Getting Started with Drones Part 4: what you need to know about Drone Insurance

Missed Part 3? Find out how to get a drone pilot’s license here.

While not a legal requirement in the U.S., you should seriously consider only flying drones if you have a drone insurance policy.

But unlike cars or homes where the insurance is typically an annual policy, you probably aren’t flying your drone every day, which means you shouldn’t have to pay for flight coverage that you aren’t going to use.

Drone insurance policies allow you to insure against ground-based liabilities, and then purchase flight liability coverage on-demand, for as little as a day or as long as a year. On-demand drone insurance is increasingly becoming a popular option, especially for pilots who don’t want to put down a big chunk of money upfront for flight coverage for the whole year, or who only make a few flights a month. Paying for flight coverage per day or per job can also make it easier for pilots to bill the cost of insurance directly to the client.

Before signing up for any drone insurance company, there are three things to consider:

Your insurance provider’s financials: Check A.M. Best Ratings or Standard and Poor to ensure your insurance provider is financially healthy.

Customer service ratings: You can also check customer satisfaction rankings on J.D. Power and Associates. The last thing you want to do after an accident is spend hours haggling with a customer service representative.

The best price: You shopped around for the best price on your drone, so why not do the same for its insurance policy? Some drone insurance providers make it completely transparent what you’re paying for: create an account, plug in what type of drone you’re flying or for how many days you need insurance, and a calculator will tell you the cost.

So, do your homework, and see what option works for you.

What’s the best drone insurance policy?

After talking to dozens of different insurance offerings (ranging from your standard insurers like State Farm and Nationwide, to drone-specific insurers), I recommend SkyWatch.ai.

Since they’re focused on aviation insurance, you’re getting a package of specific products including Drone Insurance, Aircraft Renters Insurance, and Aircraft Owners Insurance that are designed specifically for all sorts of aviators’ needs.

SkyWatch is powered by VOOM, which is another InsurTech company that focuses mostly on building insurance products for the mobility industry, which includes drones, as well as other products like light planes or motorcycles.

As far as drone-specific insurance, one of their most popular products is their on-demand insurance. Available to both recreational and commercial flyers, their claim to fame is flexibility and affordability.

Key features of Skywatch.ai drone insurance

  • Flexible Plans: Choose between hourly, daily, monthly, and annual plans.
  • Liability and Hull Coverage: Liability insurance protects you from third-party injuries and property damage caused by your drone. Hull coverage protects your drone itself in case of crashes or damage.
  • Pay-As-You-Fly: Only pay for coverage when you actually fly your drone (hourly plans).
  • Mobile App: Manage your policy, get quotes, and receive certificates of insurance (COI) instantly through their app.

What’s Skywatch drone insurance covers

  • Liability: Covers property damage, bodily injury, and invasion of privacy claims caused by your drone.
  • Hull coverage (optional): Protects your drone and mounted equipment from physical damage.

Just consider a few limitations, such as your drone’s weight limit. Skywatch policies usually cover drones under a certain weight limit. It’s typically 15 lbs, but check with your individual policy. Also note that — for commercial use — you might need a Part 107 certification from the FAA to be eligible for coverage.

How to get started with Skywatch.ai

  1. It’s free to get a quote from Skywatch.ai.
  2. Access their quote page, and input details like your liability limit, the type of plan you want, how many drones you want covered, and whether you want additional coverages. From their, a calculator spits out your total price, offering some solid price transparency.
  3. Click through the next couple pages and fill out informational like your address for a more exact quote. For example, there may be a surcharge depending on your state.
  4. You can get a quote emailed to you before actually paying, which you may use to consult with your team. Or, select “continue” to proceed with payment.