Christmas 2015 is in the books and so are some of the trends for this year’s hot ticket items. It seems like two items really topped everyone’s lists this year: the hoverboard & drones, the latter of which the Federal Aviation Administration estimated more than one million sold. Also according to FAA, “total spending for small unmanned aircraft systems worldwide is expected to reach $89.1 billion over the next ten years.” With those kinds of numbers, it’s only a matter of time before we see the amount of drone-related risks escalate. Just a few weeks ago, a drone came within feet of colliding with professional Australian skier & earlier this year, a drone and its operator made headlines after he crashed his unmanned aircraft into the lawn of the White House. While drones do have a slew of benefits, there is no doubt they can also be very dangerous. Especially since an operator does not need any formal training or approval from the FAA to fly an unmanned aircraft if it weighs under 0.55 lbs.
If you’re flying a drone for recreation, you may want to check with your personal insurance agent to make sure you have liability coverage should your drone come down and injure someone or cause damage. Should you wish to use your drone commercially, you will need to get a Certificate of Authorization from the FAA and we definitely recommend verifying whether or not your commercial policy has the appropriate coverage in place. These coverages can range anywhere from personal injury and invasion of privacy to physical damage to the aircraft itself.
Keep in mind inexperienced pilots face the possibility (and even likelihood) of crashing a drone, potentially causing damage to the pilot’s own property, another person’s property, or even injuring another person. Even experienced operators are not safe from electronic malfunctions that can cause the drone to crash and cause damage. Whether you’re planning on taking up drone piloting as a hobby or you would like to incorporate drones into your business, it is important to do your research and make sure you are covered in the event of an accident.