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Verifly Launches Hourly Insurance Coverage for Drone Pilots

Personalized drone coverage via your phone

August 8, 2016

Starting today, just two taps on your phone can get you covered for flying your drone, thanks to Verifly’s on-demand hourly drone insurance.

The Verifly app combines mapping technology and real-time conditions that help alert drone pilots of possible flying risks in their vicinity, which also means the policies are tailored to each user and flight scenario.

Jay Bregman, cofounder and CEO of Verifly, says insurance for drones is needed to help the drone market grow — much like the automobile market.

When he first began flying drones in 2014, he says he was certain that these devices would democratize aviation the same way cars democratized transportation. However, he realized the increased risk factors presented by drones.

“The question that kept occurring to me: What happens when there are more of these things and they start crashing?” he says. Bregman had recently moved on from Hailo, a taxi app he founded, so he and Eugene Hertz, cofounder and CTO of Verifly, set out to answer this question.

To get insurance via Verifly, just open the app and a quarter-mile coverage area is automatically generated. Then, based on the surrounding environment, the app instantly computes a price for coverage based on multiple risk factors.

“In two taps, you’ve bought a million-dollar insurance policy [for] as little as $10 an hour,” Bregman says.

Verifly provides operators with liability insurance and invasion of privacy coverage, which starts at a cost of $10 per hour and goes up proportionately based on Verifly’s evaluation of risk. Verifly insures drone operators, not the vehicle itself, so you could fly as many drones as you want (as long as they’re 15 pounds or under) in your coverage time.

Bregman says Verifly is more tailored to the individual than traditional insurance carriers. Typically, insurance like automobile or health coverage is paid annually or biannually, so coverage is 24/7. Bregman says this approach might not be the best for drone pilots.
“The idea of flying in fear versus flying safely isn’t nearly a good feeling to most people"
“I think flying drones is a fundamentally on-demand activity, for both recreational and most commercial users,” he says.

In addition to insuring for shorter periods of time, Verifly also covers smaller geographic areas. The traditional insurance carriers like AIG don’t have a way to contain where pilots fly, which can be a large risk for underwriters. And this can lead to more expensive policies.

“The fact that all of Verifly’s policies are delineated strictly by time and also by area means that you’re able to effectively deliver the insurance in a way that’s both cost-effective and risk-effective,” Bregman says.

Insurance is regulated by each individual state, and Verifly currently is offered in 40 states. If it’s not offered in your state, be patient. Bregman says coverage should expand to include all 50 by the end of the year.  

“If you’re going to create a new insurance policy from scratch, as we did with our partners, then you need to get that policy approved by the state insurance commissions in each state,” he says. “And some states have different, longer processes than others.”

Verifly’s underwriting partner is Global Aerospace, which has been providing aviation insurance for almost 90 years.

“We needed to be able to lend that credibility to the policies, but we also wanted to make sure we didn’t have to go through the process of becoming an insurance company,” he says.

Still not sold on why you should have drone insurance?

“You wouldn’t go out and drive a car without insurance. Why? Because you might actually injure somebody, and in that case, you could be betting your entire life,” Bregman says.

It’s the same with drones. You could be in your backyard flying your drone when all of a sudden your drone malfunctions and lands on your neighbors one-of-a-kind Alfa Romeo.

“The idea of flying in fear versus flying safely isn’t nearly a good feeling to most people,” Bregman says.

Verifly is available on both iOS and Android devices for both recreational and commercial users.

“We are very much looking forward to working with our users to create to what we believe will be the essential app for any drone flyer,” Bregman says.
Featured image: Drew Halverson