How can you take out drone insurance?

Liability for drones

Anyone who flies drones must take out insurance

Henriette Neubert
Expert for insurance as of April 20, 2018

Henriette Neubert

Henriette Neubert writes about insurance topics in the Finanztip editorial team. She has already worked in various online editorial teams and, at the same time, completed part-time training as a business journalist. She studied economics and business administration at the University of Leipzig and gained her first practical experience in Zurich and Dublin after completing her studies.

  • Anyone who owns a drone needs liability insurance - just like with a car. The regulation has been in force since 2005 and is independent of the weight of the drone.
  • The insurance pays for damage caused by the drone, but not damage to the drone itself.
  • You are only exempt from compulsory insurance if you only fly the drone in your own, closed rooms.
  • If you only use the drone privately, you can insure it with private liability insurance. Family members are then also insured, but not friends or acquaintances when they fly the drone.
  • Anyone who uses the drone commercially - for example, sells photos that they take with a drone - needs special drone liability insurance.
  • There are strict rules for flying drones - it is forbidden in more places than allowed. Some insurance companies will not pay if the aircraft has been used improperly.
  • Think about how you want to use your drone: Do you only fly it privately or also to earn money with it? And who else is allowed to fly it where?
  • If you use the drone privately: Inquire with your private liability insurance whether drone protection is included. Keep the written confirmation. If your liability insurance is older, it may not include drone protection. Extend your insurance accordingly or look for a new, suitable policy.
  • If you use the drone commercially: Take out special drone liability insurance.
  • Study the small print of the insurance terms and conditions: Is the insurance coverage limited anywhere, for example in relation to the weight of the drone?
  • If your drone is very expensive: Check whether it is worth taking out comprehensive insurance. These are available for aircraft in a similar way to cars.

A drone for beginners now costs less than 60 euros. No wonder that the small, manoeuvrable aircraft whirring through more and more parks and gardens. Experts assume there are around one million drones in German airspace. But legally speaking, drones are no toybut aircraft. This means that they fall under the Aviation Act and have, since 2005, mandatory liability insurance become.

Who must take out drone liability insurance?

He is responsible for the drone liability insurance holder, i.e. the owner of the drone or the device sometimes called a quadrocopter. If you only want to use the flight object privately, you will be well served with private liability insurance. There are special insurances for commercial use.

It doesn't matter how heavy the drone is. Anything that starts outside of your own home needs insurance cover that is suitable for Damage comes up that caused by the aircraft. Accidents or near misses with drones keep appearing in the news - for example, when one crashes into a vehicle on a freeway or collides with an airplane near an airport. Less spectacular, but also expensive: the drone falls into the neighbour's winter garden and destroys some windows.

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How can old personal liability insurance be retrofitted?

If you buy a drone and your liability insurance has been running for a few years, you shouldbe sure to checkwhat is in your contract. In older insurance conditions, the word “drone” usually does not appear at all. Instead, there is only talk of “flight models without engines”. Since drones have a motor, you are not covered by the wording of these tariffs.

However, it is possible that insurers have updated the old insurance terms and conditions and are also responsible for damage cases involving drones in older contracts. So it's best to ask check with your insurer. In any case, leave you positive information confirm in writing.

If, on the other hand, the old contract does not offer insurance cover for drones, you should talk to your insurer about whether you can switch your insurance to a current tariff with drone insurance. Especially if you have already been with this provider for a few years, he should be ready to settle the old contract if you conclude a new liability insurance with him at the same time.

If your insurer does not agree to this, you must, however separate drone insurance take out, at least as long as you still have the old liability insurance. Good new personal liability insurances are not that expensive, but offer insurance protection for drones. In the worst case, you will be double insured for some time. That might be annoying, but it won't count as fraudulent double insurance.

What is important with newer personal liability insurance?

Newer personal liability insurance policies usually include drone ownership. If you get yourself a device, you should definitely use the Insurance conditions and also ask your insurer what the Insurance coverage exactly includes.

For example, some insurers exclude drones from a certain weight class or stipulate that the model airplane is only flown on a model flying site or that the pilot is a member of a model flying club.

Make sure that the sum insured is sufficiently high

In the event of accidents - possibly with injuries - the damage can quickly run into the millions. So it is importanta sufficiently high sum insured. It should be at least 10 million euros. This recommendation also applies to older policies.

Important: With a family tariff, your spouse and unmarried children are also insured until the end of their training. Your own children are allowed to drive the drone, but friends, acquaintances or schoolmates are not. If you want to rent out your quadrocopter on a regular basis, you should think about special drone insurance.

What are the rules for commercial use?

Special drone liability insurance is definitely necessary if you use the drone for commercial purposes. In the event that you shoot photos from the air and then want to sell them, or use a drone to search your private forest for fireplaces or measure properties with it, private liability insurance is no longer sufficient. Then a special drone liability insurance is necessary significantly more expensive is.

Regardless of whether private liability insurance or drone liability insurance: Both only compensate for damage caused by drones. If you want to insure the device itself, take out one Comprehensive insurance from. These are available from various providers. Most of the time, drones can be insured up to a value of 2,000 euros. The new value can be replaced up to one year after purchase, then the current value.

Where does the drone regulation allow flying?

Important for all aviation artists: The drone ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Transport has been in force since spring 2017. Since then, all quadrocopters that weigh more than 250 grams must have a badge with the owner's name on it. Drones that are heavier than two kilograms may only be flown with a "drone license". An official permit is required for devices weighing five kilograms or more.

The unmanned flying objects are allowed to fly only over undeveloped areas; not over crowds, in nature reserves, police and rescue workers' locations, highways and industrial plants. There is a minimum distance of 1.5 kilometers to airport fences - and you cannot go higher than 100 meters.

The drone ordinance also has an impact on insurance coverage. Anyone who does not adhere to the rules of the ordinance and lets his drone fly in a busy park, for example, risks insurance cover: some insurers want to restrict the insured person entirely to what is known as "permitted use". Others also pay in the event of a violation of the drone ordinance, but only if the drone pilot negligently ignored the rules and damage occurred as a result.

So if you want to stay on the safe side and avoid long legal disputes with your insurance company in the event of damage: Better stick to them Rules of the Ministry.

Silke Kursawe

Silke Kursawe

Silke Kursawe was an insurance expert at Finanztip until the end of 2018. She is an insurance business economist and has a master's degree in insurance law. Silke has more than 25 years of experience in the industry and in the field of property and liability insurance. She also successfully completed a degree in business education in Göttingen.

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