While there are many insurance companies that are out there for photographers and drone pilots, Verifly is the first drone liability insurance company that protects pilots and allows them to pay on demand. I recently interviewed Verifly CEO Jay Bregman to find out more about his new company and what they are doing to help drone pilots all around the country. One of the first things you will see about Verifly is that they cover up to $1,000,000 in liability within a flight radius of a quarter of a mile with any drone under 15 pounds. All operators have to do is select their area, after which they are instantly approved and provided with on-the-spot insurance to fly and proof of coverage to show to anyone who needs to see it.
As a pilot myself, I never think about crashing my drone. I really don’t want to because I’d hate to see it fall to the ground or break, and I’d also hate to see myself go out and buy another because mine broke. Another thing I never think about is the damage it can do to a person or property if anything ever went wrong. Like any other pilot, I stand the chance of having an accident. A while back, things did go wrong, which gives me all the more reason to write this article and provide some more information on why other pilots should look into insurance for their drones.
After having my own drone fly without a problem for an entire year, I was out at a commercial shoot when it decided to fall 150 feet out of the sky. This being my first crash, I thought I was going to lose my mind, but I knew there was nothing I could do at that point but try to find it. After having my small panic attack, I found my drone smashed on the lower balcony of the building I was shooting. The camera broke off and shot out about 15 feet away from the drone itself. Everything else was completely busted up. After having this accident, I can only be thankful that nobody was outside during the crash and that no property aside from the drone was damaged. In this case, Drone insurance would be just the right thing to have because I would have been protected from any damages the drone may have caused from falling out of the sky.
Jay's idea for drone insurance came across in late 2015 from a personal flying experience and realizing that there was a pretty big problem to be solved when flying drones. Insurance options for drones were limited to a legacy model of buying yearly policies. He knew this didn’t match the way most people used their drones, so he set out to build a better option.
Verifly is the first to deliver an on-demand product as their policies are backed by Global Aerospace so the app is technically a broker. You buy the insurance as you fly and don't have to worry about monthly or yearly rates as other insurance companies require. Right now everything is based off blocks of hours so you pay for what you use. When moving locations, you purchase hour by hour so if you are filming for 45 minutes in one place, you will have to purchase another hour to fly in the next location. All the tracking is done on the app using your location and details are shown as to why/when the rates change depending on the area you may be in. Over time we will be adding longer term pay-as-you-go options. When comparing to other insurance companies, changing locations would just be included in your monthly/yearly costs.
Verifly works just as well whether you’re a commercial or recreational user although commercial users are Verifly's primary focus. Having on-demand insurance gives every pilot peace of mind while they fly but more importantly for commercial users it opens up access to better gigs and allows them to easily expense the cost of insurance for a particular job to the client who requested it. In the future, some jobs may require you have insurance when flying, or that may even just become the norm for all pilots. Having the on demand insurance for certain jobs could be more beneficial to certain pilots and cost them less in the long run if they don't need to use the insurance every time they fly.
Most insurance companies charge a deductible for any sort of damage, however, there is no deductible for Verifly. This app provides a third-party liability policy that protects you from any potential injury to people and or damage to property. Because Verifly is a third-party liability policy, every claim is different, all claims are handled by Global Aerospace’s claims team.
Verifly offers third party liability insurance to protect users from any damage done to property or injury to people. Currently, the policy Verifly delivers does not cover damage to the drone itself. Damage to the drone is not necessary for access to the best jobs, whereas those jobs will more likely require liability insurance. Insuring the drone would of course be nice but it not something Verifly currently offers. When looking for insurance, this sort of protection on the drone could also be helpful because why not have insurance for both?
Value of Verifly vs. Competitors:
Verifly helps commercial operators smartly turbo charge their business. With their on-demand policies any user can use any drone under 15lbs and they pay as they fly. Verifly makes it easy to invoice your clients for insurance costs if necessary. Jay believes Verifly will help grow the commercial drone market and offer easy and affordable insurance to people who aren't looking to pay monthly or yearly fees with a deductible for any incidents.
Depending on how much one fly's would determine the cost of the insurance. Based off the base rate, someone shooting an aerial video one afternoon may look at spending about $20-30 for a few hours of flight time at a job. If one spends more time filming and shoots maybe five of those aerial videos a week, costs will be much higher at around $100-150 a week which is where the larger packages Verifly offers come in handy. Again, cost and coverage is determined by the pilot and most of it depends on where they are flying, how long they are flying and what they are flying for. In comparison there are a few other companies out there that offer drone insurance but they do not offer the on demand insurance like Verifly where you pay as you go. For some pilots, a monthly or yearly policy may be the better option because they fly multiple times a week and it wouldn't make sense to be paying $300 a week when they could potentially pay that much per month or towards a yearly insurance policy.
After the whole interview and working almost everyday with the drone, insurance is something that is hard to go wrong with. I am wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this, could it be the next step for hobbyist and commercial drone operators? Will this insurance become the norm for people who hire pilots for work? Is the pay as you go plan a better option than a monthly or yearly plan?
For more on Verifly, visit their Website.
sounds great for businesses just getting off the ground. In MN, that type of insurance won't work because of cancellation notice issues in the statute according to some blogs and apparently the agency that is responsible for licensing.