Colorado Division of Insurance offers a bird’s-eye view on drone insurance

By Rebecca Laurie
Special to The SUN

Congratulations. You followed the holiday trend and are a proud new drone owner. Now what?

Before you fly, make sure you know what you’re liable for — and covered for — if you crash it.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated that more than one million drones would be sold for personal use this holiday season. Additionally, the FAA estimates that by 2020 more than 30,000 small unmanned drones will be used for business purposes. These numbers don’t even include the huge number of drones already in use — from hobbyists to photographers, farmers to law enforcement.

Even if you haven’t found yourself heading into the “drone zone” as many others already have, if the message isn’t yet clear, operating drones — whether for personal or commercial use — pose a number of critical insurance issues to consider before taking flight, ranging from personal injury and property damage to privacy concerns. The Colorado Division of Insurance, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), shares the following tips to help you better understand your responsibilities as a drone owner.

1. Before you take flight, first check your local, state and federal laws regarding drones.

Drones are defined as remotely piloted aircraft systems and are also known as unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). According to the FAA, pilots of unmanned aircraft have the same responsibility to fly safely as manned aircraft pilots. In addition, state and local municipalities may have their own laws regarding drone use.

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This story was posted on December 31, 2015.