Top 5 Drone Insurance Companies Reviewed And Compared

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If you’re planning to conduct business and use your drone for commercial purposes, you should consider getting it insured.

UAV technology has come a great way, offering many working safety features.

But no matter how well-equipped a UAV may be, or how experienced and professional the pilot is, accidents may still happen.

Drone INSURANCE is a relatively new concept since the drones were considered TOYS in the past, and it’s rare to insure a toy.

However, with their recent development, UAVs found their way into a professional world, and they aren’t limited to just children entertainment.

Professional-grade UAVs are pretty costly, and insuring them is a smart thing to do. It gives your clients peace of mind, letting them know that they’re working with a pilot whose drones are completely insured no matter how unlikely the event of a mishap may be.

What is drone insurance

UAV insurance is just like any insurance policy, where the insurance company covers your potential loss or damages caused by or done TO your drones.

If your drone gets damaged or lost, the company will cover damage costs and your liability to a certain extent.

However, most companies do have specific requirements regarding drones and pilots. For example, as a UAV operator, you must have maintenance logs, operation manuals, a record of components and parts or add-ons they may have purchased and installed.

You are also required, as an operator, to provide the proof of UAV training indicating that you’re a safe flyer.

These documents prove that you pose a low risk to your UAV, other people, inanimate objects, and the insurance company itself. The safer you are, the more likely you are going to get your drone insured at the desirable rates.

Do I need drone insurance in order to fly?

Yes. In MOST countries now, you will need drone insurance, because of the damage your drone COULD do if it crashed into something. Even a light drone when dropped from a big enough height can do lots of damage.

For that reason, in most countries, you’ll now need to have drone insurance if you plan on flying outdoors and around other people or buildings.

That being said, you can get away without insurance in some countries, if you’re flying nowhere near other people or property. 

The TYPES of drone insurance plans

Drone insurance policies are generally divided into two parts: liability and hull coverage

  • Liability – The base policy is the only liability in the UAV insurance, and it must be purchased before any other kind of coverage. This protects your business from bodily injury and property damage claims that may happen through the commercial use of your drone. Liability limits, in general, starts at $500,000 and goes as high as $10 million.
  • Hull – The purpose of Hull coverage is to protect your business from any financial loss that may occur due to the physical damage suffered by your UAV. The value of Hull coverage is based on an “agreed value.” It’s a value of a UAV quoted, estimated and agreed upon by you, the broker, and the insurance company. As a UAV owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the drone’s value is accurate and feasible.

If you fail to keep up with the declining value of your drone, you may face issues like overpaying for the coverage, and specific problems in the claims process.

If your UAV is completely damaged, the company will write you a check for the total insured value, minus the applicable deductibles, if any.

Deductibles are usually between 5-10% of the insurance value of the UAV. Note that deductibles may vary, depending on the type of policy you choose.

What does drone insurance COST?

In terms of what drone insurance COSTS, it really depends on of course the type of drone and what you’re covering it for.

The cost can range from $50 per year all the way up to $5000 per year, depending on what you need coverage for. Insurance for commercial reasons is always more expensive than non commercial. 

Other types of drone insurance coverage

  • Payload – If you’re into filmmaking and videography, your drones must be designed to carry heavy equipment, like cameras and other components for aerial shots. You should consider having a payload cover, as it plays a crucial role in covering the damage caused to your camera and equipment. It’s in many ways similar to Hull coverage, except it’s designed explicitly for payload equipment, with deductibles usually between 5-10% of insured value. Keep in mind that payload coverage is not included with the Hull coverage, so you’ll have to insure it separately. As with the Hull coverage, Payload cover requires you to know the current market value of your payloads.
  • Ground equipment – If you’re using drones commercially, all equipment associated with the drone should be and can be added to the policies. Things like tablets, laptops, remote controllers, and dedicated ground stations also need to be ensured, to prevent your business from suffering financial loss. Insuring your ground equipment can show how credible and professional you can be. The rates and deductibles are similar to what Payload and Hull covers have to offer.
  • Personal Injury Coverage – Drones aren’t quite popular with the general population since they’re basically flying cameras. So, this type of insurance is the most reasonable one. It offers cover for violation of privacy, copyright infringement, and it covers for breach of privacy language. Getting a personal injury coverage is a smart move, especially if your flying in densely populated areas.

Policies for businesses operating a non-owned UAV

  • Non-owned UAV Liability Coverage – This coverage is designed for companies that use leased-out UAVs for a particular amount of time. This type of policy protects your business from any bodily injury or property damage claims that may occur during the use of a leased-out AUV. It follows the liability limit of the owned UAV, so if you’re leasing a drone, this is the thing you’re looking for.
  • Non-owned UAV Hull Coverage – similar to the regular Hull policies, but designed for the ono-owned drones.
  • Non-owned Payload Coverage – this covers the payload equipment not owned by the business.

How to GET drone insurance

Well, to get insured, you first have to obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies and decide which one is the best for you.

To get a quote, go to an insurance company website, find and fill the “get quote” form. There’s some info you should keep at hand, like personal information, equipment cost, history of training and flight hours, history of accidents or loss, etc.

Once you’ve obtained multiple quotes, go ahead, and compare prices and coverage. This will help you decide which company offers the best deal.

Things to look out for

Please exercise caution and read the fine print before making a purchase commitment.

  • Overpriced Hull Coverage – Certain UAV manufacturers have affordable repair services or protection plans. They could, in some cases, replace the cost of hull coverage for some models.
  • High deductibles – those are the parts of the claim you pay. For losses and physical damage claims, the company deducts the deductible amount from the claim payout. This reduces your payout, and for smaller claims, it can even eliminate it.
  • No personal injury coverage – Drones that coming too near to someone’s property might be too much for their comfort. Personal injury cover can protect you in court.
  • Lack of cover options – Some policy offers may be too sparse, and can leave out essential covers like liability, accessories, ground equipment, etc. These can be costly to your business.

Best drone insurance in 2020

Drone use ranges from casual use to professional, commercial use, and military applications. The coverage can be just as varied. Consider a provider that offers features most suitable for your drone application.

Be aware of high deductibles, or missing cover options, and keep in mind that your home insurance isn’t the best solution for your drone.

Notes: Please keep in mind that the prices, rates, and coverage options stated in this article are those given at the time of writing.

Now that we covered the basics of drone insurance, here are top 5 Insurance Companies for drone insurance:

1. Verifly

Verifly insurance company is an innovator in drone insurance policies, featuring a proprietary app that allows drone pilot to get coverage on an hourly basis.

Underwriting, by Markel Insurance Company, is done based on GPS location and time.

Verifly focuses on on-demand small business covers, a go-to insurer for many in the gig economy. They feature fast policy approval and the ability to share insurance certificates or add additional insureds. Verifly.com allows you to purchase business liability insurance by the hour, or by the year.

You can opt for 1-hour, 4-hours, or 8-hours flight session, with coverage limited to liability. Policy coverage limits start at $1 million, for an affordable $10, making it more than suitable for short-term jobs and quick gigs, without the long-term commitment.

Up to $10,000 cover is provided for an invasion of privacy claims, with up to $10 million available for bodily injury or damage to the property of others. These options, however, are only reserved for drones that are lighter than 35lbs.

Pros:

  • 1, 4, and 8-hour policies
  • Great for short-time flights
  • Immediate proof of insurance

Cons:

  • Only for drones under 35 lbs.

2. Skywatch.ai

Providing cover options from $500,000 up to $10 million for liability, the Skywatchis a rising star when it comes to the drone insurance business.

They offer excellent service, providing both on-demand and monthly plans for UAV insurance.

Skywatch uses telemetry data from DJI drones for providing safety insights and rewards safer flying with better rates.

Rates begin at $7 per hour, depending on your piloting experience and Safety Score. Of course, Skywatch offers a monthly subscription for frequent flyers, providing more ways to save money.

Known hazards and local flying conditions are also considered with premiums. Based on your coverage selection and coverage limits, your rates can increase. Available as a monthly purchase, hull coverage is at 0.58% of the declared value per month.

Skywatch doesn’t have a deductible for liability coverage. So, you can expect to pay a deductible equal to 14% of the drone’s declared value for covering the damage to the drone itself.

Making on-demand coverage more available, Skywatch offers apps for both Android and iOS.

Pros:

  • Customizable on-demand insurance
  • On-demand and monthly plans
  • Safety score system

Cons:

  • Drone liability insurance – on-demand only

3. DroneInsurance.com

DroneInsurance is powered by REIN; an insurance company focused on robotics, automotive industry, and massive online networks.

DroneInsurance brought affordability and convenience of limited coverage to more comprehensive traditional policies, encouraging commercial drone pilots to take on more complex missions.

They offer 24/7 assurance for ground-based operations, with the addition of allowing the pilots to add flight coverage per job. By providing such a distinct product, DroneInsurance solves some of the unmet needs in the commercial drone insurance market, empowering commercial drone insurance.

With a base, year-round coverage package, operators can add on flight coverage needed for specific jobs or specific periods, without a radius limit. DroneInsurance offers options to cover many risks associated with drone flight – covering sensors, aircraft, ground equipment, and certain liabilities.

A monthly base coverage is priced at $7 for liability protection and $10 with physical damage protection as a base policy for when your drone is not in the air. While liability claims don’t have a deductible, material damage claims are at 5% of the insured value.

DroneInsurance is designed just for drones, and it offers fleet support, meaning that the policy covers multiple drones in a fleet at once.

Pros:

  • They offer a 24-hour policy
  • Coverage for the invasion of privacy lawsuits
  • Customizable plans

Cons:

  • None to be found

4. Coverdrone.com

Coverdrone is an aviation insurance company offering products for the commercial and recreational drone industry.

They currently offer their products in the UK, EU, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Coverdrone’s insurance solutions cover drone pilots, whether they’re flying recreationally or commercially. All policies are compliant with EU Regulation EC785/2004, providing public liability, and aviation liability.

For commercial and hobbyist drone pilots, Coverdrone offers a pay-per-day cover, insuring your aircraft from one to seven days. Of course, commercial pilots can always opt for annual insurance, designed to be flexible to meet the needs of commercial pilots.

The company offers flight test and training insurance, with a policy that covers 30 days. The policy covers liability and equipment, but it’s also flexible to suit anyone’s needs.

Pros:

  • Great product line
  • Suitable for both hobbyist and commercial pilots
  • Test flight and Training insurance

Cons:

  • Not available to US pilots

5. DJI Care Refresh

Exclusively for DJI drones like the Spark, DJI Care Refresh is a damage protection plan for all DJI’s drones.

It covers most common accidents, so even if you do crash, you won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for repairs.

When purchasing your drone, you can choose to add DJI Care Refresh to your purchase, with insurance plans being valid for one year after activation. You have to fill out your information to the provided form, and proceed with your order.

After an accident, you can contact DJI support, and they’ll fix your drone, or send you a new one. The insurance covers the UAV and some of its accessories from crashing, water damage, etc. If the drone is irreparable, DJI will send you a new one, for a small fee.

Pros:

  • Great plans
  • Will replace your drone if it’s irreparable (for a small fee, of course)
  • Covered against most situations

Cons:

  • Void if the aircraft is lost
  • Doesn’t include the controllers

 

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Categories: Drone Industry