Just a few years ago, drones were solely associated with the military, but now an enterprising business owner or a gadget-loving homeowner can own their very own drone.
For business applications, the possibilities vary. Real estate, film, agriculture, photography, public safety, marketing, shipping – the list of current uses already in place is long. As time goes on, people will find more ways to incorporate the use of drones into their businesses.
With the use of any equipment or new adoption of technology comes certain risks. Malfunctions, impact from and into other objects, crash landings – it’s impossible to count the risks until we discover all the potential uses for it. That doesn’t mean you can’t guard against those risks and protect your investments with the right insurance policy.
Homeowners using drones for personal use may be covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy, but business owners need to weigh the risks and potential liability as they add unmanned aircraft to their business model. You won’t automatically be covered under any existing policy.
Your typical commercial general liability insurance does not and will not cover any aircraft, as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently classified drones. You’ll need a separate insurance policy to protect your business and your drone.
Insurance companies are already beginning to offer drone coverage for businesses. Some are offering endorsements to existing policies while others have created “all risks of ground and flight” coverage that’s similar to standard aviation policies. Coverage could include electrical malfunctions, third party liability, non-flight crew, and potentially even war and terrorism, plus many other hazards.
It will be important to detail how you plan to operate your drone, what it will be used for, and who will have access to it. This will help determine the amount and type of coverage you’ll need. Be prepared for the costs to reflect the risk based on how you’re using a drone with your business. Thankfully, you’ve got a little time. Many of the rules and regulations that FAA has proposed won’t take affect until 2017.
Technology changes from moment to moment. It’s exciting to think how far we’ve come in just the past 20 years or so. Drone technology for business use isn’t something we would have considered in the last century. Now it’s time to think about protecting yourself with property and liability insurance as you purchase your drone to help you have a more profitable business. It’s hard to imagine what’s next.
If you’re considering drone technology for your business and want to learn more about insurance policy options, contact us today. We’re excited about the future of technology and business and can’t wait to work with you!
Image courtesy of Flickr user Don McCullough.