UK Estate Agent Drone Insurance
Capturing amazing aerial images to market a property is becoming more commonplace.
Having a birds eye view whether it is a still photograph or video enhances the way estate agents can market a property. 360 panoramic virtual tours can show parts of the property that aren’t visible using traditional images.
By offering this service estate agents can provide their potential buyers a real feel for the property.
If you are marketing your properties this way you will need to have a Special Operating Permission and the correct insurance in place. Carry on reading to see how we can help you with the correct insurance requirements.
Why do estate agents need drone insurance?
In the Republic of Ireland if you fly a drone for commercial purposes you have to have Specific Operating Permissions (SOP) issued by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). To obtain the licence you will need to undertake a training course with a Registered Training Facility (RTF) and have an annual drone insurance policy in place which meets the requirements specified in EC Regulation 785/2004.
Operating a drone without a licence and insurance is prohibited and fines can be imposed. For example:
- An estate agency purchases a drone but doesn’t hold SOP or the necessary insurance. Whilst taking aerial footage of a property the pilot makes a mistake and hits a tv aerial which falls over damaging the roof tiles in the process. The estate agency would have to foot the bill for the damage as they would not be covered under their business insurance policy. In addition, they could incur a fine if the property owner reported them to the IAA
Without a SOP you wouldn't be able to obtain insurance.
What does an estate agents drone insurance policy cover?
An estate agent’s drone insurance policy can cover Liability only or be extended to cover Drone, Equipment and Spares and Payload. To meet the requirements of the IAA a drone liability insurance policy must include Aviation Liability insurance.
Drone Liability insurance is compulsory under regulation 785/2004. The minimum level of cover is €1.3m and limits up to €13m are immediately available online but if you require a higher sum insured these are available too. Drone Liability insurance provides cover for damage to third party property or bodily injury. So for example:
- Even the most experienced pilots make mistakes and due to pilot error the drone crashes and lands on a person causing them injury. You would be covered for any claims made under the third party bodily injury section of the Liability cover
- A technical glitch causes your drone to malfunction and it crashes onto a vehicle causing damage. You would be covered for damage to the vehicle under the Liability section of the policy
Loss or damage to the drone insurance
Loss or damage to the drone includes cover for Theft, Malicious Damage and Sabotage. It is not a requirement to have cover for the drone but in the event of a loss the cost of replacing a drone can be expensive. For a small premium you can insure one or more drones on a policy, each up to a specified sum insured. If your drone is damaged but is repairable the insurer will pay for the cost of the repair less the policy excess. Policies can be extended to include cover to cover the cost of hiring a drone whilst your own is being repaired.
If your drone is unrecoverable or is uneconomical to repair the insurer will pay for the full sum insured less the policy excess.
Drone payload insurance for estate agents
It isn’t compulsory to purchase drone payload insurance but in the event of a loss it could be costly if you didn’t have it. Camera equipment can be very expensive and if uninsured can be costly to replace. If you select payload insurance and it is damaged or lost whilst attached to the drone then you will be covered for the sum insured less the policy excess.
Drone spares and equipment insurance for estate agents
Optional cover to include cover for your drones spares and equipment can also be included whilst on the ground in the custody of the insured, being stored or in transit. So for example if your drone spares and equipment are damaged whilst being stored in a weather proof building as a result of flooding after a severe storm, you would be covered for the loss less the policy excess.
Reasonable hire charges insurance for estate agents
If you have suffered loss and damage to your drone and it needs to be repaired the insurers will pay for the reasonable cost of hiring a drone whilst your drone is being repaired.
So having an insurance policy with meets Regulation EC 785/2004 and the holding the necessary SOP from the IAA is pre-requisite for Irish based estate agents. They can offer the enhanced service to their client’s knowing they meet the compulsory requirements and if selected full cover for their drone, payload, equipment and spares.