Both your club and and the drone operator need insurance. There are currently no federal laws requiring insurance coverage for drones, but drones are often excluded from club liability policies.

This section was prepared by Gowrie Insurance, the leading insurance company for boating organizations.

You should seek coverage for the primary exposures below, the first three being the most important, the last three coverages being optional, depending on your appetite to self-insure your drone itself and related equipment.

Drone Insurance for Commercial Usage.While there are currently no federal laws requiring insurance coverage for drones, it is smart risk management to purchase coverage because drones are often excluded from liability policies. Flying a drone without coverage can expose you, your assets, and your organization to significant lawsuits and claims for bodily injury or property damage.

You should seek coverage for the primary exposures below, the first three being the most important, the last three coverages being optional, depending on your appetite to self-insure your drone itself and related equipment. Coverage needs may differ depending on whether or not your organization owns the drone or contracts with a third party (“Owned” vs. “Non-owned” coverage). Recommended Drone Insurance Coverage Types:

1. Bodily Injury – Liability coverage for injury to others

2. Property Damage – Liability coverage for damage to property of others

3. Personal Injury – Coverage for libel, slander, invasion of privacy2 , and copyright infringement

4. (optional) Hull Coverage – Damage to the drone itself

5. (optional) Payload Coverage – Coverage for damage to cameras, sensors, or items drone is carrying

6. (optional) Ground Equipment Coverage – Coverage for the dedicated equipment used with the drone

Verifly’s policies only include Personal Injury (PI) coverage for “Violation of Privacy Liability.” There is no PI coverage for libel, slander or copyright infringement.

“Owned” Commercial Drone Insurance Coverage.Most

Flying a drone for a sailing organization would in most cases be considered “providing a professional service,” which means it is likely to  be an exclusion in your organizations general lability policy. Commercial General Liability policies exclude coverage for aviation (and drone) usage if the drone is owned by the organization. Given this, your organization will need to purchase Commercial Drone Liability Insurance to cover you for third party Bodily Injury and Property Damage to others. You will also need to make sure you have coverage for Personal Injury3 (coverage for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, and copyright infringement).

“Non-Owned” Commercial Drone Insurance Coverage. If your organization contracts drone activities to an outside resource or club volunteer who owns the drone, then your organization needs to make sure that your General Liability Policy includes liability coverage for "Non-Owned Aviation Usage.”

Additionally, you should require that the person operating the drone for your organization meets the following standards:

1) Has the required Part-107 license (Remote Pilot License/Certificate),

2) that their drone is registered with the FAA,

3) that they carry adequate Drone Liability Insurance, and

4) that they provide you a Certificate of Insurance. Hobbyist Drone Insurance. Insurance to operate a drone as a hobbyist is not required by law.

Purchasing Drone Insurance for a Boating Organization or for Marine Use.

Drone insurance can be purchased by boaters and boating organizations in two primary ways:

1) an episodic policy (by the hour), or

2) an annual policy.

Episodic Policy

Through Gowrie's partnership with Verifly, a leading on-demand drone insurance company, Gowrie offers access to flexible drone insurance.

Policies through Verifly are purchased for a specific time window (1, 4, or 8 hours) and area (from ¼ mile to 2 mile radius circles) where you plan to fly a drone, and can be bought just prior to the time of flight. Policies are purchased using the Verifly App (use invite code “Gowrie”). Get a Verifly Quote. Visit www.verifly.com/gowrie (use invite code “Gowrie” when setting up your account in the Verifly App).

Annual Drone Insurance Policy

Organizations looking for a broad, annual drone insurance policy can get a quote and purchase an annual policy using Gowrie’s drone insurance portal, which is brought to you through our partnership with Global Aerospace. Get an Annual Drone Insurance Quote. Visit drone insurance portal.

Hobbyist Drone Insurance

Insurance to operate a drone as a hobbyist is not required by law.  For example, a parent using a drone for an Opti race and just sharing with the kids could be considered a hobbyist.

However, just as in commercial applications, it is good risk management to make sure you have coverage in place.  Many homeowners’ insurance policies include liability coverage for Bodily Injury, Property Damage, and Personal Injury (libel, slander, invasion of privacy) to a 3rd party from use of radio controlled aircraft (which typically includes drones).  There are many exceptions, so you should call your agent to find out specifically what your policies do and don’t cover.

Gowrie Group. Always on Watch. As one of the nation's Top-50 independent insurance agencies, Gowrie Group provides total risk management services to individuals and businesses with complex insurance needs. Gowrie Group offers comprehensive insurance solutions matched with trusted advice and a commitment to service excellence. Gowrie Group’s portfolio of offerings includes commercial, home/auto, equine, and yacht insurance, as well as employee benefits solutions.  Gowrie Group and The Burgee Insurance Program are endorsed by US Sailing. T

he company's 170+ professionals service clients across the US from offices in Westbrook CT, Darien CT, Marshfield MA, Annapolis MD, and Newport RI. For more information, www.gowrie.com, www.gowrie.com/droneinsurance, or 800.262.8911.