In recent years, drones have gone from gimmick to flying tech of the future. Utilised by businesses, freelancers, artists, and hobbyists, drones play a key role in modern aerial photography, geological surveying and even search and rescue operations.
From real estate and utilities to environmental assessment and sports broadcasting, drones are now commonplace in all industries.
However, despite their popularity, they remain an expensive bit of kit.
At Park Insurance, we’ve developed commercial drone insurance explicitly intended for business users. Designed to protect your investment, it ensures you’re not left out of pocket if your drone is damaged or lost.
Why take out drone insurance?
Drone insurance, also known as UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle insurance, usually covers the drone while in flight and during transit.
No matter how careful you are or how experienced at flying unmanned aerial vehicles you may be, there will be times when your drone suffers from a hard landing. With so many delicate moving parts, as well as expensive cameras and survey equipment, this is a costly mistake that often costs hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds.
Drones can also be damaged in transit or suffer from electrical problems that affect onboard equipment. All of this can be very expensive to repair or replace. At the end of the day, it’s your bottom line that suffers.
If you’re using a drone for commercial reasons, third party drone insurance is now a legal requirement. However, commercial drones are also a business asset and should enjoy the same level of financial protection as your company vehicles and other insured assets.
Protecting the public and yourself
Public liability insurance is an essential component of any comprehensive commercial drone insurance package. It ensures that you are financially protected against any claims of injury or property damage made by third parties.
Privacy is also a vital issue. If you’re taken to court by a third party who claims your drone activities have violated their privacy, you could be in for a long and expensive legal battle. Drone insurance helps protect your business by covering the costs.
The rules on drones
If your drone is larger than 20kg or is being flown for commercial reasons, then you will need to get permission to fly from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in accordance with Article 166 and 167 of the Air Navigation Order 2009. In this instance, drone insurance is essential.
On the 31st December 2020, new rules governing the use of drones came into effect. These rules were introduced to resolve the ambiguity surrounding distinctions between commercial and recreational use.
The new rules categorise drones into five main classes based on the following criteria.
- Type of operation
- Degree of risk
- Pilot competence
Drones weighing less than 250g are placed in Class 0. Within Class 0, there are three sub-categories.
- If your drone is classified as a “toy”, you DO NOT need to register your drone
- If your drone is not classified as a “toy” but features no photography equipment, you DO NOT need to register your drone
- If your drone is not classified as a “toy” but is equipped with a camera or recording equipment, you MUST register your drone by applying for an Operator ID
Operators using drones that weigh more than 250g and less than 25kg (Classes 1-4) must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and have received both their Operator ID and Flyer ID. You can register here.
In terms of insurance, third party drone cover is legally required if:
- You fly a drone that weighs less than 20kg for any reason other than recreation, sport or as a hobby
- You fly a drone that weighs more than 20kg
How Park Insurance can help
With 20 years of experience, we have the contacts and expertise required to find you the right drone insurance at an unbeatable price. If you’re looking for a drone insurance package that includes public liability insurance for commercial use, we can help.
Our position as preferred brokers to some of the UK’s largest insurance providers means we can find a policy that includes everything from like-for-like replacement, multiple unit policies (if you have more than one drone) and personal liability cover.
To find out more about drone insurance deals from Park Insurance, call today and talk to one of our friendly advisers.
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