income, it only makes sense to insure it against serious damage.
It’s known by various other names, such as hull and payload insurance.
It also covers expensive drone parts such as cameras and gimbals.
Some policies extend this cover to ground equipment associated with the drone. These include laptops, remote controllers, ground stations, and UAV cases.
Non-Owned UAV Insurance
It’s applicable in cases where the drone is rented. If you’re operating one, you can either take non-owned liability or hull insurance. The former covers injuries or any property damaged by the UAV, while the latter covers damage to the drone itself.
Also known as drone insurance on demand, it’s unique to the drone industry. Made popular by Skywatch.ai, it allows you to buy insurance only for the duration of your flight. It’s convenient and flexible because you can opt for either hourly or monthly plans.
Prices for the hourly option start from $5 to $10 for a $1 million liability. The monthly plan for the same package ranges from $32 to $65. The company offers a maximum liability limit of $10 million.
The biggest drone insurers in America are Skywatch, Statefarm, Verifly, DroneInsurance.com, AIG, and Avion.
Cost of Drone Insurance in Canada
Transport Canada requires everyone who operates commercial UAVs to buy drone insurance. To be safe, you should opt for liability insurance of at least $1,000,000. For personal drone use, consider a liability limit of at least $100,000.
Although the government claims drone insurance can be bought for as low as $15, we’re yet to see any evidence of this low cost.
Drone insurers in Canada include Capri Insurance, CoverDrone, Intact Insurance, Air1 Insurance, and Drone Insurance Depot. USAIG and Hub International provide services in both Canada and the USA.