State Farm Drone Insurance
Drones are more popular than ever. Flying them is addictive, and owners move up to more complex and capable drones and quadcopters. We add more accessories. We buy more expensive cameras. More and more hobby owners are buying drones in the $1,000 to $5,000 range. Sooner or later, owners will experience a crash. Sometimes, the drone will be a total loss, and that sinking feeling of the financial loss. So what can we do to protect your financial investment?
New pilots or experienced pilots – you all know that accidents can and do happen. The batteries die just before you land. We are just learning to fly our first drone. We lose control of the drone and can't recover in time. We've got a big financial investment. How can we protect our investment?
As drones have become more common, some insurance companies like State Farm are offering drone insurance. State Farm drone insurance covers drones under a Personal Articles Policy.
So we might be wondering? What is a Personal Articles Policy (PAP)? How does this work? How much will it cost?
A Personal Articles Policy is coverage beyond your homeowners or renters policy to help us repair or replace valuable items not protected by other policies. Call a State Farm agent to see if this kind of policy is right for your specific need. A Personal Articles Policy might cover the following:
State Farm notes on their website that there is no deductible.
Coverage for our drone would probably fall under the "camera" category. Cameras and jewelry are covered even when we are a vacation. State Farm will pay to either repair or replace the item, and no deduction is made for depreciation. The PAP coverage covers both theft and accidental physical damage (with some limitations and exclusions). State Farm's PAP policy provides worldwide coverage (except for fine art items). NOTE: State Farm does not currently offer PAP insurance in California.
The PAP policy does not include liability. So if we damage someone's property or cause injury to a person, we will not be covered by your PAP. It might be covered under our homeowner's liability coverage. Drone owners need to contact their homeowner's insurance agent to clarify their liability coverage and get it in writing. While liability is not currently required, everyone should consider adding a rider or all-risk liability policy to ensure against the "unthinkable."
You might be wondering what a State Farm drone insurance policy costs. The cost is based on the purchase price of the drone (and accessories). Premiums usually cost $2.75 per $100.00 insured with a minimum premium of either $30.00 or $60.00 depending on the state of residence. Applicants will need to provide a copy of their receipt to prove the cost of the drone and be sure to include receipts for your accessories. The most common accessories covered are:
- Drone Batteries
- Drone Propellers
According to some owners who have insured their drones with State Farm, there are underwriting requirements: 1) must be for hobby or recreational use, 2) weigh under 55 pounds, 3) copies of all purchase documents must be submitted with the application, and 4) information on the brand and model must be furnished.
State Farm even features Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews flying a drone in a recent TV commercial.
State Farm's premium is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Even the most careful pilot can have an accident and experience a total loss of expensive repair. These PAP policies only cover personal usage, not business use such as for real estate or surveys of crops or other commercial ventures.
There are other options for drone owners such as DJI Care and SquareTrade. Some advantages of the State Farm PAP insurance are:
- Covers lost and stolen drones as well as total loss or damage from an accident
- No requirement to physically have the drone (suppose it crashes into a lake)
- Renewable each year
- No 48-hour activation period
Many of us have heard about DJI Care Refresh. So what does it actually provide? Customers who buy from DJI directly have the option of adding DJI Care Refresh during checkout. Just remember all of the pilot experiences about crashes. It becomes clear why any pilot (new or experienced) needs to have insurance or replacement plan in place before the first flight.
DJI Care Refresh is a service plan that covers your drone for 12 months. The cost of the plan is $79. If my Mavic Pro is damaged, I can have it replaced for just $99. Should a second replacement be needed during those 12 months, the second replacement costs you $129. Your replacement is either new or refurbished to like new. DJI Care Refresh for a Phantom 4 is $149 for 12 months. Even if you purchased your DJI drone from a third party seller, it's easy to buy this coverage if you haven't activated it yet or it's been less than 48 hours since activation.
Some of us won't qualify for DJI Care Refresh. That's when drone insurance through State Farm's insurance policy saves the day. And it's significantly less expensive.
Remember the old saying about fixed wing aircraft that have a retractable gear. "There are only 2 kinds of pilots –"those who have landed gear up and those who will." That sums up the situation when one owns a drone. Both new and experienced pilots will crash a drone due to pilot error, wind, weather or mechanical malfunction. We've all seen ads on eBay where owners are selling their controllers and/or batteries or whatever's left from their kit.
So what are the basic differences between DJI Care Refresh and State Farm drone insurance? Suppose that we crash our drone into a wall. Both State Farm and DJI will cover the incident.
With DJI Care Refresh, we'll pay $99 to replace our drone with a new or refurbished one. And we'll still have coverage to replace a second drone during the year, but at a slightly higher fee. With State Farm, we'll get a check to replace our drone. But because we longer have the original drone (because it was totaled in an accident), we no longer have any insurance and will have to purchase a new policy to cover the replacement.
Because State Farm is a part of a national underwriting database, our losses will be recorded. Too many accidents, and we will either pay more or worse yet, get declined.
Another important difference is that DJI Care Refresh is for one particular area. If we live in the U.S., we are only covered for accidents in the U.S. If we take our drone to Europe and it crashes, in most instances, we are out of luck with DJI Care Refresh. Only if the drone crashes due to mechanical failure could it be covered at all, and that would be through the manufacturer's warranty. On the other hand, our State Farm insurance for drones is good through the world.
The reviews are mixed when it comes to SquareTrade. Although SquareTrade warranties are offered through many retailers and the option pops up when you purchase a drone, experiences from owners don't back up that we drone owners would be getting the coverage we need.
Take a look at this informative YouTube video from an actual State Farm customer. State Farm offers drone insurance through their Personal Articles Policy. It appears to offer the coverage most owners need (both in the U.S. and while traveling) at an affordable price.
Be sure to have your receipts in front of you before you call a State Farm agent. From my experience, obtain coverage before you attempt to fly your newly-acquired drone. Don't be one of those people who never get to master their flying skills because your first accident is your only accident due to lack of insurance.