According to EU regulations, every drone, weighing more than 20 kilograms must be insured. Even though insurance isn’t required for most open-class drones, it’s a good idea to be covered in the event of an accident.
If you are only the remote pilot and not the operator, it is good to find out if and how the drone you will be flying is insured. Each operator is responsible for insuring their drones. This post will learn about insurance, including which types are appropriate, what they cover, and why you might want to buy one.
What is insurance? Insurance is basically about spreading and sharing risks. That is, several people, pay a smaller amount, a so-called premium. The premiums are then put together in a pot. If an insured person suffers an injury or accident, that person will receive money to compensate for the loss.
The amount paid for the premium depends on the probability of an accident and the cost of the potential damage. Insurance is often optional, but it may also be obligatory, as in the case of third-party liability car insurance.
Which insurance is suitable for drones?
There are many different types of insurance, but for those who fly drones, liability insurance, and non-life insurance are the most important to be aware of. Non-life insurance is not required for drone operators, but liability insurance is required for those flying drones weighing more than 20 kilograms and is recommended for all weight classes. Insurance will not cover an accident while conducting an illegal or unapproved flight.
Liability insurance, also known as third-party insurance, covers damage to others but no damage to yourself. Suppose an accident occurs, such as when your drone collides with another person’s property. In that case, your liability insurance will cover the cost of the damage to the other person’s property, but not the cost of the damage to the drone itself.
If you don’t have liability insurance, the cost of compensating what has been destroyed in an accident may be very high – so high that it can be difficult to cover for a single person. In some cases, you may even have to pay indemnity if you hurt or damage someone else or their property.
However, if you have been grossly negligent or in some other way violated the law, your liability insurance will not apply. In those cases, you have to bear the cost yourself.
Non-life insurance, also known as general or property insurance, covers what belongs to you. For example, if your drone breaks down in a crash, in a fire, or gets stolen, the damage will be compensated by non-life insurance except for the excess cost.
Non-life and liability insurance are frequently included in home insurance policies. However, many home insurance policies may have restrictions when it comes to flying drones, and some policies may not cover drones at all. You should double-check your homeowner’s insurance coverage before assuming you’re covered.
Flying on behalf of someone else
If you get paid or receive some other form of compensation for conducting a flight, the home insurance usually does not apply. If you are self-employed, you will therefore need business insurance. As with home insurance, business insurance is often limited to drone operations. Choose insurance and insurance companies carefully, or be sure to know what is included in your business insurance if you already have one.
If the drone is damaged during transport
If you need to engage a transport company to move your drone and it gets damaged during transport, you will usually only receive compensation in relation to the drone’s weight. This usually means a big financial loss. Hence, it may be a good idea to take out transport insurance. This can be done through some transport companies directly, or at various insurance companies. Also, many business insurance policies cover transport damage. Keep this in mind if you plan to take out such insurance or already have one.
Choose the right insurance company
Different insurance companies have different conditions regarding covered or limited damage in their insurance policies. As a result, learn the terms of the companies’ policies and pick the one that best suits you and your needs – especially since many companies have drone restrictions and limitations.
Different rules in different countries
Even within the EU, different countries may have their own rules and requirements for insurance. So, in addition to checking which laws apply in the country, you are about to fly in, check where your insurance applies geographically.
Things to consider before choosing drone insurance
- Requirements: Every drone operator with a drone weighing more than 20 kilograms must have insurance that covers the cost of causing damage to others. Even for operators of lighter drones, this is recommended.
- Fly privately: You should check and verify the terms and conditions of your home insurance.
- Fly commercially: You should check the terms and conditions of your business insurance.
- Special insurance: If your home or business insurance does not fully cover you, check out special insurances that are more suitable.
- Flying abroad: Make sure your insurance covers any damage you cause while traveling abroad, and find out if the country you’re flying into has any national rules.