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Drone Insurance for Amateurs flying in a public place.

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Hi guys,
So I went to fly my Typhoon H out at the Seal Beach (SoCal) yesterday for the first time at that location. Luckily for me I did a quick google check before pulling it out of the car, just to confirm I was "allowed" to fly there, and that I wouldn't have a police officer or city worker give me some type of ticket.
Turns out I needed "Drone insurance, and to pre book my flying time with the relevant city authority to get a permit. I have never covered "insurance" before, so thought I would check up with some others here who may have.
I am a COMPLETE amateur, I don't do any pro work with my drone, or even post YouTube videos for money. So, I am wondering, any other amateurs out there who could/would recommend a good value insurance company?
I have read a thread on here about the verify drone insurance app. Just thought I would see if there are any better options at all.
Thanks,
Alan
 

johnnyb57

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How did you find out about the need for insurance to fly ? I've flown in all sorts of public spaces, and state parks where the rangers, have chatted with me with no problems when asked, never heard that one before, but seeing what state your in I guess anything's possible ? The only ticket I could see you getting is being out of your house due to total lockdowns ?
 
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How did you find out about the need for insurance to fly ? I've flown in all sorts of public spaces, and state parks where the rangers, have chatted with me with no problems when asked, never heard that one before, but seeing what state your in I guess anything's possible ? The only ticket I could see you getting is being out of your house due to total lockdowns ?
Hey :)
I am totally sure its a weird and whacky Californian thing. I just googled "can I fly my drone at long beach". And then I read the result that said the laws changed in 2017. It advised you now needed a permit and insurance to do it. We are currently OK to be out and about in the area, just no seating in restaurants, and I believe there is a curfew, although we were home by 9pm anyway.
 
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Is your drone registered? I think if you do go fly, you'll be fine unles someone is in a snobby mood and what the most that could happen?? Maybe give you a warning and send you on your way. Most don't want to bother with this petty BS. Jail time?? LOL.... Heck, not even probation.... BUT, in this day and time, the government might be hungry for income... BUT, I would just go have fun until I'm told to pack it up and move along.

I've served in the military in Camp Pendleton, California and after I left, I said good riddens to that wacky government!!! They refuse to let citizens think for themselves and love to tell everyone what to do and how to do it. Here in Florida everyone puts up their drones and I am glad we have a government that knows it's citizens use common sense. With us using our common sense, we fly most anywhere at any given time, because safety is one of our top priorities ( not that it's not yours either).... I learned this years ago before I got a drone when I saw a young man parked off the side of the road in our subdivision flying a DJI of some sort. I was in my shop and I hear a very loud mosquito LOL and I looked up and to my north/east to see a white quad with red or gold(I don't remember), flying about 400 feet up and zipping back and forth across the sky.

Soon after, I saw a police officer driving by and I told him about a drone pilot in our area and that he is not from our area. The officer said, he's ok. and drove off and I watched the patrol car drive right past him. That made me want a drone real bad ever since that and I've not had one problem yet. I've been to 400 feet all over my neighborhood and shooting photos of surrounding areas and even our airport! When you get to 400 feet and you slowly turn and snap photos and you see an airport in the distance, it can make your skin crawl in shock LOL!!! Airplanes are my drone's worst fear. The only issue we have is that there's a pilot/flight school here, and they can be a pest. I will try and find the photos. What a sight!

I will be going to the park soon about 5 miles away, right across the street from the airport, flying no more that 50 feet taking photos along the streams and lakes looking for alligators, etc. There is this very old SILO that used to be for an old pallet company and I want to fly up and over and see if I cannot get photos of what's to see down below inside. The buildings have since been removed but that ? 100 ? foot silo still stand strong. When I was a kid, I used to climb them and what a rush!

BTW, my drones? Not registered yet but maybe soon, shame on me. But here, who cares. Common sense. I only fly on clear days to partly cloudy skies but I can hear and see for miles before I rise to my limits for a look-see and some photos. It another type of breath taking challenge..... I'm sure I can make money doing aerial shots for people's property and homes that it would be worth more than ever to be registered.... Heck, people pay helicopter pilots $100's to take photos of their property and in the photo below, it was free to me .

Good luck following the rules of California and their nutty government ways. Heck, they might even say you could catch cancer by toughing them toggles on your transmitter......... I feel sorry for anyone that lives in California that needs to be handed a 100 page health guide and a 500 page rule book.......
 

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Ty Pilot

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Orlando used to have a similar set of rules as the OP states they have in California where they (Orlando) tried to force people to buy a permit to fly within city limits and so forth, but that rule was revoked to due to the fact that wording in their law conflicted with FAA regulations.

For most recreational pilots, your homeowners policy is likely to cover any damages you cause with a multi-rotor. Some used to think that AMA insurance was also a good choice because it was part of being a member but AMA is second to home owners insurance. If you do have homeowners insurance, you can even inquire about getting a policy for your drone - many have reported a very low cost (50 bucks or so) for a year and that includes replacement if stolen or crashed.

I would point out to any new pilots that there is an absolute line between 'recreational' and 'commercial' pilots; Insurance as mentioned above does NOT cover commercial work. Also registration is mandatory for all aircraft over 250 grams for recreational pilots. All aircraft flown for commercial work must be registered regardless of weight. In addition recreational registration is essentially - you get one number and you put it on anything and everything you fly.

Commercial pilots have to register each individual aircraft we fly and the number given for each is specific to the craft's serial number. Also registration does not mean you can operate commercially - that requires going thru the certification process passing and maintaining currency with the FAA.

The FAA does not have the man power to monitor all drone pilots to ensure they are within the rules but when they do latch on to someone breaking the rules they can come down with a big hammer

FAA fines Philadelphia Drone Pilot
 
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I agree that Orlando is getting ridiculous also. They got some clowns running that place in every which direction and they love power!! They hated that DeSantis tied their hands from punishing businesses though. That place is jam packed with more construction than I have ever seen happen in such a short time. I was glad to see them have to slow down because of loss of revenue LOL.
 
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This drone deal with the FAA not being able to keep up reminds me of the time that CBr's were running illegal linears/amps and antennas/height in a power war and the authorities didn't have enough manpower to keep up to shut down the watt stations and they're still going to this day. It's going to have to be 'will they be in the right place at the right time'? I doubt it. Most others are just as amused as we are with these birds and would rather watch and ask curious questions about 'how to'...... I guess I would not stick myself out there and warrant attention, but, instead fly in areas that aren't frequented by snitches and other so-called do-gooders. Go to an area, scope it out, take a look around for a minute until you feel comfortable to get a flight in or so. How much can happen in 20 minutes anyway? Cops don't want to play the bad guy in the drone world. It really isn't worth their time to write a citation you may fight and win against. Like I said, I think they might remind you and ask you to pack it up and move on.
 
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Orlando used to have a similar set of rules as the OP states they have in California where they (Orlando) tried to force people to buy a permit to fly within city limits and so forth, but that rule was revoked to due to the fact that wording in their law conflicted with FAA regulations.

For most recreational pilots, your homeowners policy is likely to cover any damages you cause with a multi-rotor. Some used to think that AMA insurance was also a good choice because it was part of being a member but AMA is second to home owners insurance. If you do have homeowners insurance, you can even inquire about getting a policy for your drone - many have reported a very low cost (50 bucks or so) for a year and that includes replacement if stolen or crashed.

I would point out to any new pilots that there is an absolute line between 'recreational' and 'commercial' pilots; Insurance as mentioned above does NOT cover commercial work. Also registration is mandatory for all aircraft over 250 grams for recreational pilots. All aircraft flown for commercial work must be registered regardless of weight. In addition recreational registration is essentially - you get one number and you put it on anything and everything you fly.

Commercial pilots have to register each individual aircraft we fly and the number given for each is specific to the craft's serial number. Also registration does not mean you can operate commercially - that requires going thru the certification process passing and maintaining currency with the FAA.

The FAA does not have the man power to monitor all drone pilots to ensure they are within the rules but when they do latch on to someone breaking the rules they can come down with a big hammer

FAA fines Philadelphia Drone Pilot
I'm definitely going to contact our home insurer and see if Drone coverage is either included or can be added.
I'm not at all worried that I will have an accident when out flying, or damage property or hurt someone (although I am sure almost EVERYONE who ever has had an accident felt the same way lol), but just to cover myself, and just to be sure not to get some crazy fine.. I will jump through the hoops.
 

Ty Pilot

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If I am flying for fun, I just make sure I am not in any controlled airspace and stay away from people and use common sense (the rules are pretty simple to follow) as I think most of us do and have never had a problem. My neighbor however, when he got his first drone he would fly low allover the neighborhood until one neighbor made a stink but nothing came of it. When I do real estate work there's not anything anyone can say or do as long as I am within the rules framework - most time people just want to watch and ask the usual question.

I have a buddy that is OPD and his 'training' when it comes to 'drones' is very limited - they know nothing about airspace and their primary focus cracking down on those who fly at or near critical infrastructure, prisons, stadiums, airports and so on. In these cases they have an FAA 'law enforcement' guide that outlines how to proceed and in those cases it is almost always - call the FAA.

When it comes to citizens calling cops, their primary focus is determining if the pilot has any reason to be or not to be where they're at, and secondly they try to determine of the pilot was commiting an act of voyeurism. For this reason I make sure to never take pictures or video of anyone's house or property that I am not paid to be at.
 
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I've heard that if you become a member of a local RC club, you get the whole package including insurance. I hate the club's initiation fees though. How much can insurance cost for an accident you may never have but be lucky you have it if you did? I think IF a motorcycle collides with 'something' there could be more damage and IF the rider survived and yes, he can't collide with an airplane........ BUT, motorcycles in Florida require NO insurance what-so-ever and even for those who owe less that $5000 to the borrower. How much damage can a drone cause than a motorcycle? Sure, they've said that they don't charge insurance because chances are the cyclist won't survive anyway............. BUT, if the cyclist don't survive, an insurance company don't want to be left to be sued. Drone insurance is another way of stealing your extra dollar. Is there Frisbee insurance? Heck, you could put someone's eye out with that thing........ I think even IF you have Drone Insurance, you won't be covered while flying in forbidden areas anyway. What makes it legal to fly over the head of another person? Someone told me that just registering your drone allows you to fly most anywhere you want. I spose not all places require insurance. Here's our club located at the east end of our airport only divided by an acre of trees.

 
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Hi guys,
So I went to fly my Typhoon H out at the Seal Beach (SoCal) yesterday for the first time at that location. Luckily for me I did a quick google check before pulling it out of the car, just to confirm I was "allowed" to fly there, and that I wouldn't have a police officer or city worker give me some type of ticket.
Turns out I needed "Drone insurance, and to pre book my flying time with the relevant city authority to get a permit. I have never covered "insurance" before, so thought I would check up with some others here who may have.
I am a COMPLETE amateur, I don't do any pro work with my drone, or even post YouTube videos for money. So, I am wondering, any other amateurs out there who could/would recommend a good value insurance company?
I have read a thread on here about the verify drone insurance app. Just thought I would see if there are any better options at all.
Thanks,
Alan
If you join the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) you get liability insurance with your membership. Another thing I have found out is the general public thinks we can "zoom" in from the heights we fly. I have set a few people straight that when we are up 100, 200, 300 etc. they just look like a speck. :)
 

Ty Pilot

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Before anyone becomes an AMA member as a means to have insurance, you may want to check with the AMA about their coverage. I am no longer a member but is used to be that AMA was second to your homeowners policy AND they only covered you at an AMA approved flying site.

NOTE: When the rise of the modern drone started, AMA finally realized that; when it comes to shear numbers to swell their membership, they should (and would) have to cater to this community so maybe they have changed or broadened their coverage but; you may want to just call and ask them.
 
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Ty Pilot

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I've heard that if you become a member of a local RC club, you get the whole package including insurance. I hate the club's initiation fees though. How much can insurance cost for an accident you may never have but be lucky you have it if you did? I think IF a motorcycle collides with 'something' there could be more damage and IF the rider survived and yes, he can't collide with an airplane........ BUT, motorcycles in Florida require NO insurance what-so-ever and even for those who owe less that $5000 to the borrower. How much damage can a drone cause than a motorcycle? Sure, they've said that they don't charge insurance because chances are the cyclist won't survive anyway............. BUT, if the cyclist don't survive, an insurance company don't want to be left to be sued. Drone insurance is another way of stealing your extra dollar. Is there Frisbee insurance? Heck, you could put someone's eye out with that thing........ I think even IF you have Drone Insurance, you won't be covered while flying in forbidden areas anyway. What makes it legal to fly over the head of another person? Someone told me that just registering your drone allows you to fly most anywhere you want. I spose not all places require insurance. Here's our club located at the east end of our airport only divided by an acre of trees.


I agree that Florida's rule on insurance for motorcyclists is a bit odd ( I have motorcycle insurance) :cool: I don't heal as quickly as when I was 20.

However I think the comparison of a drone and a motorcycle is not really apples to apples. As I've mentioned, I've been around model aviation a very long time and have seen a LOT of accident's of all types. It does not take much to do harm, if something the size of a Typhoon H falls out of the sky at 100 feet and lands on a person or god forbid a child - ANY damage will be too much. And if you've read these forums for the past four years you would see that Typhoons can and do fall out of the sky, but that is just one of many things that can go wrong when we least expect it.

As I mentioned, for recreational flyers most homeowners policy will cover us for times when we cause damage whether it is with a small drone or (as in your example) a frisbee.;) I don't have any kind of policy specifically for when I fly recreationally. On the other hand, when we are at a property hired to take photographs whether from the ground or the air - we carry a policy because it just makes good business sense and is just the cost of doing business.
 
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Before anyone becomes an AMA member as a means to have insurance, you may want to check with the AMA about their coverage. I am no longer a member but is used to be that AMA was second to your homeowners policy AND they only covered you at an AMA approved flying site.

NOTE: When the rise of the modern drone started, AMA finally realized that; when it comes to shear numbers to swell their membership, they should (and would) have to cater to this community so maybe they have changed or broadened their coverage but; you may want to just call and ask them.
You are right, I shouldn't assume. I will probably contact them now and find out for sure.
 
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I would be interested to hear what you find out, it would be nice if they did cover drones for recreational use anywhere.
This is the response I got from Angie Martin at the AMA: "Yes – our members fly a wide variety of platforms. Drones, fixed wing, control line, helicopters, multi-rotor, you name it. Actually, the liability policy that comes as a membership benefit covers RC boats and ground vehicles as well. You do not have to fly exclusively at an AMA chartered club; the policy is good wherever you fly. The coverage limitations for drones is the same as any other model aircraft. It does not cover your drone, but provides liability protection. Full insurance summary: https://www.modelaircraft.org/sites/default/files/documents/2021 Insurance Summary combined.pdf" So it appears it does cover liability for drones. As far as the limitations, you would have to read the policy info attached. Hope this helps.
 
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