If you fly your craft only a few times a year, you might save money with on-demand drone insurance. Many apps or websites offer insurance in minutes, giving you the ultimate flexibility on short-term coverage.
How does on-demand drone insurance work?
On-demand coverage works just like regular drone insurance, but with more flexibility and less commitment. You can get coverage for as little as an hour or for a full day and can even extend your policy if you’re running out of time.
Once your coverage period is up, you’re free to purchase another policy from any provider the next time you need it or stick with the same insurer.
Case study: On-demand drone coverage in action
James is a realtor who uses a handheld camera for interior pictures of client’s homes, but needs a drone for better exterior angles. He often works on expensive houses, so a drone accident could cost thousands of dollars.
Since he only lists about 10 houses per year, he finds on-demand insurance at a reasonable rate. Before he uses his drone at a client’s home, he simply fires up the app, configures his coverage requirements and flight details, then purchases a policy. Coverage costs him less than the price of his lunch and he receives an email with proof of insurance within minutes.
Primary drone insurance
Most on-demand drone policies are considered primary policies, which means they pay out first if two separate insurance policies could cover the same claim. For example, if you have drone insurance and crash into someone’s car, your drone policy will act as the primary policy and immediately cover damage to their vehicle up to your coverage limit. Then their car insurance — as secondary insurance — covers any costs over your limit.
How much does on-demand drone insurance cost?
These short-term policies can go for $10 to $15 per hour, giving you as much as $1 million in liability protection without paying a deductible before coverage kicks in.
This type of coverage is ideal if you:
Only fly a few times a year
Fly your drone during certain seasons
Need different liability limits depending on the job
What does on-demand drone insurance cover?
Most on-demand policies cover damage and injury to third parties. While coverage can vary depending on the provider, these situations may get covered:
Up to a two-mile flight radius
Damage to third-party property
Medical costs if you injure a third party
Invasion of privacy
Drones under 35 pounds
Organized drone races
Flyaway where you lose control of your drone
Autonomous flight below 400 feet
Does renters or home insurance cover damage to my drone?
It depends on your insurance company. But several renters or home insurance companies like State Farm cover drones under personal property. It may get classified as a drone or camera. Keep in mind that you typically can’t use your drone for business purposes under these policies.
To be sure about coverage, you can contact your renters or homeowners insurance company.
Compare companies that offer on-demand drone insurance
What’s not covered with this drone policy?
Just like every other type of insurance, there are usually a few coverage exclusions that you’ll need to watch out for:
Flights outside your selected radius
Flights outside the US
Damage to your drone, equipment or operator
Damage when anyone other than the insured pilot is flying the drone
Drones over 35 pounds
Flights before or after your scheduled coverage time
Flights in flight-restriction zones
How do I sign up?
Download the app of your preferred provider
Enter your personal information
Add flight details and coverage preferences
Choose if you want coverage now or on a scheduled date
If you’re happy with the price and coverage, purchase the policy
Once you submit the application, you’ll immediately be covered and will receive an email with proof of insurance
How do I file a claim with an on-demand drone policy?
File a claim with your insurance company after an incident that may result in a claim or suit. You’ll need to provide:
Details of how, when and where the incident occurred
The names and addresses of all involved parties and witnesses
Details of injury or damage caused
Your policy details
Regardless of how you use your drone, accidents can happen. Commercial drone insurance can provide the protection you need. On-demand drone insurance provides coverage only when you need it for a short time at an affordable price.
Common questions about on-demand drone coverage
It depends on the insurer, but many providers let you fly at night for a slightly higher premium.
No. In most cases, your policy is not refundable if you don’t use up your scheduled coverage.
Yes. Since on-demand drone insurance covers damage to third parties, there’s a good chance any damage to someone else’s drone will be covered by your policy.
Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.
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