Liability Insurance for Drone (Unmanned Aircraft)

Jul 3rd, 2016 | By | Category: Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance Coverage for Unmanned Aircraft (Drone)

Drones, also known as Unmanned Aircraft (UAV) needs insurance just like your vehicle insurance. It is a smart move for a business to get an appropriate cover. If you are currently in the business that involves the use of drones or you plan to make use of drones in the future, insuring them could save you lots of money and problem down the line.

Admittedly, the use of drones is in its infancy; however commercial growth is expected to increase significantly in the next ten years as more businesses such as UPS and Amazon explore the use of these Unmanned Vehicles for deliveries and video makers, photographers and enthusiasts adopt them for commercial and recreational purposes.

According to FAA estimation, about 30,000 small, unmanned aircraft will be used for every type of business purposes by 2020 and the total spending on UAV’s is expected to reach $89 billion in the next decade majorly due to commercial and military demands.

What’s the Need for UAV Insurance?

Accident happens! Moreover, UAV is still far from being perfect and those that fly it whether for commercial or recreational purposes need more drone education. FAA has approved 2 flying robotics models; both of which weigh less than 55 pounds and measure four and a half feet long. Before now, the only way the commercial/private sector could fly an unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace was with an experimental airworthiness certification. This approval has lead to increase in the demands for drones. However, before you run to get your drone; you need to consider getting drone insurance.

Getting Unmanned Aircraft Insurance will give you peace of mind, and can even help you to attract clients that only do business with an insured company. Providing insurance for a drone means considering a multitude of insurance liability and coverage issues such as an invasion of privacy, personal injury, aerial surveillance and data collection.

Currently, UAV insurance is not required for either commercial or recreational drone use in the United States, however, in Canada, you must be covered for at least $100,000 liability before getting your drone in the air. Although in the United States, you may need to get a minimum level of insurance coverage before embarking on some project such as city film permit.

Every serious UAV pilot needs liability insurance; it is a great indicator that projects your business as strong, credible and absolutely professional.

What is UAV Insurance?

UAV (drone) Insurance just like your car insurance covers you when you get into an accident. It also covers your damage and liability. You will be more likely to get a favorable insurance rate when you have appropriate drone training, operating manuals, maintenance logs and other necessary precautionary tools.

Below are some of the potential drone uses a company could insure you for:

  • Fire and Rescue
  • Emergency Response
  • Law Enforcement and SWAT
  • Agriculture and Conservation
  • Construction
  • Traffic Patrol and Accident Assistance
  • Facilities Protection: Electrical, Nuclear, and Water Sites
  • Maritime and Shipping
  • News Gathering
  • Real Estate
  • Pipeline/Hydro-Transmission Line Inspection
  • Railroad and Highway Maintenance
  • Archaeology and Geology Exploration
  • National Parks and Recreation
  • Movies and Videography

Depending on your insurance policy, your UAV insurance can cover you for the following types of accidents under commercial drone liability insurance:

  • Damage or loss of UAV
  • Manufacturer Product Liability
  • Third Party Legal Liability
  • Coverage for aircraft operators (including on-ground crew)
  • Aviation and Premises Medical Payments
  • Personal Injury
  • Damage to Premises You Rent
  • Your Property & Office/Studio Content
  • Advertising Liability
  • Contractual Liability
  • Fellow Employee Coverage
  • War, Hi-Jacking, and Terrorism
  • Independent Contractors Liability
  • Fire Legal Liability

 What’s the Cost of Drone Insurance?

Usually, insurance companies break drone insurance policies into 2 parts which include:

  • Liability (damage and claims to third parties)
  • Hull damage (damage related to your UAV)

An insurance policy for small unmanned vehicles such as DHI Phantom covering liability up to a million dollar can be insured with as little as $800-$1,350 a year. The number here is just an average; each insurance company has their own unique quote.

How to Get Your Unmanned Vehicle Insurance?

Before getting UAV insurance, most insurance companies will require you to demonstrate intimate knowledge of your system and the environment in which you will be flying. When you are ready to get your insurance, go to insurance website that offers UAV insurance or secure the services of an insurance broker. Here are some information you need to have around before visiting insurance company:

  • Your personal information
  • The type of coverage you hope to get.
  • The environment you plan to operate
  • Your Piloting experience
  • The cost of each part of your rig
  • Your training as a pilot
  • History of accident

Seek quote from different insurance company, then sit down with your lawyer or someone more experienced and decide which company is offering you the best deal.

If you plan to use a broker, he will need to know the following information:

  • Do you maintain a maintenance log?
  • Have you logged at least fifty-hundred hours of flight time?
  • Where are you flying?
  • What business are you into?
  • Do you own or lease your equipment?
  • Are you an FAA-certified drone pilot?


If you are using your drone for recreational purposes, check your homeowner’s policy, it might have provided cover for you. However, you need to make sure of it before flying. If you are using drones for business, we highly recommend you look for service of a good insurance company and protect yourself and your business from unforeseen circumstances.

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