Unmanned Aircraft Systems (aka Drones)

Drones are hot these days. You see them flying everywhere: at the beach, in parks, and sometimes over your back yard.

Did you know drones need to be registered with the FAA to be operated legally? The reason you fly, and the weight of the drone, dictates the registration process and the fee.

If your drone weighs between .55 and 55 pounds:

And you only fly recreationally, you need to register either under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (fee is $3 for a 3-year registration). If you fly for any other reason, you need to register under the UAS Special Rule (fee is $5 for a 3-year registration).

Under the UAS Special Rule Part 107, operators must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA and meet a few other requirements.

If your drone weighs 55 pounds or more, you need to register in accordance with a paper filing process.

Generally speaking, rules for flying require drones:

(a) To be flown no higher than 400′ above the ground

(b) To be kept in the visual line-of-sight of their operators

(c) To NOT fly in restricted airspace, such as:

-1- Within 5 miles of an airport

-2- Over groups of people, stadiums hosting certain events, and public events

-3- Near emergencies, natural disaster sites, and wildfires

Keep in mind that your personal and business insurance policies may not provide coverage for your drone, or its activities. If you violate any FAA, state, or local rules for drone operation–including where you fly your drone and how you operate it–you may be subject to fines, penalties, and paying out of pocket for any damage.

Right now, how drone operators invade the privacy of other individuals is almost as hot a topic as drones, themselves, are. If your insurance policies don’t provide liability coverage for your drone’s activities, they won’t defend you if you’re sued.

For all kinds of details specific information, the FAA has a user-friendly section of its website devoted to Unmanned Aircraft Systems. For insurance information about drones, either contact your insurance agent or us. Happy flying!