Some say Insurance is boring (not us!) – and it may be why our team always seem to do such exciting things at the weekend!
One of the team was a marshal at the Goodwood Revival and with everyone and everything from period outfits to period vehicles, was amused to see cutting edge drones being used by the TV crew.
With more and more of our construction, property and surveyor clients requesting drone insurance, it got us thinking – what are the most common insurance claims? Coverdrone, a specialist insurer, have analysed their claims history for 2022 and here are their Top 10 claims:
- PILOT ERROR – First on the list is pilot error, the most common cause of drone-related incidents with nearly 50% of all claims reported in 2022 being a result of pilot error. Fatigue, poor communication, distraction and lack of teamwork can all contribute to pilot error.
- LOSS OF DATA LINK – Loss of data link accounted for nearly one in every seven claims in 2022, typically caused by the drone losing GPS signal. There are a few ways to mitigate drone damage as a result of a loss of data link such as low altitude testing and ensuring the safety functions have been pre-set.
- ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE – Unsurprisingly the third most common claim type was accidental damage. There are many factors that can cause accidental damage, from airborne moisture to insufficient GPS signal or losing power mid-flight.
- MECHANICAL FAILURE – All drone manufacturers will have their own set of guidelines that pilots should adhere to in order to minimise the chances of mechanical failure during a flight. Clients should ensure they have carefully carried out all mechanical and safety checks before take-off and regularly update any software.
- BIRD STRIKE – Birds have occupied our skies long before the invention of drones. Bird strikes are not uncommon, so it’s really important to understand the potential risks and the damage it can cause. Pilots must to stay vigilant and look at ways to mitigate the risk throughout the course of their flight.
- LOSS OF POWER – A regular feature on the top 10 drone claims every year. It’s important pilots always ensure batteries are fully charged before take-off avoid flying with low or partially charged batteries. A semi-charged battery will always increase the risk of losing power mid-flight.
- ACCIDENTAL LOSS – Another regular in the top 10 drone claims. If you own multiple drones and a lot of batteries and other equipment, it can be easy to leave something behind. It’s really important for pilots to properly check the area and gather all their kit before leaving.
- FLYAWAY – The term ‘fly away’ is exactly as it sounds – the operator loses control of the drone and it flies away and cannot be retrieved. A number of factors can cause a fly away, including the operator flying the drone beyond their visual line of sight, compass interference and not setting (or updating) a designated Return To Home (RTH) point.
- WEATHER – Drones have many intricate motors and sensitive electronics that need to be protected as best as they can against rain, fog and snow. Colder temperatures can also greatly reduce the chemical activity in lithium batteries, reducing flight times and causing batteries to become unstable, putting drones at risk of falling out of the sky without warning.
- THEFT IN TRANSIT – Many drone operators now own multiple drones and an array of associated equipment which is very valuable and attractive to potential thieves. The portability of many drones also make them a very appealing target. It’s therefore reallly important that pilots remain vigilant, never leave equipment unattended in a public area and keep equipment locked away and out of sight when not in use.
Drone insurance is relatively cost effective and can cover equipment, full cover whilst in flight, aviation liability, data protection and invasion of privacy, along with many other options.
If you are moving your drone services in-house, or considering drones as part of your digital transformation, we can advise what insurance cover is right for you and your business. Just get in touch with Charlotte Perkins at [email protected], call on 0115 942 0111