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The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that approximately one million drones were purchased during this holiday season. New drone owners and operators should be aware that drone use brings potential financial liability and risk.

A falling or out-of-control drone can cause considerable property damage or personal injury. The risk of personal injury is illustrated by a couple of recent well-publicized incidents. In one case, a drone just missed a skier when the drone crashed during the recent World Cup in Italy. An in another incident, a drone in Pasadena, California struck a one year old child in the head leaving a gash that required medical attention.

Here is what the California Insurance Commissioner recommends with respect to drones:

          "1.     Using a private drone as a hobby is generally covered under a homeowner or renter insurance policy, which typically covers radio-controlled model aircraft, but you should review the contents section of your policy, or talk to your agent to see if your drone is covered if it is lost, stolen or damaged.

          "2.     If your drone falls onto your car, damage to your car may be covered if you have a comprehensive coverage auto policy.

          "3.     If your drone crashes into someone else's vehicle or injures someone, you are responsible for the accident. Your homeowner or renter insurance will likely cover liability for an accident caused by your drone, but you should first check with your agent or insurer to verify your policy contains this important coverage."

So if you are one of those million Americans who opened a gift package this holiday season to find a shiny new drone inside, congratulations! But check your insurance policy or contract your insurance agent, before you send it up into the skies. 

Note: The information above applies to drone use for personal and recreational purposes. If you use a drone for commercial purposes, you almost certainly will want to look into separate insurance coverage related to the drone use. Such coverage is now available from a number of companies. 

For all of your insurance needs - health, life, home, renter, auto, fire, flood, commercial - contact Pfeifer Insurance Brokers for prompt, courteous and knowledgable assistance.

Alex Pfeifer
Pfeifer Insurance Brokers
650 762-8070
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