Jessica Schulz | 01/19/2021
Compulsory insurance for drones: you should know these legal regulations and obligations
There is still a lot of debate about drone insurance these days, and there are some unanswered questions. In the following article, we summarize the most important points.
Even though there is a lot of discussion about the obligation of drone insurance – the liability insurance for drones is required by law. Even before the new EU Drone Regulation came to force the German Air Traffic Act stipulates that unmanned aerial vehicles require liability insurance.
There is no distinction between weight classes or the use of drones (private or commercial). This means every drone requires an insurance.
However, a distinction is made between weight classes in the amount of the sum insured or the limit of liability (for details, read the German Air Traffic Act: LuftVG §37 (german)). Accordingly, all drones are listed in category a) “for aircraft under 500 kilograms maximum take-off mass only up to a capital amount of 750,000 units of account” in accordance with §37 German Air Traffic Act.
The sum mentioned does not correspond to the final sum insured in euros, but to the capital amount in units of account. The units of account must be converted according to the current exchange rate for special drawing rights (converter special drawing rights to euros – german). The exchange rate fluctuates similarly to the currency rate but can still be assumed that a coverage amount for drones should be at least 1 million to 1.5 million euros in order to meet the legal requirements.
Every drone pilot is obliged to carry the insurance confirmation when flying. Anyone who does not comply with this is committing an administrative offense and must expect the corresponding consequences. The exact type and nature of the insurance confirmation is not regulated – a copy, e-mail or a photo on the cell phone can be sufficient.
In addition, it should also be emphasized that strict liability in tort applies to the operation/use of drones – this is the strictest liability option prescribed by law. It means that liability must be assumed even if the damage is not your fault. It is enough that the actions taken can be an “extraordinary danger” for the surroundings. Consequently, it is crucial that the drone liability insurance also covers strict liability.
An overview of possible insurance policies is available here: Drone Insurance Comparison (german)