According to the EU rules, every drone that weighs over 20 kilos must be insured. Even though insurance is not obligatory for most of the drones in the open category, it is a good idea to be insured in the event of an accident.
Every operator is responsible for having its drones insured. Even if you are not the operator but only the remote pilot, it is a good idea to make sure you know the drone you will fly is insured.
There are many different types of insurance, but there are mainly two important types of insurance for those who fly drones: liability insurance and non-life insurance.
Liability insurance, or third-party insurance, covers what you cause to others but not what you cause for yourself. If an accident occurs – your drone might crash into someone else’s property – the liability insurance covers the cost of the damage that the drone made on the other person’s property, but not the cost of the damage on the drone itself.
Non-life insurance, also known as general insurance or property insurance, covers what belongs to you. If your drone breaks down in a crash, fire, or gets stolen, the damage will be compensated by the non-life insurance.
There is no requirement for drone operators to have non-life insurance – but liability insurance for those flying drones over 20 kilos is obligatory and, besides, recommended for all weight classes.
Often, both non-life and liability insurance is included in home insurance. However, many home insurance policies may have limitations when it comes to flying drones –some policies do not cover drones at all. This means you should not take for granted that you are covered before checking your home insurance covers.
Different insurance companies have different conditions regarding what damage is covered or limited in their insurance policies. Therefore, find out the conditions of the companies’ policies and choose the one that suits you and your purpose best – especially since many companies have restrictions and limitations on drones.
Depending on the coverage, insurance will protect the drones against the following exposures:
- Theft of the drone and attached equipment
- Damage to the drone, including attachments, electronics, and components
- Property damage caused to others by the drone
- Bodily injury caused to others by the drone
- Premises liability at locations used in connection with scheduled flights
- Malicious damage
- System hacking
- Contractual liability
Different countries, even within the EU, may have their own rules and requirements for insurance. In addition to checking which laws apply in the country, check where your insurance applies geographically. If an accident occurs while conducting an illegal or unapproved flight, it will not be covered by insurance.
To consider before choosing insurance
- Requirements: Every drone operator who has drones over 20 kilos must have insurance covering the cost of damages to others. However, this is recommended even for operators of lighter drones.
- Fly privately: Check the terms and conditions of your home insurance.
- Fly commercially: Check the terms and conditions of your business insurance.
- Special insurance: If you are not fully covered by your home or business insurance, check out special insurances that are more suitable.
- Flying abroad: Ensure your insurance covers any damage caused abroad and find out if there are any national rules in the country you are about to fly in.
How to file a drone insurance claim
You might not need to le a claim right now, but it’s good to know what might be required if you do end up ling one. Here’s a general outline from Unmanned Risk Management:
- Read over your insurance policy for specific duties to accomplish. This will tell you what your insurance company does and doesn’t want you to do.
- Notify the insurance company as soon as possible. You can note down the place, time, description of the occurrence, names, and contact information for any injured people and witnesses.
- Notify the authorities. Contact the police for theft or vandalism claims.
- Do not make any statements (oral or written) without the insurance company’s permission.
- Do not abandon your aircraft or insured property; take all reasonable precautions to protect your property immediately after the incident.
- Cooperate with the insurance company and their representative(s).
- Allow the insurance company to inspect the damaged property before repair or disposal.
- File proof of loss with the insurance company within a set amount of time.