Prepare for insurance requests as 180,000 drones are registered

The FAA reports that more than 180,000 drone users have registered with its database, representing a call for insurance agents to address the device’s risks

Insurance News


More than 181,000 drone users have registered with the Federal Aviation Administration in the past two and a half weeks, the agency reported Wednesday, leaving insurance agents to address coverage for the aerial devices’ many risks.

The FAA began requiring registration of drones just three weeks ago in an effort to keep owners accountable for their use of the popular flying robots. The database came into existence after a report from the agency, which estimated that more than 700,000 drones would be sold around Christmas.

An updated status has not been given, but the news should signal a bevy of upcoming work to insurance agents with drone-owning clients.

Some carriers, such as AIG and Zurich, are already in the market and are preparing to underwrite billions of dollars in liability coverage for drones.

AIG’s policies are offered through the company’s subsidiary Lexington Insurance Company, and bear many similarities to auto insurance plans, covering both “broad physical damage” and “third party liability coverage.” However, as they are written especially for drones, the policies also cover drone “operators” and on-ground crew members, as well as electronic malfunctions and component failure.

The rise in popularity of drones has also seen the creation of specialist brokers such as Transport Risk Management, which operates a specialist drone insurance brokerage under the name Unmannedrisk, and offers place liability coverage up to $500m per occurrence and place hull physical damage coverage up to $50m, for annual premiums ranging from $800 to $1,300 per year for $1m.

Transport Risk Management said it insurers more than 4,000 individual drones for all uses worldwide, and offers hull coverage at a rate of 6.5% to 13% depending on risk and value, with deductibles at 2.5% to 5% of the insured value.

BWI Aircraft Insurance Specialists said it is offering liability insurance only from as little as $595 for $500,000 liability, making attractive for smaller drones.

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