Recreational Drones & Insurance: Are you Covered?

Drones are one of the hottest Christmas gifts this year. The Consumer Technology Association estimates that there will be 700,000 drones sold in 2015, which represents a 64% increase from 2014.

The size, sophistication and cost of recreational drones can vary dramatically from a $40 Protocol Neo-Drone Mini up to $3,000, 15- pound DJI T6000 with a video camera. This means that there is a drone to fit almost any budget.

With this massive influx of drones flying around the country, accidents are bound to happen. What happens if your drone crashes through a window, damages a car or injuries someone? These are questions insurers are beginning to answer because drones are so new to the marketplace. Most major insurance companies' homeowner's policies offer some coverage for drones since they are classified as "hobby aircraft"  - meaning that any damage caused by a drone would be covered under the liability section of the property. However, if you are using your drone for any commercial application (photography, surveying, etc.) coverage would be excluded.

We recommend that if you receive a drone for Christmas this year, contact your insurance agent to make sure that your homeowner's policy provides adequate coverage for the exposures created by the drone operation. In addition, make sure to read your owner's manual and safety guideline before operating

Another important thing to note is that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires drone operators to obtain FAA authorization prior to operating a drone. This registration process can be done either online or by mail. To learn more about how to register your drone click here.

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