Posts tagged "Drone insurance"

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Five years into the development of the commercial drone industry, a picture is starting to emerge about the nature of the flight risks, the frailties of the systems and the ways in which the hazards can be avoided, at least to some degree. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry is growing at a speed that will challenge our expectations.

This new white paper, the fourth in a series, will analyze the data and share some of what we have learned from the substantial collection of salvaged hardware we have scrutinized over the past several years. DARTdrones, our SM4 Aviation Safety Program partner will also provide practical advice for loss prevention and risk management for drone operators.

Download the White Paper

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Flock, a government-backed drone insurance startup, has unlocked its ‘pay-as-you-fly’ insurance and safety smartphone app (Flock Cover) to recreational drone pilots. Up until now, the Flock Cover app has been available to commercial and training pilots in the UK, of which over 1,000 have registered on the platform since it launched in December. Now those who fly drones as a hobby can also use the mobile app to receive a real-time risk report for their flight, and purchase on-demand Public Liability Insurance, underwritten by Allianz, from just £3.

Flock’s new product announcement is timely: drone sales for recreational purposes are continuing to soar, with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) estimating that over 1.5 million units were sold in the UK over the 2017 Christmas period alone. Drones have become increasingly affordable and are fast becoming a regular sight in parks, beaches, and sports events. However, despite becoming smarter and safer, drones still have the potential to inflict serious damage to people, property, and other aircraft. Beyond safety, there are also growing privacy and noise concerns, with police forces across the UK receiving over 4,500 complaints about drone-related activities in 2017.

Ed Leon Klinger, CEO of Flock commented: “Understanding the risks associated with drone flying is vitally important. Flock Cover is the first pay-as-you-go insurance product that allows any type of pilot to insure their flight for the price of a coffee. And Flock’s dynamic risk map allows pilots to easily understand their surrounding environment, too.” He added: “With over 1,000 commercial users on the platform already, we couldn’t be happier to be opening Flock Cover up to to the general public alongside some brilliant partners in the drone industry.”

Antton Peña, Flock’s Head of Product, said “Insurance shouldn’t be confusing or arduous. It should be simple and fair. That’s what we’ve achieved with Flock Cover.”

Flock’s recreational drone insurance offers peace of mind at the touch of a button. In under one minute, a pilot using the Flock Cover app can be covered for as little as an hour of flight time, with a policy that offers up to £250,000 of Public Liability Insurance. Each policy is customised to the individual flight, with the pilot selecting their drone model and flight area (a 500m radius circle). A risk-dependent quote is then instantly generated by Flock’s proprietary algorithms, which analyse the pilot’s risk profile alongside real-time and geospatial data within the selected flight area. The Flock Cover app incentivises lower-risk flights with cheaper insurance policies, and makes this insight completely visible to pilots, who can use Flock’s Flight Planning tool to see when and where it’s safest to fly their drones within a 10-day period.

Improving drone safety is central to Flock’s mission, and this has driven the company to make the factors that help to determine policy prices transparent to their users. A detailed risk-report is generated for each flight; displaying real-time information such as hyperlocal weather conditions, temporary restricted airspaces, and nearby airports. The latter is particularly poignant, as the UK Airprox Board recently announced that the number of near misses between drones and aircraft more than tripled between 2015 and 2017, with a total of 92 incidents reported last year.

Flock is also promoting awareness of the CAA’s Drone Code to every user of the app. Prior to take-off, a visual slideshow illustrating the six Drone Code rules is displayed, educating pilots about how to fly safely and legally. Jonathan Nicholson, the CAA’s Assistant Director of Communications, welcomed this digital integration, commenting:

“We absolutely welcome Flock’s promotion of the Drone Code as it’s vital that drone users are aware of the safety rules. Drones have amazing potential but for that to be realised we need everyone flying a drone to follow the simple safety rules.”

Flock is now working closely with its insurance partner Allianz to distribute its on-demand drone insurance to pilots across Europe. Flock is also delighted to have partnered with several key commercial and recreational drone retailers across the UK, including; BuzzFlyer, Coptrz, Make It Build It, and Quadcopters.

With the Flock Cover app, drone pilots can purchase customised flight assessment insurance by the hour.

Thinking about becoming a commercial drone pilot? Insurance is an important requirement throughout your journey to getting a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) certification. From flight assessment cover, to providing a proof-of-insurance ‘Cover Note’ document for your application, Flock is here to help.

First things first: what is a commercial drone pilot? And how do I become one?

A commercial drone pilot is anyone who flies their drone in return for money or other ‘valuable considerations’. To name a few, this could be for jobs such as photography, agricultural evaluation, search and rescue operations, and industrial inspections. In order to be able to carry out work of this nature, it’s a legal requirement that you have ‘Permission for Commercial Operations’ (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). You can get your permission by attending a training course with a National Qualified Entity (NQE); a list of which can be found here.

The training is split between ground school theory and a practical flight assessment; the latter of which you’ll need to have insurance in place for. And that’s where Flock first comes in to offer a helping hand.

Flight Assessment Insurance from £6

The Flock Cover mobile app offers flexible flight assessment insurance at the touch of a button. Flock’s pricing is risk-dependent, which enables it to be one of the most competitively priced options on the market (starting from just £6 for up to 8 hours of cover).

It takes under a minute to set up a ‘commercial operator in training’ account, and purchase a policy that offers both public liability (£1M worth of cover) and hull insurance (up to £3,000 of cover for your drone) for the big day. If you have passed your ground school theory test, you can also use this cover to insure any practice flights prior to your flight assessment.

Insurance can be purchased on the spot, or scheduled up to 10 days in advance; with all the important documentation instantly arriving to your email inbox. And if your assessment is rescheduled? Not a problem! Just cancel your policy before it begins with the tap of a button.

Apply for your PfCO with Flock

Once you’ve passed your flight assessment you’re then able to apply to the CAA for your PfCO. The application process involves submitting your operations manual, which must include proof of insurance that is compliant with EU regulation EC785/2004. This is because the CAA requires that all drone pilots have this level of insurance when flying for commercial purposes in the UK. Previously, the only way to obtain this proof was to pay for an annual policy. No longer!

At Flock we are doing things a little differently with our pay-as-you-fly drone insurance. We’ve worked closely with the CAA to generate a Cover Note, which acts as your proof-of-insurance even though you haven’t paid for a policy yet, or committed to anything in the long-term. We’ve already issued over one hundred Cover Notes to drone pilots, and you can get yours in a few simple steps using the app. For a guide on how to do this, click here.

Flock’s Cover Note is accepted by the CAA as proof of compliant insurance in PfCO applications.

Begin your career flying with Flock

As soon as you’ve got your PfCO, you can easily upgrade to a ‘commercial operator’ account within the Flock Cover app. All it takes is a couple of seconds; unlocking pay-as-you-fly policies from £5, hull insurance up to £25K, and a choice of liability limits ranging from £1–10M. This gives you the power to customise your insurance on a per-flight basis, according to the specific requirements of each job.

Get started today

To take your first step to becoming a commercial pilot with Flock, download the Flock Cover app for free from either the iOS or Android app stores, and enjoy the flight!

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), better known as drones, is increasing rapidly. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has forecasted that hobbyists alone will account for the purchase of 4.3 million drones in 2020 in an industry that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP estimates will be worth roughly $127 billion at that time.

Drones are also being used commercially with increasing frequency. From agriculture and real estate to industrial photography and inspection, companies are finding endless ways to leverage the new perspectives that drones provide.

However, with high-flying enthusiasm comes the down-to-earth reality that operating a drone involves inherent risk. While a policy can cover the drone itself, the more pressing issue is liability. The most obvious danger is that the UAS will crash, causing property damage or personal injury. But, there are other risks including liability for invasion of privacy if a drone should capture video or still images of subjects who have not agreed to be filmed.

Consequently, it is crucial that operators insure drone flights. Policies specific to UAS use are now available in what is a very fast-growing insurance category.

Getting the Right Drone Coverage: Working with an Aviation Specialist is Critical

As you might expect in a relatively new niche like drone insurance, there is significant confusion and a fair amount of misleading information about risks, liability, and available coverage. Some of the most common questions from UAS operators are:

  • Do I really need drone insurance?
  • The company I’m working with requires drone insurance—what are my options?
  • Can I fly a drone without having to buy a long-term insurance policy?
  • Is drone insurance expensive?
  • Why are the prices for drone insurance high compared to the relatively low cost of a drone?

Do I Really Need Drone Insurance?

The first question is often asked by recreational drone operators, who hope that their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy will cover their UAS. Every policy is different and you should talk with your agent. However, in general, damage to another person’s property or injury to a bystander caused by a drone is not addressed in these policies, and they almost certainly will not cover anything deemed a “business” use.

How Much Does Drone Insurance Cost?

As for options and cost, the good news is that there are policies that can be purchased on an hourly basis for as low as $10/hour. They provide up to $5,000,000 in liability coverage and $10,000 in accidental invasion of privacy coverage. And while $40 for four hours of coverage can seem pricey when the drone involved may have been purchased for a few hundred dollars, that’s because the purpose of the policy is to cover liability arising from the use of the drone, not the cost of the vehicle itself. Note: Drones over 35 pounds may require a traditional policy. For those looking for an annual policy, coverage can be obtained from several companies, including Global Aerospace, that runs from around $600 for $1m in liability coverage up to limits in excess of $50m.

Enabling Spontaneous Flight with On Demand Drone Insurance

Drone pilots, especially amateur operators, will attest that one of the most appealing aspects of drone use is that it allows them to experience the joy of flight anytime, anywhere. Unfortunately, that spontaneity can cause issues when it comes to drone insurance. Many operators, including those who fly commercially, do not have a policy that covers them on an ongoing basis, and obtaining insurance has not historically been something you could do on-the-fly.

To help solve this dilemma, the concept of on demand drone insurance has been created. Using a smartphone app, UAS operators can purchase a policy that goes into effect immediately and provides coverage for a set number of hours in a specified location.

How On Demand Drone Insurance Works

Verifly is one company that can immediately insure drone use, with a policy that is underwritten by the aviation specialists at Global Aerospace. The process is fast and intuitive:

  1. Specify the flight area. The app automatically assesses the risk in the quarter-mile coverage area based on factors like the presence of structures, population density, and weather conditions. The app will even warn you if you are looking to fly in a restricted space.
  2. Get a real-time price quote. You know immediately how much you’ll pay for what level of coverage.
  3. Choose your policy. With Verifly drone insurance, for example, you can receive up to $5,000,000 in liability coverage and $10,000 in invasion of privacy coverage with prices starting at $10/hour. Policies are available for one-, four-, and eight-hour blocks.
  4. Receive proof of insurance on the spot. Your policy downloads to your device instantly.

It’s surprisingly easy to get excellent hyper-local insurance coverage when you need it, where you need it. The policy is identical to what you would receive in a more traditional transaction, and fully backed by Global Aerospace.

In a business setting, the cost can be passed on to the client so there is ultimately no out-of-pocket to the UAS operator. And for amateur pilots, there is tremendous comfort in knowing that incidents that might occur involving the drone will be covered for a small fee relative to the large liability.

Read more here.

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Redefining the insurance industry

In their report Clarity from above, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimated that drone-powered solutions like photogrammetry-based surveying, could help the insurance industry save as much as$6.8 billion USD per year.

Drone-based photogrammetry, popularly known as drone-mapping, helps optimize insurance-related processes, speeding up and reducing the cost of surveys for risk assessment and claims management. Drone-mapping also adds accuracy, at the same time, reduces the risk of fraud and even improves the customer experience, with tailored premiums and faster claim resolutions.

Simplify documentation operations

With a drone and Pix4D solutions, it is possible to automate drone flights to capture images and transform them into 2D maps and 3D models insurers can use to document the initial state of property, infrastructure or agricultural assets, and assess and quantify damage once a claim is raised.

Facilitate risk assessment

Insurance companies can use drone-mapping to generate a snapshot of an object or site, capturing its initial state before a policy is issued.

“Traditionally we had a team, manually, physically measuring everything on site, building heights, widths, distances to neighboring buildings, distances to hazards, like rivers and, it would have taken hours. Now with a drone and Pix4Dmapper Pro, in minutes, we can get an orthomosaic and a 3D model, where we can measure these distances and even the windows, to quantify what is actually on site, identify risks, calculate premiums, and ultimately provide clients with guidance on how to mitigate the risks that they are exposed to.

Some of the buildings we insure are churches, tall buildings with steeples, traditionally very hard to get to and very expensive to inspect.

With drones and Pix4D software, we can now quickly and safely access difficult places and obtain information we could not easily get.

We are looking at savings in time, anywhere from 25 to 50%, and the data is more accurate than what we used to obtain manually.” Matthew Holland, Customer Risk Solutions Advisor – Technical Lead & Chief Remote Pilot at Ansvar Insurance Australia.

Accelerate claim management

Insurance companies can assess damage quicker, safely and more efficiently with drone operations.

“We had a storm claim, where the property was a church with a 30 meters tower, traditionally, documenting and quantifying the damage would have taken a couple of days, a couple of cranes, we would probably have closed a few roads off, and probably cost us $15,000.

With a drone, a laptop and Pix4Dmapper Pro, a drone flight and a quick processing on site, in a couple of hours, we had all the information we needed to make a decision on the claim.” Matthew Holland.

Reduce risks

Operational risks. Drone-mapping is a safer inspection method, that reduces the risk of work-related personal injuries and minimizes the risk of damaging client’s property while performing the operation.

The risk of fraud. According to the Insurance Information Institute, fraud comprises about 10% of property & casualty insurance losses and loss adjustment expenses every year.  This statistic translates to property-casualty fraud that amounts to about $32 billion each year.

Data gathered by drones can be used to improve claims management by checking the initial state of a property and its condition after a reported incident, providing incontestable documentation and reducing the risk of fraud.

Improve customer experience

Drone-based operations benefit customers with a more personalized and faster service, translated into tailored prices, and faster claim resolutions.

Drone-mapping enables personalized premiums. PwC believes drones could be used to better calculate insurance premiums by assessing risks that can’t currently be assessed efficiently. Essentially, premium calculation much more closely correlated with real threats.

By assessing risks better than ever before, insurance companies will be able to set premiums more accurately, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction.

Concretely, drone-gathered data could be used to confirm the existence of features that make properties less risky to insure, such as storm windows, or a neighborhood gate.

Save money & time, and make your clients happier

Drone-mapping speeds up inspection, reduces inspection costs, minimizes operational risks, provides incontestable documentation and at the same time enables faster and more personalized service, benefiting both, insurance companies and clients.

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Previous articleThe Drone Superhighway Part 4: Power and Money

Since the demand for drone photography and video has skyrocketed in the past few years, insurance carriers have been taking note. While there were very few options for drone insurance even five years ago, today there are many options to choose from.

In this article we’ll help you decide if drone insurance is right for your business, and help you choose the right policy from the right provider if it is. Here’s what you’ll learn:

What is Drone Insurance?

Drone insurance provides UAV or UAS operators protection against accidental injuries or damage inflicted by their drone. Drone insurance primarily covers third party liability claims for small business owners, and more infrequently damage to the drone itself.

While most insurers gear their coverage options toward commercial uses of drones, those that use drones for personal or hobby use can still get coverage. While the use of drones has increased dramatically over the past few years, as of 2017, there are no regulations which require hobby or commercial drone operators to carry liability insurance.

Why All Commercial Drone Operators Need Drone Insurance

Picture this. You’ve taken the time to build a great website for your real estate drone photography business which is now ranking well on Google. You’ve booked gigs with local Realtors who are now promising to recommend your services to their colleagues.

Then, while on a job in the city, you get distracted and crash your drone into powerlines. Your accident causes power loss to hundreds and the debris from your destroyed drone narrowly misses injuring a small child who was watching you work.

Sounds pretty scary right? Bad enough to not only destroy the reputation of your new business, but possibly lead to huge legal bills and maybe even fines or jail time. This is no hypothetical scare story. This actually happened in Los Angeles in 2015.

The simple fact is that even the most skilled professionals in the world occasionally make mistakes, and equipment failure can happen to anyone. If you want to avoid the possibility of hefty legal fees, you need drone insurance.

Expert Tip: Insurance is Necessary Evil for all Commercial Drone Pilots

drone insurance“At the end of the day, no one really wants to buy insurance. It’s a necessary evil. But when you’re operating what’s essentially a flying lawnmower over property that’s not your own, getting liability coverage feels more justified.”

— Alan Perlman, founder of Founder at UAV Coach & Drone Pilot Ground School

Some Clients Will Demand it

Even if your chances of having an accident are remote, some clients, particularly large corporate clients in real estate, education, law enforcement, or oil and gas, require any drone pilots they hire to have drone insurance. If you want to work with these kinds of clients, you need drone insurance.

Expert Tip: More Clients are Demanding Drone Insurance

drone insurance“Clients hiring drone pilots, especially in real estate, are now requiring insurance just as they do for any other type of supplier. Further, we are seeing a marked increase in the requested limit – with many more jobs requiring $2.5mm of liability insurance – as shoots go increasingly up-market.”

— Jay Bregman, Founder of Verifly

Added Benefit: Drone Insurance Can Help Build Your Brand

Since drone insurance is not legally required operate a drone for commercial purposes (yet), you may be tempted to skip the insurance and just dive right in. Even without the glaring financial and legal risks you’re setting yourself up for, you are missing out on a great branding opportunity.

If you had to pick between two drone photography companies who had equally great portfolios, and one proudly claimed to be “Licensed and Insured!” on their website and the other didn’t, who would you choose? If you’re anything like most Realtors or homeowners, you’re going to pick the insured company every time. After all, even though the risk of damage or injury may be small, why risk it?

That means that drone insurance is not only a great way to protect your small business from legal and financial woes, but a great branding opportunity as well.

Read full article here

With the rapid rise in drone industry the number of drone accidents are also increasing due to lack of experience of the pilot flying the drone, so are the drone insurance sign-ups.

In order to get a best insurance deals with your drone, we have come up with some of the best tips you to make your drone flights great again with the drone insurance on the back for its safety.

Without any delay, let’s check out the tips right below

  1. Make the dealer realize that you are expert flyer to get better rates

If you are drone pilot and want to get your drone insured then it’s natural that you would be looking for cheapest rates from the dealer for the insurance which you can get if you show him that you are a certified drone operator and knows how to fly the drone without any problem.

Drone insurance dealer are also looking for people who are experienced drone pilot as it would be less risk to them so you can defiantly get a discount for your skills when negotiating for the better deal.

  1. When can the drone insurance contract get cancelled?

Not to forget that when you buy a drone insurance , it can get cancelled too if you fly the drone with recklessness or your drone is not registered by FAA with the insurance regulation in place if it is required to be registered and there are no maintenance record papers with you ,then your drone insurance could be cancelled

Sometimes its happens that not all things are covered in insurance, so make sure that you confirm from the dealer what all kind of damages , drone loss etc are covered in the insurance.

Tip : Whether or not your drone is insured , your number #1 priority should be to fly the drone sensibly all the times because it’s of your hard earned money and you don’t want to ruin it intentionally.

  1. Find the best rate in market

If you want to get insurance cover for cheapest for all kinds of drones ranging from best indoor drones to outdoor drones, nano drones etc then you need to check out At least 3-4 dealers online and offline and negotiate with them to get best deal as different companies tends to have different packages for different types of drones with their own risk evolution criteria’s and pricing terms .

Moreover if you are planning to keep the drone operating for long time then I would suggest to go for long term insurance like 2-3 years as it’s cheaper in terms of cost.

  1. Bigger the drone, more the cost

More complex, high end and big size drone like heavy lifting drones, photography drones, longest flight time drones, expensive drones usually comes with heavy price tag, so does their insurance coverage charges ,but in long term its gives you relief if by chance anything goes wrong as it would be covered by the insurance provider and you won’t have spent hefty price to get it repaired or replaced .

I hope you liked out tips for drone insurance to keep in mind before buying an insurance cover for your drone. Share on social media with friends having drone to make them aware of drone insurance.

Safety is our #1 priority while flying drones!!! 

Keep Flying and Keep enjoying 🙂

The holidays are now over and the latest wave of hobby drones have been unwrapped, filling the skies as we speak. Thousands of relative novices are now in control of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) across densely populated suburbs and cities. All that amateurish swooping may invariably lead to a few cracked windows and severe injuries. Subsequently, insurance inquiries are increasing.

Not only amateurs and recreational users, but commercial UAS applications are also in high demand—and concerned about possible damages. Given their wide ranging applications, from photography to agriculture, humanitarian aid to search and rescue, the high flying machines are becoming increasingly popular across industries. And as inventors and business visionaries get more creative, uses for drones are expected to get even more diverse and grow in sales. Because of this, there’s been a mounting concern from corporations and entities regarding insurance for commercial drone operations.

Here are the top five things to understand about the risks associated with commercial drone usage (before the liability claims start flying).

Why should I get my drone insured?  

Most commercial insurance policies exclude aviation coverages, including those for drone operators. Drone operators may not consider what they are doing to be dangerous, yet they could be exposed to legal action if property is damaged or people are injured.

This is why having insurance is so crucial. In the result of an accident, UAS operators will need the support of a trusted insurance provider. Ultimately, it’s a small cost, considering that the livelihood and reputation of the insured parties are at stake. Additionally, if you or your business operate UAS, your customers will likely expect you to have liability coverage before they hire you.

 

What is drone insurance?

Drone insurance acts similarly to most other insurance policies. If you find yourself in an accident or with a lost drone, the provider will cover your damage and liability costs to a degree. Based on the number of accidents that seem to happen with drones, it is recommended you protect yourself with liability insurance and protect your investment with damage insurance.

While the FAA hasn’t explicitly mentioned insurance requirements, any commercial UAS operator should assume that their customers and business partners will ultimately require them to certify that they are insured. Nonetheless, we anticipate that most professional drone operators will want to obtain insurance for legal liability and to protect their assets.

How much does UAS insurance typically cost?

Insurance for UAS applications is not all that expensive for a commercial policy. Drone insurance policies are typically broken up into two different parts: liability and damage. The average cost of a commercial drone policy for many of the most popular models, and covering up to $1 million liability, ranges from $600 – $1,550.00 per year in premiums. However, you will need to get a unique quote from an insurance company to know exactly how much you will be covered and exactly what it will cost.

What does a UAS insurance policy typically cover? How much coverage do I need?

At minimum, a UAS operator should consider legal liability insurance. It will cover the general cost of property repair or injuries. Coverage against physical damage to the UAS system itself is also available. This covers the expense of repair equipment and the total loss of the platform or ground equipment.

The amount of coverage that you’ll need depends on several factors, such as your business, your customers and your assets. The film industry, for instance, may require higher insurance coverage; and insurance requirements may differ if your customers tend to be smaller business or major corporations.

How do I get my drone insured?

First, you will need to obtain quotes from multiple companies and decide which one you want to purchase. To get a quote, go to an insurance company’s website, then find and complete the “get a quote” form.

When putting together your application, you’ll want to have certain information handy. The insurance provider wants to see things like the amount of training you’ve completed, the number of hours you have flown, the areas you’ll be operating in, if you have any certificates (i.e. 333 exemption), proof of maintenance and if you’ve had any previous history of accidents or loss. These specifics all come into play when they’re considering your premiums and if they will cover you.

Once you’ve received multiple quotes, you can compare prices and coverage. This will help you decide which company is offering you the best deal. They will then guide you through the rest of the procedure.

Insuring your drone is a relatively new concept, but it is fast becoming an essential step for successful commercial drone operators. When all’s said and done, all serious UAS pilots should have insurance. It’s a strong indicator to your business prospects that you’re professional and reliable.