Drones have become increasingly popular, and not only for commercial use. The Federal Aviation Administration reports that over 1.7 million drones were registered in the United States as of December 2020, and the majority (over 1.2 million) was designated for recreational purposes. And really, this figure doesn’t even include all drones flying our friendly skies. The FAA only requires drones that weigh more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds to be registered, so the tiny ones you can buy on Amazon.com often go unchecked. As a side note, drones that weigh more than that must register with the FAA aircraft registry.
No matter why you have a drone or what kind you own, you may be interested in getting insurance. While a homeowner's insurance policy will likely cover damage to your drone that takes place on your property, this type of insurance will not cover commercial use. Not only that, but using homeowner's insurance for your drone may require you to pay your homeowner's insurance deductible, which may not be feasible for many claims.
For those reasons, drone owners can and probably should purchase drone liability coverage that covers property damage or bodily injuries caused by their drone. You can also look into hull coverage that covers physical damage to your drone, as well as add-on coverage for equipment, remote controls, and more.
We compared the top drone insurance providers to find out which ones offer the best coverage for both recreational and commercial use.
The 6 Best Drone Insurance Companies of 2021
Best for High Coverage Limits : BWI Fly
We chose BWI Fly insurance as best for high coverage limits due to the fact their drone insurance policies come with full liability coverage with limits from $500,000 to $25 million, which is higher than its competitors.
Liability coverage is available in amounts up to $25 million
Annual plans let you purchase coverage that lasts an entire year
Customize your policy with add-ons
On-demand, daily coverage isn’t offered
You need a drone serial number to get a quote online
BWI Fly drone Insurance wins this category due to the fact you can purchase coverage limits in extremely high amounts up to $25 million. Founded in August of 1977, BWI Fly offers annual drone insurance policies that are underwritten by A+ rated aviation insurance companies. You also have the option to tailor your policy to your needs, which is crucial in the world of drones where all kinds of shapes, sizes, and purposes for drone use must be taken into account.
You can purchase hull coverage that pays for physical damage to your drone as well as attached equipment, and current limits for physical damage can range from $800 to $500,000. Add-on coverage available from BWI Fly can include advertising liability coverage, bodily insurance, property damage, and more.
You can submit an inquiry for drone insurance online, but BWI Fly also offers a toll-free number and customer service availability for 12 hours each weekday. Comprehensive policies for drones start at around $475 per year, and coverage is available nationwide. Once you pay for your policy, coverage can start right away.
Best for Flexibility : SkyWatch.AI
SkyWatch.AI is our top pick for flexibility due to the fact you can buy an annual plan, purchase coverage by the month, or buy a drone insurance policy for short bursts of time—even by the hour.
Purchase annual, monthly, or hourly coverage
Mobile app lets you purchase coverage only when you need it
Liability coverage available in amounts up to $10 million
International coverage is not offered
Hourly coverage is only good for a specific area you include in your policy
The flexibility this company offers in their plans makes it an easy option for frequent drone flyers and occasional hobbyists. SkyWatch.AI was founded in 2016 and has backing from major investors such as F2 Capital, Kaedan Capital, and Verizon Ventures. All of their drone insurance policies are underwritten by Starr Insurance, which boasts an A rating for financial strength from AM Best.
Unlike other drone insurance companies who offer policies for planes and other aircraft, SkyWatch.AI only offers drone insurance. This lets them focus on drones specifically, which means they can offer more types of coverage.
With SkyWatch.AI, you can purchase drone insurance on an annual basis, one month at a time, or even by the hour. You can purchase liability coverage in amounts from $500,000 to $10 million and you can customize your policy to meet your exact needs.
While monthly and annual plans provide drone coverage on a national basis, hourly plans only cover the specific destination you include in your plan at purchase. Also, note that SkyWatch.AI comes with a mobile app you can download on Google Play or the Apple Store. This app can help you monitor your policies and even purchase on-demand drone insurance when you’re on the go.
SkyWatch.AI does let you apply for a free drone insurance quote on their website, but you’ll need a drone registration or serial number to apply for coverage. They note that hourly policies start at $7 per flight, and that monthly plans range from $42 to $208. Annual plans are also available starting at $500.
Best for Hobbyists : Thimble
Thimble lets you purchase drone insurance for a single occasion or for sessions throughout the year. You also get immediate proof of coverage, which is good for hobbyists who may decide to fly their drone for fun at the last minute. This makes Thimble our pick as the best drone insurance company for hobbyists.
Mobile app makes it easy to purchase coverage only when you need it
Recreational and commercial coverage is available
Get a free quote online with ease
Monthly plans are available, but you cannot purchase annual coverage
You need to download the app for proof of coverage
This company lets you purchase drone insurance for a single occasion, which makes it ideal for hobbyists or those who might only fly a drone once or twice in their lives. Thimble is a newer insurance provider that was founded in 2016. While this company hasn’t been around for very long, all of its drone insurance policies are underwritten by Global Aerospace, Inc., which is backed by several insurance companies with excellent ratings. Munich Re Group, which underwrites almost half of their policies (49.96%), for example, has an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best.
Thimble offers on-demand drone insurance you can purchase through a mobile app, which makes it perfect for casual recreational flyers. You can also get immediate proof of coverage using the app, which makes this company perfect for people who might buy drone insurance on-demand at the last minute.
You can purchase liability coverage in amounts up to $10 million, and policies can apply anywhere in the world drones are allowed. You can get a quote for drone insurance online using their website, and you don’t even have to have a drone serial number. According to the quote engine, drone policies start at around $57 per month, but your coverage cost can go up or down depending on how much liability you need and how much add-on coverage you select.
Types of coverage you can purchase through Thimble include what you would expect—bodily injury, property damage, legal defense, and medical payments coverage. Some policies even include coverage for errors and omissions.
Best for International Coverage : DroneInsurance.com
Coverage from DroneInsurance.com travels with you wherever you go, although some territories are excluded based on their local regulations regarding drone use.
Coverage is available almost worldwide, with exclusions for territories and countries where drones aren’t allowed
Purchase an annual plan or coverage only when you need it
Tailor your policy to your needs with add-on coverage
You have to create an account to get a free quote online
Physical damage coverage isn’t included in basic policies
DroneInsurance.com does not offer policies in New York, Kentucky, or Minnesota
We chose DroneInsurance.com as best for international coverage based on the fact that your policy travels with you almost anywhere you decide to travel with your drone. DroneInsurance.com operates using REIN, an insurtech platform that focuses on on-demand insurance products. The company was founded in 2015, so they’re fairly new, but they have smartly partnered with insurance experts at Liberty Mutual and Kiplin Capital.
Like many other drone insurance companies, DroneInsurance.com lets users download a mobile app that facilitates the purchase of coverage no matter where you are. You can purchase an annual plan that covers drone use whenever you decide to fly, but you can also buy on-demand drone coverage that is available for one day at a time.
Annual drone insurance plans come with basic inclusions such as third-party bodily injury, third-party property damage, and personal and advertising injury, while daily plans come with up to $25 million in flight liability coverage. Note that, no matter the type of plan you choose, you can add coverage for physical damage to your drone whether you’re flying or not, as well as protection for your entire inventory of drone equipment.
Pricing can vary depending on the type of drone you have and the coverage you select, but base coverage for a single drone starts at around $84 per month, and flight liability coverage starts at around $30 per day.
Best for Weddings and Events : Avion Drone Insurance
We chose Avion Drone Insurance as best for weddings and events based on their specialization on commercial policies, including policies that cover aerial photography, an important component for so many weddings and other events.
Avion offers important coverage for drone enthusiasts and businesses, including hull coverage and insurance for aerial photography, attached cameras, and more
You can make a payment and manage your policies online
You can get a free quote online, but you will need to provide a drone serial number to do so
Avion does not issue drone insurance policies in 12 states
No mobile app
Avion Insurance is tops in this category based on the commercial value of the policies it offers, including coverage of aerial photography and related gear. Since the company’s founding in 1985, Avion Insurance has grown to become a powerful force among companies that offer drone insurance for commercial or recreational use. This company offers policies that are underwritten by highly rated insurance providers such as AIG and Allianz.
Coverage can be tailored to your needs, and you can select drone insurance that includes coverage for your hull, coverage for commercial purposes and aerial photography, liability coverage, insurance for on-board cameras, and even insurance for on-board components and other drone equipment.
While Avion does issue coverage that is usable on a national basis, it is not licensed to sell drone insurance in every state. Unfortunately, Avion doesn’t offer any information on pricing on their website, meaning you’ll have to enter your information to find out how much you’ll pay for the amount of coverage you need.
Best for Businesses : United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG)
United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) offers very specific types of drone insurance that can be important for commercial purposes, such as war liability, terrorism risk insurance, and coverage for pricey ground equipment and spare parts. This helps USAIG take our top spot for best drone insurance company for businesses.
Coverage is available for commercial and business purposes that may not be covered by other providers, such as liability during war
You can buy insurance for planes, drones, and other unmanned aircraft
You have to speak with an agent and provide considerable information to get a free quote
There’s no pricing information on their website
No access to a mobile app
We chose this firm due to its commercially viable policies as well as its increased coverage options for various industries. The United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) was founded in 1928, which makes it the longest-running drone insurance provider we’ve profiled. Its policies are unwritten by a pool of insurers that proudly boast ratings that range from A to A++ from AM Best.
This provider focuses on offering coverage for major commercial and government uses, which makes it a good option whether you’re using drones to survey international territories or you’re doing a power line survey. Coverage can be tailored to your needs, but it can include various types of coverage for physical damage, third-party liability insurance, and even product liability coverage for manufacturers.
While coverage from this provider is intended only for serious business use, you cannot get a free quote on the United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) website. You’ll need to speak with an agent and provide considerable information about your company, the drones you want to insure, and the specific types of coverage you need.
What Is Drone Insurance?
The word “drone” is used to describe an unmanned aircraft, and insurance for drones is a type of coverage intended to protect the aircraft itself as well as the aircraft owner against claims due to damage, accidental injury, and more. While buying drone insurance for commercial purchases likely seems like a no-brainer, many drone enthusiasts also buy coverage for recreational use. This buys them peace of mind so they can have fun flying without having to worry about hurting someone or damaging someone’s property.
Do I Need Insurance for My Drone?
Flying a drone exposes consumers to a wide range of liability, and that’s especially true for drone users with little experience. It’s possible your drone could malfunction and crash into someone’s property, causing damage to their home or their car, for instance. For that reason, many experts suggest purchasing drone liability insurance coverage at the bare minimum—even if you only fly a drone for fun.
More expensive drones may also require coverage for physical damage, and you may want to consider coverage for personal loss, which could help you if your drone is stolen from you.
Are Drones Covered by Homeowner's Insurance?
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the liability component of your home insurance policy can kick in if you or a family member end up in a lawsuit for bodily injury or personal property damage after flying a drone for personal use. Your policy may also include no-fault medical coverage that can protect you against losses if you or someone on your property is damaged by your drone—even if it’s your fault.
A homeowner's insurance policy can also provide coverage if your drone is stolen from your property. Make sure you have proper homeowner's insurance coverage to accommodate your drone and the additional risk in flying one. The III suggests making sure your liability coverage is particularly adequate if you want to protect your financial assets when you fly a drone.
How Much Does Drone Insurance Cost?
The cost for drone insurance can vary depending on a range of factors—the type of drone you have, the coverage you select, the amount of liability coverage you need, and whether you are using a drone for recreational or commercial purposes. Annual policies usually start at around $500, but you can also purchase drone coverage by the hour or by the day.
How We Chose the Best Drone Insurance Companies
We compared the top drone insurance companies on the market today in order to find providers with highly-rated products that can protect against damage, theft, liability, and more. We looked for drone insurance companies that offer the broadest coverage possible, either on a national or international scale. We also compared drone insurance companies in terms of the add-on coverage options they offer, as well as whether they let you get a free quote online. Drone insurance providers with mobile apps and updated online features were also given preference.