Physical Loss: Beyond the Drone

        Unmanned Aerial Systems


Businesses will want to consider their potential physical losses carefully. With UAS, it’s often the loss of the payload—not the aircraft itself—that can be the most costly.

One of the most widespread applications to date has been in unmanned aerial photography. Businesses in real estate, agriculture and insurance all have interests in surveying and photographing land, and the cameras used to do so can get expensive. Filmmakers, who have also been pioneering commercial drone use, often employ even more expensive cameras.

Because of the increasing affordability of drones, the payload often has a higher intrinsic value than the aircraft itself. Additionally, cameras and other payloads are usually slung below the aircraft, meaning that in the event of a hard or emergency landing, damage to the payload is almost certain.

While the military and hobbyists have been using unmanned aerial systems (UAS), better known as drones, for some time, businesses are just starting to adapt the technology for their own uses. UAS are creating new opportunities—and new risks—for businesses to evaluate, and regulators and insurance carriers are scrambling to keep pace.