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Unmanned Aircraft Flying Above

Posted: Tue, 09 May 2017 13:00

Unmanned Aircraft Flying Above

Unmanned aircraft may sound like they belong in
a scene from some science fiction movie set, but they are already out there
enabling jobs to be done more safely and at lower cost, ranging from
agricultural monitoring, to wildfire surveillance and infrastructure
maintenance.

In the UK, a House of Lords committee has
recommended that a register of these unmanned aircraft, widely known as
"drones" be created, which will initially target commercial operations. Other
recommendations include whether or not to allow the use of geo-fencing (flight
based upon GPS coordinates), clearer guidance for law enforcement and guidance
on what levels of insurance users should purchase

Insurers are also looking at the use of drones
for their own purposes. In the US, insurers State Farm and AIG have received
clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones for
underwriting and claims application purposes.

The use of flying robotics is predicted to significantly increase over the next 10 years and by 2020 the use of drones could become common practice for almost 40% of businesses.
A multitude of liability issues will need to be addressed as a result.

To address the needs of this expanding industry, several insurers have developed coverage solutions specifically designed for the exposure faced by remotely piloted, semi-autonomous, and fully autonomous aircraft.
Coverage can include either on-going usage or can be tailored to individual coverage for specific events. Typical coverage often includes similar elements as can be seen in a traditional aviation policy, such as:

Contractual liability
Personal and bodily injury to operators and third parties
Property damage
Third party property damage

Additional, more bespoke cover, can include:

Cover for operating at high risk locations such as over water and indoors
Loss or damage to the drone and associated equipment
Cover for war and allied perils risks
Cover for operators still in training

Before considering using drones for your business it is also important to remember the guidelines for businesses from the Commercial Aviation Authority. You must request official permission from the authority if you plan to:

Fly the drone on a commercial basis
Fly a camera fitted drone within congested areas or close to people or properties that are not under your control

As drones become more popular, even if you are not planning on using them in your business it is also important to reassess any business interruption insurance cover that your business may hold. As drone technology is still relatively new, it is important to check your cover is up to date and that you will be covered should a rogue drone cause trouble for your business.

Tags: Commercial