7 Questions to ask when buying drone insurance

When you get a new drone, the last thing you want to think about is how you would replace it and any additional equipment if they ended up lost or damaged. But it’s worth considering the benefits of having a drone insurance policy, so you have complete peace of mind and are protected should something happen.

When thinking about insurance, you may be wondering ‘where do I start?’ Here we take a look at the top 7 questions you should ask yourself when looking to insure your drone, so you can make sure you get the cover that is right for you.

It’s important that you determine the best policy type for your needs. Most drone insurance providers offer annual policies as standard. But if you rarely intend to use your drone, you could end up paying for more cover than you actually need. Short-term policies, starting from as little as one day cover, could be a cheaper option for infrequent flyers so it’s worth spending the time looking at the different policy options available to choose the one that’s right for you.

You can either purchase recreational drone insurance (sometimes referred to as ‘hobby’ drone insurance) or commercial drone insurance and it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

A recreational drone user is classed as someone who flies a drone purely for “sport or fun/leisure without no potential commercial gain”. The important point to remember here is that commercial gain doesn’t necessarily have to relate to the drone operator themselves. If you used your own drone to take aerial footage of an event at your child’s school, it wouldn’t matter if you carried this out as a favour to the school and received no payment. The school would technically gain commercially from this and therefore you’d need to be covered under a commercial drone policy to ensure you have the right level of protection in place.

Most drone insurance policies will offer a ‘like for like’ replacement in the event of a claim (sometimes referred to as ‘new for old’ cover).

But what would happen if your drone were to be discontinued and was no longer available? Well, you’d be offered the nearest alternative. However, with advances in drone technology, the closest replacement option could cost you more to buy. Remember you’ll only be covered up to the value (known as ‘sums insured’) you selected when you took out your policy so there could be a shortfall if your replacement drone is more expensive. It’s therefore really important to set the right sums insured against your policy and regularly check and update in line with current replacement values.

Not all drone insurance providers offer worldwide cover as standard so it’s advisable to consider where you will be flying. If you intend you take your drone abroad with you, read your policy carefully to make sure you will still be protected if something were to happen when you’re away.

Some drone insurance policies restrict certain times of the day when you cannot fly (i.e. flying at night) while others even limit the number of hours you can fly. Think about when you would realistically be using your drone and for how long to make sure you are fully covered.

This is a key question to ask, particularly if you’re looking to purchase a commercial drone insurance policy. Whilst recreational policies typically only insure the policyholder, this wouldn’t be viable if multiple pilots in your organisation need to be covered to fly your equipment on a commercial policy. However, some commercial drone insurance products in the market limit the number of pilots, whilst others say each pilot needs to be specifically named on the policy for cover to remain in force. It’s therefore wise to consider who would need to be covered and ensure your policy is fit for purpose.

Some drone insurance policies restrict how many drones can be added, so it’s definitely worthwhile checking the small print to double check you’re fully covered if you do have multiple drones.