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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a drone?

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Sep 15, 2015 9:00:00 AM

droneDrones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have become popular. Drones are aerial vehicles/ robots that can hover and are controlled either by remote or control systems from the ground. Amazon made drones mainstream when they announced they were testing them to deliver packages. Today drones are used in many ways, including hurricane hunting and search and rescue missions. Farmers even use them to monitor fields. West Bend’s senior underwriter Sarah Faris will explain how a drone is covered on a West Bend Home and Highway policy®.

Drones for pleasure use have also become more popular since they’re relatively inexpensive. A basic drone can be purchased online for $300 or less. If you become the proud owner of a drone, do you know if or how your personal insurance policy would apply?

West Bend’s Home and Highway policy excludes aircraft which is defined as “any contrivance used or designed for flight” except for “a model or hobby aircraft not used or designed to carry people or cargo.” A drone would fall under the “hobby aircraft” category.

What if you crash the drone into your neighbor’s house, breaking a window? Or the drone gets a little too close to a neighbor’s child and injures them? Coverage would apply under the liability section of the homeowner’s policy. West Bend will not schedule a drone, however it would be covered as personal property, subject to the perils of the policy and home deductible. Drones used for business or other than for personal use would be excluded (for example, a realtor taking photos of a home or an Avon sales rep delivering packages).

Drones are very intriguing. If you own one or plan to buy one in the near future, be sure to familiarize yourself with the safety guidelines and rules.

Drones cannot operate over national parks, or near airports, military bases, and even some sports stadiums. For more information on the FAA regulations, visit https://www.faa.gov/uas.

If you are annoyed by your neighbor’s drone buzzing by your home, don’t shoot it. The article, “Don’t shoot that drone!” explains why.

This article is intended for general educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be construed to communicate legal or professional advice. Further, this article is not an offer to sell insurance. Please consult with your licensed insurance agent for specific coverage details and your insurance eligibility. All policies are subject to the terms, conditions, limitations, definitions, and exclusions contained therein.

Topics: Home Insurance

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