Gallagher highlights significance of commercial drone insurance

Brokerage identifies risks for operators

Gallagher highlights significance of commercial drone insurance

Insurance News

By Roxanne Libatique

Drones are used not only for vlogging but also for business purposes – and managing a business means facing risks that could lead to financial troubles. In its latest blog, global brokerage Gallagher identified four risks for commercial drone operators and the benefits of insuring their business.

Drones or remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) can be used for all types of surveying and mapping in agriculture, mining, real estate, and other industries. Their other commercial usage includes search and rescue, bushfire surveillance, inspecting commercial equipment, providing surveillance or security services, shark or feral animal spotting, creating content for websites and advertisements, any drone activities on behalf of an employer, and any purpose related to a business.

Of course, part of managing a business is protecting your assets, so Gallagher identified four areas of risk for commercial drone operators that highlight the need for taking out insurance:

  • Planning: Operator failure to take factors such as weather conditions, correct payload, and if the drone they are operating is fit for purpose into consideration before launching the flight.
  • Inadequately charged batteries: Lack of understanding of how to charge batteries correctly results in the drone running out of charge. In addition, battery failures can occur from a repetition of recharging, dissipating, and recharging.
  • Bird wildlife: Incidents arising from bird traffic or attacks can be avoided through greater awareness and planning.
  • Ignorance of CASA regulations: Drone users should be aware that RPAs are defined as aircraft and subject to liability under the Damage by Aircraft Act, without requirement for proof of fault or negligence. Third-party liability can also apply if a commercial drone crash results in a bushfire with resultant injury or damage to people or property.

Read more: Gallagher delves into COVID-19 infection claims

Now that Gallagher established the reasons why taking out coverage for commercial drones is essential, the brokerage identified the best types of insurance for drone-related businesses in Australia:

  • Public liability insurance: Because it provides coverage against third-party damage and bodily injury claims arising from drone operation; and
  • Drone hull and equipment coverage for an agreed value for loss of or damage to the drone and operating equipment and may include a payload.

Other factors to look out for are:

  • Accidental loss or damage to the equipment, including during transit and covering the drone itself and payload such as camera and sensors and ground equipment such as the remote pilot station;
  • Liability for bodily injury or third-party property damage during flight and including liability cover for the remote pilot on the ground;
  • Liability cover for claims against an invasion of privacy that may be contained in an advertisement, broadcast, or telecast captured by the business's drone; and
  • Cybercrime because drones can be hacked from as far as a kilometre away.

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