Currently, in Canada, you can operate a drone recreationally or commercially, and you are not legally obligated to have insurance. Keep in mind, however, that some contracts will require proof of insurance due to different company standards and policies, so it is vital to keep yourself informed.
Generally, RPAS insurance is broken down into two parts:
- Third-Party Liability insurance – bodily injury or property damage to another party.
- Hull insurance – Physical damage to the drone or other equipment.
Many times when drone operators are inquiring about insurance, they pay more attention to the loss they may incur to their own equipment and less concern about the thought of hurting someone or damaging someone else’s property. It is accurate that the number of claims made due to damage to the operator’s equipment is higher than third-party liability claims. However, it would be beneficial if you kept in mind that although not as frequent, third-party claims are the ones that can cause severe financial risk to the operator.
Some people may assume that their home insurance will automatically provide coverage on their drone(s); ensure you read your insurance contract’s fine print and details, as this may not be the case. It can be frustrating when a claim is made for something not covered under the policy, but the insured thought it was; you don’t want to be in this predicament. Many home insurance policies have exclusions that can exclude coverage for aviation-related risks. Drones are considered an aviation risk and may be excluded from your policy. If you’re not sure, call your insurance provider and inquire about the details of your contract. Never assume you’re covered because a mishap with your drone may leave you with large out-of-pocket costs after a denied claim from your insurance company.
The same assumption is also sometimes made about Commercial General Liability (CGL) or business insurance, and operators will assume that their RPAS will be covered. Unfortunately, aviation exclusion is often present in these insurance policies as well. Most of the time, a standard CGL is not the best option for insuring your drone and equipment. Some contracts will specify that a Conventional Commercial General liability policy or a CGL will also be required to cover non-drone exposure and equipment.