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I'm just getting my business up and running (Grandview Drone Photography) and was concerned that I would have to buy hour by hour insurance until I had logged 50 to 100 hours flying time to get an annual policy. Just for the heck of it I sent a quote request to BWI --and was pleasantly surprised to get an offer, even though I only have about 36 hours of flying time. It's for an annual policy with $1,000,000 liability as well as coverage for the value of my drone. At any rate, I just thought I'd pass that info along.

 

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Thanks for the information.  Would you mind sharing the premium and who it’s with?  

Getting insurance for professional operators is not the issue it was just a year ago.  However,  be mindful that not all insurance brokers, companies and agents are created equal. They will issue policies that might not be worth the paper their printed on.  

We were issued a policy by a major insurance company only to find out a month later when we needed to add a customer to indemnify them the insurance company couldn’t comply.  Turns out we didn’t have the insurance we purchased.  There are only about three underwriters for aviation related insurance and the brokers use a questionnaire and apparently get quite creative with answering it to get you qualified.  

Also ther  were a few insurance companies that insured by the hour, I believe there are more now, at the time our customers would not accept that as proof of insurance.  Again that might have changed.  We didn’t need or want just to insure the UAVs, we needed general liability for the company that included the UAVs with the amount and type of coverage our customers required.  

I guess the moral to my experience is to ask a lot of questions, find a broker you like and trust because depending on the type of work you do you may need to work with your broker a lot.  

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Greetings. The broker is BWI (listed in the UAV Coach broker listing). The coverage is through Global Aerospace at $747/yr.

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Since I don't operate full time, I have been using Verifly, by the hour.  It is also underwritten by Global.

My problem with most of the annual policies thus far is that they require a premium for each drone, whether or not it just a backup or whatever.  By comparison, Verifly covers my operation no matter which of my drones is in use (one at a time of course).

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Hey, Dave. Good comment there and I'll have to check with them --but the coverage does say I'll be insured to fly multiple drones at the same time (not sure why I'd want to do that), but it doesn't specifically address having a second, third drone etc. I'll post what they say.

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BWI got back to me, and just like with your car insurance as soon as you add a second one, the price goes up a little. But they did say there are ways, if I'm only occasionally flying an alternate drone that I can swap it out for my regular one. IDK - we'll see. 

 

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Thanks for the follow-up Bill. 

Yeah, it's unfortunate that most underwriters are taking this approach for now.  Operating drones is nothing like the automobile model.  Sometimes the job requires that you have a couple of camera options that may need to be carried by different craft.  Then, there is the back up craft needed in case of any issues.  The underwriter happily charges you for each distinct craft.  It is unfair and I'm not buying it.  Especially when the same underwriter will cover my operation with any craft in the weight class for a single rate.  At some point, the hourly rate would get too expensive if you're operating a lot.  Hopefully there is enough push back or another underwriter steps in with annual policies that make more sense and breaks this mess up.

Good Luck!

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On 1/13/2019 at 11:26 AM, Av8Chuck said:

Also there  were a few insurance companies that insured by the hour, I believe there are more now, at the time our customers would not accept that as proof of insurance.  Again that might have changed.  We didn’t need or want just to insure the UAVs, we needed general liability for the company that included the UAVs with the amount and type of coverage our customers required.  

3

Yes, there's https://Verifly.com, https://Skywatch.ai, and https://DroneInsurance.com.

Really interesting thread, thanks for getting it started @BillH.

For what it's worth, we had a great experience working with Lance VanWormer at http://www.aviationinsurance.com/ to build a custom policy for us for our drone flight training classes. The underwriter was Old Republic.

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Hello all.  As a newbie to drones, I understand about liability but dont see any thing about Hull insurance.  Any suggestions on companies that maybe handle both? Thanks

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Hi Isaac,

The company I first mentioned (BWI as the broker with a policy through Global Aerospace) is providing 1 M Liability as well as covering my drone (also known as hull insurance).  

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I just signed up with DroneInsurance.com, because while they charge for each separate drone (both monthly/annually and per flight day), their flight coverage takes care of a whole day and has unlimited distance, something that Verifly would have piked me on. Had a pretty hellacious time securing the right forms to shoot in the LA area, with a mixed experience:

- they were very responsive,

- on one set of COIs/Endorsements, I had to insist they read everything in the last request, whereby they found language that completely countered what they'd just told me

- and then they botched that last set of docs. Meanwhile, I'm 10 minutes away from the stated FilmLA office cutoff. 

In the end got everything I needed and was able to shoot, no doubt due to some sacrifice on their end, but I don't know, paying $160 to insure a backup P4P for 2 days ($5M policy) seems beatable. Curious to see more of what others are finding. 

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Hey,  I  been flying my p4p for a little over a year and have been using skywatchers. So far so good,  very convenient,  but am paying per hour.  Trying to find a company to get yearly coverage that is affordable.  The real estate part of my business has  picked up and I am looking  to get with a reasonably priced company.  Can't believe the people I have for my regular liability insurance won't cover drones  only very  limited. 

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