So……You bought your kid a $ 2000. Drone for Christmas…

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2015 will be “a defining year” for small drones. The projected total U.S. sales of 700,000 units in will mark a 63% increase from 2014. The wide range of drone models available this Christmas—from the $40 Protocol Neo-Drone Mini to a $3,000, 15-pound DJI T6000 with a sophisticated 4K video camera—means there’s now a model on the market to fit almost any budget.

So….your kid immediately flys the drone into your neighbors car as the wife is pulling into the driveway. She panics…hits the gas and runs through the garage door, demolishing the husband’s new Harley and breaking out her front teeth on the steering wheel……

Will my Homeowners Insurance Policy cover this loss?   Yes it will…as long as the definition of Aircraft reads similar to the following.   Aircraft means any contrivance used or designed for flight except model or hobby aircraft not used or designed to carry people or cargo. Your Homeowners Policy language should be reviewed. Call us.

Most drones have cameras. This is a big part of the fun. So, your son flies the drone with camera over the neighbor’s backyard spying on the 17 year old daughter through her bedroom window. He then downloads photos of her in her underwear and puts them online. Her parents are now suing you and they have pictures of the drone outside her window. Sounds like an invasion of privacy claim.

This claim will probably not be covered by the standard HO3 Homeowners Policy. There are various exclusions such as “intentional acts”, “criminal acts”, “vicarious liability” that could apply. You will need to have a Personal Injury Liability endorsement added to the HO3 form in order to have any chance for coverage. As noted, while there are some variations from insurer to insurer, Personal Injury Liability Coverage extends to five basic categories of acts or conduct. These include:

  1. false arrest, detention, or imprisonment:
  2. libel, slander, defamation, or product disparagement;
  3. malicious prosecution (which may include abuse of process);
  4. wrongful eviction, wrongful entry, or violation of right of private occupancy; and,
  5. invasion of or violation of right of privacy.

NOTE: Owners of consumer drones will have to begin registering with the U.S. government starting next week under a policy…charge will be $5. Starting Dec. 21, 2015.  Look for more regulations.

Call us for a full review of your present coverage and a quote for Personal Injury Liability coverage. Do not assume that you have it.

Call 239-265-9577 or email us at joshw@swflagency.com

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