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Can ERIE Cover My Drone?

Drones – also known as unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS –are a red-hot holiday gift. In fact, the Consumer Technology Association reports that the number of small hobbyist drones will triple from 1.1 million units in 2016 to 3.5 million units by 2021. Planning on giving (or receiving) one this year? Here’s what you need to know.

I got a drone for the holidays. Is it covered under my homeowners or renters policy?

If you’re someone who owns a UAS, you may be wondering whether ERIE would cover yours in the event it got damaged or hurt someone or their property.

The good news is that ERIE does cover drones that are used for personal use under both our homeowners and renters policies.

ERIE has historically covered model airplanes, and a UAS meets the definition of a model airplane. So coverage for drones would be provided under your ERIE homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and/or personal catastrophe liability (commonly known as umbrella insurance) policies.

                Related: The Ultimate Guide to Hazard-Free Holidays

Coverage, however, would not apply if you used your drone as part of your business operations – for example, taking photos in a photography business or inspecting a warehouse as a wholesaler-distributor. Other policy conditions or exclusions could also apply to limit or exclude coverage in specific circumstances.

Drone Safety Tips

If you’re a new pilot, the Federal Aviation Administration offers these tips for safe flying:

  • Research state and local UAS restrictions before you fly.
  • Register your drone with the FAA. (The process differs for personal and business use.)
  • Fly at or below 400 feet.
  • Don’t fly your drone outside your line of sight.
  • Know the “no drone zones” (like stadiums, military bases or emergency cleanup operations) as listed in the FAA Airspace Restrictions.
  • Be mindful of others’ privacy, including homes or public places.
  • Avoid flying near other aircrafts or airports.
  • Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you have specific questions about your drone being covered, want to learn more about how your coverage works, or to get a quote for new coverage, contact an Erie Insurance agent in your community. In the meantime, happy flying!

*Please see our Important Notice.

This story was originally published in 2016. It was updated with new information on Dec. 14, 2018.

If you count yourself among the many people who now own a drone, it's worth learning how your insurance policy would cover yours if something unfortunate happened to it. /blog/uav-insurance Erie Insurance

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of December 2018 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.