Drone insurance

A decade ago few could’ve predicted just how much our lives would be enhanced by the “expensive toys” in the sky. Drones, or unmanned aircraft, now play an important role in many types of businesses, and the development of drone technology has resulted in a multi-billion dollar global industry.

From delivering pizza to being used in humanitarian response, drones have become a part of our everyday lives making our lives easier – and sometimes, more complicated. Drones are used extensively in farming, wildlife management to save dwindling animal populations, maintaining power lines, monitoring traffic and providing security surveillance of assets in remote parts of the country.

As the use of drones is on the rise, so are the risks. These toys are quickly becoming incorporated into the lifestyles of many South Africans.

Why drone insurance?

It is estimated that there are between 40,000 and 50,000 drones in South Africa. Almost all those drones are flown by amateurs as there are just 663 Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems in the country, according to the 2018 State of the Drone Report. This can be supported by a finding that almost 10% of drones in South Africa are destroyed on their first flight – and most crashes are due to simple pilot error.

Drones can cost anything from R1 000 to more than R100 000, meaning that, should a drone go missing on a flight, the owner can expect to suffer a substantial financial loss. Based on the number of potential accidents that can happen with drones, it is recommended you take out drone insurance to protect your investment with insurance that covers damage to the drone itself and yourself with liability insurance.

Drone insurance ensures that if your drone is lost, damaged or causes loss, damage or injury to others, you will be covered to a certain extent, depending on the policy.

10 Most common reasons drones crash.

About 75% of accidents are due to pilot error

  1. Testing out the drone indoors without a stable GPS signal
  2. Not doing a proper pre-flight check before take off
  3. Not ensuring that propellers and batteries are properly fitted before take off
  4. Failure to activate safety measures correctly
  5. Setting the return GPS to a moving object; when the drone returns the pilot has moved on
  6. Not waiting for a full satellite signal on the drone before take off
  7. Battery issues – failure to check battery levels
  8. Deactivating object avoidance sensors by flying drones in sport mode
  9. Manufacturing faults, electronic parts, malfunctioning, faulty batteries, etc.
  10. Using non-recommended smart device to fly a drone, getting a bad feed

Article courtesy of Santam