For the past few years, it seems like the news has been filled with drone stories. Not the armed military types, but those available to civilians. Supposedly, Amazon is going to create a drone army to deliver merchandise. Dominos will soon be using drones to deliver piping hot pizza right to your door (no tip necessary). Much like smart phone videos, drone technology has allowed amateur and professional film makers alike to get some great shots only helicopters could get less than a decade ago.
Now you have joined the drone revolution. You plunked down a few hundred dollars and are now flying the friendly skies. Have you thought about the potential liability?
If you are flying your drone over, say, a neighbor’s back yard and start filming people there, is that a crime? There are stalking and privacy laws on the books that are essentially targeted at paparazzi. If you are not “working,” what is your legal liability? Better check with an attorney on that one. Potential bodily injury (crashing your drone into a person) or property damage (crashing your drone into an object) is something you and your insurance professional should discuss.
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.
Talk with your insurance professional and see what exposures you are leaving yourself open to. If there are any holes in your coverage, it is best if you close them before it’s too late.