What Is Drone Insurance?

Whether you use a drone for business or recreational purposes, insurance is a good idea.

Written by Ben Luthi / March 23, 2022

Quick Bites

  • Drone insurance isn’t required by law so it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth purchasing a separate policy.
  • Drone insurance can protect you against damage to your drone, liability in the event that you damage someone else’s property and more.
  • Your homeowners insurance policy may cover you in certain situations.
  • Using a drone for commercial purposes may require a separate policy.

It can be fun to fly a drone around, but your drone can also cause damage if, say, the drone accidentally makes a crash landing in someone else’s yard. If you’ve recently purchased a drone or you’ve had one for a while, you may be wondering if you should consider insurance coverage.

Depending on the cost of the drone and how you plan to use it, it may be a good idea to get insurance. Here’s what your policy would cover, and how to decide if you need it.

Inside this article

  1. What does drone insurance cover?
  2. Do I need it?
  3. How much does it cost?

What does drone insurance cover?

Drones are unmanned aircraft that come in all shapes and sizes and sport a wide variety of price tags. If yours is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced, that can easily cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

What’s more, if an errant drone that you’re operating damages someone else’s property or injures a person, you could be on the hook for the costs.[1]

“Drone insurance is ideally tailored for drone operators,” says Melanie Musson, an insurance expert for Clearsurance, an insurance marketplace. Compared to a homeowners insurance policy, which can cover your belongings, “it covers liability and equipment more accurately because it’s designed specifically for drones rather than general equipment or belongings risks.”

The liability coverage may be the most appealing feature of drone insurance. Especially if your drone didn’t cost much and you can easily afford to replace or repair it out-of-pocket, what you really need insurance for is the physical and bodily damage the drone could cause.

Do I need drone insurance?

Drone insurance isn’t required by law. As long as you’re willing to pay for repairing or replacing the drone and assume the risks if the drone causes property damage or injures someone, you don’t necessarily need to purchase a policy.

The decision for whether or not you should buy insurance largely comes down to how you plan to use your drone and what other insurance coverage you have. Here’s a look at the different scenarios:

Recreational use

If you’re planning to use the drone only for recreational purposes, you may already have coverage for it under your homeowners insurance or renters policy. The liability portion of those policies may cover any damage you cause or lawsuits and accident triggers, and you also may be covered if the drone is stolen or broken.[2]

Also, because recreational drones are generally less expensive than their commercial counterparts and you tend to fly them less, adding a separate drone insurance policy may not be worth the cost.

Commercial use

As a business owner, you can use a drone for a lot of things. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you can use one for aerial photos of a property. Or you can even start a business to provide drone footage for events, marketing campaigns and more. But you can’t rely on any of your personal insurance policies to protect you.

Homeowners insurance is designed to protect your normal household activities, but not business needs, because businesses have vastly different risks,” says Musson. “When you use a drone for business, you will likely have more invested in your equipment and use your drone more often.”

A general business equipment insurance policy may include coverage for a drone, Musson adds.[3] But you still may want a drone insurance policy because it’s specifically designed for the type of equipment a business uses and the risks you could face when operating a drone at work.

How much does drone insurance cost?

The cost of a drone insurance policy varies depending on the value of your drone, how much liability coverage you want and the coverage time period.

If you use your drone regularly, it may make sense to have standing coverage. An annual policy, in this case, might run you roughly $500 to $750, which works out to $42 to $63 per month.

However, you could also opt for hourly, daily or monthly coverage. Hourly coverage can start at as little as $5 per hour, daily coverage will typically cost between $30 and $40 per day, and a monthly plan might cost $60 to $100 per month.[4]

There are many insurance carriers that provide drone coverage, including:

  • Droneinsurance.com

  • SkyWatch.AI

  • Thimble

  • BWI Fly

  • Avion Drone Insurance

  • United States Aircraft Insurance Group

Be sure to take the time to shop around and compare offers from multiple insurers before you settle on one. In addition to premiums, take a look at the coverage options, limits and deductibles, and also whether the policy is better tailored to recreational or business use.

Check the exclusions on a policy you’re considering, says Musson. “Make sure you don’t need coverage for something that is excluded,” she says. “Also, check out the customer service reviews for companies you’re considering to help you decide if you want to do business with them.”

Article Sources
  1. “Drone Insurance at Work: Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Drone Insurance,” DroneInsurance.com, https://www.droneinsurance.com/blog/news/commercial-drone-insurance-at-work.
  2. “Drones and Insurance,” Insurance Information Institute, https://www.iii.org/article/drones-and-insurance.
  3. “Business Equipment Protection,” Thimble, https://www.thimble.com/business-equipment-protection.
  4. “How much does drone insurance cost?” The Drone Blog, https://www.droneblog.com/how-much-does-drone-insurance-cost.

About the Author

Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi

Ben has been writing about money since 2013. He's been on staff at NerdWallet as a credit card writer and for Student Loan Hero, where he covered student loans and other personal finance topics. Ben's work has appeared in U.S. News, The New York Times, Experian, FICO, Credit Karma, Bankrate and more

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