Recreational Drone Insurance: Yes, That’s a Thing!
With the increase in the use of recreational drones in recent years, the need for insurance has risen. Using drones can involve risk to property and life in the event of an accident.
What is a Drone?
A drone can be any type of autonomously or remotely guided vehicle, but the term commonly refers to aircraft known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Radio control aircraft, such as model airplanes, are also considered UAVs. The distinction between drones and radio control aircraft is not currently well-defined.
Popularity and Future Integration into Airspace
The rapid development of drone technology for the private sector has suddenly launched a new multi-billion-dollar industry. The commercial use of these small, next-generation aircraft is expanding exponentially. The FAA has approved commercial drone operations in such areas as agriculture, land surveying, filmmaking, security, and delivery of goods.
Local, State, and Federal Drone Laws
According to the FAA, pilots of unmanned aircraft have the same responsibility to fly safely as manned aircraft pilots.
Effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration‘s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors.
Before flying, acquaint yourself with federal, state, and local laws governing the recreational use of drones. Please refer to your state’s guidelines on use of recreational drones. For Federal guidelines, please read the Unmanned Aircraft FAQ from the FAA
Confirm If Drone Accidents are Covered Under Your Policy
Using drones can involve risk to property and life in the event of an accident. Generally, homeowners and renters policies cover liability for an accident caused by your drone, but check with your agent or insurer to verify your policy contains this important coverage. Also check if and how your drone is covered in the event it is lost, stolen, or damaged.
CMR | PolicySmart® can help you expand your homeowners and/or commercial insurance to include drone insurance. Please email CMR | PolicySmart or call 877-447-4301 or 212-447-4300 for more information.
Violation of Privacy Concerns
Using drones also potentially carries the risk of invasion of privacy and the unauthorized collection of data. Insurers are developing policies to cover these liability exposures. Keep in touch with your insurer to make sure your use remains covered. Keep in mind that insurance companies will not cover an intentional violation.
If You’re Involved in an Accident
Rules for drones are being developed as UAVs become integrated into our airspace. Insurance companies will follow the developments regarding drone regulations. As regulations become clearer and more complete, insurance companies will be better able to meet policyholders’ needs. For now, follow the same procedures as you would with your auto or home insurance.
Tips from the FAA on Drone Use
- Keep current with local, state, and federal laws regarding drones.
- Fly under 400 feet.
- Do not fly within 5 miles of an airport without first obtaining clearance from the airport control tower.
- Do not fly a drone weighing more than 55 pounds.
- Avoid flying near people.
- Keep the drone in sight at all times.
About CMR | PolicySmart®
CMR & Associates’ risk management consultants provide independent group benefits, retirement and insurance advice by reviewing your current plans to improve coverage and reduce cost. Through CMR’s proprietary database – The CMR Database® (comprised of some 13,000 brokers and specialists globally), we maximize access to the insurance and retirement industry for greater options that will translate to better coverage and lower cost.
Please email CMR | PolicySmart or call 877-447-4301 or 212-447-4300 for more information.