Insuring your drone is a tough one today, especially if you don't know exactly what you're going to do with it or where you are going to fly.. Many offers exist out there and frankly not one fit will work for all of you. This is exactly why we wanted to tell you a little more how things work out there. We've been ourselves in this frustrating moment trying to choose the best drone insurance that would idealistically cover everything we could possibly imagine for as little as possible. We hope our experience & this guide will help you get a step closer.
To find out what is the best drone insurance for you starts with asking yourself the right questions to identify your needs such as:
Am I a commercial (professional) or recreational (hobbyist) drone pilot?
How often am I going to fly my drone?
Am I going to fly locally around my house or everywhere I go around the world 🌎?
What do I want to include in my cover?
What happens if my drone gets stolen or damaged when I'm not flying?
If you can answer each of these questions clearly, then this shouldn't be too long for you. But for all others let's start looking at what types of insurance are out there.
Recreational (Hobbyist) vs Commercial (Professional) Drone Insurance
Not all drone insurances will offer the same benefits or even accept your application. The first question to ask yourself is; are you going to make any money with your drone? If the answer is yes, then you're very likely to fall into the commercial drone use category which opens a much wider range of options. Not sure what's the difference between pro & fun?
Commercial (Professional) Drone Insurance
Offered by almost every drone insurance out there, you're their favourite customers. As you're undertaking activities to make money 🤑 and building a business, you also want to protect it. Insurers understood this opportunity & will dig dive to understand the nature of your business before proposing you their best price. Be ready to explain all types of activities you want to propose and choose up to which amount you wish to cover yourself.
💡 Note, many countries will decide this for you by asking a minimum liability cover. You can find this out by browsing the Biggest Drone Rules World Map.
💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.
Recreational (Hobbyist) Drone Insurance
If you're flying for fun and taking photos for yourself for example, then you're most likely to not need an insurance at all. This said, it doesn't mean you will get away that easily if troubles happen whilst you're behind the remote control. Not many insurers will take you on-board as usually not enough money to be made there but we've noted some exception notably with the "pay as you fly" emerging option.
💡 A good advice is to check your current insurer to understand what they cover if you loose your drone but more importantly of you damage or hurt someone else.. 🚑
"Pay as you fly" vs "Traditional" drone insurance
Until 2 or 3 years ago, little options were available if you wanted to insure your drone. Today a wide range of insurers have popped up, all offering you the latest technology and trust you aspire to when looking for a reliable insurer. Frankly, they are all the same until the real test comes in: the claim.. Until you reach this step ("hopefully never for everyone"), you might wanna consider the price and here two categories emerge based on your flight habit.
Pay as you fly drone insurance
As it name says, pay as you fly drone insurance (or PAFL) is a type of insurance that will cover you only during your flight time and specified location. This category is very useful if you intend to fly only a few times a year for example. The Pay as you fly option is built to cater & welcome recreational drone pilots' needs generally speaking. It can also be a very good complement to a commercial drone insurance if overseas for example.
💡 To date, we've only discovered two main players in this category which are Verifly and Coverdrone. The first one is based in New York and the second in Crewe (UK). Little down from Verifly as their pay as you fly option only seems available with the US for the moment.
💡 To use this method, you better have a great smartphone & a good connection once onsite as you will need to download their app & be able to log in/out to update anything.
Traditional drone insurance
This form of insurance is more like other insurance types, covering for a year with monthly payments. If you're lucky, you might find an insurer that provides monthly contracts but we haven't seen one offering such today. This category of drone insurer is very useful if you travel often and fly regularly as it doesn't matter how many times you take off anymore.
💡 If you're a company, we've seen some big discounts for those insuring more than one unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with the same insurer. You might wanna consider entering a round of negotiations with your preferred insurer to get a little more out of it 💪
"Equipment" vs "Third Party" vs "Full" drone insurance
Another choice you're going to have to make is what you want to cover when flying as to all products will be the same. Just as with your car insurance 🚗, if you crash, depending on how well insured you are, you might not have your own property covered..
Equipment Drone Insurance
Usually the cheapest option out of all, as it name says, equipment drone insurance only covers your material. This usually includes your cameras, drone & its remote for example. Note that some contracts will have a clause saying that you're covered only during flight operations which means that if you smash it in a car accident for example.. its gone 😐
Third Party Drone Insurance
Keeping our car insurance 🚗 as for reference, this is the same concept. You smash into someone's property or damage a public building then this is the insurance you need to cover your mess.
💡 Note, when reading our Drone Rules World Map this is most of the time what governments & civil aviation are looking after for a successful application (when needed).
Full Drone Insurance
The all rounder, the no worries mate.. with this one you should be sweet for everyone's side and more. Usually only a little more expensive than a third party insurance, this is one of the best ways to keep a full piece of mind when flying your drone anywhere (fly responsibly).
Other points to consider
With all above in mind, you might be telling yourself right now that you're about to nail this and now know what you need?! Just before heading off to get this insurance and start your engine.. consider these points as well for the mid-run:
Worldwide Cover Drone Insurance
If you're a serious traveller this is something you're going to want to consider in your search quite carefully. Not many insurers will provide cover for any other country than yours but nevertheless, we've identified some that do.
Maximum Third Party Liability Amount
How much third party liability will you be covered for? Many countries require a minimum amount to be valid, which is something you will need to forecast based on your flight areas. The most common liability amounts are 1, 5 & 10 millions ($) 🤑
Theft & Breakage Outside Drone Flight Operations
This is a grey zone with some drone insurers. Make sure to ask your insurer what happens if your drone gets stolen or you damage it whilst on the ground prior subscribing to one or another. After all, your drone is most of the time on the ground..
Do not limit yourself to one insurer and go and check them all. We've built a non exhaustive drone insurance list to give you a kick start and identify those that are best suited for you.
We hope this drone insurance guide has helped you see a little clearer here. If you have any questions or feedback, please share them in the Forum where more insurance topics have been opened by other members.
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Have a good one & safe flying! 🚁
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations