Insurance

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Joe Ernster, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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    Hello,

    I am new to this forum but believe I can be of help to the members. I am an aviation specific insurance broker. I am currently working with four aviation insurance companies that are offering coverage for commercial UAV operators (AIG Aerospace, Global Aerospace, Starr Aviation, and USSIC). Some of the companies offer "hull" and liability coverage while one offers liability only. If you are interested in more information, or a quote, please contact me at the below email when you get a chance.

    joe@bullockagency.com

    Sincerely,

    Joe Ernster
     
  2. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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    Are you thinking about becoming a commercial UAV pilot under FAA part 107? If so, UAV insurance should be a main concern of your new business. A vast majority of "standard" liability insurance policies exclude anything that has to do with aircraft. Since UAVs are under the purview of the FAA, they are considered to be aircraft by most insurers. So how do you get your new UAV operation insured? Easy, contact an aviation specific insurance broker (I happen to be one). If this sounds intimating, you are not alone. However, once you understand the basics of insuring an aircraft, you will be an aviation insurance wizard.

    The base policy in the aviation insurance industry is liability only. The limits on liability only policies range from $500,000 each occurrence all the way up to $5,000,000 each occurrence. However, if higher limits are needed, they can be negotiated. This liability coverage will protect you from any Bodily Injury or Property Damage claims that may arise from your operation of your insured UAV(s). Fly through a window while shooting a real estate video and land on somebody's grand piano? Covered. Hit a passerby and cut their finger? Covered. After you have purchased liability coverage, and are looking for more protection, you can then add "hull" coverage to your policy with some of the aviation insurance companies.

    Hull coverage is physical damage to your UAV itself. This is a "Stated" or "Agreed" value. Let us say you have a basic DJI Phantom 3 Professional that you have insured for $1000. You slam this aircraft into a tree and completely destroy it. The insurance company takes a look, sees that it will not be feasible to repair it, and they deem it a total loss. In this scenario, you would get a check for $1000 minus any applicable deductibles ( UAV deductibles are usually 5% - 10% of the insured value of the aircraft). Same logic applies to any other UAV. However, if you have an inspire 1, with a very expensive upgraded camera, you would want to "schedule" the aircraft and the camera separately. The upgraded camera can be added to most UAV insurance policies as "payload" equipment.

    Liability and Hull coverage are the main coverages that you should be concerned with as a commercial UAV operator. There are some other "ancillary" coverages that I will address in future posts.

    Thanks,

    Joe Ernster
    Bullock Agency, Inc.
    joe@bullockagency.com
     
  3. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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  4. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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  5. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    I use Joe for our company. He's awesome.

    Josh
     
  6. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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    Mr. Lambeth,

    Thank you very much for the endorsement! I greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Joe Ernster
    Bullock Agency, Inc.
    joe@bullockagency.com
     
  7. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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    What is "Non-Owned Payload" coverage?

    Non-Owned Payload coverage is exactly as it sounds. If your UAV ever carries a payload (camera, banner, sensor, etc,) that is not owned by you or your company, it would be a good idea to get Non-Owned Payload coverage added to your policy. When requesting this coverage, please let your broker know if the owner of the Non-Owned Payload carries any insurance on the payload to be carried. Knowing this may encourage the underwriter to provide a lower rate for you. Please keep in mind that this coverage is not offered by all insurance companies.

    Thanks,

    Joe Ernster
    Bullock Agency, Inc.
    joe@bullockagency.com
     
  8. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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    Does my UAV insurance policy cover me for indoor flights?


    Usually, the answer is "no." However, some UAV insurance policy do not specifically exclude indoor flights. It is always a good idea to check with your broker before taking an indoor job. Your broker may need to run it by the insurance underwriter. Some companies will approve indoor operations on a case by case basis.


    Sincerely,


    Joe Ernster
    joe@bullockagency.com
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Good point, Joe.

    To your knowledge do insurers further subdivide the risks by, say, whether you're flying indoors in proximity and/or over people? I'm just curious to know what the risks are as viewed through the eyes of the insurer?

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  10. Joe Ernster

    Joe Ernster New Member

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    Andy,

    Great question. I recently got clearance for one of my clients that was operating indoors. He was shooting a video for a local band at a concert hall. However, in this particular case, no audience would be there. The underwriter OKed the indoor flight. If the indoor flight involved an audience, I anticipate that the request would have been declined. The insurance companies really shy away from operations above/around crowds. It just increases their risk too much. An operation that occurs indoors and above/around a crowd would really be frowned upon in my opinion. However, aviation insurance is highly negotiable. So, it never hurts to ask! We may all be surprised by the answer from the insurance company.

    Sincerely,

    Joe Ernster
    joe@bullockagency.com
     

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