A Business and It’s Drone; A Love Story

A Business and It’s Drone

Let me ask a question, who doesn’t have a drone these days? We don’t but it’s certainly not from a lack of begging. Drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), seem to be on everyone’s wish list this year but much like the airspace they occupy, the risks involved are multi-dimensional.

Individual use (think Phil on Modern Family) is pretty well regulated – they must remain within a visual line of site (VLOS) and stay below 400 and at least 5 miles from any airport. Business use is another story; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is cobbling together some regulations as we speak but if your company is considering purchasing a drone for surveying, photography or just to sound really, really cool here are a few things you may want to consider from a risk and insurance standpoint:

A Business and Its DronePhysical Damage – drones, while not super expensive, are certainly worth something and almost always carry some sort of costly camera equipment. Should one of yours go down in a fiery crash what would it cost you to replace?

Speaking of fiery crashes…what happens if your drone goes down on someone else’s property? Being a good neighbor in this case means making sure you have coverage for your Liability associated with damage or injury to others resulting from mechanical failure or making a whoopsie while operating your drone.

Privacy breach may be one of the biggest exposures a drone-owner may face. The insurance industry is struggling with this – I mean really, how hard can it be to provide coverage for someone operating a unmanned, flying camera that up until recently was primarily used for the purpose of spying? Sheesh. Stay tuned for more as the courts sort that one out.

Lastly, drones are highly hack-able and just like your business is exposed to cyber breach, so is your new pet drone. The scary thing is that once hacked, a drone can essentially be hijacked and maneuvered to go anywhere (like into commercial airspace, yikes). Cyber liability is absolutely recommended if you plan on adding a drone to your staff.

Just like a new puppy, drones come with responsibility. Attached HERE is a document about managing the risk involved. You can also contact me anytime to discuss. bkingsbury@clark-mortenson.com or 877-352-2121 X285


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