With an estimated 160,000 drones expected to be airborne within the next ten years, insurer AIG has launched a new product to cover firms flying unmanned aircraft.
Mike Brady, CTO at AIG, says that he believes drones will make a big impact in the insurance sector in coming years. He adds that as more devices take to the air, insurers will be able to get to disasters and accident scenes faster to fly around and assess damage. This has the potential to speed up the claims process and reduce the costs involved.
With drones already being used by aerial photography companies, estate agents and utility firms, Brady said the risk of accidents is inevitable.
“Clearly with that many drones in the airspace you run a risk, so AIG actually now offers drone insurance to our commercial customers,” he said.
The policies, which have been created specifically for drones, cover ‘broad physical damage’ and third party liability. They differ from vehicle insurance, however, in that they also cover drone operators and on-ground crew members.
But companies taking out insurance will need to purchase optional coverage for other potential risks, such as hijacking, unlawful seizure, hacking and ‘spoofing’ – where an outside source takes control of the drone’s GPS signals.