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Cutting Edge Insurance Issues—Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Drones?

Recreational drones have become increasingly popular in recent years.  Their use has sparked debate over safety and privacy, and also created a wide array of insurance issues.  One common scenario that arises is as follows: A homeowner flies his personal drone around the neighborhood.  It unexpectedly crashes into the neighbor’s car.  The neighbor files a claim against the homeowner, raising the question as to whether the damage will be covered under the homeowners’ insurance policy.

Our homeowners’ insurance lawyers remain abreast of all new issues in the field of homeowners’ insurance and beyond.  We feel it is part of our duty as effective attorneys to be aware of emerging issues in the field of insurance law so that we can best protect our clients.  We offer the following look at drones and the insurance complexities they present.  We urge anyone with a novel insurance issue to come into our office for a personalized consultation. 

Homeowners’ Insurance May Cover Recreational Drone Use

Drones used for recreational purposes, as defined by Unmanned Aerial Systems or UAS, will likely be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy, though this may change in the near future and depends largely upon your individual policy’s exclusions.  A standard homeowners’ insurance policy will cover damages that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay due to bodily injury or property damage arising from some occurrence which the policy covers.  This can include coverage of bodily injury or property damage caused by personal drones. However, several exclusions could apply to limit coverage.

Most standard insurance policies will exclude coverage arising out of use of an aircraft.  Accordingly, the question of drone coverage will often turn on whether a recreational drone is an aircraft per the policy’s definition.  Most homeowners’ insurance policies will not include model or hobby aircrafts within their definition of an excluded aircraft.  A Texas case called Tucker v. Allstate Tex. Lloyds Insurance Company discusses the model and hobby exception.  If the drone is used exclusively for recreational purposes and not business activities, your homeowners’ insurance policy will likely cover damages arising from its use.

At times, business vs. recreational use is not always clear cut.  If you use your drone to take photographs for a listing of some sort, this is likely business use.  Anytime pictures are involved, it can complicate a drone liability case.  A few companies are now offering drone specific insurance, intended to cover drone accidents whether the drone is used recreationally or for a business purpose.

If you are a homeowner facing a drone lawsuit or any other kind of homeowners’ insurance matter, contact a homeowners’ insurance attorney as soon as possible.  Your attorney will have experience with the issues you face and is in the best position to fully protect your legal rights.  With skilled assistance, you can obtain the coverage you deserve from your insurance company.

Contact the Homeowners’ Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano Today For Your Free Consultation!

If you need assistance with a homeowners’ insurance related matter, contact the Miami Homeowners’ Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano. Our skilled and dedicated attorneys will guide you towards the best possible outcome. We have over 130 collective years of experience representing homeowners against their insurers across South Florida and will put our extensive experience to work for you.  Contact our firm as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.  Our firm received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and was ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald.  Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

Source:

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2015/08/04/264918.htm

 

 

 

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