Drone pilots spend most of their time consistently improving their flight skills. But despite their training, the possibility of things going wrong will always exist.
This is where drone insurance comes in.
These policies are meant to protect you in an unfortunate accident and from an onslaught of monetary damages. But just how expensive can drone insurance itself get?
Drone insurance for $1 million in coverage can cost around $7 per hour. A monthly plan will set you back around $60, while an annual plan will cost you around $500. These charges go up for more extensive policies and also depend on numerous variables.
So, how exactly does drone insurance cost vary? And what options do you have? Let’s take a look.
The unpredictability of drones has always been a cause for concern, especially for amateur drone pilots. Drone insurance seems to minimize the potential risks, but which ones does it actually cover?
Drone insurance generally covers legal costs in the case of third-party claims of bodily injuries and property damage. Additional policies may insure the actual drone, protect you from privacy lawsuits, and cover the risk of cyber events.
The point is this: these policies are designed for particular businesses and needs in mind. To make the cost worth it, it’s important to choose the right coverage to protect your interests.
The types of available drone insurance are always expanding, but let’s look at the two most essential types and how their prices compare.
This coverage offers protection from third-party claims of damage.
Think of it like car insurance: if your drone crashes into someone else’s property, the policy will pay for the repairs. And in case of bodily injury, it will also cover medical and legal expenses.
It’s clearly the most expensive type of drone insurance, but it’s nothing compared to the liability exposure you assume. A few hundred bucks may save you thousands in the future!
|Provider||Approximate Cost for Monthly Coverage||Approximate Cost for Annual Coverage|
The table above shows approximate costs for a $1 million coverage limit. And as you might have guessed, the costs increase for higher declared limits. These can even go up to $10 million!
And if you’re really looking to get into the specifics, this YouTube video does an in-depth price comparison between a few of the top companies.
This one is pretty straightforward. It refers to the coverage of the drone and the payload it carries.
Hull insurance isn’t really targeted towards entry-level drones. But if you fly a professional drone, and use a bunch of expensive accessories, getting it is a no-brainer.
Now, what exactly does it cost?
Hull coverage generally costs 8-12% of the hull value. You can see how much it would cost to insure some of the world’s best-selling drones down below.
There’s also a catch: drone hull insurance can only be bought as an add-on to liability coverage, unless you get it directly through the manufacturers.
|Drone||Annual Cost of Hull Insurance|
|DJI Mini 2||$36-$54|
|DJI Air 2S||$80-$120|
|DJI Mavic 2 Pro||$189-$285|
So, if you’re an American citizen, what exactly should you expect to pay for drone insurance? Here’s what I found.
The cost for basic drone insurance in the US is generally around $500-$750 per year. Thimble, for example, offers an annual plan for $730. These costs vary depending on the type of drone and coverage.
Skywatch.ai is one of the leading drone insurance providers in the US due to their flexible plans. Other popular companies include DroneInsurance.com, BWI Fly, and USAIG.
Let’s move just above the US and into Canada. Is the cost any different there? Take a look.
Drone insurance in Canada can cost around $200-$600 per year, for $1 million in coverage. Skywatch.ai offers a base yearly plan at $264. Decreasing the coverage limit makes the policy even cheaper, to around $130 per year.
Skywatch.ai retains its position as one of the best options in Canada as well. Other leading providers include Air1 Insurance, CAIG, and Armour Insurance.
Things are a bit different in the UK compared to the US. Commercial drone operators are required to have public liability insurance. So, what exactly does it cost them? I did some digging to find out.
Drone insurance cost in the UK is relatively low due to the availability of value-based plans. Drone Cover Club offers an annual plan for just £30 and a monthly package for £22. These costs increase as you opt-in for various insurance benefits.
Besides Drone Cover Club, the top insurance providers in the UK include Coverdrone, Allianz, and Eversure.
We’ve seen how expensive drone insurance can get. The protection may prove to be beneficial, but the costs do add up to a whopping amount.
The question is, what’s the reasoning behind the high prices?
Drone insurance tends to cost more for more expensive drones, as insurance companies ask for higher premiums. These policies also charge more to cover other potentially unfavorable grounds. As a general rule, the overall cost depends on a few important factors.
So, drone insurance isn’t always expensive since there is no standard cost. The charges only increase with the risk. Let’s take a look at a few of the main factors that make this happen.
The main factor that may impact the total cost is the drone itself.
Drone insurance for a hobby drone is far cheaper than one for a commercial drone. This is because the latter has better specifications and generally has a higher value.
Another important variable is whether the drone is owned or leased by the business.
This one is a bit more self-explanatory.
Drone insurance is generally cheaper for more experienced pilots. Providers tend to offer a discount if you have proof of training.
However, your experience may work against you if you have a history of drone accidents.
The location directly refers to how risky the flying conditions are.
You may have to pay more for insurance if you plan to fly your drone over a body of water, in populated areas, next to power lines, or generally a spot that’s not UAV-friendly.
This is also why drone insurance is pricier in some states as compared to others.
You might be wondering whether there’s a way to somehow lower the total cost of drone insurance.
The good news is, there are multiple ways.
You can lower your drone insurance cost by improving your flight skills, negotiating, and being smart with claims. You can also switch to a lower-cost alternative instead of sticking with a comprehensive plan that isn’t being fully utilized.
It’s important to do the math before you dive in and commit to an entire insurance plan. Here are some of the measures you can take:
These practises might seem simple, but they’re super effective at reducing the overall cost as much as possible.
You’ve probably realized by now that getting drone insurance can be incredibly important, but do you really have to get it?
Drone insurance becomes a necessity if you’re operating a drone for business purposes. Most industries, like real estate and maintenance, ask for proof of insurance, and failure to provide it may even result in fines. However, drone insurance is not required by US law.
Put simply: the Part 107 regulations do not mention, let alone require, drone insurance. And if you fly hobby drones, you might not need strong financial protection.
On the other hand, getting insurance does become more of an obligation if you fly commercial drones. But don’t get the wrong idea, the additional cost of insurance is well worth the protection and the bigger projects that may come your way.
We’ve looked at several price comparisons and what makes them vary. The real question, however, is how do you go about buying drone insurance?
You can get drone insurance from an on-demand insurance provider. With the option to pay per flight, it’s ideal for beginners. On the contrary, you may choose to work with an insurance broker if you’re experienced or have a business idea in mind.
You can take a look at some of the biggest insurance companies down below.
|On-demand Insurance Providers||Insurance Brokers|
If you’re not sure how much insurance you’ll be needing, choosing a flexible plan with an on-demand provider is a safe bet. And working with them is pretty straightforward.
Insurance brokers are better for those looking for comprehensive plans, but prepare yourself to be a bit more analytical. It’s especially important to have all of your business information ready.
And here’s something to remember: always check in with the manufacturer of your drone for hull coverage. Options like DJI Care Refresh can turn out to be a pretty sweet deal.
To wrap it all up, drone insurance simply doesn’t have a fixed price. It will always vary depending on your needs.
Commercial drone insurance generally costs around $600-$1000. Policies for professional drones are significantly more expensive than ones for recreational drones. Either way, there are numerous factors that will affect the price you end up paying.
The best way to weigh your options is by analyzing the liabilities your business may be exposed to. You can then choose the right type of policy that covers all of those risks.