Drone Liability coverage. 'Look out below."

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. They’re all over the news and the internet. We’ve all seen them. Drones, quadcopters, UAVs – whatever you want to call them. They are here whether we like them or not. The Federal Aviation Administration defines them as unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aerial systems. They can be controlled similarly to model aircraft or can be programmed to fly independently using GPS technology.

There is both a large commercial market and a large public consumer market for drones. They are being used now for firefighting, spraying crops, surveillance, or just plain fun. Commercial drones are required to have a special license and approval from the FAA. Recreational users, like you and me, can buy one on Amazon and start flying tomorrow with no license or approval at all.

Recreational users need to be mindful of the FAA regulations and the potential insurance risk. They must fly below 400 feet, be within sight and control, avoid populated areas and schools and are now banned from almost all national parks. The FAA has started a campaign to make sure recreational users are informed. If you would like more information, here is the link http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/

The biggest concern from an insurance perspective is invasion of privacy. Your homeowner’s policy excludes “aircraft liability,” but there is an exception that gives you back the coverage if the device is a “model or hobby aircraft not used or designed to carry people are cargo.” So, the average recreational user is covered for liability in terms of privacy.

Be mindful when using your new “toy.” Give us a call if you acquire a drone or with any other changes in your world and we discuss the best way to handle your coverage.