Yes. Most drone damage is covered by homeowners insurance as long as it wasn’t caused intentionally.
Over half a million recreation drones were registered in the United States last year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture all of the insurance claims that one could wind up making from all the drones overhead.
While most people undoubtedly fly drones without any issues, some homeowners have had claims for drones crashing into roofs or cars. In fact, in recent weeks, the news has had stories of a tourist crashing their drone into a Rome monument and a drone crashing into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Three college professors in Boulder, Colorado, saw their drone crash into a field — starting a fire and igniting 52 acres.
So, yes, drone accidents can happen. But the good thing is that most drone accidents are covered by homeowners insurance.
Does homeowners insurance cover drones?
Yes. The good news if you own a drone: Most standard homeowners insurance policies exclude liability coverage for aircraft but will include coverage for “model or hobby aircraft,” like your personal drone. If your policy does offer this coverage, and if you crash your drone and cause bodily injury or property damage, it should be covered by the terms and limits of your policy.
If you crash your drone, it also should be covered under the personal property portions of your homeowners’ coverage. However, the deductible for your property coverage may be more than you paid for your drone.
What types of drones are covered by homeowners insurance?
Commercial or business use of your drone is not normally covered under a homeowners policy.
If you end up buying a more expensive drone, you should ask your insurer if there is a rider you could buy to make sure it is fully covered if damaged.
Additionally, if you end up flying your drone outside, you now need to register it with the FAA before you operate it outdoors. The cost is only $5, but you will have to renew your registration every five years.
Find out more on FAA drone registration rules and drone insurance.
Which component of a homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for drones?
If you are covered against drone accidents, you’ll find the details of your coverage in the liability portion of your homeowners insurance policy. It would likely cover you against lawsuits for any property damage or injuries that your drone causes. If a litigious-happy neighbor feels your drone has caused them privacy issues and they sue, you may also be protected.
What types of damages caused by drones are covered?
Any damage or injuries that were intentional will not be covered.
However, you’re generally covered for any damage as long as it was an accident and homeowners insurance will pay for hospital bills or property damage. Alongside the repairs, homeowners insurance may cover the cost of replacing the drone. If you are sued for distress, homeowners insurance will likely also cover legal fees.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about drones that are used for recreation. If you have a drone that you use for your business – maybe you’re a real estate agent taking photos of homes with your drone – and there’s an accident, your homeowners insurance probably won’t cover the damage. However, your business insurance should.
How to file a claim for drone damage
It’s really like filing any insurance claim. If your drone went careening into a park and sent a wedding party diving into a lake, you’ll want to explain everything to your insurer. If you have photos of the drenched bride and groom, you’ll want to send those. If somebody filed a police report, you may need to ultimately give that to your insurer.
Every bit of information that the insurer needs to show that you have a drone that went out of control, you’ll likely have to produce. And then you wait to hear what your insurer says your payout will be.
Drone insurance for hobbyists
Many insurers insure drones, but there are some companies that specialize in drone insurance, and then plenty of conventional insurance companies that handle drone insurance. Here’s a partial list of what’s out there:
- BWI Fly
- Avion Drone Insurance
- United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG)
- Global Aerospace
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
- Chubb Insurance
And many more…
As for actually insuring your drone with your insurance, contact your insurer and let them know you have a drone. While you may be covered without doing that due diligence, you’d be wise to alert them to ensure it’s on your policy. They’ll also probably remind you to register your drone. If you don’t have it registered, there’s a good chance that if something goes wrong, you won’t be covered.