The ownership of drones also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), has increased greatly over the last couple of years.
Hobbyists, government departments and businesses are all finding the ever-changing technology attractive and useful for their needs.
With the rural community utilising drones for crop management, soil and field analysis and aerial spraying, it’s important for individuals and businesses to protect themselves against the exposures drone use has created.
- Recreational and commercial use
- Damage and/or loss to the drone
- Damage or injury to third parties arising from the use of the drone
- Fines and penalties
Recreational and commercial use
- Recreational use is solely for the purpose of recreation or sport
- Commercial use incorporates the operation of the drone in connection with your business and /or for financial gain or reward
- When operating a drone for commercial use an appropriate license and/or an Aviation Reference Number (ARN) must be obtained from the Australian government Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) prior to the first flight
Coverage for commercial policies
- Accidental loss or damage to the drone – whilst in flight, transit by road and ground risks
- Liability to third parties – property damage and personal injury arising from the use of the drone
- Legal liability to third parties – in connection with the business operations
- Privacy liability – invasion of privacy that may contain an advertisement, broadcast or telecast
- Electronic data or media – loss or damage contained in the drone
Coverage recreational policies
CGU now offers cover for personal drone, use “under model or toy aircraft” within their existing home and contents insurance policies.
Fines and penalties
- The Damage by Aircraft Act (Section 10) imposes strict liability implications to those individuals or businesses that do not hold the appropriate license or ARN
- This can leave individuals at great risk of personally being held liable for damage or loss against a third party without the need to prove negligence against the drone owner or operator
- Infringement fines for the misuse of drones can reach up to $8,500
- An individual was fined $1,700 in WA after the drone he was operating fell on a marathon runner, inflicting cuts to the back of her head. In January 2016 – an official warning was issued by CASA to Sapphire Coast drone users, after reports were received of drones being used on the flight path at Merimbula airport
- The Australian Government Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) reports 72,000 individuals have already downloaded their “Can I Fly App”. 1.2 million people have viewed their videos on drone safety and they have around 51,000 social media followers.
The experienced insurance team at Ausure can assist with arranging cover that suits your needs both individually and in connection with your business.
The information contained in this article does not take into account your individual circumstances, goals and objectives.
Ausure Pty Ltd ABN 94 096 971 854 AFSL 238433