“The Academy of Model Aeronautics is now serving the commercial drone community and pilots by offering membership benefits for those who fly for business,” says the AMA announcement. “Now AMA members can purchase commercial drone insurance at a special low rate.”
“For more than 40 years, AMA has provided its members with liability insurance for recreational flying. Our new commercial drone insurance is a natural extension of our member benefits and comes at a time when the commercial drone industry is growing fast. Many of our members are flying drones commercially, or plan to do so soon, and have been asking AMA to provide commercial drone insurance as a membership benefit,” says AMA President Rich Hanson.
The AMA’s new offering is separate from the recreational flight insurance that members already receive – and is not supported by dues, the organization points out. “It’s an affinity program with the insurance purchase between you and the insurance company directly, and not the AMA,” says the announcement.
The AMA has other partner offerings oriented towards the commercial market: Part 107 test prep, flight training, and fleet management are all promoted through the AMA site. But the foray into insurance would seem to be among the biggest of these deals.
The offering has options of coverage from $500,000 to over $2,000,000, with optional hull coverage available for up to $10,000 per drone. Liability includes some personal injury and medical expenses coverage. It’s the latest announcement and high profile partnership from traditional insurers racing to capture some of the drone market potential, and replace “precision insurance” offerings from vendors like Verifly.
While precision insurance is an inexpensive option for many small operators, it may not meet the needs of enterprise organizations (that personal injury and medical expense clause, for example, isn’t something you get from precision offerings.) The offering for AMA members is good business for the insurance company and the AMA – and provides an easily explored option for commercial flyers.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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