UAS and UAV Insurance
Terry Miller 05/11/2014 @ 9:03am
Transport Risk Management has been insuring UAS for three years. We currently insure more than 340 individual operators and aircraft for all uses including precision ag, aerial photo and industrial. We can insure for third party legal liability up to $100,000,000 and hull physical damage up to $5,000,000 per occurrence.
Coverage is through A++ rated aviation and aerospace insurers. Coverage is not denied for FAR violations. In fact, aviation insurance policies have never excluded FAR violations except for very specific airworthiness certifications, pilot certificates and medical exams. None of those apply to UAS.
If a loss occurs while the aircraft is being used for the purpose outlined in the policy, the loss will be covered. Even if an FAR violation or sanction is issued. Coverage will not pay fines or defend FAA sanctions but the loss will be covered.
If the operator intentionally violates a statute prohibiting an activity such as looking in a window, coverage may be in questions. No different than any other types of insurance. You cannot insure a building for fire and then intentionally burn it down and expect to have insurance cover the loss. On the other hand, if you unintentionally burn it down, then coverage will likely be provided.
What Operator Is Covered?
James Meade 01/14/2014 @ 10:45am
I'll be interested to see what the insurance companies write into the liability coverage in terms of operator qualifications and competence. Will the insurance company require that the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) be operated in accordance with FAA and other applicable laws and regulations to have coverage in effect? Or can anyone pick up the controller and fly a UAS over your or someone else's property any way they wish?
If you hire someone to fly a UAS over your own property to check your crops and there is some injury to an adjacent property, for example if the UAS fails to respond to the controls and flies into the neighbor's house or cow, will your present liability coverage protect you? Will the operator's coverage protect you? What if the operator has no coverage? Do you have any risk in such a situation?
I will be interested to see what caveats the insurance companies write into the policy. Right now, it is virtually impossible to conceive of a situation where insurance can cover a commercial operator and it may not be possible for insurance to cover a private operator on his own farm as the very act of crop scouting from a UAS will be considered commercial use by the FAA.
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