Public Liability insurance will be especially prominent as Drones interact with a greater range and value of third party interests. Whilst incidents, such as the Australian triathlete sustaining minor injuries after a Drone fell from the sky, have been relatively small and infrequent. As the commercialisation and development of this technology continues larger damages are an increasing threat. For example, the substantial damages and legal fees will emerge if a Drone collides with a commercial passenger aircraft, causing it to crash. Insurers have recognised this fact and more and more standard exclusions, relating to the use of Drones, apply in policy wordings as a result.
Security and privacy
Drones are particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks and privacy infringements. Cyber security will be an important consideration as Drones rely on data links for command, control and navigation without encryption. Being so vulnerable to jamming, interception and manipulation it is hardly a surprise that Drone hackers are establishing and targeting this area for hostilities.
Privacy concerns are also a strong issue. Some local jurisdictions within the US debating legislation authorising individuals to shoot down Drones believed to be infringing their privacy. These considerations would drive demand for Professional Indemnity cover and require operators to perform Privacy Impact Assessments due to the inadvertent filming of individuals.
Going forward, the quality and evidence of risk management that operators can provide will influence the varying terms, conditions, excess and ultimately price they will pay to secure the required coverage. Liability in the event of damage or bodily injury arising from an incident is subject to some uncertainty. Generally, a human operator would retain this liability but a technical malfunction or malicious attack outside of their ability to control could lead to claims against wider parties.
The potential of Drones within the industry remains an exciting one with the ability to enhance a number of areas. However, to ensure the technology is used safely and responsibly and the risk is managed effectively, it is important to consider the insurance implications and the coverage required to minimise your exposure.
Sutton Winson is a specialist Insurance Broker in the Broadcast & Media industry and is able to help you manage your business risks. To discuss your insurance requirements, please contact Leighton Chenery on firstname.lastname@example.org, call 07976 327 407 or visit www.suttonwinson.com