Drones are becoming more and more popular, not just for industries and businesses, but for personal use as well. Please note, the information found in this article is specific to Canadian residents.
A drone is basically an unmanned aircraft, also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). It can be operated remotely, or it can fly autonomously by an onboard computer. Drones used to be operated only by the military, but now they are used for all sorts of practical applications, such as search and rescue operations, monitoring traffic, fighting fires, and more.
In Canada, there are rules surrounding the ownership and operation of UAV’s. Rightly so, as improper use can be dangerous and can put lives at risk. Transport Canada regulations state:
Transport Canada has put together a list of Safety Guidelines:
If your drone is considered an “aircraft” your home insurance will not cover it. That means, you have no coverage if your drone is lost, stolen, or damaged. However, an even more important consideration is that you have no insurance for liability. If your drone damages someone else’s property, your insurance will not cover it. Or if it injures another person and you are sued for their injuries, your home insurance will not be able to assist you in any way.
Talk to your home insurance provider to see if coverage is available under your home insurance policy. As mentioned above, home insurance policies normally exclude any coverage relating to aircraft. You may want to contact a commercial insurance broker. Policies are being developed to protect commercial users, so in time, there may be a product available for recreational users as well.
Think carefully before giving someone a drone as a birthday or Christmas gift. Make sure to follow the guidelines put in place by Transport Canada. Not only could you be fined for improper use of a drone, but the cost, if you injure someone, will have to come directly out of your pocket!
Sources: Transport Canada
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Even when you take precautions, accidents can happen. Home insurance is one way to protect your family against financial losses from accidents. And, home insurance can start from as little as $12/month.