18 Dec Woops! The tale of little Zach’s drone
Let me introduce you to little Zach who has asked his parents for a camera-equipped drone for Christmas. Radio controlled vehicles have been a family staple of the holidays ever since the first wireless remote controlled toys were first manufactured. By the way, give to credit Nikolo Tesla for introducing the first wireless boat in 1898. So, why should we worry about little Zach?
Zach, full of holiday joy and way too much sugar, is elated when he opens the new KXY360 Eye In The Sky quadrocoptor. He powers up his drone knowing he has a whole week of Christmas vacation ahead of him. Tentative flights occur over the back yard as his parents monitor his progress from the porch.
However, when he’s cleared to solo (in about 20 minutes), Zach pilots his drone over the adjacent boulevard and (woops!) drops the drone on a passing car causing a multi-car pileup. Four vehicles sustain serious damage and two people are transported to the hospital.
“Oh, Henry,” said Zach’s mother to her husband, we are are going to be sued and, at minimum, will pay thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for legal defense costs – if we are not adequately insured.”
After losing his flying privileges for a month, Zach swears he’ll be more careful and just fly his replacement drone around the neighborhood. But, as spring arrives, Zach has mastered not only the controls but also the on-board camera. His fly-over posts are a hit on Facebook. “That’s neat, Zach!”
So when the neighbor’s daughter decides to start tanning on the other side of the fence for the spring prom, Zach’s drone is inexplicably drawn in that direction – honest. He captures far more than he should on the high definition optics. Armed with video, he posts his pre-prom discovery on Facebook. (woops!) Johnny’s parents are sued for trespass and invasion of privacy as well as just about anything else that will compensate for the daughter’s loss of dignity.
Even though you think you’re adequately covered by insurance, there’s always the scenario that proves otherwise. Beside believing you have adequate coverage, you also hope that some higher power is looking out for kids and small pets. For example, when we were kids, my brother shot out the front tooth of another little kid with his bow and steel-tipped arrow. An inch either way would have been a disaster for all concerned.
If you have a drone in or soon arriving at your home, be sure to contact us about liability insurance. Such coverage is not only very affordable, it can be purchased with high limits – one million, five million or even ten million dollars. Umbrella policies will cover you and your family for other liability claims, as well.
NOTE: In addition to liability issues, it now is required by the Federal Aviation Administration that all owners of drones weighing more than .55 lbs must register with the FAA no later than February 19, 2016. In their eyes, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (a.k.a. drones) are considered aircraft.
Lawn darts and steel tipped kids’ arrows may be a thing of the past but they are being replaced with higher tech risks that create liability. Every day, the future arrives at your doorstep. Be sure you are properly insured.