What do the U.S. Army, Amazon, and your local photographers all have in common? They’re all experimenting with drones in innovative ways to do their jobs. As if the hubbub over drones and their place in modern commerce wasn’t already at a fever pitch, we also need to consider the insurance ramifications of these drones – specifically when it comes to property damage and bodily injury.
The use of flying robotics in the form of drones (or small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)) is happening, and its commercial growth is predicted to increase rapidly and significantly. And while we can all picture little four- and five-rotor drones delivering packages and collecting photos, we can’t forget to picture that unfortunate time when one runs out of power and crashes to earth, damaging property along the way.
Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hasn’t yet approved drones for commercial use or released regulations on exactly how and when businesses can use drones, it’s still too early to know exactly how using drones will impact your small business insurance coverage. Developments suggest that commercial drone insurance coverage requirements will depend on what the aircraft is meant to do.
If you’re thinking of using a drone in your small business you need to contact your insurer about five types of coverage: liability insurance, personal injury, invasion of privacy, property damage, and Workers’ Compensation. Since this is an emerging technology, it’s important to talk to your insurer to see if what you’re using is covered.