If you’re flying a drone as a hobby, you don’t have to insure it. But if your drone hurts someone else or damages their property, you could be on the hook for some costs. Drone insurance, which can cost as little as £30 a year, was created to cover this, along with the cost of repairs or replacement if your drone is damaged or stolen.
What is drone insurance?
Drone insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your drone if it is damaged lost or stolen. You’ll also be covered for any damage to other people’s property caused by your drone.
However, it’s rare that the cover will be as extensive compared to specialist drone insurance policies.
In this guide, we’ll explore how drone insurance works and the level of cover you can expect.
Is drone insurance necessary?
If you are flying a drone as a hobbyist, it is not compulsory to insure it. However, without insurance, you’ll be liable for the cost of any loss or damage that may occur while flying your drone. You’ll also have to pay the legal costs if you cause injury to someone else or damage their property.
If you’re a commercial drone pilot, it is compulsory for your drone to be insured. If a commercial drone pilot is caught flying their drone without insurance, they could face a large fine. Some insurance companies offer specialist commercial drone insurance, which will also cover you during the process of gaining your commercial licence.
What does drone insurance cover?
You can expect drone insurance to cover the costs of repairing or replacing your drone in the following circumstances.
- Accidental damage. If you accidentally damage your drone, your insurance will cover the cost of repairing or replacing it.
- Public liability. If you cause harm to someone else or damage to their property, your insurance will cover the legal costs and the cost of repairing the damage.
- Personal accident insurance. If you get into an accident while flying your drone, you’ll be covered for the cost of medical bills.
- Theft/loss. If your drone is lost or stolen, your insurance company will cover the cost of replacing it.
Some drone insurance will cover you overseas, as well as across the UK, although this is usually only made available as a paid add-on.
What is the drone code?
In 2017, the government had the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) publish The Drone And Model Aircraft Code with rules to help pilots fly their drones safely.
These rules cover:
- General safety tips
- Where you can fly drones
- Protecting people’s privacy
- What you need to do before flying a drone
These rules apply to all forms of unmanned aircraft including model airplanes, model helicopters and model gliders. If you break the rules in this code, you could be fined or even sent to prison.
Legalities of flying a drone
The CAA is responsible for the legalities of all unmanned aircraft under 20kg. You will become familiar with these during your theory test, which you must pass before flying a drone.
Still, here are some key rules to bear in mind.
- You must follow the safety rules outlined in The Drone And Model Aircraft Code.
- Your drone must be within your line of sight at all times.
- You must take special care not to fly the drone into buildings, lampposts, other objects or other aircraft.
- You must not drop “items” from the drone.
- If your drone has a camera, you must receive additional permissions from the CAA to fly within 150m of a congested area.
Any claim made as a result of these laws being broken are unlikely to be accepted by your drone insurance company.
Pay-as-you-fly insurance vs annual insurance
With pay-as-you-fly insurance, you’ll let your insurer know every time you want to fly your drone and arrange an insurance policy for that time period only. You can arrange to be covered for as little as one day, or perhaps for the length of your countryside getaway.
If you’re only flying your drone a few times per year, this can work out cheaper than an annual policy.
With annual insurance, you’ll be covered for the whole year. This will be more suitable for commercial pilots and anyone flying their drones more than a few times per year.
Drone insurance might not be compulsory for hobbyists, but when you consider the potential costs of an accident compared to the cost of your premium, it’s definitely worth considering. Especially if you’re a little accident-prone.
Frequently asked questions about drone insurance
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