Which is the right insurance? Aviation Third-Party Liability or Public Liability?

Posted by Timothy Sutherland on Feb 12, 2019 5:12:18 PM



At Precision Autonomy, our mission is to create transparency and understanding within the drone insurance industry. We have been getting a lot of questions lately about Public Liability Insurance for Commercial Drone operations. The implications of this coverage for drone operation is not widely understood, and that is cause for concern. Business entities have a legal obligation to take reasonable action to avoid third-party loss, including injury, death and property damage. What Public Liability Insurance does is cover potential loss due to claims against this obligation, and hence it is a necessity for responsible business practice.


What is key to note however, is that drones themselves fall under a different category of business, and thus must be covered under their correct use. Strictly speaking, drones are categorised as an aircraft, and thus are subject to section 10 of the Damage by Aircraft Act 1999. This section states that the operator is liable for claim if a person or property suffers personal injury, loss of life, material loss, damage or destruction caused by:

  1. Impact with an aircraft that is in flight
  2. Impact with part of an aircraft that was damaged or destroyed in flight
  3. Impact with a person, animal or thing that dropped or fell from an aircraft in flight

Generally, Public Liability Insurance does not cover aircraft, and thus drone operators may be exposed, unknowingly, to significant financial loss as a result of a third-party claim.

What is needed to cover a drone is Aviation third-party liability. Aviation third-party liability binds to the aircraft itself. If a claim arises under Section 10 of the Damage by Aircraft Act, the pilot and owner of the aircraft would be covered. In conjunction with hull cover, this provides an all-encompassing policy for a professional drone operation.


Precision Autonomy's pay-as-you-fly insurance, underwritten by Aviation insurance expert, QBE, offers exactly the right coverage necessary. Our insurance covers you for accidental damage whilst on the ground, in flight, as well as for aviation third-party liability.

Want to get a comprehensive insurance quote? Get a quote here today.

Want to learn more about drone insurance, visit our previous post here.

Topics: Drone Insurance, Risk Management