Drones are expensive pieces of equipment. If you don’t have insurance, losing control and breaking one can set you back hundreds. If your children have learned well how to fly drones, they probably won’t hurt themselves, or even each other; harm caused to third parties and the lawsuits that come about as a result, however, are another matter. From actual physical injury caused, to the questions that arise when someone complains that a camera drone violated their privacy, lawsuits are always possible. When you get drones, should you get insurance against these risks? It can help to ask yourself a few questions.
How serious is the hobby?
When it’s the cost of the investment that you wish to protect, usually, it doesn’t make sense buying insurance for anything cheaper than $500, the price range for most drones for children. For highly capable drones over this price level, buying protection does help for when things just go wrong and flyaway results in a broken machine.
Liability insurance is especially necessary when children are involved
It takes time for children to learn responsibility. No matter how much you tell your children not to peep into the homes of others, they may think it hilarious to send a drone into a neighbor’s bathroom. Accidents happen when there is inadequate practice, as well. Hundreds of accidents are recorded, as are lawsuits. Drones have hit oncoming cars and caused accidents; they have hit children and caused serious injury. Liability insurance is an absolute necessity, no matter how inexpensive the drone itself may be.
Where do you get insurance?
Your first step looking for insurance for your kids’ drones should be to call your home insurance company to ask if your policy’s personal liability coverage allows drones. Some companies do allow them because they view drone flying as a hobby. Other companies view drones as actual aircraft and therefore exclude them. If your insurer does offer cover, you need to ask what specifically they cover you for — personal injury, privacy violation lawsuits, property damage, medical expenses or all of these.
Additional questions to ask
There is plenty of area to cover:
- Do they cover damage that your own drone causes to your own home and additional structures like the garage?
- What is the sum covered for in each kind of lawsuit possible?
- Are there exclusions or deductibles?
- What is the extent of coverage provided for damage to the drone itself?
- Do they cover your drone if you use it to race other drones?
- Is there coverage only if an adult flies it, or are children included, as well?
- Is there coverage if you unknowingly break the law, say, by flying your drone over the legally allowed altitude of 1,500 feet?
If the insurance company’s answers to these questions are unsatisfactory, you will need to ask them for a separate insurance policy for the drone. The cheapest and the most cost-effective solution may be to sign up with the AMA for about $75 a year. Membership comes with a couple of million dollars’ worth of liability insurance and $25,000 worth of medical insurance.
Flying a drone is incredible fun, but it does come with some serious questions of safety. You need to protect yourself from these eventualities to play with a free mind.