Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has partnered with InsurTech startup Flock to launch on-demand drone insurance in the UK market through a mobile app for commercial and recreational users.
To be available in the UK market later this year, the partnership’s first product – the “Flock Cover” app – will instantly provide pay-as-you-fly liability insurance up to £10 million (US$13.1 million), tailored to each flight, including equipment insurance for commercial users, said AGCS in a statement. (AGCS is Allianz’ corporate insurance carrier.)
“Pilots will be fully insured for their flight time, within a specified geographical region – all of which is customizable at the point of sale, or can be scheduled in advance,” added AGCS.
The “Flock Cover” app leverages big data to provide drone pilots with real-time information, such as ground hazards, weather updates and restricted airspace – all designed to reduce risk and improve flight safety, said AGCS.
Although the product won’t be available for several months, Flock has provided early access to beta-testers, with signup available through its website.
Flock and Allianz said they will be announcing more products for the “unmanned aircraft systems” (UAS) market in the coming months.
“Twenty-two incidents involving commercial airliners and possible drones were investigated by the [UK] Civil Aviation Authority’s Airprox Board in the first four months of this year alone,” said Brian Kirwan, UK CEO, AGCS.
As a result of these near-misses with aircraft, the UK government has announced that drones of a certain size will need to be registered.
“As drone usage increases, new risk exposures will emerge including the risk of cyber attacks and terrorism,” he added. “Future incidents could result in multi-million pound claims against businesses, operators and manufacturers.”
Drone insurance has a vital role to play in protecting operators and the public from such risks, said the AGCS in its statement.
“This partnership further aligns with Allianz’s digital strategy to focus on new distribution channels for our products and provide enhanced customer journeys in a technologically and digitally changing landscape,” said Tom Chamberlain, underwriting manager for Aerospace and General Aviation, AGCS.
“Our app puts control back into the hands of the pilot, allowing them to purchase insurance exactly when they need it and fully customized to the needs of their job,” said Ed Leon Klinger, Flock’s CEO.
Drones are fast becoming a multi-billion dollar industry, as the number of recreational users grows and the benefits businesses can gain from utilizing such innovative technology becomes apparent, said AGCS, which quoted its report titled, “Rise of the Drones – Managing the Unique Risks Associated with Unmanned Aircraft Systems.” (The report can be downloaded from the company’s website).
By 2020, the global UAS market volume is forecast to reach at least 4.7 million units and the commercial drone insurance market is predicted to reach $1 billion, said AGCS.