Insurers now offer drone insurance to businesses who fly drones.
A startup called Verifly is available to drone users with a new mobile app.
The co-founder and CEO Jay Bregman said that he and co-founder and CTO Eugene Hertz designed a user-friendly app. This app will meet the drone insurance needs of drone operators.
The Verifly app draws a quarter mile circle around users. It analyses information from Verifly’s geospatial and weather databases. The user is shown the estimated risk. A price is set for the drone user on a policy. This can be purchased on-the-spot. If a price is agreed upon, users pay with a credit card. They get $1 million in 3rd party liability coverage with $10, 000 invasion of privacy coverage.
Verifly has had to get approvals to operate state-by-state as insurance is regulated by state-level government.
Unmanned Risk Management, the largest underwriter of aviation insurance in the world has insured drones in all 50 U. S. States. They also give insurance for drones for the seven film operators that received a Section 333 exemption from the FAA to use drones on Hollywood movie sets.
The FAA said that existing aviation regulations, give it the authority to ban commercial drone flights that have not received waivers to operate. The agency has issued fines against an unspecified number of drone operators.
In other cases the FAA has worked with law enforcement agencies to contact people who have operated drones that were unsafe or unauthorised.
Harry Arnold, owner of Detroit Drones, said he is hoping the FAA rules go into place as soon as possible. That has not stopped him from running a drone photography business for the last five years. His website includes aerial video of real estate developments, construction sites and a car race.
Arnold, who said he does not have an FAA waiver, disputes the agency’s authority over commercial drone flights with regulations still incomplete. While some drone entrepreneurs may see their wings clipped once the FAA’s new restrictions become finalised, tighter standards are good news for the sometimes chaotic, unregulated industry Miller said.
Before writing drone insurance, Miller requires a drone flier to develop standard operating procedures. He also requires clients to keep logs of flights and maintenance. Furthermore to have at least a basic understanding of FAA rules for traditional pilots.
Some of his standards in fact exceed those in the FAA proposals. His standards say pilots would have to pass an aviation knowledge test. They could only fly below 500 feet and also within sight of the operator. There would be no requirements for logs or maintenance standards.
If liability limits higher than a few million dollars are required, the insurance market place is thus reduced to just a handful of available carriers. The higher the limit, the more questions about safety and operating procedures will be asked. Insurers routinely mandate higher safety standards than those set by the FAA for traditional aviation risks.