Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Speaking of insurance...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by diver_matt, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. diver_matt

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    So Ca (IE)
    I've seen a couple/few threads about drone insurance recently. I did a search and after 4 pages, figured if it's been asked, it was long enough ago to ask again for new folks like me.

    I was looking at the AMA insurance but always skeptical about insurance plans in which I am not the actual policy holder. Has anyone made a claim on their ama insurance and, if so, would you mind sharing the circumstances and outcome?

    I have a large umbrella policy (recommended) but would like to know about AMA. A policy is only as good as their ability/willingness to pay a claim.
     
  2. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    18,969
    Likes Received:
    5,582
    Location:
    US
    AMA insurance is secondary to your own insurance. Also, you must follow the AMA Safety Code in order to be covered. Their rules are so strict that you almost have to be flying at an AMA RC club.

    (I am not a member of the AMA.)
     
    Squirrel! likes this.
  3. diver_matt

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    So Ca (IE)
    Having read the code, it wasn't THAT bad. I'd still like to hear of anyone successfully filing a claim for damage to another person or property.
     
  4. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    I've only heard one story about an AMA claim. This Vietnam Vet had a highly detailed UH-1 helicopter. It weighed right at 32lbs and used metal blades. He said a crow attacked the Helo, they have a problem with crows due to their short distance from a landfill, and that made the helo crash and burn. He had 10 other witnesses to back him up. He said he was trying to land from the moment the bird turned aggressive.

    He was at an AMA official field and following all the right rules and regs. Had been an AMA member for over a decade. However, since he didn't maintain a blade logbook, and he said the AMA rules say to land and soon as birds enter the airfield, he was denied on his claim.

    He said birds are so often over that airfield you'd never get any flying done. He also told me he had no idea he was required to log every minute of flight time on the metal blades in a separate logbook. The insurance rep told him that each of the two blades had to have a serial number on them and if not from the manufacturer, then by the owner. Each blade is required to have an entry in a logbook by serial number, time flown and results of a visual inspection. He had a logbook where he logged every flight, repair data, malfunction data, any crash damage, so on and so forth. But since he didn't have a separate area for logging by blade serial number, the AMA said he wasn't in compliance.
     
  5. tcope

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,522
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Odd... since from what I can see the AMA only provides 1st party coverage for "Fire, Vandalism, and Theft". Since it appears that this type of situation is none of these, this person's loss would never need to be questioned. It's simply not covered regardless of logs, inspections or landing time.

    It's also not a 3rd party claim which was being asked about (unless the crow filed the claim for his/her injuries).
     
  6. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    The guy mentioned another aircraft being damaged when his impacted the ground and caught fire. He was trying to land it since the crow was attacking. Three birds, his Huey, some type he never described and the crow were all total losses. I did, however, get the distinct impression the guy thought his aircraft was covered as well as any damages to other property. Maybe it was just his bitterness over the blade logbook thing.
     
  7. diver_matt

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    So Ca (IE)
    I emailed them and asked a few questions. This is part of their answer about coverage:

    "The insurance policy would apply if you are using the quadcopter for recreational purposes only and not business pursuits. It does includes property damage and bodily injury. There is a $250 deductible for property damages only. The policy would respond to a claim whether it was caused by pilot error and/or the equipment has a malfunction."

    Now this obviously does not address crows. But while it sounds good, the above story is examples that she'd at least some light. Hopefully there's some positive tales. The company makes a big difference. I've had insurance that delays repeatedly and makes me jump through hoops while others make it simple.

    Bitterness does often alter the story.
     
  8. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    Very true, Matt. It's all in the details I guess. That old guy was pretty bitter about the blade logbook thing, I know that.

    Insurance companies aren't in the business of paying out money, so they look for any failure to meet their rules. I've had one insurance company over the years that has been outstanding for home and auto. USAA. We were hit by an F4 Tornado in Enterprise, AL in 2007. You should see some of the pictures of my home. The house was valued at $185,000 before the tornado and it took $190,000 to rebuild it. Not to mention the other monies paid by them for contents. They screwed me over on some guns and all of my R/C aircraft, not giving nearly what they were worth. But the rest they did so well on I decided not to make an issue of it.
     
  9. diver_matt

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    So Ca (IE)
    I've had USAA for a long time. theyre the one I was speaking of that makes it easy. Accident? "Go here, get estimate, we'll pay all but deductible including rental car." Just that easy and still cheaper than most. I realize these things could cause a serious injury so thought I'd ask. So far, looks like I'll probably put the $58/year toward my umbrella policy...also with usaa. In fact, gonna call and ask about this hobby in particular.
     
    BlackHawk388 likes this.
  10. jcknows0

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Northern NJ
    Ive had USAA for almost a decade. Best insurance company hands down. A little more expensive than others, but when you look at the totality of what they cover, there has never been a single issue with any claim. That being said, I checked my insurance rider, valuables rider and I'm pretty sure quads are not covered for anything other than damage to someone else's property. Good to know AMA is very strict as I was hoping my membership offered me something. Guess not.
     
  11. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    Please report back with what they say. Since this is my first large Quad, I've never even asked about it before and my airplanes, when they lose an engine, can still be steered well away from people or property.
     
  12. diver_matt

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    So Ca (IE)
    That's key though. I'm not worried about the phantom. I'll replace my own stuff if I destroy it. I just don't want to be tagged for a 5 figure hospital bill or something without coverage. My umbrella will likely cover but gotta make sure.
     
  13. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    What I'd be concerned with is does it cover you at home and AWAY from home.
     
  14. tcope

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,522
    Likes Received:
    1,387
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Keep in mind that liability limits should be chosen to protect yourself, not someone else. On 20+ years of handling claims I've never seen an attorney go after someone personally instead of taking their policy limits. I did find one adjuster who told me he's seem it once. So the chances are so rare I'd not worry about it. Choose your limits based on your assets that can be taken by someone else.
     
  15. Memtenn60

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    10
    AMA insurance covers flying club sanctioned events. (.).