We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Should You Buy Liability Coverage For Your Drone?

 MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr

MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr

The federal government has required hobbyists flying drones to register their machines, and now a top California official is urging them to buy insurance.
The Federal Aviation Administration estimates consumers this year will have bought 1.6 million remote-controlled helicopters, model planes, and other small drones.

With that growing number, California insurance commissioner Dave Jones says fliers should buy insurance. He says they’re just as responsible for the property damage or injuries they cause as live pilots would be, and cited a September drone crash in Pasadena that bruised a child’s head.

Ilona Maine of the Academy of Model Aeronautics says overall accidents are relatively few and far between.

"On average I would say we may get 30 to 40 liability claims per year," Maine says. "That’s out of 185,000 members flying on a regular basis."

But Maine says she agrees having coverage makes sense.

"I would say yes, it is important, because you don’t know what’s going to happen," says Maine.

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies already cover model aircraft.


Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Check out a sample ReCap newsletter.