Recreational Drones: Do Homeowners’ Insurance Policies Provide Coverage?

While there has been a tremendous amount of press written on the subject of drones for commercial use, it is important for agents to understand that drones are also a personal lines exposure.  To read some of the interesting conversation check out FirstClassDrones.ca where drone operators and homeowners have been making their opinions know. the use of drones is being taken very serriously as more and more Americans are taking flight.

In the attached excellent article written by Tom Schrimpf and Russ Klingaman (both partners with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP), the issue of coverage for drones under the homeowners policy is explored in depth. This article appeared on www.claimsjournal.com on August 4th.

“The rise in recreational uses of drones (more accurately described as Unmanned Aerial Systems or just “UAS”) has sparked much debate, including concerns over safety and privacy. The scenarios are rather simple to envision: Suppose a person insured under a standard homeowners’ insurance policy uses a small camera-equipped UAS, purchased online for less than $1000, and unexpectedly crashes it into a neighbor’s car, or uses it to take pictures of a neighbor’s children playing in their backyard. If the neighbor pursues a claim against the UAS operator for property damage or personal injury, to what extent, if any, is coverage provided by the UAS operator’s homeowners’ insurance policy?”

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