Skip to main content

Drone Insurance: How Much Is It and Is It Worth It?

Published April 12, 2021

4 minute read

Devon Taylor

By Devon Taylor

Drone insurance is definitely a bit of a niche product. It’s exactly what it sounds like — insurance for a drone. You’ve probably noticed more of them around these days, as they are growing in popularity. If you’re somehow still in the dark, a drone is a small unmanned aircraft controlled by person on the ground with a handheld control. They often include a camera, making for some really stunning video captures. Obviously, only those who actually own a drone would need drone insurance. If you are getting into the drone hobby, though, it’s something you should definitely consider. Crashes are almost inevitable. As we’ll discuss more in a minute, you can sink a lot of money into this hobby. So whether you want to insure your own property, or protect yourself in case your drone damages someone else’s stuff, drone insurance can be a smart play.

The Need for Coverage

You may already have coverage for drone damage and liability through your home insurance policy. If you’re not sure, it’s worth double checking your policy. If you don’t have suitable coverage, you might want to purchase a separate drone insurance policy. It will help cover the cost to repair or replace your drone should it become damaged. It will also help cover your liability in the event that your drone accidently damages someone else’s property. There have already been cases of drones accidently crashing into cars or houses, for example.

The price range of drones is quite large. You can start with a lower-quality drone as cheaply as a $100 or so. Professional photographers, on the other hand, may invest as much as $5,000 for high-quality drones. Add in replacement parts, memory card, and video editing hardware and software, and drones can quickly become an expensive hobby. Protect that investment with proper insurance coverage.

Drone Insurance Details

Most insurance policies cover drones in the same way that they cover personal property or the contents of a house. Your living room TV, for example, is insured against damage and theft with your home insurance policy. If your drone is only being used for personal use only, then there likely isn’t a legal requirement to insure it. However, if you use your drone for commercial purposes, you may indeed be required to insure it. However, it depending on where it’s being flown. Different states have different rules.

Keep in mind that although most people view drones merely as toys, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) classifies them as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). They takes them very seriously. In fact, the FAA views most drones as regular aircrafts.  That means, depending where they’re being flown, they may require you to register your drone use with the federal agency.

Drone accidents are quite common. Inexperienced operators often lose control of the machines. Sometimes they unexpectedly run out of battery power or fly out of controller range. Accidents can also happen that injure people or damage property, potentially resulting in personal injury and medical expenses. Those drone propellers are be sharp!

Before you buy separate drone insurance, check with your home or renters’ insurance. Your policy may cover the contents of your house, including your drone. However, it’s worth investigating whether your drone is covered when you take it outside to use. If you spend a lot of time (and money) on your drones, you may want to seek additional coverage for damage, theft, personal injury, property damage, invasion of privacy claims, and/or medical expenses.

Types of Drone Insurance

There are many insurance companies that provide drone insurance coverage. These include BWI Fly insurance, SkyWatch.AI, and DroneInsurance.com. The coverage typically ranges from $500,000 up to $25 million. With that range, you can expect to pay annual premiums between $500 to $2,500. That works out to monthly payments of $40 to $200. The more expensive the drone, the more need there is for a top end comprehensive insurance plan. Small drones used only for recreation purposes can be insured by cheaper policies that provide less coverage. In general, hobbyists probably shouldn’t pay more than $500 a year to insure their drone.

It’s also good to know is that drone insurance coverage can be acquired by becoming a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). Getting an AMA membership includes some liability coverage and basic damage insurance coverage for drones. It also provides the ability to fly your drone at thousands of AMA club sites. New members can join for an annual payment of just $75. Membership provides drone users with $2.5 million of comprehensive general liability insurance coverage, $25,000 of accident and medical coverage,  $10,000 worth of coverage in the event of a death, and $1,000 coverage against fire, theft and vandalism. It might be be the most thorough drone coverage, but it’s better than nothing. Especially for that low price!

All drone owners should be sure to read the fine print of any insurance policy they take out. Make sure you fully understand the coverages. Be sure to contact the insurance company directly with any questions or concerns you have about a policy before you commit to it.

The Bottom Line

Drone insurance is not a product that everyone needs. It’s much less common than home or automotive insurance, for obvious reasons. It’s a specialty product that you only really need if you own and operate a drone or other type of UAV. However, drone insurance can be beneficial given the potential for accidents and damage caused by these devices.

Fortunately, there are several reputable insurance companies that provide coverage for drones. Like any other kind of insurance, be sure to shop around. Compare the coverages and costs of various policies. Then weigh that against the value of your own drone, and how expensive it would be to replace or repair it. Paying $500 a year to insure your $1,000 hobby drone might not make sense. On the other end, paying $2,000 a year to insure a high-quality drone that you shoot commercial video footage with probably does. Take your time and do your homework before choosing a drone insurance provider and policy.

Drone Insurance Accident

Shutterstock

Devon Taylor

Contributor

Devon is an experienced writer and a father of three young children. He's simultaneously trying to build college funds and plan for an eventual retirement. He's been in online publishing since 2013 and has a degree from the University of Guelph. In his free time, he loves fanatically following the Blue Jays and Toronto FC, camping with his family, and playing video games.

Explore Insurance

Auto Insurance

The Best Car Insurance For Millennials

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic sandwiched between Generation X and Generation Z. They are typically considered to be propleg born between 1981 to 1996. Most Millennials are the children of baby boomers and early Generation Xers. Today, most Millennials are between the ages of 25 and 40. They are working, raising […]

Read More about Post Title

6 minute read

professional indemnity insurance Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance: Who Needs It and What Does It Cover?

Professional indemnity insurance is one of many types of business insurance. Most companies should investigate getting it, as a part of establishing their enterprise. Other types of business insurance include public liability insurance, employers’ liability insurance, and product liability insurance. However, professional indemnity insurance covers a variety of fields. It also offers protection that many […]

Read More about Post Title

5 minute read

See All In Insurance

More from WalletGenius

Home Ownership

How To Win a Home Bidding War

I haven’t really talked about this publicly before, but we had to win a bidding war to buy our house last year. To make matters worse, it was right before the onset of the pandemic, making everything that much more stressful. Luckily, we succeeded and my family now enjoys living in a bigger, newer home. […]

Read More about Post Title

10 minute read

young couple redecorating a house Home Ownership

How To Redecorate Your House On a Budget

I’m not sure if it’s because everyone has been stuck inside due to the pandemic or just a coincidence. Whatever the reason, it seems like everyone I know has recently been updating their homes. Whether it’s a minor or major redecoration, all this time indoors has spawned a bunch of amateur interior designers. If you’ve […]

Read More about Post Title

7 minute read

Woman at Farmers' Market Save Money

How To Save Money Shopping At The Farmers’ Market

Buying from a road-side produce stand or a locals farmer’s market is an amazing experience. They are some of the best options for getting fresh (and often organic) fruit, vegetables, meats, and other products, while still supporting local farmers. Farmers’ Markets are certainly a better choice for fresh, high-quality, in-season produce. The prices there are […]

Read More about Post Title

7 minute read

stock market short seller Investing

How to Short a Stock: A Complete Guide

I first learned about short selling from my Dad. It was in the dot-com crash of the early 00s, when practically every investment was going down. Many people lost their savings because they plowed too much money into ridiculously-valued tech stocks. Looking back in retrospect, these stocks were already so high that they had no […]

Read More about Post Title

11 minute read

Man happy about investing Investing

What Are Bearer Bonds (and How Do They Work)?

A bearer bond is a fixed-income security, very similar to a regular bond. However, a bearer bond is owned by the holder (or bearer) rather than by a registered owner. The coupons for interest payments are physically attached to the bearer bond. The bondholder is required to submit the coupons to a bank for payment […]

Read More about Post Title

5 minute read

Trusted provider of accurate rates & financial information