Do you have a drone, remote helicopter, or UAV? If so, and especially if you’re ever planning on using it to make money, you ought to be thinking about UAV insurance. The drone market is expected to grow from 2.5 million units sold in 2016 to 7 million in 2020, and as the market grows the need for a drone insurance policy will only grow, as well. If you haven’t thought about this type of aircraft insurance, here are five things you need to know:
- A drone insurance policy isn’t just smart: it’s increasingly a requirement. Any kind of insurance is usually a smart move. If you’re using your drone for business, insurance can protect you from loss or against damage you might inadvertently cause. But it can also help you close a deal with clients that only want to work with those who are covered. And even if a client doesn’t absolutely demand you have insurance, having it might set you apart as someone who takes their work seriously. And while the United States doesn’t currently require drone insurance, Canada does if you fly it commercially. Many think it’s just a matter of time before the same requirement comes to the United States, too.
- A drone insurance policy may open up new money-making opportunities you hadn’t thought of. You can get insurance to cover your drone for use in law enforcement situations, emergency response, traffic and accident assistance, construction, maritime and shipping application, highway and railroad maintenance, in national and local parks, for movies, or in construction. Those are a just a few of the possibilities, and many of them will require insurance to work with you. Getting insurance makes you more useful and flexible.
- A drone insurance policy could be cheaper than you fear. There are ways to show that you are a safe and dependable flyer who is unlikely to break your drone or injure other people or property with it. Keep the operating manual for your drone, and keep maintenance logs. (You are doing regular maintenance, right?) If you replace a part or install an add-on, keep a record of that, as well. Get proof of your training (and if you don’t have any, go get some now). All these are great for getting the best rate you can on your drone or helicopter insurance.
- A drone insurance policy can also coverissues you never thought about. It’s not just a matter of replacing or repairing your drone or other UAV. What about the lost business you suffered? What about medical payments if someone gets hurt? What about damage to property or premises that you rent, or that others own? Third party legal liability? Manufacturer product liability? What about liability as an independent contractor or advertising? There are all areas where you one small mistake might cost you a lot of money if you’re not properly prepared.
- A drone insurance policy can cover more than just your drone. You can also add on your ground station, the laptop or tablet you use to control the drone, the case and remote controllers, rechargeable battery packs, replacement parts you have in storage: anything essential to the operation and maintenance of your drone could conceivably come under protection.
A drone is a serious investment, and you could be making some serious money off the commercial use of it. Protect that investment and that income stream with good insurance for drones.