WHAT LIABILITY IS THERE WHEN FLYING DRONES?

You have your park airspace all staked out. Your brand-new drone is ready for its maiden flight. Maybe you are a little shaky on the controls and it crash lands on someone’s windshield. Is that an insurance issue? How about if you are doing a little filming for your fledgling video business and you get a bit close to your performers? Remember the Enrique Iglesias mishap when a drone got to close and chewed up his hand right on stage? Could that happen to you, and if so, are you covered for it?

These two scenarios have to do with personal use versus professional or business use. Many homeowners and renter’s policies will cover minor liability claims for drone accidents. Anything beyond that would depend on your coverage. Bear in mind that some policies exclude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles  (UAVs) altogether. As far as any self-inflicted damage, any homeowners or renter’s insurance protection probably doesn’t extend to your own property.  Think of your vehicle. If you get into an accident and only have liability insurance, the other guy is covered. You are not.

Using drones in your business is another type of insurance altogether. Whether you are checking crops over your farm, getting some great camera shots for a film or video, or anything where you are making money using a drone, you would need a business liability policy. Using the car analogy again, your personal auto coverage would not cover you if you were using your vehicle for business.

What you film is another topic for discussion. Can you take video of your neighbor in his/her backyard without their permission? What about a generic shot of people ono the beach? That is more of a legal question than an insurance one, although there is coverage for and civil claim that may arise.

It’s always best to take your insurance questions to someone who can answer them expertly and completely. Make an appointment with your insurance professional and look at what coverages you have and which others you may need.