Insurance in the age of drones

28 Oct 2016

Drone technology is still in its infancy, but it is developing fast.

Drones can range from large fixed wing craft capable of taking heavy payloads to insect-sized cameras taking images in the most confined of spaces. Drones can get quickly and easily to places that humans cannot. Their potential utility and cost savings are huge.

No new technology, especially one with a bulky physical presence capable of causing significant damage, can be operated without insurance. Insurers cannot fall back on established data sets. They can only succeed by working closely with the industry to ensure sufficient and applicable risk coverage is in place.

We put together some drones highlights for you, sourced at the Swiss Re drones conference and from the Risk Dialogoue Magazine on drones.


Underwriting drones, written by Kate Browne

For many industries drones have a significant advantage in terms of precision, convenience, and cost over more traditional solutions such as people, planes or helicopters. The insurance industry will likely play a critical role in the growth of this exciting new industry.

Underwriting drones


Insurance in the age of drones - The lawyer's perspective, Lisa Ellmann

No technology develops in a vacuum – and no almost all technology develops faster than the regulations governing it. Nonetheless, US authorities are doing their best to keep up with drones, developing an approach to a fully integrated airspace and the creation of highways in the sky. Drone regulation is being drafted in an environment that remains pro-innovation, going all the way up to the White House.

Watch the interview with Lisa Ellman:

Lisa Ellman  

"It's great to be here with this community of people all excited about the use of commercial drones, all learning about the use of drones. Coming in both from the use case, as well as, as insurers, learning how to craft policy around drones. And, so, it's really great for me to be here with all of these folks to think about these issues critically."


Insurance in the age of drones - The hacker's perspective, Samy Kamkar

Drones have the potential to do great good in society. Equally, in the wrong hands, they have significant potential to cause harm. Drones have already been used in illegal surveillance, both at an individual and an industrial level. They can be used in smuggling, and there have already been several cases to drugs being shipped into jails. They can be used in direct physical attacks, they can be used to intercept wireless signals and hack. There is a burgeoning industry developing in physically stopping rogue drones, from using birds of prey to flying nets.

Watch the interview with Samy Kamkar:

Samy Kamkar Interview  

"I mean, this event is actually extremely interesting to me because I had no idea this existed. I had no idea there was such a large population of people dedicated to solving this problem. I never even thought about the problem. I'm on the other side and I'm trying to develop and push forward some of this technology, and I completely now see it from another angle that I didn't before. So I think it will hopefully make me think twice when developing new things and how I can implement, maybe, a better implementation to prevent issues, like, that we're trying to solve here."