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UAV Insurance Discussion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by UAV Insurance, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. UAV Insurance

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    Are you thinking about becoming a commercial UAV pilot under FAA part 107? If so, UAV insurance should be a main concern of your new business. A vast majority of "standard" liability insurance policies exclude anything that has to do with aircraft. Since UAVs are under the purview of the FAA, they are considered to be aircraft by most insurers. So how do you get your new UAV operation insured? Easy, contact an aviation specific insurance broker (I happen to be one). If this sounds intimating, you are not alone. However, once you understand the basics of insuring an aircraft, you will be an aviation insurance wizard.

    The base policy in the aviation insurance industry is liability only. The limits on liability only policies range from $500,000 each occurrence all the way up to $5,000,000 each occurrence. However, if higher limits are needed, they can be negotiated. This liability coverage will protect you from any Bodily Injury or Property Damage claims that may arise from your operation of your insured UAV(s). Fly through a window while shooting a real estate video and land on somebody's grand piano? Covered. Hit a passerby and cut their finger? Covered. After you have purchased liability coverage, and are looking for more protection, you can then add "hull" coverage to your policy with some of the aviation insurance companies.

    Hull coverage is physical damage to your UAV itself. This is a "Stated" or "Agreed" value. Let us say you have a basic DJI Phantom 3 Professional that you have insured for $1000. You slam this aircraft into a tree and completely destroy it. The insurance company takes a look, sees that it will not be feasible to repair it, and they deem it a total loss. In this scenario, you would get a check for $1000 minus any applicable deductibles ( UAV deductibles are usually 5% - 10% of the insured value of the aircraft). Same logic applies to any other UAV. However, if you have an inspire 1, with a very expensive upgraded camera, you would want to "schedule" the aircraft and the camera separately. The upgraded camera can be added to most UAV insurance policies as "payload" equipment.

    Liability and Hull coverage are the main coverages that you should be concerned with as a commercial UAV operator. There are some other "ancillary" coverages that I will address in future posts.

    Thanks,

    Joe Ernster
    Bullock Agency, Inc.
    joe@bullockagency.com
     
  2. UAV Insurance

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  3. David Bercovich

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    Good summary of the different definitions...For folks out there investigating options, our company, Verifly offers liability insurance specifically for drones on an hourly basis. Rates start at $10 / hour for a $1m liability policy.
     
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  4. UAV Insurance

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    Hey David,

    I have run across verirfly a few times. I work with the company that underwrites them, Global Aerospace. Does verifly offer hull , payload, non-owned hull and liability, or premises liability coverage? Also, is their any way for verifly users to add their clients as additional insured and present them with a Certificate of Insurance? Does verifly offer any other limits of liability aside from $1M?

    Thanks,

    Joe Ernster
     
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  5. David Bercovich

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    Great questions Joe.

    We are rolling out a $2.5m liability option shortly and customer can add the company that they are working on onto the policy directly as an additional insured. Many of our customers share the full policy with the client at the time of the flight but in addition we are rolling out a certificate of insurance that can be provided in advance should a client prefer that.

    We have had interest in hull cover and are planning to add that to our offering soon.

    Cheers
    David
     
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  6. UAV Insurance

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    David,

    That is great. COIs and AI status are very key to most commercial UAV operators. Also, higher limits of liability are often required by many of their clients. These are all very good things that will help you out in the future. I did not realize that you worked for Verifly until you responded to my questions. Very interesting product!

    Thanks,

    Joe Ernster
     
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  7. UAV Insurance

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  8. UAV Insurance

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  9. UAV Insurance

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    Hello!

    Global Aerospace has just released a new White Paper. This one is concerning Contracting With and Between UAS Operators. Have a look!

    Sincerely,

    Joe Ernster
    joe@bullockagency.com
     

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  10. UAV Insurance

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    Does my UAV insurance policy cover me for indoor flights?


    Usually, the answer is "no." However, some UAV insurance policy do not specifically exclude indoor flights. It is always a good idea to check with your broker before taking an indoor job. Your broker may need to run it by the insurance underwriter. Some companies will approve indoor operations on a case by case basis.


    Sincerely,


    Joe Ernster
    joe@bullockagency.com
     
  11. David Bercovich

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    Exciting news from Verifly today. Major new release which includes universal coverage enabling authorized pilots to get insurance near airports, heliports, stadia. And new options including increased liability cover (up to $2.5m), increased coverage periods (4-hour and 8-hour packs) and increased coverage area (½ mile radius option). Be sure to update the app to see these new features. Would love to hear feedback on these new features.
     
  12. UAV Insurance

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    What is a "To Whom It May Concern" COI?

    A TWIMC COI is a "general" Certificate of Insurance that is provided by aviation insurance companies. Instead of specifically listing one of your customers on the COI ( like when you add a customer as additional insured), it is a COI that is addressed to "To Whom It May Concern." This way, you can present it to a customer who wants to see proof of insurance but does not need to be added as Additional Insured. Think of it like an auto insurance ID card. If you want a TWIMC COI, your aviation insurance broker will be able to get that for you.

    Thanks,

    Joe Ernster
    joe@bullockagency.com