How drones have opened up a whole new world for insurers

Hayley Kirton
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Drones present an excellent opportunity for the insurance industry to develop new offerings (Source: Getty)

The popularity of drones could drive growth in some sectors of the insurance industry, one City law firm has said today.

According to RPC, the new technology is increasing the demand for specialist drone insurance, which providers operators with cover that may not be available under traditional public liability policies.

"Major issues do remain to be resolved for insurers – such as the extent of the risk that drones have to commercial aircraft and the liabilities arising from drone use," said Philip Tansley, legal director at RPC. "However, with traditional insurance policies now specifically looking to reduce or completely exclude drone coverage there is a clear marketing opportunity for specialist cover."

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Factors that drone operators may want to consider insuring against include accidental property damage, unwittingly breaching privacy rights and the costs of obtaining legal advice should drone misuse spark a health and safety or criminal investigation.

Earlier this year, it was suspected that a drone had collided with an aircraft near Heathrow. RPC warns that should a similar incident happen in the future that causes physical damage, the burden of care on the drone operator is likely to be high, so it is very likely damages will need to be paid.

Tansley added: "Many industry commentators believe we have barely scratched the surface of drone usage. With the growth of that market we are going to get a better understanding of the risks and coverage issues related to drones."

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Earlier research by professional services firm PwC has pegged the potential value of the market for drones in business at as much as $127.3bn (£88bn), with infrastructure, agriculture and transport being named as the sectors where the drones were mostly likely to be popping up in the not-too-distant future.

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