The wrapping paper has been picked up off of the living room floor. The refrigerator is stuffed with piles of leftovers and next week; everyone is planning on heading back to the gym. The holidays are almost over and all of the new "TOYS", both large and small, are ready for use. But before you fly that drone, hop on that hoverboard or take off on that ATV, some thoughts ....
Inside industry sources are predicting that sales of Drones will have exceeded 400,000 for the 2015 holiday season. According to the New York Daily News, The FAA has reported that they already received more than 45,000 registration requests just two days after applications opened on Dec. 21. The FAA is also predicting 300,000 more by the January 19th, 2016 open registration date. The massive influx is coming from a law requiring all owners to register their flying devices, from drones that weigh about as much as two sticks of butter (.55 lbs.) to a punching bag (55 lbs.).
That is a lot of little novice pilots maneuvering an aerial machine around neighborhoods filled with glass windows, parked automobiles and people. Many of you have seen trending news footage of the drone barely missing champion skier Marcel Hischer in Italy by inches last week. That drone weighted over 50 lbs.
And drones were not the only electronic "toy" that topped Santa's Toy List. News outlets are reporting that Hoverboards were one of the most requested items this holiday season. This reinvention of the skateboard, introduced last spring, is already sending some enthusiasts to the emergency room with broken bones and bumped and bruised heads.
As for ATV’s and other outdoor recreational vehicles, according to Statista, their popularity has soared in the last decade. Some 228,300 all-terrain vehicles were sold to customers in the United States in 2014 which is a 42 percent increase over a ten-year time span.
Not to be a downer, but I am wondering if homeowners have begun thinking about the insurance implications of these new and exciting devices?
I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun. And I know that you are just itching to send that drone into the stratosphere and zoom across an open field on your four-wheeler. But please so not make any assumptions as far as your insurance policies go, that any of these “toys” or the accidents that can occur in conjunction with using them, are covered under your existing insurance polices.
According to a recent article in Dronelife Magazine, Skyward CEO Jonathan Evans stated, “Homeowner’s insurance has always covered radio controlled aircraft and so far, drones are falling under this classification. But underwriters are beginning to rethink this policy. In this era of aerial robotics -so many of them are flying in urban environments- the underwriters’ thinking is evolving. It’s becoming an open question.”
Anytime you purchase anything that can cause liability or injury, it is always a good idea to check with your insurance agency to see what your individual carrier and your existing coverage, covers as part of your policy.
You can reach out to us at www.warwickresource.com or at 945-986-2211 to discuss your options.