With the ability to deliver real time, high definition, infrared video while reaching inaccessible or dangerous areas, the use of drones in the emergency services industry is ever increasing. While this technology may help keep first responders from unnecessary danger, ESOs now face the risk of both liability and financial issues.
VFIS has announced that as of June 1, clients will automatically receive drone coverage as part of their policy at no extra cost. Coverage includes repair or replacement, general and excess liability for drones that are owned, operated, rented or loaned to the ESO. This automatic coverage is limited to $25,000 any one occurrence subject to $500 deductible and applies to drones weighing 15 lbs or less.
“We’re seeing more emergency service organizations using drones in some of the most dangerous and labor intensive fire and EMS operations,” said Troy Markel, president of VFIS. “While we’ve offered coverage for drones in the past, we wanted to help protect our clients by automatically including the coverage in our policies at no additional cost to the organization.”
Although drone coverage will automatically be included in clients’ policies, your department should notify VFIS of Texas of your drones if you have any to ensure proper coverage.
Trending Changes in the Air – Drones!
Drones have quickly become a hot topic within the fire service. With endless uses in emergency and nonemergency situations, they have the ability to increase firefighter safety, improve fireground tactics, enhance training, help manage large scale events and assist in search and rescue situations. With Amazon currently vying for separate airspace delivery zones, drones will undoubtedly continue to become more accepted and practiced in the future.
Drones (unmanned aircraft systems) vary in type, size, frequency, range and capabilities. The cost for drones is even more diverse and can double depending on the equipment placed onto the craft. Drones are easy to purchase, but rarely come with operator (pilot) training or legal advice on where you can (cannot) fly your drone, thus creating significant potential liability.
Due to the inherent nature of drones, not only is there a high probability for potential damage to your drone, there is significant liability exposure:
Drones are NOT automatically covered on your VFIS insurance policy for liability or damage; however, we can insure your drone once we obtain specific information on the liability limits, cost, operation and intended use. Please contact us at 512-448-9928 to obtain a quote.
In an effort to better understand this trend, we would appreciate you taking the time to complete the Drone Survey below.
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.