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Insurance for drones

Many Spaniards received a drone last Christmas. And these gadgets have been the star gift. However, the State Aviation Safety Agency (AESA), warns that these drones are not toys, but aircraft,so they must be used in appropriate spaces and respecting safety measures.

A drone can become dangerous if not used with caution. Proof of this is what happened to Enrique Iglesias at the beginning of June last year during a concert in Mexico. When he was on stage performing one of his songs, a professional drone recording images of the concert approached and the singer tried to catch it with his own hands. One of the propellers cut several fingers, causing him to bleed. However, he continued the concert but later had to be hospitalized in Los Angeles, California.

RC Policy for drones

Spanish legislation regulates certain aspects of these aircraft, above all, for the possible consequences they may have on third parties or structures and buildings. Royal Decree-Law 8/2014 establishes some fundamental specifications for the use of drones such as the need for Civil Liability (CR) insurance for their use.

The law states that the damage that a drone may cause is the responsibility of who drives it. Therefore, any person who pilots them is obliged to have a CR policy to third parties against the damages they may cause during the execution of the flight or as a cause of it.

RC insurance usually has an insured sum of up to 300,000 euros when it is less than 25 kilograms. For those who exceed this weight, the same mandatory amounts apply to them as manned aircraft.

What requirements must be met?

Insurance companies require that in order to carry out Civil Liability insurance, current legislation must be complied with, such as respecting the prohibited flight zones, the permitted schedules and the legal purposes of the aircraft. In addition, it is mandatory for the drone to carry a nameplate or license plate.

Unmanned aircraft exceeding 25 kilograms must possess an airworthiness certificate issued by the State Aviation Safety Agency (EAA). On the other hand, if the drone is going to have commercial or professional purposes, it is required to have a permit from AESA.

What can drones be used for?

The law states that drones can be used for research and development activities, aerial treatments such as firefighting, aerial observation for forest surveillance, advertising and filming for television, film, radio or even emergency and rescue operations.

Where and when can drones be handled?

Drones should always be operated during the day, in unpopulated areas and at least 8 kilometers from airports, within an uncontrolled airspace. Therefore it is forbidden to use a drone to record images in urban areas or agglomerations and celebrations such as demonstrations, concerts or festivals, unless they take place in a completely enclosed area. In addition, the unmanned aircraft must always be in sight and never exceed 120 meters in height.

Do I need a license?

According to AESA, all drone pilots must prove that they have “the necessary theoretical knowledge” to obtain a pilot’s license, regardless of the size of the aircraft.

What does drone insurance not cover?

The drone policies offered by most insurers only cover damages to third parties. At the moment, very few take care of the damages that the drone itself may suffer when it is being piloted. Therefore, if the aircraft collided or fell in mid-flight and did not have included in the insurance a coverage of own damages, it would have to be the owner who took care of paying for the necessary repairs.

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