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Drone insurers take coverage cues from traditional aviation

Posted On: Jun. 3, 2015 12:00 AM CST

Drone insurers take coverage cues from traditional aviation

The insurance industry is responding to demand for drone insurance “at its own pace,” often taking its cues from traditional aviation coverage, and capacity remains plentiful, Marsh L.L.C. says in a report.

“Expertise and historical data (unlike capacity) are not super-abundant; however, insurers are eagerly testing the waters of this dynamic industry,” says the report, “Dawning of the Drones: The Evolving Risk of Unmanned Aerial Systems,” issued Tuesday.

PHOTO GALLERY: Insurers head for the drones

Despite the lack of data surrounding unmanned aerial systems, traditional aviation coverage “is being brought up to date by brokers and underwriters. Where off-the-shelf wordings for manned aircraft exist, most need only tweaks to be applicable to the latest technology,” such as “aircraft” becoming “UAS,” the report says.

“Insurers are using their extensive experience of manned aircraft to assess the risks associated with drones and are providing insurance coverage based on size, uses, and values of the aircraft,” John Hanslip, Norwich, England-based senior vice president in Marsh's aviation and aerospace practice, said in a statement.

Experts say the growing use of drones is creating numerous and still-unanswered liability, privacy and insurance coverage issues.